Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
National Programmes 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

In 1992 the UNESCO Executive Board adopted a Culture of Peace Programme that I had helped develop as a consultant for the organization. It called for the development of national culture of peace programmes in the "failed states" where the UN was sending peacekeeping forces.

This was an opportunity unique in world history. Here was the possibility to develop an entirely new kind of state, a state that was not dependent on the culture of war and violence, which has been the case for most states throughout the 5,000 years of our history.

The following description of the initial programme in El Salvador comes from the Early History of the Culture of Peace.

The initial pilot project for a culture of peace, launched in 1993 in El Salvador, was evaluated in the First International Forum on the Culture of Peace held a year later in San Salvador 16-18 February 1994. I was told by those who attended that it was a remarkable political event in which the conflicts of those who had been enemies during the long civil war were constantly revisited, but effectively channeled into constructive engagement. The final report included a valuable summary of the principles for a culture of peace (reprinted in the culture of peace monograph).

Under the effective direction of Francisco Lacayo, the El Salvador Culture of Peace Programme became a successful model of what can be accomplished. We published a report from the project in 1996 in the International Journal of Peace Studies, which is available on line. A formal internal evaluation of the project, carried out for UNESCO by Ansgar Eusner in April 1998, confirmed the conclusions provided in the published report. When the UN peacekeeping forces withdrew from El Salvador, a ceremony was held at UN headquarters in San Salvador to pass the responsibility for peace to the culture of peace programme.

However, in the long run, the international funding for culture of peace in El Salvador was not continued, and the programme was discontinued by the end of the decade.

Another national programme was elaborated in Mozambique as described in the Early History of the Culture of Peace and in the project proposal which is available on line. Once again, international funding was not forthcoming.

As described to me at one point by Alvaro de Soto, a chief advisor to the UN Secretary-General on these matters, the US and European donors had failed to make good on their promise to pay for land reform and judicial reform which were key points of the peace accords in El Salvador. "Why?" he asked pointedly, "should we expect they will pay for a culture of peace?"

Hopefully, the time will come when national programmes for a culture of peace can receive the international support and financing that they require. When that day comes, perhaps we can learn from the experiences in El Salvador and Mozambique which were far ahead of their time.



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