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Annex IV


Chief of the Coordination, Evaluation and New Technologies Unit, Section for Culture, UNESCO

Your Excellencies,
Mr Khanh, Former Deputy Prime Minister,
Mr Nien, President of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mrs Hoi, Secretary-General of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to address three inter-related concepts today: peace, development and culture and discuss the response of UNESCO, and in particular of the Sector for Culture to these concepts. The symbiotic inter-relationship that exists between peace and development has been amply demonstrated. No paucity of research has documented and analysed the fact that peaceful societies advance and develop more rapidly than those at war. That their development efforts tend to be more integrated and sustainable because, a country at peace, both internally and externally, is less likely to expend its human and financial resources on the building up of troops and the purchasing of ever more sophisticated arms. Rather, it is more likely to channel these valuable resources towards the common good of its citizens by expanding its human and social capital, investing in all aspects of education, and building up and improving its infrastructure. Given, therefore, that so much has been said and written about this topic, I will concentrate more on the inter-relationship between culture and peace and on the special role that culture can play.

UNESCO has for many years advocated the idea that culture is a constitutive element of both peace and development and that thus, it is intrinsically linked to both. The Organization has therefore tried to reflect, in all its activities, the unavoidable link between the mutual respect for different cultures and the maintenance of world peace, thus demonstrating the necessity of this bi-lateral relationship as a basis for a sustainable development. Allow me a few minutes to trace the historical path of the gradual evolution that has led to this paradigmatic shift that brought culture "in from the margins" and unto the centre-stage of the development agenda. A shift that matches and complements the new development paradigm, moving away from the old-fashioned macro-economic models to focus on micro-economies, on participation, on commitment and on the local.

From its inception in 1946, the Organization has aimed not only at promoting international intellectual co-operation and constructing peace and understanding in the world, but also at providing the fora in which the world could start working towards the achievement of these laudable goals. One of the first actions of the Organization was to open new spaces for dialogue and exchange through the creation of international non-governmental organizations such as the International Council of Museums, where people of diverse cultures but similar interests could share their experiences and learn about each other.

This encouragement of the worldwide reflection on different conceptions of different cultures and their mutual relations continued in the 1950s and led, in 1960 to a decisive step in UNESCO’s unique role and capacity. Always with the aim of protecting all cultures in the firm belief that this was necessary for the promotion of world peace, the Organization began launching international solidarity campaigns under its intellectual and operational stewardship to protect the world’s heritage.

It was not until the early 1980s however, that the theoretical conceptualisation of this international debate on culture matured into practice and led to the preparation, in 1982, of MONDIACULT, a world conference on cultural policies. This Conference marked the dawn of a shift in paradigm, defining culture in an anthropological and holistic context beyond the more traditional art forms, and recognising it as an essential component of development.

UNESCO’s commitment to move this cultural agenda forward led to the launch of the World Decade for Cultural Development in 1988. This initiative, carried out in close collaboration with the United Nations in turn led to the establishment, in 1992, of the World Commission on Cultural Development under the leadership of MrJavier Pérez de Cuéllar. The mandate of the Commission was to explore, at the global level, the interactions that exist between culture and development, and to make appropriate and concrete recommendations. The Report of the Commission - Our Creative Diversity – was intended to re-open under more practical and political parameters, the debate on culture and policy-making, while at the same time impacting with renewed vigour on all cultural programmes of UNESCO. It was also this Report that set the stage for the International Conference on Cultural Policies for Development that took place in Stockholm (Sweden) from 30 March to 2 April 1998. Recognising that cultural values and practices have a determining impact on development activities, the representatives of 149 Member States adopted the Action Plan that was the result of the Conference. This Action Plan clearly gives culture a central role in policy-making, recognising its constitutive role in the pursuit of appropriate and sustainable development and thus, a durable peace. The Action Plan recommends to Member States 5 policy objectives:

