Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
8. International Peace and Security 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

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 eighth and final programme area of the Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace is international peace and security. Some of the specific provisions include :

(a) Promote general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control ...
(b) Draw, where appropriate, on lessons conducive to a culture of peace learned from "military conversion" ...
(e) Take measures to eliminate illicit production and traffic of small arms and light weapons;
(j) Promote greater involvement of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts ...
(l) Encourage training in techniques for the understanding, prevention and resolution of conflict for the concerned staff of the United Nations, relevant regional organizations and Member States ...

Perhaps nowhere are the ironies more evident than here. It is the five permanent Member States of the Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China that hold most of the nuclear weapons and which make most of the sales of armaments in the world.

The contradictions are many. On the one hand, in the case of nuclear weapons, the great powers emphasize non-proliferation in an attempt to maintain their "monopoly of terror" (given the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, how else should we characterize nuclear weapons?!). On the other hand, in the case of conventional weapons, they push proliferation to the point of bribing potential customers to purchase their weapons systems.

Perhaps the greatest contradiction is that the great powers dominate the United Nations which is our greatest potential ally in a transition to a culture of peace. No wonder it has been so difficult to get support for the culture of peace from the UN secretariat (see sections on historical perspective and the Decade for a Culture of Peace) !

Another contradiction concerns the relation between war, drugs and violence on the streets of our cities. It is an open secret that American involvement in the wars in Vietnam and Laos, Nicaragua and Afghanistan was partly financed by the shipment and sale of heroin or cocaine from these countries, ending up in the addiction and associated violence on the streets of the cities of the world. In fact, it may be assumed that the secret documents shredded by Oliver North pertained to this traffic.

Faced with the enormity of the culture of war and violence, one may ask how it could be possible to imagine the transition from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and non-violence.

As concluded in the section on historical perspective, a dialectical view of history suggests that consciousness, while it may not seem important most of the time, can become determinant at certain historical moments of rapid change. History tells us that cultures of war and violence are inherently unstable, and they may collapse quickly. The important question is whether the culture of peace and non-violence can develop sufficiently to replace it when the time is ripe.



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