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Regional Programme of Education for Emergencies, Communication and Culture of Peace

The Following information is reprinted from the UNESCO PEER Newsletter: January - June 1999

Culture of Peace Network

UNESCO PEER has launched an initiative for the constitution of a Regional Culture of Peace Network (CPN) in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa. The underlying principle is that modalities and mechanisms of implementation of a culture of peace or conflict resolution are to be reinforced at three levels: decision-makers, intellectuals, grassroots organizations and communities.

CPN's purpose is threefold:

  1. To develop a common understanding and vision for the culture of peace networks in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region.
  2. To promote mutually empowering relationships and strategies for action.
  3. To provide an information databank, act as an information clearing house for the network and to develop a directory and website.

The first CPN meeting took place in Nairobi on 12 April 1999 and comprised 20 local NGOs involved in various activities in Kenya ranging from conflict resolution to peace education, the promotion of inter-religious dialogue and gender issues.

The main proposals were as follows:

  • A list of potential members incorporating a larger regional representation should be drafted.
  • The conceptual as well as the methodological and operational framework of the Network needs to be refined.

The CPN Second Consultative Meeting on 24 May 1999 focussed on defining the Common Understanding and Vision (CUV) of the network and its proposed modalities for implementation. The meeting took place on I July 1999 and addressed the following issues-.

  • Developing the CUV and CPN mission statement.
  • Defining a Culture of Peace from the southern perspective.
  • Determining working relationships for the CPN.
  • Examining implementation strategies.

The Culture of Peace Network meeting took place on 1 July 1999 at the UNESCO Conference Room, Block C, UN Complex Gigiri, Nairobi

The Great Lakes Forum

In collaboration with the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Foundation, UNESCO PEER organized a meeting from 29 - 30 April 1999 on the theme: A Regional Approach to Conflict Transformation and Prevention in the Great Lakes Region. The Meeting was an informal encounter between participants from the region to exchange views on the root causes of the conflict and ways of addressing them. 16 high-level experts from countries in the region attended as well as observers from the embassies of Zambia, DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea and South Africa.

The opening session was addressed by Hon. Joseph Morogo, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs for Kenya while the Closing Session was addressed by Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, Minister for Education and Chairman of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM).

Three main issues were addressed:

  1. The causes and impact of conflict
  2. New forms of security for all
  3. Co-operation and regional integration for sustainable peace and development

Acting on UNESCO PEER's recommendation, participants decided to establish a Great Lakes Forum to act as a think tank on issues relating to conflict and culture of peace in the region.

For more information, please contact Nureldin Satti, Director UNESCO PEER on: (254 2) 622710 (tel), 622324 (fax) or e-mail: or Bruno Mpondo Epo, Programme Specialist on: 622038 (tel) or e-mail:

Civic Education

The Fourth Quarterly Workshop for the Civic Education Project took place in Merka, Somalia, from 20 to 31 January 1999. Thirty one participants attended the workshop, including all project staff, collaborating broadcasters, and representatives from some of the community groups from Janale, Qoryole and Merka.

Several community workshops were organized in February and March 1999 in Belet Weyne, Bossaso, Garowe and Hargeisa, in which local collaborating community group members participated. Each workshop accommodated between 20 and 26 participants. The main objectives were:

  • Upgrading of skills in the use of recording equipment
  • Improving interviewing techniques
  • Human rights issues
  • Media pluralism

The Fifth Production Cycles were held in Nairobi from 27 February to 27 March 1999 and 15 soap operas and 15 radio magazines were produced during the first Quarter of 1999.

The Fifth Quarterly Workshop for the Somalia Civic Education Project took place in Bossaso from 22 to 31 May 1999 with participation from project staff based in Djibouti, Nairobi and the Peace Resource Centres in Somalia.

Training workshops for all community groups are being conducted in each Peace Resource Centre during June 1999.

Other activities have included an external evaluation of the Civic Education Project, which was conducted by two consultants appointed by UNDP Somalia and UNESCO PEER respectively. The consultants travelled extensively throughout Somalia, where they met with community groups and project staff in Belet Weyne, Garowe, Galkayo, Bossaso, and Hargeisa and the neighbouring villages. Discussions also took place with representatives of international agencies and NGOs, Radio Hargeisa and Radio Galkayo staff as well as authorities in Somaliland and Puntland. The evaluation team also visited the refugee camps in Djibouti and met with representatives of Radio Djibouti.

(A briefing of the Evaluation Report of the Civic Education Project took place in Nairobi on 29 June 1999. Participants included members of the Education Sub-Committee (ESC), the Somalia Aid Coordination Body and United Nations Country Team for Somalia (UNCT) as well as project staff.)

During the next Quarter, UNESCO PEER hopes to establish partnerships with several international agencies and other organizations. Negotiations are already underway regarding potential collaboration and a proposal for funding for follow-up activities has been submitted to EC Somalia.

Peace Education

UNHCR held a peace education conference in Nairobi from 29 to 31 March 1999. Topics covered included comparisons between different peace and human rights related initiatives being implemented by various UN agencies and NGOs. During discussions, it was agreed that UN agencies should attempt to streamline similar initiatives in order to use their resources more efficiently.

UNESCO PEER is currently reviewing its Peace Education concepts and strategies. The results of this appraisal process will be published soon.

UNESCO PEER is also designing a project proposal for a non-formal peace education programme for Southern Sudan. Materials such as stories, songs, and poems containing peace messages are being collected in Southern Sudan and the adaptation of peace activities from the Peace Education Package for Somalia (PEPS) will soon begin.

The PEPs resource booklets will undergo the first phase of improvement based on the lessons learnt from implementation in Djibouti.

A project proposal has been drafted by UNESCO and submitted to the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) for funding to cover the implementation of PEPS in Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen.

History of Burundi

As a follow-up to the meeting entitled: "Building the Future of Burundi", which took place in Paris in September 1997, UNESCO PEER organized a Consultative Group Meeting on the history of Burundi in Nairobi from 16 to 17 January 1999, comprising six historians from inside and outside Burundi. The meeting's objective was to advise UNESCO PEER on the modalities for organizing the process of writing the history of Burundi as a continuation of the major contribution made by UNESCO to peace and reconciliation in Burundi.

The Conference on the History of Burundi: Research, Pedagogics and Dissemination was organized by UNESCO PEER in Nairobi from 21 to 22 June 1999. Several prominent personalities involved in the facilitation of the Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha attended the conference, including Mr. Mark Bomani, representative of the facilitator, Mr. Madera and Mr. Kabwegyere, members of the facilitation team of Commission One in Arusha and Mr. David Rhody, Representative of the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi. Also in attendance were representatives of the diplomatic corps, including H.E. Mr. J. Bucher, Ambassador of Switzerland, H.E. Mr. A. Olszowka, Ambassador of Poland and Ms. P Isfeld from the Canadian High Commission.

Themes included an analysis of Burundi's past and present and a contribution to the country's social cohesion by encouraging the reconciliation of the Burundese people with their history.

The Conference adopted a Plan of Action for the writing of the history of Burundi, which will be coordinated by a Scientific Committee, as follows: (ED. still awating English Translation)

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