1. This report is submitted in response to General Assembly resolution 52/13, which requests the Secretary-General, in coordination with the Director-General of UNESCO, to submit a consolidated report containing a draft declaration and programme of action on a culture of peace. This report builds upon the previous report submitted to the General Assembly (A/52/292) and upon inputs from numerous entities of the United Nations system and other international organizations [1].

2. The United Nations is challenged to take up with renewed commitment and resources its fundamental task - to save future generations from the scourge of war [2] This task requires transforming not only the institutional structures and manifestations of war, but also its deep cultural roots, the culture of violence and war, into a culture of peace and non-violence.

3. The transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace, initially taken up as a priority by UNESCO [3], has now been taken up by the United Nations as well . A culture of peace 'consists of values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing, based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, all human rights, tolerance and solidarity, that reject violence, endeavour to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation and that guarantee the full exercise of all rights and the means to participate fully in the development process of their society' [4].

4. Violence is not inevitable [5]. Rather than intervening in violent conflicts after they have erupted and then engaging in post-conflict peace-building, it is more humane and more efficient to prevent such violence in the first place by addressing its roots - this is the essence of a culture of peace approach.

5. The challenge of promoting a culture of peace is so broad and far-reaching that it can only be met if it becomes a priority for the entire United Nations system. This is a process that is already underway. The creation of the United Nations system based upon universally shared values and goals has been per se a major act of a culture of peace. The international instruments adopted under its auspices and the declarations and action plans of its recent world conferences reflect the development and deepening of commonly shared norms, values and aims which may be considered as the core of the evolving concept of a culture of peace.

6. These norms, values and aims constitute the basis of a global ethics and show that fundamentally many of the most important values are common to all great moral traditions and that there is no sharp cleavage between values of various groups of countries, between the North and the South, the East and the West. The promotion of a culture of peace provides a common task, which can foster an atmosphere of true equality and unity among the Member States. This is a challenge to which every nation, large or small, is equally rich in the contributions it can make. Similarly, the attainment of a culture of peace will benefit every nation and its people without diminishing any other.

7. In a rapidly and deeply changing world characterized by the growing importance of ethical issues, a culture of peace provides future generations with values that can help them to shape their destiny and actively participate in constructing a more just, humane, free and prosperous society and a more peaceful world. The General Assembly, in proclaiming the Year 2000, at the turn of the millennium, as the International Year for the Culture of Peace, has recognized the importance of mobilizing public opinion for a culture of peace. The Assembly has also envisaged a central role for the United Nations system in its realization [6].

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8. In the following report, the Draft Declaration and Draft Programme of Action are placed first since they will be the subject of decision by the General Assembly. They are followed by a significantly enlarged report which contains not only reference to the previous decisions in this regard by the General Assembly and to the actions undertaken by UNESCO for a culture of peace, but in addition, a section which reflects the proposals for the programme of action which have been received from the United Nations system and other international organizations.

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