had ended a bitter armed conflict between the government and the guerrilla movements united in the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). UNESCO's initiatives took place in the framework of an extensive military peace keeping operation and a broad and extensive post conflict peace building programme of the United Nations.
From its beginning UNESCO's culture of peace programme in El Salvador has been a process of consensus building for co operation in human development. The process was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding following the April 1993 Forum for Education and Culture of Peace held in San Salvador. The Forum was sponsored by the El Salvador Ministry of Education and UNESCO, with the presence of the Director General of UNESCO and broad participation of organizations from the civil society, including representatives from the FMLN.
Following the Forum, UNESCO has helped to mediate a process of co operation between former enemies. The government and civil society have worked together in the design of the programme see box of strategic guidelines. They take part together in the planning and implementation of human development projects for the benefit of all Salvadorian society. Each project is conceived through a participative process, and once an expression of interest is obtained from donor countries, the detailed project document is elaborated in workshops involving all parties.
A total of 23 projects have been proposed; by early 1995 seven of these had been elaborated as detailed project documents through joint governmental/non governmental sessions. These include support to Salvadorian indigenous communities, programmes for disabled children and children affected by the armed conflict, support to Salvadorian youth, and literacy for a culture of peace, as well as a general information project for the programme.
Strategic guidelines of El Salvador
culture of peace programme
• National programme - addressing the needs of Salvadorian society and involving the full participation of national actors.
• Participative and cooperative programme - involving governmental and non governmental institutions to establish the design, programming and execution of all projects and to keep them in permanent communication and co-ordination.
• Programme permanently oriented to teaching learning maintaining at all moments and activities, a process in which the participants learn and teach values, attitudes and behaviours for a culture of peace.
• Decentralized programme - experienced as integral to the daily lives of people with a structure, mechanisms and norms that promote local initiatives.
• A systematically integrated programme - an organic whole rather than isolated projects, coordinated by information and communication systems specifically implemented for this purpose.
• A programme with well defined priorities - these priorities will be the populations, sectors, institutions and processes that were most affected by the previous conflict - with special provisions for the participation of women and youth.