A very special meeting to organize a National Culture of Peace Program in
will be held Canada November 21-23, 2004at McMaster University in . This will be an opportunity to set in motion plans to develop in Canada a Culture of Peace Program as first set out by UNESCO. A culture of peace is defined as an approach to life that seeks to transform the cultural tendencies toward war and violence into a culture where dialogue, respect and fairness govern social relations. An exciting idea of great potential, the culture of peace seeks to replace the culture of war - and MUST, if the human race is to survive. There are important roles for government, education, religion, civil society, women, industry, media, youth, to name just a few components of society. This meeting will be of particular interest to institutions and individuals whose mandate and passions embrace peace and non-violence in our families, communities and world. Hamilton, led by retired senator Douglas Roche O.C., and the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
is a complex issue (actually a convergence of many complex issues, each
one a dilemma in its own right) – this is why it requires a substantial
Unfortunately, most Canadians are quite illiterate when it comes to what
to do to build peace, and peacebuilding activities are starved for
resources. Furthermore, we should not be so naive as to think our
government will solve the dilemmas alone.
Unfortunately, most Canadians are quite illiterate when it comes to what to do to build peace, and peacebuilding activities are starved for resources. Furthermore, we should not be so naive as to think our government will solve the dilemmas alone.The development of the strategy for a National Culture of Peace Program will be an open, inclusive, collaborative and evolving process. To do that properly, the Canadian public must understand, participate and communicate with our elected leaders. Hence the civil society movement to hold the necessary public meetings, conferences and town halls to provide the required direction and build capacity.
The goal, among other things, is to significantly reduce the human costs of violence, in our communities, country, and in our world. These costs may be measured in terms of financial, human, social and other costs. Violence may be measured in terms of direct (eg.physical abuse) and indirect (eg. psychological abuse, systemic abuse, etc.) violence.
will have to analyse how their behaviour either supports the current
Culture of War and Violence or the Culture of Peace
Prospective participants will have to analyse how their behaviour either supports the current Culture of War and Violence or the Culture of Peace
there is no vision, the people perish." In 1968,
Lester B. Pearson stated, "It is very important for Canadians to
consider our responsibility to help build peace in our communities and
world." A Canadian Peace Vision will lift
Canadians to great heights (it is both a human and “market”
opportunity). In one sense,
it should not be a difficult sell: One-third of Canadians already believe
"peacekeeping and peacefulness" is the greatest contribution
Canada has to offer the world (ref. recent survey of Canadians'
perceptions by Environics Research Group http://www.peace.ca/surveycanadianrole.htm
80% to 90% of Canadians have positive feelings toward peace, but need
support in what to do to act upon it. The good news: More Peace
Education has taken place since September 11, 2001 (9/11) and the
promulgation of the Bush Doctrine than ever before in the history of
80% to 90% of Canadians have positive feelings toward peace, but need support in what to do to act upon it. The good news: More Peace Education has taken place since September 11, 2001 (9/11) and the promulgation of the Bush Doctrine than ever before in the history of mankind.
starts at home, with us … with “me”.
Our first task is to help create a nation of peace promoters.
This is bound to help peace organizations, governments, educational and
other institutions sincerely interested in building a better future.
We will be asked to help other peoples in other countries
similarly, if we 'get our act together' and develop a special expertise in
the Culture of Peace. It is
also important to point out that the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program has
been threatened by “politics, and resource and support starvation”
because it will take away the ability of nations to go to war – it
is vital that countries like Canada take a lead to keep this important
Program alive and flourishing.
As Doug Roche indicates in his recent book 'The Human Right to
despite the rhetoric, real peace is a 'tough sell’.
UNESCO talks about transforming virtually every organization
and institution, including government.
Currently, the federal government provides an insignificant amount
of money and resources for building a Culture of Peace. Many
arrogantly think that peace is for other people, other countries, not
“us”. The agencies that should
be providing some leadership in this matter, are not performing up to
their potential. Some leaders
will jealously guard their turf, having a vested interest to maintain the
status quo, and will resist a civil society initiative.
The good news is that we have the majority. Most Canadians
know that there is something wrong with the current system and want
is well placed to play a special role in the world.
Canadians are blessed with resources and skills, and hence we have
a greater responsibility to serve the world in building peace.
It is in our own best interest to help build a more effective
United Nations, and international law and order.
It is also in our own best interest to support other countries in
their quest for peace – particularly our closest neighbour, the United
States, with whom we have a special relationship. There
are six major relationships that require particular attention in building
a Culture of Peace (in no particular order): (i) First Nations, (ii)
Francophone/Anglophone, (iii) the impoverished, (iv) minorities, (v) the
United Nations, and (vi) the
If you are actively supporting the Culture of Peace Program in Canada, or want to, please contact Bob Stewart at stewartr [at] peace.ca
1. Agenda for the National Culture of Peace Program Symposium http://www.peace.ca/nationalcultureofpeace2004.htm and discussion paper http://www.peace.ca/nationalcultureofpeaceprogram.htm
A Canadian Peace Vision at http://www.peace.ca/canadianpeacevision.htm
Excerpts from the book UNESCO and a Culture of Peace: Promoting a Global
Movement, by UNESCO (ref. Chapter 5, National Culture of Peace Programmes,
pages 43 to 57 http://www.peace.ca/excertunesco.htm
What might a National Culture of Peace Program for
working groups and organizational structure (for an example of what that
might look like to start the discussion refer to
REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS:
I am attaching the following Canadian Culture of Peace Program ("CCOPP")
Reports for your information:
1. CCOPP Summary Statement (in HTML) (in Microsoft Word)
2. CCOPP Initial Action Plan (in HTML) (in Microsoft Word)
3. CCOPP Leadership & Peace Workshop Report (Nov 15 - 17, 2004) (in HTML) (in Microsoft Word)
4. CCOPP Organization Network (Draft) (in HTML)
5. CCOPP Mobilizing Peace Resources (Nov 19, 2004) (in HTML) (in Microsoft Word)
6. CCOPP Open Space Technology Conference Report (Nov 22 - 23, 2004) (in HTML) (in Microsoft Word)
and our amazing, 60 page Youth Day Report (Nov 18, 2004) (in pdf)
A great "THANK YOU" to all the
participants. Without you, none of this would be possible.
A great "THANK YOU" to all the participants. Without you, none of this would be possible.