  • make cultural policy one of the key components of development strategy;
  • promote creativity and participation in cultural life;
  • reinforce policy and practice to safeguard and enhance the cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, moveable and immovable, and to promote cultural industries;
  • promote cultural and linguistic diversity in and for the information society; and
  • make more human and financial resources available for cultural development

Even within the dynamics of an increasingly globalised world economy and the economic, socio-cultural and political fragmentation that this phenomenon can engender, the important role of culture continues to be underlined. The reactions to cultural globalisation differ greatly in diverse cultural settings. One reaction has been the retrenchment into different degrees of ethnic, nationalist or religious discrimination, both in the North where reaction has been xenophobia and religious fundamentalism, and in the South where there has been a rise in ethnic conflicts, religious fundamentalism and the fragmentation of nation states.

How, then, can we avoid the negative effects of globalisation and protect nation states from the dangers of social fragmentation and systemic disruption that globalisation can cause ? What kind of screen can be placed in front of the globalisation window so that these negative effects are minimised ? It is our belief that cultural values and practices can prove to be this screen. Strengthening national cultural identities, promoting knowledge and pride – but not arrogance – in one’s own culture, developing models and cultural spaces that are traditional, endogenous and wholesome are effective mechanisms to screen the possible damages of a standardized and globalized culture.

History has demonstrated repeatedly, the enormous resilience of cultures, that is, the capacity of people to adapt and develop responses to urgent social and environmental changes. It is through this process that the values of co-operation can best be emphasised. The Report "Our Creative Diversity" puts its aptly:

"…culture shapes all our thinking, imagining and behaviour. It is the transmission of behaviour as well as a dynamic source for change, creativity, freedom and the awakening of innovative opportunities. For groups and societies, culture is energy, inspiration and empowerment, as well as the knowledge and acknowledgement of diversity … we must learn how to let it lead not to the clash of cultures, but to their fruitful coexistence and to intercultural harmony."

One of the ways in which UNESCO endeavours to foster "fruitful coexistence and intercultural harmony" is through the promotion of efforts connected with the Culture of Peace Programme. This programme supports and fosters the values of justice, non-violence, respect for all human rights and cultural diversity, tolerance, dialogue, solidarity, development, promotion of democracy and reconciliation. The Culture of Peace programme is already in place, not only in countries in conflict, but also in those that are in a post-conflict situation. Technical assistance is being given where needed and capacity building is encouraged for the development of national cultural policies inspired by pluralistic principles.

There are other subtle ways in which globalisation can negatively affect societies. Consider the ever-increasingly important tourist industry. Tourism is the third largest economic activity in the world today and its importance continues to grow, especially in the developing world. Yet, developing countries often have no framework for the control of this industry despite the often demonstrated risk that it poses to their cultural heritage, arts and environmental resources on which it is based, or more disturbing, to their minority cultures. Furthermore, the profits of this lucrative activity rarely go to the local communities that are the subject and object of the industry. Rather, they are retained by a few, typically offshore, corporate conglomerates, with the tourist industry expecting local governments to pay, from public funds, for all the industry’s development costs.

UNESCO believes however that while it is essential to encourage and promote tourism, there needs to be a complete shift in paradigm – a change to a specific type of cultural policy which would transform tourism from the present unsustainable extraction industry, into a tool for cultural and natural heritage conservation. This policy would screen out the undesirable elements of an industry which, when properly managed, has so much to offer. We are already working with some of our Member States in order to create the types of policies and of programmes that would be conducive to reaping greater socio-economic benefits for all. On the other hand, the economic benefits that can accrue to a country and/or community are only part of the equation. Increasingly, tourism that is appropriate and respectful of the cultural values and traditions of a country, is the means through which cultural spaces can be provided to foster inter-cultural encounters, dialogue, understanding and peace.

