Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
Seville Statement on Violence 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

As far as I know, it continues to be true that half of all young people in the world believe that it is useless to work for peace because war is intrinsic to human nature. This was what was found when studies were done around the world in the 1960s and 1970s. And when I was still doing academic research, we did a scientific study which showed that those students who believe that war is intrinsic to human nature are actually less likely to take any action for peace. In other words, their attitudes are translated into their actions, or more precisely, lack of action.

To address this issue I helped organize a conference that brought leading scientists from around the world to Seville, Spain, in 1986. They responded, from the standpoint of their scientific disciplines to the question,

Does modern biology and social science know of any biological factors, including those concerned with the biology of violent behavior of individuals, that constitute an insurmountable or serious obstacle to the goal of world peace

In the Seville Statement, after showing scientifically that war cannot be explained by inheritance from our animal ancestors, or by genetics, brain mechanisms or evolution, or by any particular instinct, the scientists concluded:

Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us.

A history of the resulting Seville Statement on Violence was published by the Journal of Peace Research and is available online.

The analysis by the scientists at Seville continues to be supported by more recent scientific research. I continued working in the field after the Seville meeting, and my research is summarized in The Aggression Systems which is available on the Internet. Of special importance is the analysis of why men rather than women are warriors and why this is socially rather than biologically determined.

When I wrote the UNESCO brochure on the culture of peace in 1991, I gave it the subtitle "Preparing the Ground for the Constructing of Peace". This reflects a phrase in the conclusion of the Seville Statement that "We conclude ... humanity can be ... empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in this International Year of Peace and in the years to come."

I still consider that the Seville Statement on Violence is needed to "prepare the ground" so that one can begin to work for a culture of peace. As our research has shown, if you believe that war is intrinsic to human nature, you are not able to work effectively for peace.

When the Seville Statement on Violence was adopted by major scientific societies such as the American Psychological Association, the American Anthropological Association and the American Sociological Association, I expected that it would be covered by the mass media and hence could enter into the consciousness of young people.

However, as I describe here in the section on the mass media, I was shocked by the refusal of the media to cover it, and I came to realize that the question of war and human nature is a key part of a psychological warfare, in which the mass media helps to justify the military-industrial complex. Dissemination and study of the Seville Statement on Violence is a very important part of this "warfare."

Since war is not caused by our biology, why has the culture of war and violence been so dominant in human history? For an answer to this, I submit, we must turn to the nature of economic development.

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