30th General Conference on Culture of Peace

Synopsis of Plenary Remarks by Member States

Provided to Director-General Federico Mayor by David Adams, November 1999

At least 100 Member States spoke to the culture of peace during the plenary of the 30th General Conference - all in positive tones. During the general policy debate, 94 states discussed the culture of peace and during the special debate on a culture of peace 22 states took the floor (the latter indicated by asterisk). All regions of the world were represented (Europe 19; Latin America and Caribbean 20; Asia Pacific 23; Arab States 12; Africa 26).

The culture of peace was often accorded the highest priority in the general policy debate. Speaking for Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe stated that "While the year 2000 has been declared as the International Year for the Culture of Peace, we should go further than that and ensure that the twenty-first century will mark the final transition from a culture of war, which is still dogging us up to this day, to a culture of peace. According to the Republic of Korea, "The most urgent task of our time is to uproot the culture of violence and nurture the culture of peace based on justice and tolerance. Bolivia suggested that humankind should now enter a new era, "the era of peace." Cameroon stated that UNESCO's initiation of the culture of peace reflects its role as the world's "moral and intellectual conscience", while Cote d'Ivoire referred to the culture of peace as UNESCO's "essential mission more pertinent today than ever" and Cuba referred to the development of a culture of peace as UNESCO's permanent task. India stated that "one of UNESCO's major contributions has been to give to the world the concept of a "Culture of Peace". Monaco stated that the culture of peace is now becoming a "universal movement" and a "true vision of the world that can engage future generations".

Further, Mongolia considers that the Year 2000 will be a "turning point in the transformation from the culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and non-violence". According to Namibia, "it is time, as we enter the third millennium, the world starts cultivating peace, lasting peace. We commend the efforts of UNESCO to encourage the world to work for peace as we enter the year 2000." Portugal stated the culture of peace should now become the "order of the day for humanity in schools, permanent education, in non-governmental organizations, states, institutions and informal groups". The United Arab Emirates expressed the hope that the new Director-General will continue to conduct the Organization towards the Third Millennium to work to spread the culture of peace among the peoples.

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