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

60ª Assembléia Geral das Nações Unidas
19/08/2005
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4. Obstacles and needs

55. Respondents identified the need for the development of national and regional plans of
action, the creation of national and international coordination mechanisms, better
monitoring of the activities carried out by various actors (governmental institutions, non-
governmental organizations, international organizations and United Nations agencies) and
better information-sharing and communication on issues pertaining to the Decade at all
levels.

56. Other obstacles cited included a lack of interest and political support from national and
international authorities and the mass media; lack of human, financial and material
resources; poverty; the gap between men and women with regard to access to
education; HIV/AIDS; unemployment; illiteracy; traditional and religious beliefs; and the
lack of political will.

57. With regard to the culture of peace approach, the complexity of coherently
articulating all related aspects was seen to make it more difficult for governmental and
local leaders to understand it and monitor its progress.

58. Better training in conflict resolution and the development of appropriate methodologies
of intervention on issues related to a culture of peace and human rights and better
communication and information mechanisms at the national level were also seen as areas
requiring improvement. Comments were made about the need to expand sustainable peace
education activities and to more fully involve the mass media in the promotion of a culture
of peace. Some respondents cited the need to focus more on such areas as issues
concerning child labour, girls' education and the question of modern slavery.

59. In addition, several respondents stressed that political instability and the complexity of
violence were major obstacles. In West Africa, fragile peace resulted in people migrating
from countries in conflict situations to more peaceful but already populated areas, which in
turn further increased the instability in other, previously unaffected areas of the region. In
the Arab region, respondents identified the long-term instability in the Middle East, a lack
of respect for human rights and the difficulty to advance reforms in the region as major
obstacles.


C. International non-governmental organizations

60. Thirty-six international non-governmental organizations answered the questionnaire.
Taking into account the diversity and number of activities implemented by international
non-governmental organizations, it is not possible to provide a detailed account in the
present summary report.

61. A fundamental aspect of the work of international non-governmental organizations
resides in their networking capacity because they are usually represented in a number of
countries, which allows them to reach a large and diverse number of people. Contributions
received reflected their efforts to raise the awareness of the general public and to
sensitize people about the various aspects of a culture of peace.

62. Importance was given to education as a tool for the diffusion of values and principles
that pertain to a culture of peace. In regard to education, work is carried out through
both formal and non-formal education. It is focused on values and citizenship education,
cultural diversity (for example through linguistic education) and the creation of democratic
educational environments. In formal education, it is integrated into all stages of the
education system, from pre-school to higher education. At the university level, various
studies and research programmes were set up on subjects that relate to a culture of
peace. In regard to non-formal education, several organizations developed training
programmes on non-violent conflict resolution for young people.

63. To promote the contribution of women to conflict resolution and the promotion of
peace, organizations participated in advocacy efforts to promote the implementation of
Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security, and the
development of related programmes.

64. Respect for cultural diversity and mutual comprehension was promoted through
intercultural and inter-religious dialogue activities, the establishment of intercultural
programmes aimed at fostering exchanges, and by activities to promote the cultural
contributions of indigenous people to society.

65. To help create lasting peace, organizations developed income-generation
programmes for vulnerable populations (women, underprivileged or marginalized young
people and rural populations), and undertook advocacy with respect to human rights
(including women and children's rights).


1. Progress

66. Many respondents reported that there was heightened awareness among the general
public on issues related to a culture of peace and specifically on issues such as equality
between men and women, the environment and human rights (including economic and
social rights) and the prevention of violence. The integrated approach advocated in the
United Nations plan of action was seen as being particularly effective in responding to
post-conflict situations. Other aspects which were highlighted include the emphasis that
national education systems place on conflict resolution, the prevention of violence and the
development of new educational methodologies and approaches.

2. Obstacles and needs

67. At the global level, the current international situation was identified as a major
obstacle to the achievement of a culture of peace. Since 2001, security issues have
replaced peacebuilding issues as the top priority on the international political agenda.
Furthermore, many respondents cited poverty and social exclusion as major obstacles to
establishment of lasting peace.

68. The lack of human and financial resources, political will, international and governmental
support (including from the United Nations system) and interest from the media were seen
as major obstacles to achieving peace.

69. International non-governmental organizations highlighted the need for better training
of peace actors at the national and international levels, greater involvement of the media
in the promotion of a culture of peace, better coordination among nongovernmental
organizations and the development of communication tools to promote the ideas and
principles of a culture of peace, especially among young people.


