Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
Decade and Midterm Report for a Culture of Peace By David Adams
December 2005


Early History of Culture of Peace

Civil Society Report on Culture of Peace

UN Declaration and Programme of Action

2005 UN Resolution

The Culture of Peace Dialogues

The Culture of Peace Game

Culture of Peace News Network

Original draft of UN Declaration and Programme of Action

Initial UNESCO Report

2005 General Assembly Debate

Original UNESCO Document

UNESCO Debate on Human Right to Peace

UNESCO Monograph

UNESCO Brochure for Seville Statement

El Salvador National Programme

Mozambique National Programme

By 1998 when the Decade for a Culture of Peace was adopted by Resolution A/53/25 of the UN General Assembly, it was becoming evident that the initiative would need to pass, at least temporarily, from UNESCO to the UN General Assembly and the Civil Society (see historical perspective). Hence, we wrote into the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted in 1999 as the basis for the Decade:

Partnerships between and among the various actors [UN, UNESCO, Member States, and Civil Society] as set out in the Declaration should be encouraged and strengthened for a global movement for a culture of peace. A culture of peace could be promoted through sharing of information among actors on their initiatives in this regard.

The annual resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during the Decade continue to echo the theme of the Global Movement and call for reports from both UNESCO and from civil society organizations on their progress during the Decade. In particular, a plenary session was planned for halfway through the Decade in 2005 which would receive these reports.

Beginning in 2004, with the support of Federico Mayor and his Fundación Cultura de Paz, I began planning the mobilization for a World Civil Society Report to submit to the General Assembly debate scheduled for the fall of 2005. Mayor sent two letters that I had drafted, one to Director-General Matsuura at UNESCO and the other the Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the UN, asking their cooperation.

Matsuura replied graciously from UNESCO, although he refused the offer of cooperation. Kofi Annan's staff never responded (and I suppose Annan himself was never aware of the letter), despite a number of calls and the sending of additional copies of the letter. I suppose that the Americans and British staff around Kofi Annan were responsible for this, although it is difficult to know exactly.

We were able to maintain an unofficial cooperation with the UNESCO secretariat, whose report to the General Assembly followed the main lines of the Civil Society Report that we had shared with them. As for the United Nations secretariat, there was no cooperation at all. The peace caucuses of NGOs at the UN were astonished when the NGO unit refused to advertise the fact that NGOs were invited to contribute to the report. It would be interesting to know the inside story of this refusal as well.

Despite the lack of cooperation from the UN secretariat, we were able put together a very full report from civil society by May 2005, including 3000 pages and photos from 700 organizations in 100 countries, available on line at The overwhelming conclusion from their reports was that they had achieved progress toward a culture of peace during the first half of the Decade.

With the help of the Bangladesh ambassador, a 12-page summary of the report was sent to the Secretary-General in June 2005 with a request that it be published as a UN document. Again, the UN secretariat refused to publish the summary, although they did add some material (equivalent to about one of the 12 pages) to the Secretary-General's report to the General Assembly.

In order to get the summary report to the Member States, a Youth Advocacy Team contacted over one hundred ambassadors to the UN in October 2005, and made appointments to see about half of them. As a result, the report was mentioned in speeches by several Member States during the plenary debate on October 20, and a paragraph was added to the annual culture of peace resolution specifically mentioning the Civil Society and its report. Efforts are still underway to have the summary of the report published as a UN document.

The Youth Advocacy Team has taken a leading role in the development of a strategy for the second half of the Decade. Their contribution may be found on a new strategy website for the Decade, to which readers are invited to contribute.



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


Strategy and Tactics

New Issues