Midterm global review of the
International Decade for a Culture of
Peace and Non-Violence for the Children
of theWorld, 2001-2010

60� Assembl�ia Geral das Na��es Unidas
p�gina 2/4
I. Introduction
A. Background information

1. In 2005, the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the
Children of the World, 2001-2010 entered its fifth year. According to the Programme of
Action of the Decade, and pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 55/47 of 29
November 2000 and 59/143 of 15 December 2004, United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has undertaken a midterm global review of the
progress made during the first five years of the Decade towards the achievement of its
objectives. The findings of that review are presented in the present report which is
prepared in accordance with paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 55/47, and
takes into account all available information on the progress made in the implementation
of the Declaration and Programme of Action at the international, regional, national and
local levels, as well as the observance of the Decade at its midpoint, and makes
recommendations for action during the five remaining years of the Decade.

B. Midterm global review process

2. In December 2004, UNESCO launched a worldwide survey on a culture of peace by
addressing two questionnaires to, respectively, the UNESCO National Commissions and
other principal actors, including international and national civil society organizations. In
addition, a letter requesting contributions to the present report was sent to 14 focal
points in United Nations agencies and institutions. The purpose of the survey was to
take stock of activities implemented in pursuance of the objectives of the Decade and
to request the principal actors to highlight progress made, obstacles to the development
of a culture of peace and recommendations for the remainder of the Decade. As of 30
June 2005, 110 replies had been received.

3. Among those 110 replies, 79 were from civil society organizations operating at the
local, national or international levels, 26 from the UNESCO National Commissions and 5
from United Nations agencies and institutions.

4. The information contained in the present report provides an overview of the
numerous culture of peace activities currently in progress throughout the world;
presenting complete and detailed documentation on all such activities would clearly be
beyond the scope of the present report. Although some institutions involved in culture
of peace activities did not take part in the review, information regarding their activities
is available on the UNESCO culture of peace website

II. Overview of activities during the first five years of
the Decade

A. United Nations system

1. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

5. In connection with the Decade, UNESCO is tasked with coordinating and directly
implementing activities in its areas of competence according to the Decade's Programme
of Action. In its coordinating role, the task of UNESCO is to maintain a global public
awareness campaign and promote and disseminate information on the various activities
implemented by the actors who are involved in pursuing the Decade's goals. UNESCO
launched a public awareness campaign at the beginning of the Decade with the
Manifesto 2000, which had been signed by 75,845,317 people at the time that the
present report was written (that figure represents more than 1 per cent of the world's
population). An interactive website was set up during the International Year for a
Culture of Peace in 2000 that allows all interested actors working in support of a culture
of peace to disseminate information on their activities (events and long-term projects)
with a view to increasing the exchange of information among actors and to foster
networking and partnerships for the Decade. To date, 1,181 organizations at the global,
regional and national levels have published information on their activities on the website.
Those activities include 1,332 events and 252 long- or medium-term projects from all
over the world.

6. In addition, UNESCO, in cooperation with the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee,
launched a project entitled "Heritage and a culture of peace" in December 2002. The aim
was to identify a monument or symbol of local heritage that represents a vehicle for
dialogue, peace and reconciliation so as to promote ownership of a culture of peace by
the local population and the general public. More than 300 non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) that maintain official relations with UNESCO were invited to
participate in the initiative. The results of the campaign were presented in November
2004 during a meeting of NGOs that maintain official relations with UNESCO.

7. In its implementing role, UNESCO responded to the objectives of the Decade
according to its areas of competence: education, culture, the natural sciences, the
social and human sciences, and communication and information.

