PeaceBuilding for a Culture of Peace
4.0 The Culture of Peace Doctrine
- "You can bring us the culture of war in a plane and humanitarian aid in a truck, but you can't bring us the Culture of Peace, because it is a tree with its roots deep in our land." Mozambican Village Elder
- UNESCO's constitution declares: "that a peace based exclusively upon political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind." (Goucha)
- a prominent premise of Culture of Peace doctrine is the inability to enforce it...a Culture of Peace must arise out of the local contexts in which it will have effect (Adams)
- no single formula
- the works cited in this study reveals that UNESCO publications are the majority of works dedicated primarily to a Culture of Peace. (Let it be noted that primarily two works in the sources compiled for this study, Parajon and Lumsden, are not UNESCO publications relating to a Culture of Peace.)
- Due in part to its infancy, there is a sufficient lack of academic research devoted to what exactly a Culture of Peace is to be understood to encompass.
- The idea of a Culture of Peace was first elaborated for UNESCO at the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, July 1989.
- Of the infinite number of issues in which disagreement may emerge some examples include: the plethora of competing ethnic identities, ideologies of East and West, economic injustice between North and South, access to common resources, political organization, workings and effects of power politics, profit seeking, economic security and development. Of these named
possibilities, parties to such disagreements are faced with the choice to take up arms in defence of their views and needs, or they may resort to active non-violence (employed through communication, dialogue, peaceful protests and channelling conflict through representative and judicial structures). Culture of Peace doctrine does not distinguish between the justifications for any conflict, it prescribes the behavioural reactions to disagreement. An underlying assumption of those promoting a Culture of Peace is that culturally, the international environment is currently socialized to more readily implement violence and war as opposed to pro-active non-violent measures. (Adams)
- The end of the cold war created a sentiment that the world was positioned to pursue more peaceful interactions with the shadow of bipolar power arrangements removed. (Adams)
- The major stimulus for the adoption of Culture of Peace programs is that, "if we do not act 'in time', future generations will have no time to act at all." (Adams)
- The dual motivations of readiness and urgency are the two main factors which can be concluded to have given birth to the notion for transformation to non-violence in interactions.
- the basic unit: civil rehabilitation
- The processes of socialization within households, local level interactions, and the social structures of violence which are perpetuated by the media, are all contributing factors to the existence of cultures of violence or of peace. As a whole, Culture of Peace doctrine addresses the importance of unit level transformation, thus educating the individual to the alternatives to violence and promoting the advantages of non-violent resolution of disagreements.
- the primary objective of both Culture of Peace and peace-building is the achievement of secure communities with a reduction of violent conflicts.
- "in order to convince people of something, they must first be shown that it is true" (Merle)
- attention and awareness of the Culture of Peace doctrine is not extensive. Secondly, nations must have ingrained attitudes toward the non-violent resolution of hostilities in order for the international arena to be transformed for a culture of violence and war to a Culture of Peace and non-violence.
- involves incorporating a Culture of Peace into environments not faced with immediate threat of violence or insecurity.
- For the time being, it is necessary to be aware of the link which current thinking on a Culture of Peace has to democracy.
- UNESCO transcribes four fundamental principles within a Culture of Peace:
(a) Non-violence and respect for human rights,
(b) Intercultural tolerance and understanding,
(c) Sharing and free flow of information, and
(d) Full participation and empowerment of women.
- only the United Nations has the capacity to integrate the many political, humanitarian, military and socio-economic activities relating to peace and development. (Castillo)
- The reality of the long-term nature of Culture of Peace programs is that finances are crucial to upholding the activities which would bring about interaction and exchanges amongst conflicting parties. The training of facilitators, or peace promoters, would also be a costly process as the comprehensive goals of a Culture of Peace would demand in-depth training and a comprehensive understanding of the community, its needs and desires.
- it can not be enforced from above.
- The function of facilitator and mediator with little guarantee over influence would likely receive scepticism from both the United Nations and its funding agents.
- the projects are constructed around the basis of a mutual goal (Parajon)
- common neutrality of location and leaders
- peace promoters
- What is striking is their utter simplicity as they aim to create dialogue and interaction amongst groups with histories of distrust and segregation.
- Ten Bases for a Culture of Peace:
1. Satisfaction of basic human necessities, including not only material needs, but also those which are political, social, juridical, cultural, etc.
2. Education for change, promoting values which guide people's actions in daily practice.
3. Freedom from myths, especially the myths and symbols which prevent people from taking personal responsibility for the future.
4. Demilitarization of defence, recognizing that the solutions of conflicts does not necessarily require military force.
5. Demystification of threats, recognizing that others are not necessarily our enemies.
6. Feminization of culture, replacing the war system which is characterized by male-dominated social hierarchy and authority.
7. Disobedience as a virtue, not in the form of irresponsibility but a critical consciousness engaged in the resolution of conflicts.
8. Respect for cultural identity, reversing the effects of imperialist and colonial policies and avoiding any tendency to impose a universal culture.
9. Overcoming the logic of blocs such as the East-West conflict, accepting a world of pluralism, diversity and tolerance.
10. Empowerment of the 'small' - the people in the face of the state, human rights in the face of 'state security' - making possible the encounter of the human being with his surroundings in equilibrium and freedom from threats of violence.
