1970s

Cultural diversity has been mainstreamed

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The 1970s were a remarkable decade in that it was the time when cultural diversity became a matter of serious concern in international affairs and, at the same time, when the number of nongovernmental organizations set up, to supplement and in some instances even to supplant the work traditionally carried out by states. The two phenomena were interrelated in that both reflected the growth of civil society and, by the same token, the decline of state authority.
Promotion of human rights required international cooperation. World conferences began to be held, with or without the sponsorship of the United Nations, that addressed the rights of diverse groups such as "prisoners of conscience," ethnic minorities, women, the handicapped, or other groups subject to discrimination. Protection of ethnic minorities got importance in international relations. Right of minorities rooted in human rights and influenced by collective cultural and social rights.
As key international document in these years, the Helsinki Final Act was an agreement signed by 35 nations (the United States, the Soviet Union, Canada and every European country except Albania). It concluded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe which event was designed to reduce tension and lead to greater cooperation between the Soviet Union and the Western Bloc.