Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
2. Sustainable Economic and Social Development By David Adams
December 2005

Sources

Early History of Culture of Peace

Civil Society Report on Culture of Peace

UN Declaration and Programme of Action

Latest UN Resolution

Latest UNESCO Report

UNESCO Website for Culture of Peace

Internet Information Board for Decade Report

Internet Information Board for Strategy Discussion

Internet Information Board to Monitor Media

Culture of Peace News Network

Original draft of UN Declaration and Programme of Action

Initial UNESCO Report

Recent General Assembly Debate

Original UNESCO Document

UNESCO Debate on Human Right to Peace

UNESCO Monograph

UNESCO Brochure for Seville Statement

Sintra Plan of Action for Education

El Salvador National Programme

Mozambique National Programme

The draft Programme of Action that we submitted from UNESCO was quite explicit that the culture of war depends on exploitation:

... in the long term, everyone gains from the implementation of sustainable human development for all. The poverty and exclusion of some increases the vulnerability of all. This represents a major change in the concept of economic growth which, in the past, could be considered as benefitting from military supremacy and structural violence and achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak.

I assume that the reason that the culture of war and violence has dominated human history is precisely because of the fact that it has made possible economic growth at the expense of the vanquished and the weak. In any case, we know from the Seville Statement on Violence that its dominance in history is not caused by biological factors.

The final Programme of Action as adopted by the UN weakened this analysis, first by removing any reference to the culture of war (demanded by the European Union), and second by removing the phrase "for all". However, since the economic and social rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are "for all" and since the following area of action, as adopted, is "respect for all human rights" this principle is still supported by the Programme of Action.

Under the present circumstances, this important programme area for a culture of peace is far from being implemented. Every year we see that the gap between the rich and the poor becomes greater, both between countries (North versus South) and among the people within each country, as the rich nations have increasing poverty among their own citizens.

Programmes to eliminate poverty are a priority for the United Nations and its Member States, but they do not even mention the necessity of a transition to peace or a culture of peace as one of the necessary steps to eliminate poverty. In the absence of this, it seems doubtful that these programmes can succeed, because economic growth of the powerful nations continues to be achieved through "military supremacy and structural violence and achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak." As stated in Article 5 of the Copenhagen Declaration adopted by the World Summit for Social Development in 1995:

We share the conviction that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among our nations. In turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. This essential interdependence was recognized 50 years ago in the Charter of the United Nations and has since grown ever stronger.

It is difficult to imagine how the increasing gap between rich and poor can be reversed until the nations begin to move from the culture of war and violence toward a culture of peace and non-violence. Hence, the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace can gain strength and historical relevance in the future by forging close links with struggles for economic justice.



Issues

Index

News about Culture of Peace

Historical Perspective

Seville Statement on Violence

National Programmes for a Culture of Peace

Definition of Culture of Peace

UN Declaration and Programme of Action

International Year and Manifesto 2000

Decade and Midterm Report

Main Actors for a Culture of Peace

Role of Mass Media

Culture of Peace News Network

1. Peace Education

2. Sustainable Development

3. Human Rights

4. Equality of Women and Men

5. Democratic Participation

6. Understanding, Tolerance and Solidarity

7. Free Flow of Information and Knowledge

8. International Peace and Security

Non-Violence

Strategy and Tactics

New Issues