8. In education, the Organization focused its activities on education for peace, human
rights and linguistic diversity. In that context, the work of the UNESCO Education
Sector included the development of national plans and programmes in human rights
education through national and subregional projects. The main objective was to help
Member States modify legislation and practice in their educational policies to ensure
that values such as human rights, peace, democratic participation, tolerance, non-
violence and intercultural understanding were included in curricula and to ensure that
the corresponding educational processes were consistent with the teaching of such
values (taking into account the sociocultural background of each country). In addition,
the Education Sector assisted member States in the development of educational
systems capable of promoting elements related to the acquisition of values, attitudes
and skills that favour just human development. UNESCO is also responsible for the
development and monitoring of international normative instruments on human rights
education, namely the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International
Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms, and the 1995 Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action
on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy. UNESCO identified and assessed
the general trends and policy developments in education for peace, human rights and
democracy within national education systems and non-formal settings on the basis of
the information provided by member States. UNESCO also cooperated with the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on a peace education programme for
countries in emergency situations. Activities involved the development of textbooks and
other learning materials that focused on cultivating learning societies in which peace,
human rights and tolerance are at the core of the curriculum. The ultimate aim is to
build national capacities for the sustainable development of high quality textbooks and
other learning materials which incorporate universally shared values adapted to local
contexts. In order to provide technical assistance to member States, UNESCO produced
and disseminated educational materials on peace, human rights and linguistic diversity.
In addition, UNESCO created or sponsored several networks to promote education for a
culture of peace, such as the Associated Schools Project Network, the Network of
UNESCO Chairs, the Network of Human Rights Research and Training Institutions, and
the Electronic Network on Human Rights Education in Latin America.

9. In the area of culture, activities focused on the promotion of the principles and the
action plan laid out in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted
by the thirty-first session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2001. UNESCO sought
to promote cultural diversity and encourage pluralism and dialogue among cultures and
civilizations as the best guarantee of development and peace. The Organization assisted
member States in formulating pluralist policies for the inclusion and participation of all
citizens and concentrated on creating opportunities for dialogue through the following
(a) elaboration of educational tools for member States with a view to reducing
stereotypes and prejudices;
(b) awareness-raising and furthering intercultural dialogue in different regions (for
example Central Asia, the Arab World and the Mediterranean area) among the general
public and the academic community;
(c) elaboration of methodologies derived from good practices in cultural pluralism,
identified through pilot projects and validated at the national and local levels;
(d) the development of regional networks for mutual learning and sharing of cultural

10. A specific aspect of the work of UNESCO relates to article 4 of the Universal
Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which calls for a commitment to human rights and
fundamental freedoms, particularly the rights of persons belonging to minorities and
those of indigenous peoples. In that field, UNESCO initiated the mapping of cultural
resources and the identification of best practices related to cultural pluralism. The work
led to the formulation of methodologies for the mapping of cultural resources, which are
used to train indigenous communities. In addition, UNESCO provided support to
indigenous communities by organizing workshops on international human rights law
relevant to indigenous peoples and minority groups, supporting and disseminating
materials on indigenous cultures and strengthening communication capacities of
indigenous peoples through the use of information and communication technologies to
promote intercultural dialogue, diversity and local cultural expression.

11. In the field of communication, the action of UNESCO in the framework of the
Decade has been focused on supporting independent media in conflict zones and on the
use of information and communication technologies to promote intercultural dialogue. In
the light of the devastating role that war and hatred propaganda play in zones of
conflict and tension, UNESCO, in cooperation with the United Nations and international
professional media organizations, has been providing assistance to local media,
independent from warring factions. Activities in that field included the following:
(a) the creation and development of independent community radio stations;
(b) distribution networks for print press;
(c) programme banks for the exchange of information and programmes;
(d) the training of journalists and media professionals in non-partisan and independent
reporting techniques;
(e) the development of new press houses for journalists and networks of exchange and
cooperation between journalists from antagonistic groups;
(f) support to the establishment of the necessary conditions for independent media by
providing expertise to national and international authorities seeking to adapt their media
legislation to internationally recognized standards of freedom of expression, peace and
(g) support to networks of media professionals committed to promoting peace and
tolerance, such as the Red Latinoamericana de Radios para una Cultura de Paz in Latin
America or the Israeli-Palestinian Media Forum.

