Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
5. Democratic Participation 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

The fifth programme area of the Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace is democratic participation. In the original draft sent from UNESCO, it was pointed out that:

The fostering of democratic participation and governance is ... the only way to replace the authoritarian structures of power which were created by and which have, in the past, sustained the culture of war and violence ... As stated by the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development, '....democracy and transparent and accountable governance and administration in all sectors of society are indispensable foundations for the realization of social and people-centred sustainable development [which, with social justice] are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among our nations'.

The close inter-relationships between the different programme areas for a culture of peace are especially evident here. Democratic participation, at the same time, both depends on and contributes to human rights, the free flow of information (transparency), the equality of women and men, and international peace and security.

The emphasis needs to be on participation, since all too often governments gain their power through political systems that bear the name "democracy" but which allow very little participation by the ordinary citizen. In fact, the actions of governments are often so secretive (usually in the name of "national security", i.e. the culture of war), that citizens are not even able to participate in knowledge of what their government is doing.

Participation is key to the strategy of the global movement, in order to make it an effective force for historical transformation.

I don't think it is by accident that the same people in the same part of the world (South America) are working on both the culture of peace and new forms of democratic participation, called "presupuesto participativo" in Spanish and "orçamento participativo" in Portuguese, by which citizens take part directly in the key financial decisions of local government. Nor is it by accident that they have taken the lead in creating joint commissions of civil society and elected officials to implement a culture of peace. Hopefully, their experiments will prove successful in South America, and provide a strategic model to people working for democracy and a culture of peace in the other continents.



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