Early History of the Culture of Peace
Future of the Culture of Peace: The Concept Page 35

Introduction and UNESCO's Mandate
Page 1

Yamousoukro and Seville Statement
Page 2

Origins and Executive Board Adoption
Pages 3 - 4

Launching the Programme: El Salvador and Roundtable
Pages 5 - 6 - 7

1993 General Conference
Page 8

National Projects
Pages 9 - 10

Programme Unit
Page 11

Toward a Global Scope
Pages 12 - 13

Transdisciplinary Project and Human Right to Peace
Pages 14 - 15 - 16

1997: A New Approach
Page 17

UN General Assembly Resolutions
Page 18

Resolution for International Year
Page 19

Declaration and Programme of Action
Pages 20 - 21

Resolution for International Decade
Pages 22 - 23

Training Programmes
Page 24

Global Movement
Pages 25 - 26

Publicity Campaign
Pages 27 - 28

Decentralized Network
Pages 29 - 30

Manifesto 2000
Page 31

Use of Internet
Pages 32 - 33

Future of the Culture of Peace
Pages 34 - 35 - 36 - 37 - 38

Annexes and Documentation
Page 39


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The United Nations Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, A/53/243, adopted on 13 September 1999, recognizes eight domains of action corresponding to the right column of the above table. I prefer to use this as the definition for a culture of peace since it can be so clearly tied to the culture of war which, in turn, is quite specific. While the following definition does not appear in any document as such, it combines the provisions in the Programme of Action with the language contained in the General Assembly resolution A/52/13 of 20 November 1997:

A culture of peace is an integral approach to preventing violence and violent conflicts, and an alternative to the culture of war and violence based on education for peace, the promotion of sustainable economic and social development, respect for human rights, equality between women and men, democratic participation, tolerance, the free flow of information and disarmament.

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, the resolution A/53/243 contains no reference to the culture of war (thanks to the insistence of the European Union during the "informals" at the time of the Kosovo War), and hence the dialectic of culture of war/culture of peace does not figure in the Declaration on a Culture of Peace adopted by the General Assembly.

One direction for future development is the mobilizing and uniting aspect of a culture of peace, how it relates to the global movement for a culture of peace seen as a "grand alliance of existing movements for social justice." This approach was developed first by the Central American Group of Reflection, especially by Francisco Lacayo and then taken up in my monograph, UNESCO and the Culture of Peace: Towards a Global Movement. With Michael True, I emphasized this aspect in an article written for the newsletter of the International Peace Research Association in April 1997. The mobilizing aspect of a culture of peace is especially important with regard to existing movements for:

* sustainable development

* human rights

* equality of women

* democratic participation

* disarmament

The movements of ecology, human rights, women's equality, democracy and disarmament are among the most powerful social movements of our times and their convergence in the "grand alliance" of the movements for a culture of peace is essential for success. None of these movements can fully succeed on its own - all of them need a culture of peace if they are to gain their full objective. Without peace, there can be no democracy, no universal human rights, no protection of the environment, no equality for women. This inter-dependence of its various components is one of the most important contributions of the culture of peace.

Another possible future for the concept is a revolutionary concept, used to transform the nation-state from its present priority of preparation for war to a radically different priority of making peace by non-violent means. In fact, the US.delegate to the informals on 6 May 1999 was not far off the mark when he complained that if a culture of peace was implemented it would be more difficult to start a war. A country (or group) cannot start a war if its people do not believe in the power of force, if they are not convinced there is an enemy, if they do not follow orders, if there is no control of information and if there is no armament. The revolutionary aspect of a culture of peace holds true whether one is speaking of external war in the traditional sense of war between nations, or if one is speaking of internal war involving armed internal intervention by the state against its own citizens (see my 1995 article in the Journal of Peace Research on internal military interventions).

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