12. In parallel, UNESCO enhanced its efforts to promote the involvement of youth as
actors of intercultural dialogue for peace through projects such as Reel Intercultural
Dialogue: a youthful take on humanity and conflict � projecting the need for peace.
That project was initiated in 2002 with the aim of providing cinema and television
schools with the opportunity to use their most talented students to produce content for
young people that reflects local perspectives on global issues.
As a result, a series of five short fiction films on intercultural dialogue was produced by
UNESCO in collaboration with cinema and television schools in Burkina Faso, India, Israel,
Mexico and Romania. The films were shown on television and at several international film
festivals around the world. In an effort to improve dialogue and mutual understanding by
using information and communication technologies to facilitate the "meeting of the
minds", a number of activities that focused on developing the ability to promote
dialogue, enhancing respect for human values among youth leaders and elaborating and
disseminating methodologies for conflict resolution and peace education were
implemented in the context of the INFOYOUTH worldwide information network on youth-
related issues.

13. In the field of social and human sciences, UNESCO elaborated an ethical, normative
and educational framework for the promotion of human security on a regional basis.
Since 2001, regional meetings have been held in Africa, Latin America and East Asia to
assess needs and elaborate specific action plans for human security. Additionally, in
2003 an international meeting on "Violence and its causes: a stocktaking" was
organized, which resulted in the launching of a series of publications on the diverse
forms of violence that aimed at conceptualizing the different categories of violent
behaviour and at providing best practices and guidelines on how to overcome them. The
2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action gave a new and more concrete
framework to UNESCO's activities in that field. The framework is embodied in the new
Integrated Strategy to Combat Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance, which was approved by the UNESCO General Conference at its thirty-
second session in 2003. The Strategy is based on various thematic studies and a series
of regional consultations.
Understanding that intolerance may take many shapes and may differ from region to
region, UNESCO has undertaken to tailor its Integrated Strategy to the needs of each
region. As an example of that work, the International Coalition of Cities against Racism,
a network established by UNESCO and organized primarily at the regional level, aims at
developing and promoting policies and messages countering racist and discriminatory
policies at the local and municipal levels.

14. In natural sciences, UNESCO continued to stress the need for an ethical and
sustainable sharing of resources through its programmes in science, the environment
and sustainable development, which aim to improve human security through a better
management of the environment. To enhance human and institutional capacities in
science and technology, capacity-building in science and technology for development
was supported to allow the widest possible participation in knowledge societies, and to
adapt science policies to societal needs.

15. In addition to sectoral projects, UNESCO has continuously promoted the involvement
of young people in culture of peace activities through building the capacity of a number
of youth organizations in conflict resolution and by supporting youth organizations in
their work for peace. In addition, several international events that involve young people
and promote the visions of youth in peacebuilding have been organized. In regard to the
work by UNESCO on gender and peace, the Organization assisted member States by
reinforcing and supporting women's capacity for leadership and non-violent conflict
resolution and prevention and promoted the elimination of stereotyped expectations and
discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. Women's priorities and vision of development
goals and approaches are addressed and promoted through greater participation of
women at all levels and in all areas of UNESCO action, and through region-specific
programmes and activities. Examples of that work include research projects (in the
Great Lakes region and the Palestinian territories) initiated to explore the gender
dynamics of conflict, peacebuilding and reconstruction by examining the ways in which
women are involved in and affected by global tensions and armed conflicts, and by
promoting women's involvement in conflict transformation.

16. The concept of a culture of peace goes hand-in-hand with the dialogue among
civilizations. It is recognized that all cultures and civilizations are equal and that
dialogue should be based on those commonly shared values and ethical principles
espoused by the culture of peace. Such values and principles include tolerance, respect
for others, mutual understanding, respect for cultural diversity and adherence to non-
violence and the principles of peaceful coexistence.

17. Today, globalization and the emergence of new challenges and threats to humankind
have made the need for dialogue among peoples more important than ever. In our
interconnected world, there is increased interaction among all cultures.
That has given rise to new forms of exchange and understanding among people and
unprecedented opportunities for the transmission of ideas. In fact, our world has never
been more "connected": new information and communication technologies, increased
integration and dynamic migration flows allow people in many parts of the world to learn
about each other, to communicate their differences, and exchange ideas, knowledge
and values.