- This analysis makes the addition of placing the ten basic foundations for Culture of
Peace practices within three objected transformation plans:
1. The first category involves transformation of existing structures with the tools of reconstruction and empowerment
2. The second category deals with the methods with which to realize attitude and behavioural transformation with education as its weapon.
3. The third and final category targets the military machine and the construction of communities around military organization in the
transformation of the military.
- The basic assumption is that if communities have their basic needs met for such necessities, for example food stuffs and shelter, that security and
peace have a greater success rate.
- There would be undoubted resistance by key economic and power actors who benefit from current structures and are unlikely to see a viable future for equal advantage in a Culture of Peace.
- socialist concepts
- The use of violence is one of two possible choices communities and individuals are presented with when faced with conflict, the other being non-violence. In order to create a culture in which it is natural to opt for
the latter of the two involves a logic of compromise from the outset. This compromise holds that there is a mutual advantage to resolving disagreements
- If violent reactions are essentially outlawed as foreign to community interactions, whether between states or component parts, then there can be a move in this direction.
- start with the youngest generations
- Such moves presume an open environment in which sensitive and often contested information can be distributed.
- The attitudes and perspectives of the military need to be tranformed to contribute to a Culture of Peace. (Adams) Change toward non-violent resolution would not necessarily eliminate military organization, but would at least alter the functions and objectives. The main function, being the threat of force in order to induce consensus is the principle target.
(likely to be the last of the three principles of transformation)
- The transformation of the military can not for these reasons alone be equated with the removal of it. The objective here will then have to be as Adams stated, the creation of more tolerant attitudes which will remove discrimination and abuse of power. This would be an adequate atmosphere in which a Culture of Peace could operate.
- Several strategic guidelines were adopted in the El Salvador case:
1. National Program - addressing the needs of society and involving the full participation of national actors.
2. Participative and co-operative program - involving governmental and non-governmental institutions to establish the design, programming and execution of all projects, and to keep them in permanent communication and co-ordination.
3. Teaching-learning program - maintaining at all times a process in which participants learn and teach peace-building values, attitudes and behaviours.
4. Decentralized program - experienced as integral to the daily lives of people with a structure, mechanisms and norms that promote local initiatives.
5. Integrated program - and organic whole rather than isolated projects, co-ordinated by information and communications systems specifically implemented for the purpose.
6. Well-defined program - priorities will be the populations, sectors, institutions and processes that were most affected by the previous conflict, with special provisions for the participation of women and youth.
- The strategic decision involved prioritizing women as victims of the civil war, having endured substantial negative effect from the are. (El Salvador)
- Parajon analyzed the El Salvador experiences with the Culture of Peace Program and came up with the following stages of development in a Culture of Peace Program:
1. A process of dialogue and the acknowledgement of the other party, the different one, or the adversary;
2. A process of negotiation of a new set of rules for social living together (which may not yet assume any agreements for concerted action);
3. The process of concentration, in which the actors see their common interest in a national project for a culture of peace and undertake to go beyond sectarian or partisan interests to work for the good of the entire present and future society.
- external actors
- The loss and turmoil which the invocation of violence can promote, are the critical strings peace promoters need to pull in order to persuade the benefits of tolerance and non-violent reaction to conflict.
- Suggestions for moving towards a culture of peace are as follows (Adams):
1. Revisit history to discover how people contributed to their cultures.
2. Research non-military actors and make them models to be emulated.
3. Research women's role in the development of their societies, and the causes and consequences of violence against women.
4. Promote peace goals as the dominant factor in all forms of art.
5. Teach the need to be aware of, and take responsibility for, the consequences scientific discovery can have for society as a whole.
6. Promote responsibility for the well-being of the local and global community, including protection of the natural environment.
7. Teach co-operation rather than competition, solidarity for mutual support, and appreciation for the rich diversity of multicultural societies.
8. Combat racism and discrimination, teach respect for human rights, for human life and the dignity of the person.
9. Promote economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights to create conditions for peace, disarmament and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
- A Culture of Peace doctrine endeavours to mobilize all communities to resolve conflict with tolerance and persuasion. (Adams)
- This is a never-ending process which will take generations before the effects of attempts at transformation can have affect and lasting results can be observed.
- In order for this daunting task to be assumed, "it is essential for UNESCO to persuade pubic opinion that problems are global, that the world in all its diversity is a universe of interdependent factors, that there exists a fundamental solidarity between human beings, and that solutions based on conciliation serve the interests of everyone." (Merle)
- In order to take effect in any region, a Culture of Peace activities must create positive alternatives to violent conflict by initially targeting: economic security and development, political security and democracy, military security and disarmament, cost-benefit efficiency in economic conversion and the development of global solidarity. (Adams)
- promote confidence and well-being
- programs to promote the tranformation of economic and political turmoil must be initiated first.
- the strategy of empowering civil society toward reconciliation is an integral aspect to achieving self-sustaining and durable peace. The principles of a Culture of Peace doctrine include creating an awareness of the alternative to violent responses to conflict.
- For this reason, a Culture of Peace can not be imposed from above and is thus a bottom-up method of transforming the attitudes and behaviours which would have previously relied on violence, or the threat thereof, in the face of conflict.
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