Introduction and UNESCO's Mandate
Yamousoukro and Seville Statement
Origins and Executive Board Adoption
Pages 3 - 4
Launching the Programme: El Salvador and Roundtable
Pages 5 - 6 - 7
1993 General Conference
Pages 9 - 10
Toward a Global Scope
Pages 12 - 13
Transdisciplinary Project and Human Right to Peace
Pages 14 - 15 - 16
1997: A New Approach
UN General Assembly Resolutions
Resolution for International Year
Declaration and Programme of Action
Pages 20 - 21
Resolution for International Decade
Pages 22 - 23
Pages 25 - 26
Pages 27 - 28
Pages 29 - 30
Use of Internet
Pages 32 - 33
Future of the Culture of Peace
Pages 34 - 35 - 36 - 37 - 38
Annexes and Documentation
Although it was not yet called the International Year for the Culture of Peace, the idea for an international year came from Mr Pierre Marchand, who was the founder and Executive Director of the NGO "Partage avec les Enfants du Monde", based in Compiegne, France, and a member of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest of the major international pacifist organizations. He wrote to all Nobel Peace Laureates on 28 February 1997, asking them to sign a letter to all Heads of State calling for an International Year of Education for Nonviolence for the Year 2000 and an International Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence from 2000-2010. Learning of this initiative, I went to visit Mr Marchand in April 1997, promised my support and suggested that he seek the support of Director-General Mayor.
In response to the appeal of Mr Marchand (at that time supported by 14 Nobel Laureates), the Director-General wrote a letter of support on 25 April 1997 to Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well as to Mr Marchand. Meanwhile, Mr Marchand continued to gather signatures of Nobel Peace Laureates until he obtained all of them (the first time in history that all of them had supported a single initiative) and he sent their signatures, as promised, to all Heads of State and to the Secretary-General. At a press conference at UNESCO on 1 July 1997 the initiative was presented by Nobel Laureates Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, along with Pierre Marchand, and Director-General Mayor publicly offered his support.
Meanwhile, the publishers and editors of Latin American newspapers meeting with the Director-General in Mexico, called for an International Year for the Culture of Peace in their Declaration of Puebla, 17 May 1997.
At the ECOSOC meeting in Geneva in July 1997 the International Year for the Culture of Peace for the Year 2000 was formally proposed by the Foreign Minister of Cote D'Ivoire with strong backing by Latin American delegations. It was incorporated in resolution E/1997/47 on 22 July. No doubt the Nobel Peace Laureate initiative helped develop the support received from the Member States at ECOSOC and again at the UN General Assembly in November 1997 when the International Year for the Culture of Peace was formally adopted. The Nobel laureate initiative was mentioned by Panama in the General Assembly debate on November 20 and by Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh in his presentation of the resolution.
The road to adoption of the Year had not been completely smooth, however. In letters of 31 July and 24 August 1997 to Ms Sibal, Director of the New York office of UNESCO, Mr Marchand asked that the name of the International Year be changed to "International Year of Education for Peace and Non-Violence", corresponding more closely to the original petition of the Nobel Peace Laureates. As indicated in the memo of 27 August 1997 from Ms Sibal to Director-General Mayor, this change could not be accepted because the name of the International Year had already been established by ECOSOC. A compromise was found and presented at a press conference at the UN on 4 September 1997: Mr Marchand would support the International Year for the Culture of Peace, while UNESCO would support an International Decade for the Culture of Non-Violence (to be discussed below).
At the UN General Assembly on November 20 the resolution for the International Year was presented by the Ambassador from Cote d'Ivoire, Youssoufou Bamba in an eloquent speech. He listed the 43 sponsors (more added later), mostly from Latin America and Africa. The countries of the North were not sponsors and, but they did not oppose the resolution for the International Year. Instead, most of the debate centred on another resolution, concerning a Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, as discussed below. The resolution for the International Year, along with a general resolution on the culture of peace, was adopted on 20 November.