As you can see, culture can be a powerful tool for achieving development, creating employment and in strengthening cultural identities, and peaceful living. UNESCO, the only United Nations specialized agency with a mandate for cultural matters has developed a long-standing expertise in a multiplicity of culture programmes and Member States have privileged access to the Organization’s body of knowledge and the technical assistance we can provide. Allow me now to go through some practical examples drawn from the work of the Sector for Culture:

The point of departure to ensure the success of many activities is usually the policy and normative framework that a country may wish to put into place in order to protect, preserve, develop and promote its tangible and intangible cultural capital and its cultural industries. UNESCO has been the initiator of many such normative instruments and we continue to work in this area that is often referred to as one of our "comparative advantages". The Organization is very active in developing rules of international law to protect the cultural heritage of all peoples, including the protection, from theft or in times of conflict. Most renowned of course is the 1972 World Heritage Convention whose aim is to ensure the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Member States. The belief is that the preservation of cultural heritage helps to rebuild broken communities, re-establish cultural identities, and link the past of a culture with its present and future. Two sites in Viet Nam are at present inscribed on the list, Hue and the Bay of Halong and work is beginning to be undertaken on the possible inscription of other sites. Of equal importance is the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict that was adopted in The Hague (Netherlands) in 1954. This Convention was the first international agreement to focus exclusively on the protection of cultural heritage. The Convention went further however, in ensuring that the States which are party to the Convention undertake to lessen the consequences of armed conflict on their cultural heritage and take preventive measures for such protection not only in times of hostility, but also in times of peace. The Protocol adopted with this Convention prohibits the export of cultural property from occupied territories and requires the return of such property to the territory of the State from which it was removed once the conflict is over. It also expressly forbids the appropriation of cultural property as war reparation.

In an effort to improve the level of protection provided by The Hague Convention, a Diplomatic Conference was held in The Hague from 15 to 26 March 1999, to negotiate a Second Protocol to the Convention. The negotiations leading up to the Protocol and the Protocol itself demonstrate clearly the importance that the world attaches to culture through the respect it demands be paid to the cultural heritage of others. It provides not only for a higher level of protection for cultural property, but also punitive measures in the event that the protection is not respected.

On a more operational level, UNESCO has endeavoured to involve local people in the conservation of heritage sites in the belief that if these efforts are to succeed, the stake holders must be involved. Hence the project "Integrated Community Development and Cultural Heritage site preservation in Asia and the Pacific through Local Effort" (LEAP). The objective of this project is to ensure the participation of the people of the local communities within or adjacent to heritage sites in the various activities needed to maintain and preserve their sites, doing so in ways that would provide them with economic benefits. The preservation of heritage is therefore demonstrated as not just being a luxury for developed economies, but as an activity that can bring economic opportunities and thus serve as a tool for job creation. It can also generate income, thus alleviating poverty by creating an industry that is based on traditional technologies, locally available materials and the human resources of the local community. This has been the case in VietNam’s historic town of Hoi An where the local population actually lives in and still owns the historic dwellings that were built by their ancestors.

Hoi An already had a Centre for Monument Management and Preservation when it approached UNESCO. The staff at this Centre had set up the foundations of a sound management plan for the protection of their town despite their limited resources and access to technology. Through the LEAP project, UNESCO was not only able to assist the Centre in assessing its needs, but also support the activities already being undertaken. Aid was given to ensure the participation of the local communities in the preservation and maintenance of their homes while at the same time they were guaranteed a share in the financial benefits of the heritage preservation. In order to further ensure the sustainability of these efforts, a community-based participatory research project was established to help integrate the surrounding villages which form part of the historical and economic network of Hoi An.

Linked to these heritage conservation efforts is UNESCO’s on-going focus of the development of endogenous cultural industries. The Organization has continued to stress the convergence and the strategic importance of sectors such as books, films, audio-visual and sound recording industries and multimedia. Policies and co-operative strategies are encouraged and assistance is provided to many Member States to elaborate strategies for the promotion of these increasingly expanding sectors not only for the obvious economic returns but as means to promote diversity, multi-cultural exchanges and creativity by strengthening domestic cultural industries. For example, given the Charter aim of UNESCO to uphold the "free circulation of ideas, through word and image", the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials – the so-called Florence Agreement – was adopted in 1950. It was the world’s first trade treaty with an international scope. This Agreement has contributed to the removal of tariffs, taxes, and trade obstacles to the international circulation of cultural products. It has remained extremely relevant today within the context of the current dilemmas of market-driven globalised free trade agreements because it offers countries the possibility of taking focused measures to preserve cultural diversity and protect their domestic cultural industries.

