- Region Summary News
- 25th Anniversary
- 2011-2013 and Beyond...
- Photos: World Oneness Aspiration Themes
- Torch-Bearer Award
- UN Initiatives
- Year - Rapprochement of Cultures
- Davidson Hepburn Message
- Other IYRC Messages and Statements
- Examples of IYRC at Events
- Living in Harmony - Summer Camp Curriculum
- IYRC Logo: 6 Languages, Multicolor strands and symbol
- Sample Handout - Message, Song Music, Country list, Photos
- IYRC Talking Points and FAQ
- "How to" show IYRC at "Live from Road" news
- Schools And Kids
- Asia Pacific
IYRC Talking Points and FAQ
Talking Points and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
In response to frequently asked questions some talking points and answers are provided below. Some of the best information about how the 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the World Harmony Run share common goals is found in the messages at
- http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/davidson_hepburn_unesco_message and
Question: How does the World Harmony Run fit in with the United Nations and UNESCO designated International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures?
Question: How does the Run put the ideal of the Rapprochement of Cultures into action?
Question: Can you provide some short background on the run and this IYRC?
Question: What are the main points of the messages you received.
Question: Do the messages have much of an impact?
Question: What is the reaction to the year 2010 Logo that we see on the World Harmony Run banner this year?
Question: Other than to go on the run to some of the 100 plus countries, what is the best way to see what has been going on this year and how the IYRC is part of the World Harmony Run events?
Questions with answers:
1. Question: How does the World Harmony Run fit in with the United Nations and UNESCO designated International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures?
Answer: The multi-cultural participation of the World Harmony Run demonstrates the concept of peace and harmony in a unique and practical way. The run allows people to participate in a truly global event at the grass-roots level. This fits in with what UNESCO is trying to do, especially during this the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
2. Question: How does the Run put the ideal of the Rapprochement of Cultures into action?
Answer: By carrying a torch to over 100 nations we are taking steps to reach out to other cultures. The World Harmony Run provides a chance for all participants to expand their awareness and to gain practical experience of other cultures. It is also an excellent opportunity to develop an appreciation of the world's diversity through art, culture and sports. This communal sharing of our hopes, dreams and aspirations is necessary for building the foundations of peace and harmony.
3. Question: Can you provide some short background on the run and this IYRC?
Answer: The World Harmony Run has been taking place since 1987. This year is very special because it has been declared by the United Nations and UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) resolutions as the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. UNESCO is the lead agency for celebrating this year of cultural diversity. The Harmony Runners have received a number of encouraging and illuminating messages from our colleagues at UNESCO. You can see more on the year and our participation at www.worldharmonyrun.org/Unesco
4. Question: What are some main points of the messages you received.
Answer: Here is some information from 3 of the messages we received, and where you can find the full message,
President of the UNESCO General Conference (*1):
- IYRC presents a wonderful opportunity to creatively celebrate cultural diversity and its role in forging ties between cultures and people.
- There is great value in bringing together different kinds of people, different forces, different views, different religions, and different beliefs.
- The rapprochement of cultures is at the heart of UNESCO's mandate, and the International Year is an opportunity to reinforce this mandate in both the international community at large as well as in civil society.
- By carrying a torch to over 100 nations this year, World Harmony Run reinforces the goals and objectives of 2010: International Year,
- it is with great pleasure that I support and encourage initiatives like the World Harmony Run that touch and inspire people's hearts and put values of diversity, dialogue, and understanding so central to UNESCO's work into action.
- I knew my friend Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the World Harmony Run, for over three decades, and I participated in many of the world-uniting events that he encouraged. . I feel his spirit preserved and perpetuated in this remarkable event.
- May your activity contribute to the global recognition of the intrinsic relationship between sustainable development and the promotion of cultural diversity, mutual understanding, and a culture of peace.
- *(1) Full message link Davidson Hepburn, President of UNESCO General conference
- Express support for what the World Harmony Run stands for, because it walks the talk. In fact, it runs the talk.
- doing something effective and positive in that it brings individuals together and it brings (groups of) people together and that resonates very much with the work of UNESCO.
- 2010 is: the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures; the last year for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World; and also, on August 12 launch of the International Year of Youth.
- These three UN initiatives, all share the ideal of what the World Harmony Run is promoting.