III. Conclusions and recommendations
70. In order to maintain visibility and momentum between the midpoint and the
completion of the Decade, a global framework should be promoted to integrate the
various objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of
Peace, which should:
• Develop coordination mechanisms at the international, regional and national
levels to strengthen cooperation between all relevant actors: the
United Nations system, Member States, civil society organizations and non-
governmental organizations
• Launch events at the national, regional or international levels to demonstrate the
objectives of the Decade
• Mobilize human and material resources at all levels for activities that promote
the various aspects of a culture of peace
• Reinforce more explicitly the links with other international decades or years, such
as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2010) and the
Millennium Development Goals
• Develop communication and information tools that enable participants to
perpetuate the global momentum initiated at the beginning of the Decade and
during the International Year of a Culture of Peace, using information and
communication technologies as tools for communication and advocacy
• Encourage the mass media at the international and national levels to support the
global campaign for a culture of peace.

Annex
Summary of a report prepared by the Fundación Cultura
de Paz on contributions by civil society organizations
on the midpoint of the International Decade for a
Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of
the World

The summary in the present annex has been prepared by the United Nations Secretariat
and highlights several recommendations made in civil society reports on contributions by
civil society organizations, as reflected by the Fundación Cultura de Paz.
The report of the Fundación Cultura de Paz on contributions by civil society organizations
is compiled from the reports of almost 700 civil society organizations from over 100
countries responding to a questionnaire developed by the Fundación
Cultura de Paz in response to the invitation in paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution
A/59/143, International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of
the World, 2001-2010.
Organizations were asked if they have seen progress towards a culture of peace and non-
violence during the first half of the Decade and what were the chief obstacles to progress.
They were also invited to provide advice to the Secretary- General and the General
Assembly to promote a culture of peace and non-violence during the second half of the
Decade.
All of the data provided by participating organizations, over 3000 pages and
500 photographs, is available on the Internet at http://decade-culture-of-peace.org.
The following recommendations are based on the civil society contributions (pages
17-20):

General recommendations

• The International Day of Peace is the annual highlight for the measurement of progress
towards building a culture of peace for all nations and peoples. In support of that
objective, one suggestion is to reconvene the United Nations International Day of Peace
Steering Group, which was formed at the request of the Secretary-General. Furthermore,
the International Day of Peace could be extended towards a week-long promotion of a
culture of peace entitled "Living a Culture of Peace Week". The designation of such a week
by the General Assembly would help facilitate the promotion of a culture of peace in
addition to the International Day of Peace.

• The year 2010 should be declared the "International Year of Reconciliation".


Education

• Strengthen collaboration with NGOs specializing in peace education and appeal to
ministries of education for the integration of peace education into national curricula and as
a requirement of teacher training (pre-service, inservice and continuing professional
development). United Nations agencies that include education as part of their mandate,
for instance UNESCO, UNICEF and UNDP, should broaden their programmes to require
peace education content and methodology.

• Promote education for peace in all levels of education, especially cultural exchanges and
youth voluntary work.


Human rights

• Reinforce human rights follow-up and monitoring mechanisms in Member States.


Sustainable development

• The attainment of a culture of peace can only be realized side-by-side with meaningful
poverty alleviation at grass-roots community levels. That would eliminate the causes that
generate violence, such as ignorance and poverty.


Democratic participation

• The promotion of a culture of peace during the next five years should be linked to
community development and real democracy in all the countries of Africa. It is well known
that true democracy gives birth to the rule of law, which means that people must find it to
be on their side, and that there will be no more disorders, no more wars.


Equality of women

• Additional assistance should be given to women's organizations and associations so that
they can be provided with effective and modern means of communication. Non-
governmental organizations or other regional or national organizations suffer greatly from
that lack of communication. Thus it is essential that modern means of communication are
accessible to all the organizations which fight to support the living conditions of women
and the African people.


Understanding, tolerance and solidarity

• Motivate all faith communities and cultures to engage in interfaith and intrafaith
dialogue. Specifically, UNESCO should sponsor a world commission on interfaith dialogue to
build and educate for a culture of peace and implement curriculum and teacher education
projects for integrating interfaith dialogue and the contributions of faith and spiritual
traditions in a non-violent and sustainable solution to conflict and violence.

Free flow of information and knowledge

• Invite national and regional organizations to exchange experiences on cultures of peace
and to empower local groups to promote peace. For such encounters methodologies
appropriate to the countries of the South would have to be developed.

• Develop openly a campaign for the culture of peace together with the media and through
television, magazines, and with the film industry, taking into consideration that they have
been strong propagators of the culture of violence.

International peace and security

• Work harder on reducing arms and ammunition manufacturing.

• Bring the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty into the twenty-first century so that it
addresses the realities of the threats we currently face. The prevention of weapons
development in non-nuclear-weapon States must be clearly tied to the systematic
elimination of nuclear weapons in States that already have them.

• Creation of a United Nations agency for mediation, with several thousand professionals,
similar to other international organizations, capable of detecting emerging conflicts and
helping to transform them peacefully before they lead to war.

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