UNESCO also encourages governments to adopt the necessary legal measures for the promotion of creativity and the increase of the production of national literary, scientific, musical and artistic works, with a view to reducing dependence on foreign sources. The underlying belief is that protection for creators and their work is essential, as the creations of today are the heritage of tomorrow. A first step in this direction is usually to prepare legislation and appropriate enactment policies. Member States wishing to adhere to the various international conventions on the protection of copyright and neighbouring rights can avail themselves of UNESCO’s expertise. Some examples of the protective conventions are the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention and the 1971 Berne Convention on Literary and Artistic Arts.

Through its fellowship programmes, UNESCO has helped train artists and promoted artistic education. It has worked on key issues of artists’ rights and employment conditions through the 1980 Recommendation on the Status of the Artist. This Recommendation was given new impetus by the World Congress on the Status of the Artist that was held in 1997. The Organization has also developed mechanisms to promote contemporary crafts and design as creative sectors in their own right with a view to generate income and employment, eradicate poverty, and foster the growth of cultural tourism in developing countries. An example is the June 1998 International Seminar for the Safeguarding and Protection of Traditional Techniques of Bamboo in Modern Life, which took place in Hanoi and which was organized jointly by the Vietnamese National Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO. The encouragement of such activities can only add to the aim of sustainable development and durable peace.

UNESCO has continued to contribute to the worldwide affirmation of cultural identities by promoting richer intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. This has notably been done through a series of projects which aim to study the routes that have connected the world’s peoples from time immemorial : the Silk Roads, the Faith Routes, the Routes of the Al-Andalus and the Slave Route projects and are just some of the examples of this study. The purpose of these projects has been to continue to underline the dynamics of interaction between cultures and civilisations, looking into the past to better understand our world today. We expect that the vast experience that UNESCO has collected in this area will be most useful in the organization of collaborative efforts to celebrate the International Year of the Dialogue of Civilization in 2001.

While helping to define and encourage respect for our cultural diversity, UNESCO also encourages a more positive and forward looking vision of plurality that goes beyond the simple recognition and celebration of this diversity to the realisation that we share a common future.

UNESCO’s Constitution emphasises that a just and lasting peace in the world cannot be founded on economic and political arrangements alone, but requires the "intellectual and moral solidarity" of humankind. This is the foundation of the Culture of Peace Programme that is operationalized in the Sector for Culture through a series of efforts aiming to strengthen the action of constructive pluralism and diversity.

Diversity is stimulating and enriching. People invent, refine and embellish their own cultures through contact, contrast and exchange with the cultures of others.

Every community of people who share a language, a history, a way of life, have a right to their unique cultural identity and to the maintenance and development of their cultural practices in harmony with mutual respect among human beings. The pivotal concept of creative diversity rests on the degree to which cultures relate to each other in an interactive world. It rests also on the extent of global acceptance of cultural diversity, its integration into national agendas and recognition at international level. This concept aims to underscore the crucial role of culture as a force promoting the integration and peaceful co-existence of people in societies. It is the antithesis of the efforts of some extremists to separate groups along ethnic, religious and linguistic lines. Pluralism does not hold that the world can be explained in terms of the absolute, or that there is only one ‘truth’. Pluralism – constructive pluralism – is indeed the development goal to be attained.