- These Runs, and in fact the symbolism of the act of passing a torch, are really a way of celebrating our diversity, celebrating our cultures, celebrating mutual understanding and mutual respect, and celebrating the culture of peace.
- It is a way of connecting. When you are passing this torch, you are passing a smile, you are passing a hand, you are passing a message, you are passing on your language, your identity, your people, your nation.
- Anyone who is doing the run and passing the torch is acting as an ambassador of peace.
- The World Harmony Run for all these great initiatives - is an inspiration to all of us. It is really embodying the messages of the United Nations and the Member States.
- *(2) Full message link: (Ms. Rochelle Roca-Hachem, Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO New York office - April 12, 2010, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York , http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_messages
- With great pleasure received proposal for the celebration of 2010: International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures: the World Harmony Run.
- The practice of sport is a recognized instrument for promoting peace: disregards both geographical borders and social classes; plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration in different geographical, cultural and political contexts; a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice.
- The proposed activity corresponds perfectly to the objectives of the Year and covers multiple aspects and opportunities to promote dialogue through cultural interactions and the promotion of dialogue amongst people.
- Plan of Action, main objective of 2010: IYRC is: to foster respect for each other's culture; and break down the barriers between different cultures, but also to promote ideals of peace, fraternity and wellbeing.
- For these reasons, I am pleased to inform you that your activity has been integrated into the List of Activities for 2010.
- Encourage organizers to share with us, when convenient, images or photos related to their events to include in our online photo gallery. Thank you again for your active participation, and commitment to the celebration of 2010: International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
- *(3) Full message link: Katérina Stenou, Director, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO 19 April 2010 http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_messages
5. Question: Do the messages have much of an impact?
Answer: The recent messages and statements received from President Davidson Hepburn, Ms. Rochelle Roca-Hachem in New York, Ms. Katérina Stenou in Paris, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have encouraged our participants and their supporters around the world and contained language that was most valuable to repeat. For example:
- The thoughtful message at the NY International Launch by Ms. Roca-Hachem had immediate impact not only because many members of delegations from countries to the UN came to hold the torch, but also because so many of the international and national coordinators for the run from around the world were physically present to hear her very practical and inspiring observations. Many were touched to be reminded that their service helps in the greater efforts that UNESCO and the UN are taking to move the world forward. It also was gratifying to hear their work nurturing this event for the past 20 years appreciated for its wider impact of putting into practice the year 2010 theme both to reach out to others and to bring people together..
- It has been helpful to have such strong messages to share especially with the young people the run meets around the globe. Recently a high school's diversity club in Halifax, Canada ran with the torch and banners to two junior high schools. Then as part of their presentations to the younger children, the students took turns reading out paragraphs of the message of President Hepburn to the participants in the run.
6. Question: What is the reaction to the year 2010 Logo that we see on the World Harmony Run banner this year?
Answer: As of now there have been two things about the year 2010 logo that have been especially well received:
1. The 6 official languages used on the logo -
- At a number of locations, children or teachers joined in reading out part of the UN and UNESCO logo for the year 2010 in different languages. http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/images/usa/news/2010/week01/0419b/0419b_020.jpg
- Those who had volunteered held the torch together in front of the banner. http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/images/usa/news/2010/week01/0419b/0419b_015_7child_lang_torch.jpg
- In answering questions about languages beyond the 6 official ones, it was found helpful to note that the space on the bottom of the logo (just after the 6th language) could be used to insert other languages from a host or visiting country! This also presented the opportunity to speak about UNESCO's International Mother Language Day in February of each year and the importance of recognizing language and cultural diversity.
2. The symbolism of the logo's graphic
- The in many different color strands was also appreciated, especially in multi-racial and ethnic communities.
- It was noted that, although the strands join together at one end to make a distinct shape, they keep their unique color.
7. Question: Other than to go on the run to some of the 100 plus countries, what is the best way to see what has been going on this year and how the IYRC is part of the World Harmony Run events?
Answer: One good way to get a sense of what the World Harmony Run has been doing is to go to the Examples of IYRC at events page: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_examples
- There is a very impressive one day event in Hungry: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_examples/day_event_example_hungary
- Part 01: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_examples/iyrc_exa_01
- Part 02: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_examples/iyrc_exa_02
- Part 03: in progress - http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/unesco_year/iyrc_examples/iyrc_exa_03