United Nations, May 28: Like a well-tuned orchestra, successful modern societies have a balance of diversity and culture, that is a source of "enormous richness, not a threat" said the UN chief on Monday, speaking alongside UN Messenger of Peace, acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
He was speaking against the backdrop of European Parliamentary elections in recent days, which showed a surge in support away from political parties in the centre ground, towards those espousing more nationalist and anti-immigrant policy platforms.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told those gathered for the Day of Action that it was particularly important "in the present debate in Europe" to adopt "a universal perspective for peace, for human dignity, for human rights" and the values enshrined in the UN Charter.
"Societies today are multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural. And that is a richness, not a threat". Like an orchestra featuring musicians from around the world, they need to practice to play harmoniously "It is the with society", he added.
"Diversity requires investment. Social, cultural, political, religious; sometimes investment in social cohesion – to make sure that in a diverse society, every community feels that their identity is being respected – like the identity of the violinist needs to be respected, together with each instrumentalist."
Hailing music as a fundamental tool to promote UN values, he said the Day of Action was fundamental to the future of the Organization "especially when we are also discussing the dramatic situation of human mobility".
Migration too, needs investment, instead of letting people smugglers and traffickers profit from it, and letting fear of migrants fester, "we need to invest in international cooperation, we need to invest in adequate forms of migration", he said. (UNI)