The Culture Sector of UNESCO is committed to playing an important role to play within the transdisciplinary programme Towards a Culture of Peace. In line with UNESCO’s goals endeavouring to create the conditions that are conducive to development, tolerance, peace, good governance, education and freedom of expression, the Sector for Culture has strived to integrate these efforts in all aspects of its programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The last consonant of the name of our Organization is the "C" for Culture. Its place, behind the others should not mislead us. Culture is in fact the motor for all activities, the engine that drives socio-economic development and peace. We are convinced, that culture, in this anthropological definition of "Ways of living together" is going to dominate the social, ethical and development agenda of the next millennium. As Ho Chi Minh has stated "In the interest of 10 years we must plant trees. In the interest of 100 years we must "cultivate people"". We are here to work with you and assist you in forging the path towards a peaceful, rewarding and culturally rich future.


Thank you very much.


by Mr F. Edouard Matoko, Senior Programme Specialist,
Department of Education for A Culture of Peace, UNESCO PARIS


The challenge for building a sustainable peace today in the world requires a comprehensive response from the international community based on strategies that are not only designed to manage and resolve conflicts but above all to prevent them. UNESCO has responded to this challenge by establishing a Culture of Peace Programme whose main objective is to contribute to the promotion of values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect the principles of peace, non-violence, respect for human rights and tolerance.

Conflicts are inherent to any society. Throughout history, when a conflict could not be managed in a peaceful way, it has tended to lead to violence and destruction. Building a culture of peace is a process which ensures that conflict is managed in a non violent way through dialogue and mutual understanding. A culture of peace cannot be imposed from outside. It must be endogenous. It is a long term process that grows out of the beliefs and action of the people themselves and develops differently in each country and region depending upon its history, cultures and traditions. It is also a process which requires the broad participation of all members of the society. In this respect, the mobilization of a wide range of partners is a key factor for the promotion of a culture of peace

  • The youth, especially through support to youth initiatives and organizations involved in peace building activities;

  • Women, through networking of women's associations and organizations active in the field of peace, human rights and democracy;

  • Parliamentarians, on issues dealing with democracy building;

  • Mayors, in the framework of the Cities Prize for Peace, by encouraging the formation of networks among multicultural cities interested in defining common projects to promote intercultural dialogue;

  • The media, for making time and space available for dialogue and debate, particularly among young people on subjects related to peace, human rights and democracy;

  • Religious and traditional leaders in the framework of activities which promote the dialogue between different communities.

The activities carried out focus on making a direct contribution to the building of a culture of peace by furthering education for peace, human rights, tolerance, non violence and democracy; contributing to the elimination of all forms of discrimination; fostering human rights and a democratic culture, and by promoting values of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and by contributing to the prevention of conflicts. Special attention is also given to the enhancement of the role of women in the building of a culture of peace, on facilitating peace building in post-conflict situations and on the reintegration into the social mainstream of young people affected by conflicts.

The following are areas where appropriate national strategies could be more effective in promoting culture of peace and a mutual understanding among individuals, groups and nations:

  • Formal and non formal education (including knowledge, skills and attitudes for peaceful management and resolution of conflict).

  • Support to the production and development of educational materials on peace human rights and democracy, training of trainers in conflict prevention, management and resolution at all levels.

  • Support to local media in order to strengthen the democratic processes and shape the image of the other based on the values of culture. The media should be encouraged to enhance images compatible with peaceful environment and to participate in the education for peace, human rights and democracy.

  • Research and innovation on the endogenous and participatory methods of conflict prevention, management and resolution.

  • Support to existing training and research institutions dealing with conflict prevention and management techniques.

  • Support to initiatives and policies that enhance the participation of women in peace building and democratic processes.

Action to Raise Awareness

The concept of culture of peace was first elaborated at the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men organized in July, 1989 in Yamoussoukro (Cote d'Ivoire). With the end of the cold war, the world UNESCO to take up with renewed commitment and resources its fundamental task, :"to construct the defences of peace in the mind of men" by promoting a new vision of peace and development. It is in accordance with this recommendation that UNESCO General Conference adopted the Culture of peace programme which "consists of a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing, based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, tolerance and solidarity; that reject violence, and endeavour to prevent conflicts by tackling their roots and to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation; and that guarantee everyone the full exercise of all rights and the means to paricipate fully in the development of their society".

