UNESCO CULTURE OF PEACE PROGRAM
Table of Contents:
Preamble of the Charter
of the United Nations
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
to save succeeding
generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow
to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in
fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal
rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
to establish conditions
under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other
sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social
progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS
to practice tolerance
and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
to unite our strength to
maintain international peace and security, and
to ensure, by the
acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be
used, save in the common interest, and
to employ international
machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS
See http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/ for the
full text of the Charter of the United Nations
Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace
in the world,
- Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts
which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human
beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been
proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
- Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a
last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be
protected by the rule of law ...
- Now, therefore, the General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of
Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the
end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly
in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and
freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their
universal and effective recognition and observance ...
10 December 1948 (See http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
for the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
UNESCO's Constitution Declares:
- That since wars begin in the minds
of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed;
- That ignorance of each other's ways
and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion
and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too
often broken into war (...);
- That the great and terrible war
which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of
the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place,
through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races;
- That the wide diffusion of culture,
and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the
dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfil in a spirit
of mutual assistance and concern;
- That a peace based exclusively upon
the 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, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral
solidarity of mankind.
Recommendations Concerning Education For International
Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education Relating to Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms: Guiding Principles (excerpts)
- an international dimension and a global perspective in education at all levels
and in all its forms;
- understanding and respect for all peoples, their cultures, civilizations, values
and ways of life, including domestic ethnic cultures and cultures of other nations;
- awareness of the increasing global interdependence between peoples and nations;
- abilities to communicate with others;
- awareness not only of the rights but also of the duties incumbent upon
individuals, social groups and nations towards each other;
- understanding of the necessity for international solidarity and co-operation;
- readiness on the part of the individual to participate in solving the problems of
his community, his country and the world at large.
The Seville Statement on Violence (1986)
Based on rigorous scientific evidence, the Seville Statement refutes the myth
that human beings are predisposed to violence through five key propositions. It is
scientifically incorrect to say:
- that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors;
- that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our
- that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive
behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour;
- that humans have a violent brain. How we act is shaped by how we have been
conditioned and socialized. There is nothing in our neurophysiology that compels us
to react violently;
- that war is caused by instinct or any single motivation.
- Training and practice of conflict resolution and mediation in school systems,
among staff and students, and extension through community involvement to the rest of
- Linkage of school activities to ongoing activities in the community which promote
participation by all in culture and development.
- Incorporation into curricula of information about social movements for peace and
non-violence, democracy and equitable development.
- Extension of the sense of community not only to all peoples but also to all life
on the planet, with the aim of preserving both the world's cultural diversity and its
ecology for future generations.
- Systematic review and renovation of curricula to ensure an approach to ethnic,
racial and cultural differences which emphasizes their equality and unique contributions
to the enrichment of the common good.
- Systematic review and renovation of the teaching of history, to give as much
emphasis to non-violent social change as to military aspects of history, with special
attention given to the role of women in history.
- Teaching of science in terms of its relation to culture and society, as a tool
which can be used for war or for peace, for exploitation or for co-operative development.
- Satisfaction of basic human necessities, including not only material needs, but
also those which are political, social, juridical, cultural, etc.
- Education for change, promoting values which guide people's actions in daily
- Freedom from myths, especially the myths and symbols which prevent people from
taking personal responsibility for the future.
- Demilitarization of defence, recognizing that the solution of conflicts does not
necessarily require military force.
- Demystification of threats, recognizing that others are not necessarily our
- Feminization of culture, replacing the war system which is characterized by
male-dominated social hierarchy and authority.
- Disobedience as a virtue, not in the form of irresponsibility but a critical
consciousness engaged in the resolution of conflicts.
- Respect for cultural identity, reversing the effects of imperialist and colonial
policies and avoiding any tendency to impose a universal culture.
- Overcoming the logic of blocs such as the East-West conflict, accepting a world
of pluralism, diversity and tolerance.
- 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 oppression.
Source: Defence Alternatives and Culture of Peace, by Vincenc Fisas of the
UNESCO Centre of Catalunya, Spain
Strategic Guidelines Of The El Salvador Culture of Peace
- National program - addressing the needs of Salvadorean society and
involving the full participation of national actors.
- 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.
- Teaching-learning program - maintaining at all times a process in which
participants learn and teach peace-building values, attitudes and behaviours.
