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Programmes Strategy and Mission


Indian Institute for Social Development (IISD) has been focusing its strategy and mission on protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.

This organisation has been upholding and adopting the strategy of integrating the principles of cultural diversity and the values of cultural pluralism into all public policies, mechanisms and practices, particularly through public /private partnerships. Development, according to the organisation, is not synonymous with economic growth alone. It is a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. As such, development is inseparable from culture. Strengthening the contribution of culture to sustainable development is a goal that was launched in connection with the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1998).

The goals of the organisation are in consonance with the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001; the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003; and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2005.


The objectives of organization include:

  • to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions;
  • to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner;
  • to encourage dialogue among cultures with a view to ensuring wider and balanced cultural exchanges in favour of intercultural respect and a culture of peace;
  • to foster interculturality in order to develop cultural interactions in the spirit of building bridges among peoples;
  • to promote respect for the diversity of cultural expressions and raise awareness of its value at the local,  regional, national and international levels;
  • to reaffirm the importance of the link between culture and development, and to support actions to secure recognition of the true value of this link;
  • to give recognition to the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning;
  •  to strengthen cooperation and solidarity in a spirit of partnership with a view to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.

Guiding Principles

  • Principle of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms

Cultural diversity can be protected and promoted only if human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the ability of individuals to choose cultural expressions, are guaranteed. No one may invoke the provisions of this Convention in order to infringe human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or guaranteed by international law, or to limit the scope thereof.

  • Principle of equal dignity of and respect for all cultures

The protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions presuppose the recognition of equal dignity of and respect for all cultures, including the cultures of persons belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples.

  • Principle of the complementarity of economic and cultural aspects of development

Since culture is one of the mainsprings of development, the cultural aspects of development are as important as its economic aspects, which individuals and peoples have the fundamental right to participate in and enjoy.

  • Principle of sustainable development

Cultural diversity is a rich asset for individuals and societies. The protection, promotion and maintenance of cultural diversity are an essential requirement for sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.

  • Principle of equitable access

Equitable access to a rich and diversified range of cultural expressions from all over the world and access of cultures to the means of expressions and dissemination constitute important elements for enhancing cultural diversity and encouraging mutual understanding.

Major Programmes and Activities

  • Protection & Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Protection & Promotion of the Cultural Heritage of the Himalayas
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Youth and Cultural Inclusion
  • Culture of Peace
  • Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of the Regional Cultural Expressions of the North-East

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