B. Actions by UNESCO at the global level
10. At the global level, UNESCO continues to publish and disseminate educational and reference materials in many languages, which promote human rights, equality, democracy and intercultural understanding. An updated list may be found in Appendix I of this Report.
11. Special attention is given to the role of textbooks and other teaching materials for a culture of peace. Accumulated experiences in textbook research and revision have recently been reviewed in a guidebook issued by the Georg-Eckert Institute (Germany), and activities are being carried out in many regions. In Seoul (Republic of Korea) in September 1997, a number of National Commissions for UNESCO took part in a forum on history textbooks for the 21st Century. In the Middle East, a study has been carried out on 'The narrative of the Palestinian refugees in Israeli and Palestinian history and civic textbooks'. Other studies are being planned on primary and secondary textbooks used in the Balkan countries. The history of Latin America will be presented in terms more conducive to a culture of peace as a result of a series of meetings and initiatives: Rio de Janeiro, September 1996; Cartagena, November 1996; and sub-regional meetings with editors and publishers of history textbooks and the Government of Colombia, in collaboration with the Andean Pact and the Andrés Bello Commission.
12. In order to promote intercultural understanding, UNESCO has been producing a multi-volume series of history books, which shed light on human development in its full complexity. These books show that history is more than battles and conquests. Titles include the History of Mankind, General History of Africa, History of the Civilizations of Central Asia, Aspects of Islamic Cultures, General History of Latin America, History of the Caribbean and Contribution of Arab Civilizations to Latin American Culture via the Iberian Peninsula.
13. Special projects on education for human rights and democracy, funded by DANIDA, are currently taking place in the Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama) and in Southern Africa (Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe). They focus on the production of learning materials, both at formal and non-formal levels, and the training of educators.
14. The UNESCO Associated Schools Project (ASP) Network continues to grow: as of March 1998 some 4,700 institutions, in 147 countries were participating, and they are beginning to be linked via an electronic network. ASP schools take part in a number of regional and thematic projects including: the Western Mediterranean Sea Project; an ASP Partnership Solidarity Twinning project; a world campaign on 'Future Scientists - Women and Men'; the UNESCO Slave Route Project (with the assistance of the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO). Seven sub-regional culture of peace festivals for children took place in 1995 in Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Greece, Grenada, Jordan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. As a result of these festivals, ASP has prepared a 'Peace Pack' with a wide variety of illustrated educational resource materials for primary-school classroom activities which has been requested by more than 70 Member States. Many ASP schools are taking part in the Second Worldwide Project Day of Solidarity in favour of human rights.
15. Peace is promoted through activities, which support multilingual education, carried out by the LINGUAPAX and LINGUAUNI university networks in partnership with the UNESCO Chair in linguistics at Mons, Belgium and the UNESCO Centre in Catalunya (Spain). Among the projects of the networks are the promotion of the national language Khmer in Cambodia (in cooperation with the European Union), English language teaching in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and bilingual education in Latin America.
16. At the university level, UNESCO Chairs in human rights, democracy and culture of peace promote an integrated system of research, training and information activities and facilitate subregional and regional cooperation. Chairs have now been established in more than 30 countries of Africa, Europe, the Arab States and Latin America. A meeting of the network of UNESCO Chairs organized in cooperation with the European University Centre for Peace Studies, Stadtschlaining, Austria (23-26 April 1998) adopted a 'Statement on the Role of UNESCO Chairs in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace'. A network of UNESCO chairs in freedom of expression is also being created. In Nicaragua, the quarterly magazine, Culture of Peace, published by the Polytechnic University, is an example of how academic institutions can widely propagate the ideals and actions against violence and its root causes.
17. As part of the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998, UNESCO's plan of action emphasizes the mobilization of the Organization and its partners and focuses efforts on educational and awareness-raising activities. Planning for this celebration was high on the agenda of meetings in March 1997 and March 1998 of more than 50 human rights institutes and UNESCO Chairs in education for human rights, democracy and peace. The meetings also discussed implementation at a national level of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004) and its international coordination by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. A regional conference on human rights education in Europe held in Finland, September 1997, recommended a European implementation strategy, and similar conferences are planned for other regions.
18. The 1996 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education was awarded to Mr Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former President of the Republic of Haiti, and its 1997 prize for Peace Education was awarded to Mr Francois Giraud (France). The first prize of Mayors for Peace in the Latin America and Caribbean region was awarded during the international congress 'Cities and Education for a Culture of Peace' (Rio de Janeiro, September 1996) to Ms Gloria Cuartas Montoya, Mayor of the City of Apartado, Colombia.
19. Gender-related factors that hamper or inspire development towards a culture of peace are being addressed by a series of initiatives of UNESCO in close cooperation with relevant United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Priority is given to advocacy and awareness-building and to supporting women's initiatives for peace, enhancing women's participation in democratic processes, notably in political and economic decision-making, mobilising artists, and encouraging new expectations of men and egalitarian partnerships between women and men. An Expert Group Meeting on Male Roles and Masculinities in the Perspective of a Culture of Peace (Oslo, Norway, 1997) recommended that in the upbringing of boys, qualities such as emotional response, caring and communication skills should be given more importance so that young men can meet frustrations and life changes without resorting to violence.