- Decentralized program - experienced as integral to the daily lives of
people with a structure, mechanisms and norms that promote local initiatives.
- Integrated program - an organic whole rather than isolated projects,
co-ordinated by information and communications systems specifically implemented for the
- 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 respect for life in all its forms and recognition of social development as a
- The concept of the human being as the centre and objective of development, which
calls for an integral and explicit vision between its different features, in order to
promote sustainable social development.
- The consideration of the family as the essential nucleus of society and axis of
- The promotion of peace and democracy, as basic forms of human co-existence.
- No discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, ethnic origins, age,
illness, disability, religion, sex, ideology, civil or family status or any other types of
- Harmonious coexistence with the environment and respect for natural resources.
- The condemnation of all forms of violence.
- The promotion of universal access to health care, education, food, leisure, as
well as economic activity which is suitable and justly remunerated.
- The maintaining and encouraging of cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity in the
Region, marked by respect for human rights.
- The active support for community participation in managing social development.
Appeal to the International Community From a Round
Table of Institutions Who Have Won the Nobel Prize for Peace (excerpts)
Peace is not only the absence of armed conflict, it is also a dynamic set of
relationships of coexistence and co-operation among and within peoples, characterized by
the respect for the human values set forth particularly in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights with the concern to provide the greatest possible well-being for all.
Peace is increasingly threatened each day by the accumulation of weapons of mass
destruction, by the great economic and social inequalities which divide mankind, and by
contempt for basic human rights and the dignity of the individual.
Peace requires ever greater efforts to overcome these threats. It is only
possible in a world in which the observance of international law replaces violence, fear
and injustice, in which states voluntarily agree to limit their national sovereignty in
the general interest, and in which states employ existing procedures for the peaceful
settlement of disputes between nations. To build such a peace, everyone must feel a
responsibility and should be educated in that sense from childhood ...
Finally, the round table asks the mass media to employ to a greater extent their
skills and immense resources towards building and maintaining peace, to foster a spirit of
equity and solidarity among peoples and to draw attention to the personal and collective
sacrifice inherent in the pursuit of those ideals.
Source: Issued by representatives of the following: Institute of
International Law, International Peace Bureau, International Committee of the Red Cross,
Friends Service Council, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
League of Red Cross Societies, United Nations Children's Fund, International Labour
Organization, and Amnesty International, Geneva, April 1978
Suggestions for Moving Towards a Culture of Peace
- Revisit history to discover how people contributed to their cultures.
- Research non-military actors and make them models to be emulated.
- Research women's roles in the development of their societies, and the causes and
consequences of violence against women.
- Promote peace goals as the dominant factor in all forms of art.
- Teach the need to be aware of, and take responsibility for, the consequences
scientific discovery can have for society as a whole.
- Promote responsibility for the well-being of the local and global community,
including protection of the natural environment.
- Promote gender-specific analysis in all areas of human activity, encouraging
women to organize themselves to make an impact on decisions that affect society.
- Teach co-operation rather than competition, solidarity for mutual support, and
appreciation for the rich diversity of multicultural societies.
- Combat racism and discrimination, teach respect for human rights, for human life
and the dignity of the person.
- Promote economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights to create
conditions for peace, disarmament and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Source: International Peace Update, April 1995, newsletter of Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom
Building A Culture of Peace: The Church's Contribution
Building peace requires the creation of a tough spirituality for a long
difficult struggle.... The Church must contribute to the formation of a peace mentality
and spirituality which
- rejects violence as a solution to conflicts;
- rejects the belief that war is inevitable;
- grounds itself in justice;
- lifts up the values of freedom, mercy and tolerance;
- stresses the importance of repentance and forgiveness.
Building peace requires a defining and sustaining community. Churches and
all their expressions - clergy, lay, congregations, official voices, ecumenical networks -
have to be involved actively:
- using the gifts, experiences and authority of all;
- sharing indigenous stories, rituals, analyses and actions;
- making available models of constructive Church involvement in situations of
- co-operating with governments for the promotion of peace, while standing ready to
challenge them when they are intransigent.
The Church should encourage respect for others' values, opinions, perspectives
and perceptions, embracing the humanity of 'the other':
- Neither governments nor anyone else can be allowed to define the enemy for
- Recognize that the presence of fear in ourselves and in others is a key component
Source: Corrymeela Consultation of World Council of Churches, 1-5 June 1994.
