Monday, 13 September 1999


OTTAWA - On Tuesday, 14 September the 54th ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly will open at UN headquarters in New York.  This date is traditionally celebrated as the International Day of Peace.  This year it will also mark the official launch of the International Year for the Culture of Peace, the UN's chosen theme to celebrate the year 2000.

UNESCO has been designated as the UN agency responsible for the Year.  "The Culture of Peace is peace in action; it is the respect of human rights on a daily basis; it is the power generated by the interactive triangle of peace, development and democracy," declared Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO.  "It encompasses a culture of enabling different individuals to live together, of creating a new sense of sharing, listening to and caring for one another, and of responsibility within a democratic society that fights poverty and exclusion."

To mark the launch of the International Year for the Culture of Peace, the United Nations Assocation in Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, invites you to participate in implementing the principles promoting and developing a Culture of Peace that governments have determined within the UN framework.  We therefore encourage you to inform us of actions that you or your organization are taking as part of this world movement which you feel should be better known.

We would also like to know about events you are planning where the construction of a culture of peace and initiatives contributing to the development of more effective practices for its implementation could be debated.  As well, we would like you to share your success stories and areas where you feel there is still work to be done in the fight against discrimination and the movement for international solidarity and human rights education.

To better promote the small steps that have been taken in this direction, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO has put together an information kit on "Building a Culture of Peace Together" to show the work that has been accomplished by UNESCO and its Canadian partners.  The United Nations Association in Canada has a web site with additional information on the International Year for a Culture of Peace.

The Manifesto 2000, drafted by the Nobel Peace Prize laureates, recalls some of the principles of the Culture of Peace.   Sign the Manifesto and become part of this global movement!  All signatures for Manifesto 2000 will be presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations for the millennium in September 2000. 

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is an ann's length agency that advises the Canadian goveninient on its relations with UNESCO and fosters co-operation with ijNESCO in Callidil.  The United Nations Association in Canada is a non-profit volunteer organization whose aim is to inform the Canadian public about the UN, as well as Canada's role within the United Nations system.


 Media Information:

Cynthia Morel, Media Relations, CCUN-ESCO: (613) 566-4414 ext. 4550
Genevieve Talbot, Project Officer-Peace and Security, UNA-Canada: (613) 232-5751 ext. 255
UNA-Canada website:

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Last update:  13 Jul 2000