The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by promoting mutual understanding between cultures and peoples. This necessity for this commitment lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well, and it is more important now than ever before, especially in this era that witnesses the increase of violent extremism and the expansion of conflicts that ignore human life.
In 1996, the General Assembly called on Member States to celebrate the International Day of Tolerance on 16 November, through appropriate activities directed towards both educational institutions and the general public (Resolution 51/95 of 12 December). This action followed the declaration by the General Assembly in 1993 of 1995 as the United Nations Year for Tolerance. At the UNESCO General Conference on 16 November 1995, Member States adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and the Plan of Action for the Follow-up of the United Nations Year for Tolerance.
This award was established in 1995 to mark the celebration of the United Nations Year of Tolerance and the one hundred and twenty-five years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. Also that year, UNESCO Member States adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.
The award is awarded every two years during an official celebration on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance (16 November), as a reward to personalities, institutions or organizations that have distinguished particularly worthy initiatives, over a period of several years, aimed at promoting understanding and settling international or national problems in a spirit of tolerance. And non-violence.