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Tripoli Appeal for the Establishment
of a Culture of Peace in Africa on the
Threshold of the Third Millennuim

Tripoli, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, 12 April 1999

We, the participants in the Forum on the contribution of the General History of Africa to a culture of peace, meeting in Tripoli on the occasion of the ceremonies marking the conclusion of the General History of Africa project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),

Deeply concerned by the proliferation of conflicts in Africa which are already threatening seriously to undermine the future of the peoples concerned,

Dismayed by the devastating effects of these conflicts on populations, especially women and children, who are the primary victims of armed confrontation, violence and abuses,

Convinced that Africa possesses inner resources and formal structures particularly within the framework of the Organization of African Unity capable of rapidly ending these conflicts and laying the foundations for a just and lasting peace, both within the countries affected today by fratricidal conflicts and between African countries driven to war by border disputes,

Aware that the long-term safeguarding of the security of populations requires the urgent implementation of preventive strategies in order to forestall the non-military threats to peace and security represented by extreme poverty, environmental degradation, the spread of pandemics, and racial discrimination,

Inspired by the rich spiritual and cultural diversity of all the African peoples which, over the centuries, has enabled them to contend with the vicissitudes of history so as better to prepare for the future, at each stage, in a spirit of dialogue, tolerance, solidarity and unity,

Noting that the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the years 2001 2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non- Violence for the Children of the World,

Determined to take all necessary steps to ensure that the dawn of the third millennium marks the start of an era of peace for all in Africa, fostering endogenous development based on sharing, solidarity and participation by everyone, with due regard for the democratic ideal of dignity, equality and respect for the human person,

Make a solemn appeal

· to all the parties now engaged in conflict on the African continent to put a definitive end to hostilities and resume dialogue in order to settle their disputes, so as to open the way to peacebuilding, and ensure that the year 2000, the International Year for the Culture of Peace, marks a genuinely new departure for an Africa that is at peace, united and in control of its own destiny;

· to all those who, on the African continent, have already displayed with courage and conviction their resolve in the matter of ceasing to tolerate the intolerable and defying the murderous logic of violence and hate, to redouble their efforts locally and nationally and unceasingly to advocate dialogue and the peaceful settlement of conflicts;

· to all women in Africa, who have so often shown their unshakeable determination to ensure a future of peace for their children, their families and their communities, to extend their action throughout the continent, in particular by promoting exchanges of experience in regard to mediation, the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue and the prevention of conflicts;

· to all educators to strive daily to promote a form of education that creates within the mind of each person a lasting aspiration to ensure that all citizens can live together, with due regard for diversity and pluralism, in order to enable children and young people in Africa fully to develop their capabilities and to take up the torch of peace for future generations;

· to the young of Africa to cultivate peace within the family, schools, higher educational institutions and their associations by advocating non-violence, tolerance, dialogue, reconciliation and solidarity;

· to African artists, whose abundant powers of creativity betoken the vitality of a cultural heritage shared by the whole continent, to muster their resources in order that their contribution to the activities organized as part of the International Year for the Culture of Peace may henceforth open up new horizons for African cultures, called upon as they are to nurture peace in everyday life;

· to journalists and media professionals of the continent to promote the objectives of the International Year for the Culture of Peace and to report on all the initiatives that help to establish peace at the local, national and continent-wide levels;

· to all African institutions engaged in research on development and democracy, to undertake new initiatives that may strengthen the prevention of conflicts through reciprocal action between peace, democracy and development;

· to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the focal point within the United Nations system for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, resolutely to pursue its efforts to establish a culture of peace in Africa, by mobilizing all its partners within the African countries to act in the spirit of this appeal;

· to all the States and parties concerned by security and peace on the continent of Africa to support this appeal in order to promote a culture of peace within their societies.

Tripoli, 12 April 1999

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