There are four aspects of the South Africa training
- Conflict transformation, which includes methods of conflict resolution, active
non-violence, mediation and negotiation, stress management, non-violent communications,
gender sensitivity, and international peace-building.
- Community relations and management, which includes knowledge of local
organizations and municipal authorities, and skills such as crisis administration,
team-building, and managing diversity and organizational conflict.
- Planning and implementation of small projects, which involves training and
periodic follow-up for the planning, funding, and management of projects to reduce
unemployment and increase incomes.
- International exchange of peace-building experiences - each year the program
organizes an international meeting for groups involved in community peace-building and the
reintegration of demobilized soldiers.
- We agree to respect, encourage, protect and restore Earth's ecosystems to ensure
biological and cultural diversity.
- We recognize our diversity and our common partnership. We respect all
cultures and affirm the rights of all peoples to basic environmental needs.
- Poverty affects us all. We agree to alter unsustainable patterns of
production and consumption to ensure the eradication of poverty and to end the abuse of
- We recognize that national barriers do not generally conform to Earth's
ecological realities. National sovereignty does not mean sanctuary from our
collective responsibility to protect and restore Earth's ecosystems ...
- We reject the build-up and use of military force and the use of economic pressure
as means of resolving conflict. We commit ourselves to pursue genuine peace, which
is not merely the absence of war but includes the eradication of poverty, the promotion of
social justice and economic, spiritual, cultural and ecological well-being.
- We agree to ensure that decision-making processes and their criteria are clearly
defined, transparent, explicit, accessible and equitable.
- ... those who have expropriated or consumed the majority of Earth's resources or
who continue to do so must cease such expropriation or reduce such consumption and must
bear the costs of ecological restoration and protection...
- Women constitute over half of Earth's population. They are a powerful
source for change. They contribute more than half the effort to human welfare.
Men and women agree that women's status in decision-making and social processes must
equitably reflect their contribution ...
Source: prepared by the non-governmental organizations gathered at the Rio
Summit, June 1992
Statement on Women's Contributions To A Culture of
On the eve of the twenty-first century, a dynamic movement towards a culture of
peace derives inspiration and hope from women's visions and actions.
Women bring to the cause of peace among people and nations distinctive
experiences, competence, and perspectives. Women's role in giving and sustaining
life has provided them with skills and insights essential to peaceful human relations and
social development. Women subscribe less readily than men to the myth of the
efficacy of violence, and they can bring a new breadth, quality and balance of vision to a
joint effort of moving from a culture of war towards a culture of peace.
To this end, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to:
- support national and international efforts to ensure equal access to all forms of
- promote relevant quality education;
- encourage new approaches to development that take account of women's priorities
- oppose the misuse of religion, cultural and traditional practices for
- seek to reduce the direct and indirect impact of the culture of war on women;
- increase women's freedom of expression and involvement in the media;
- promote knowledge and respect for international normative instruments concerning
the human rights of girls and women;
- support governmental and intergovernmental structures as well as women's
associations and NGOs committed to the development of a culture of peace based on equality
between women and men.
Source: Drafted by UNESCO and signed by participants t the Fourth World
Conference of Women, Beijing, September 1995
UNESCO's PLEDGE FOR PEACE
(a code of ethics for a Culture of Peace Program)
I pledge in my daily life, in my family, my work, my community, my country & my
1. "Respect all life" Respect the life and dignity of each human being without
discrimination or prejudice.
2. "Reject violence." Practice active non-violence, rejecting violence in all
its forms: physical, sexual, psychological, economical and social, in particular towards
the most deprived and vulnerable
such as children and adolescents.
3. "Share with others." Share my time and material resources in a spirit
of generosity to put an end to exclusion, injustice and political and economic oppression.
4. "Listen to understand." Defend freedom of expression and cultural
diversity, giving preference always to dialogue and listening without engaging in
fanaticism, defamation and the rejection of others.
5. "Preserve the planet." Promote consumer behavior that is responsible
and development practices that respect all forms of life and preserve the balance of
nature on the planet.
6. "Rediscover solidarity." Contribute to the development of my community, with
the full participation of women and respect for democratic principles, in order to create
together new forms of solidarity.
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