Subsequently in order to adapt the culture of peace to the various historical and cultural contexts, UNESCO helped organize a series of international and national meetings which resulted in a further refinement of the concept:

- In February 1994, the First International Forum on the Culture of peace was held in San Salvador. It brought together representatives of UNESCO Member states, international intergovernmental and non governmental organizations, as well as eminent individuals and experts. The following main conclusions emerged from this Forum :

  • a) The objective of a culture of peace is to ensure that the conflicts inherent in human relationships be resolved non violently

  • b) The construction of a culture of peace is a multidimensional task requiring the participation of people at all levels

  • c) A culture of peace should contribute to the strenghtening of democratic processes

  • d) The implementation of culture of peace projects requires the mobilization of all means of communication and education, both formal and non formal

  • e) A culture of peace should be elaborated within the process of sustainable, equitable and human development; it cannot be imposed from outside.

- The Second International Forum on the Culture of peace took place in November 1995 in Manila (Philippines). The forum focused on the process through which societies having experienced situations of armed conflicts or violence, develop, sustain and consolidate a culture of peace. At its conclusion, the Forum established a set of principles which participants agreed would be vital for guiding all goals, objectives and strategies in building a culture of peace :

a) Peace is a holistic concept. It is not merely the absence of war but a commitment to build a just, equitable, multicultural, pluralistic and sustainable society

b) A culture of peace must be undepinned by values, knowledge, and practices of environmental care and ecological sustainability

c) A culture of peace is sustained by a process that is evolving, participative, reflective, critical and dynamic

d) The transformation towards the culture of peace requires parallel and complementary development of values, knowledge and skills at both the individual and institutional or structural levels

e) Building and nurturing a culture of peace is enhanced by the infusion of spiritual, moral and ethical values in all aspects of individual, national, international and global conduct and relationship.

A series of meetings were also, organized it national level and UNESCO provided support for the, launching of national, culture of peace programmes in countries such as El Salvador, Burundi, Congo, Rwanda Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, etc. These programmes develop a managed culture of peace process which angaged all parties in the joint elaboration of projects and enhance the skills of 'all concerned in dialogue and mediation.

UNESCO has also contributed to the elaboration of a set of normative instruments which constitute a framework of reference and action for the promotion of a culture of peace. This has led to the adoption by the intemationnal community of comprehensive a very comprehensive framework of reference and action, which guides UNESCO's work and which includes:

  • The World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy (Montreal, 1993);
  • The Declaration and Programme of Action, of the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 1993), which makes reference to the Montreal Plan of Action;
  • The Declaration adopted by the International Conference on Education (Geneva,1994) and the Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy;
  • The Plan of Action of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1 995-2004), which the UN General Assembly adopted at its forty-ninth session;
  • The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and the follow-up Plan of Action to the United Nations Year for Tolerance (1995) lays emphasis on human rights education as a means of preventing intolerance;
  • The Resolution of the UN General Assembly (52/15) proclaimed year 2000, the International Year for the Culture of Peace.

Peace, development and democracy are inextricably linked. There cannot be development without peace and social justice. However, although democracy and peace are based on universally recognised principles, it is for each society to find the best system which takes into account its social and cultural background. In this respect, UNESCO encourages the reflection and the sharing of information on the nature and functioning of democracy taking into consideration the diversity of cultural and historical contexts.

Promoting a Culture of Peace through Education

UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (1996-2001) states that "education is at the heart of any strategy for building a culture of peace. It is through education that the values, skills and knowledge which form the basis of respect for human rights and democratic principles, the rejection of violence and spirit of tolerance can be widespread. Education is the most important social process by which people gain the values, attitudes and behaviours of a culture of peace.