18. However, at the same time as globalization encourages exchange and interaction,
we also witness the emergence or re-emergence of disturbing forms of ignorance and
conflict. Those new "forms of ignorances", reflected in misunderstandings, stereotypes
and xenophobia, reveal an ignorance of cultural diversity. They also reflect a deep-
seated ignorance of the increasingly acute social differences between continents,
regions and countries and within countries and of other visions for the future
development of our world. Outbreaks of violence and the emergence of "new" types of
conflict in various regions of the world have even led to speculations about a "clash of
civilizations": the world is seen by some as divided into opposing cultures, ideologies and
religious outlooks that are in increasing conflict with one another.

19. A commitment to both the culture of peace and the dialogue among cultures and
civilizations is also a commitment to fight terrorism, as terror rests always and
everywhere upon prejudices, intolerance, exclusion and, above all, on the rejection of
any dialogue. Thus, especially in the context of globalization, dialogue among cultures
and civilizations and a culture of peace have the potential to become engines to bolster
peace and security, thereby reconciling conflicts, reinforcing cultural diversity and
advancing sustainable development.

20. For that reason, UNESCO continues to promote both the Culture of Peace and the
Dialogue among Civilizations, Cultures and Peoples within both its mediumterm strategy
for 2002-2007 and its programme and budget for 2004-2005 along with that of 2006-
2007. In order to mobilize and advance a dialogue among different groups in society,
UNESCO has organized and supported a series of international meetings and conferences
in all regions of the world, some of them in zones with a history of conflict and tensions.
The important declarations resulting from those international forums all highlight a
commitment to common and universal values which constitute the very basis of the
dialogue among civilizations. Those values include tolerance and respect for the other,
the upholding of cultural diversity, sustainable development and the commitment to
democratic practices and peace.
Those declarations also provide a framework for concrete activities which should guide
UNESCO action to ensure that the dialogue among cultures and civilizations promotes
diversity and pluralism and acts as an effective instrument of positive transformation.

21. In 2003, the UNESCO General Conference adopted a major resolution calling for new
perspectives in the dialogue among civilizations and a strengthening of the
Organization's activities, particularly at the regional and subregional levels. The
resolution also explicitly calls upon Governments and civil society to ensure the
empowerment of women and youth in efforts to foster the dialogue among cultures and
civilizations. Following that resolution and in order to take dialogue "from the conference
hall into policies and practices", UNESCO has committed itself to concrete activities in all
its areas of competence. That entails a particular focus on regional and subregional
areas, a deliberate choice of thematic issues and the involvement of a broad range of
stakeholders beyond governmental actors only.

2. International Labour Organization

22. An important part of the contribution by the International Labour Organization (ILO)
to a culture of peace and non-violence is its intervention in the field of prevention and
rehabilitation of children affected by war, implemented in the framework of the
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. In October 2003, the
Programme, in collaboration with the in focus programme "IFP-Crises" and with the
financial support of the United States Department of Labour, launched a major
subregional programme entitled "Prevention and Reintegration of Children Involved in
Armed Conflicts in Central Africa". Burundi, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
and Rwanda participated in the project.

23. As regards children affected by war, education is also considered as an exit strategy
for children demobilized from conflict and as a preventive measure for those at risk.
Examples of intervention in that area are the refurbishment of school buildings,
equipment or teaching materials, financial support for redesigning appropriate curricula,
recruitment of teachers or other required staff, the development of teacher training and
related materials with teachers' organizations, provision of non-formal education to war-
affected children and support for the direct and indirect costs of schooling for a fixed
period. The programme focuses on Burundi, Colombia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, the Philippines, Rwanda and Sri Lanka, and is also applied in C�te d'Ivoire,
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

24. In addition, the ILO has developed a programme called the Youth Sport
Programme that contributes to insert youth in post-conflict countries or countries that
have experienced political turmoil through partnerships with the sport community. Tests
and pilot activities are being carried out in Albania, El Salvador and Mozambique.