20. A draft Declaration on the Human Right to Peace was examined by an International Consultation of Governmental Experts at UNESCO in March 1998 as requested by the twenty-ninth session of the UNESCO General Conference. Conceiving peace as the aspiration of humankind, the Consultation recognized the essential link between peace and respect for human rights and a moral and ethical commitment to peace as a general principle to promote the cause of a culture of peace. The UNESCO Executive Board at its 154th session in April-May 1998 examined the results of this Consultation and welcomed the initiative of UNESCO Director-General 'as an important contribution to promoting the culture of peace'. It invited him 'to pursue reflection on this question, taking into account the results of the International Consultation and to report to the General Conference at its 30th session'. In April 1998, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, unanimously supported the Human Right to Peace. In June 1998, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States also approved by unanimity the Human Right to Peace.
21. Publishers and editors of Latin American newspapers met at Puebla, Mexico, in May 1997, and resolved to promote peace and non-violence in their editorials and publications. They also decided to establish a network of journalists and journals for a culture of peace and a documentation centre in UNESCO's Panama Office. Meetings of media professionals for a culture of peace, similar to the one which took place at Puebla, are being planned for other regions of the world.
22. Parliamentarians are among UNESCO's major partners for promoting a culture of peace. The Inter-Parliamentary Union at its 99th Conference in Windhoek, (Namibia) in April 1998 adopted a resolution on the prevention of conflicts and the restoration of peace and trust in countries emerging from war. The Director-General of UNESCO has addressed a letter to the heads of delegations participating in this conference to encourage national parliaments to take part in the celebration of the International Year for the Culture of Peace.
23. Young people's involvement in building a culture of peace is part of the debate on universal values which has been the focus of regional meetings in preparation for the World Youth Forum in Braga, Portugal , August 1998. In addition, youth meetings sponsored by UNESCO in Central America, Europe and Africa have engaged in discussions on sports activities as a means to further tolerance and inter-cultural understanding. In Latin America and Africa, sub-regional programmes of youth NGO's sponsored by UNESCO involve marginalized youth and promote culture of peace values in youth policies.
24. In the framework of the implementation of the Follow-Up Action Plan to the United Nations Year for Tolerance, the first two regional tolerance networks were established in the Mediterranean-Black Sea and the Asia-Pacific regions. The objective of these networks is to link UNESCO's National Commissions, educational institutions, NGOs and regional organizations in order to collaborate on concrete activities and exchanges ranging from the publication of 'Classics of Tolerance', to inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and scholarships for young researchers. The UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence was awarded on 16 November 1996, the International Day of Tolerance, to Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, a consortium of 32 women's non-governmental organizations in Rwanda.
25. As a global movement, culture of peace is also important for those serving in the military. Following up the Central American military forum for a culture of peace in 1996 in El Salvador and in 1998 in Guatemala City, UNESCO is assisting in the establishment of an armed forces library, and the creation of a Culture of Peace Chair to train officers in peace, human rights and democracy. Similar meetings were held by UNESCO in April 1996 with the armed forces of the seven West African countries of ANAD (Agreement on Non-aggression and Assistance in Africa) and in June 1996 with the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale of France on the theme 'From Partial to Global Security'. A training manual on peace, human rights and democracy is being prepared by UNESCO for armed forces and police and security forces. In June 1998, a lecture at the graduation of the course of 1997-1998 of the Cervantes Chair on Arms and Literature at the General Military Academy of Zaragoza , Spain, was given by the Director-General of UNESCO.
26. A South-South programme in which demobilized soldiers train other demobilized soldiers as peace promoters is being supported by UNESCO and includes veterans from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
27. Following up the Declaration on the Role of Religions in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace (Barcelona, Spain, 1994), a dialogue between three monotheist religions to promote a culture of peace was held in Rabat, Morocco, in February 1998 under the auspices of the Director-General of UNESCO and His Majesty, the King of Morocco. The Barcelona Declaration, which has been widely disseminated, commits religious communities to resolve or transform conflicts without violence, and emphasizes education for peace, freedom and human rights, and religious education to promote openness and tolerance.
28. To encourage intercultural dialogue, a series of UNESCO-sponsored projects has focused on the routes that linked cultures and civilizations through history. The first of these projects, the Integral Study of the Silk Roads, organized international expeditions and colloquia, produced studies, publications and films, launched international research programmes and institutes, and promoted cultural tourism in countries from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. More recent projects are built on its success: the Slave Route which studies the causes, modalities and consequences of the Atlantic slave trade in Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean; the project of Spiritual Convergence and Intercultural Dialogue linking the Arab World, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa; and the Iron Route based on the role of iron in traditional and modern African societies.
29. Recognizing poverty and lack of food sharing as a root of violent conflict, UNESCO is making an important contribution to the United Nations Secretary-General's initiative to eradicate poverty (ACC Statement of Commitment to Eradicate Poverty, May 1998). An important mechanism has been created in UNESCO for the coordination of Headquarters and Field Offices in this respect. An agreement has recently been established with UK-ODA on poverty eradication activities which includes a new approach on adult education that improves the quality of life, particularly of women, in rural areas.