Protect cultural heritage and the environment, and respect differences, urges U.N. Secretary-General

Citizens of the world must be as fierce in their passion to protect and preserve culture and cultural heritage as extremists are in their desire to destroy it, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told a packed audience at Yale on April 12.

“Art, literature, music, poetry, architecture — these are the hallmarks of our human existence. They form a common thread that unites all civilizations and cultures, a celebration of our emotional lives and the beauty of our natural environment,” said Ban, speaking at Sprague Memorial Hall during the U.N. Global Colloquium of University Presidents hosted by President Peter Salovey and Yale.

“Our cultural heritage defines our humanity. Cultural diversity, like biodiversity, plays a quantifiable and crucial part of the health of human species,” he said.