Indeed, education is an essential means to increase individuals' knowledge and awareness of their rights and responsibilities, as well as of their full participation in society. In this context, UNESCO, through its Transdisciplinary Programme "Towards a Culture of Peace" plays a leading role at international level, in developing a broad concept of peace education, stressing its close relation to and positive impact on major social challenges, for instance.

The ultimate objective is to include culture of peace as an integral part of the educational system thus contributing to the transformation of the today culture of violence in a culture of peace, dialogue, tolerance and non violence.

Promoting a culture of peace at school level

Of all the places where the promotion of a culture of peace can be effective, perhaps the most important in the long term is the educational system. Schools often sustain and help reproduce the injustice and violence of society. Instead, schools can be a place where children feel cared for and where they can cultivate the knowledge, values and skills they need in order to create together a future world of justice and solidarity. The school is not an island but should be a centre of civic life in the community. It should promote democratic participation, free expression and knowledge of other ("learn to leave together" as stated in the Education for the 21st Report). This calls for a transformation of the traditional style of educational action, including teaching methods and curricula.

Every aspect of education should be concerned with the promotion of a culture of peace: contents, methods, organisation, relations between administrators, educators and students between educational institutions and families, the community and social actors. In this transformation process of the educational system, the most important step is to adapt the curriculum and values and principles of a culture of peace. Any action within the curriculum should include :

- Texts and other materials promoting tolerance, solidarity, non,-violence, human rights, gender equity, active citizenship, etc;

- Integration of principles and strategies of culture of peace into all subject areas and disciplines;

- Integration of local realities and traditions;

- Training of teachers, administrators and other professionals associated with the school;

- Promote an interactive participation of parents and families.

Parents are the main actors in the process of transmitting the values of the culture of peace. However, often, because of social and economic reasons, the parents are not themselves prepared to undertake such a responsibility. It is therefore essential that when children are out of their family environment, they are given the opportunity to learn those values that are essential for their future. The school is the ideal place where such process can take place. Teachers who are the main educators (and most often they are the primary responsible for the education of the children) have a major role to play. They should be adequately trained and provided with the necessary tools. In the recent years, UNESCO has focused its activities on providing teachers with practical pedagogical materials on culture of peace education which include among others :

- A manual I-or human rights education for primary and secondary levels

- A kit on civics education

- A Peace pack for elementary education and a book on the Culture of democracy which, have been produced by the Associated Schools Project. The Associated schools Project which began in 1953 and now includes 5,000 schools in 150 Member states, make a great contribution to the promotion of a culture of peace at school.

Education for a culture of peace includes not only formal education in schools, but also informal and non-formal education, including within the family and the community. Schools, media, family socialisation, sports, recreation, religious and other social institutions all help to shape consciousness and hence must be transformed for the enculturation of peace. Education for a culture must draw on appropriate and empowering pedagogies which encourage a deepening process leading to the transformation of individuals, institution and structures.


The task for constructing a culture of peace requires comprehensive educational, cultural, social and civic action in which each citizen has contribution to make. As stated by the UNESCO General Conference, "a culture of peace is not only an aim, an ultimate goal to be achieved. It is also a comprehensive process of institutional transformation and long term action to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men and women. In a rapidly and deeply changing world characteirzed by the growing importance of ethical issues, a culture of peace provides the young generation with a set of values which can help to shape their destiny and actively participate in constructing a more just, human, free and peaceful society".


Aims. of Education for peace, human rights and democracy (Excerpt from the Declaration and

Integrated Framework, 1995) :

- The ultimate goal of education for peace, human rights amid democracy is the development in every individual of a sense of universal values and types of behaviour on which a culture of peace is predicated. It is possible to identify even in different socio-cultural contexts values that are likely to be universally recognized.

- Education must develop the ability to value freedom and the skills to meet its challenges. This means preparing citizens to cope with difficult and uncertain situations and fitting them for personal autonomy and responsibility. Awareness of personal responsibility must be linked to recognition of the value of civic commitment, of joining together with others to solve problems and to work for a just, peaceful and democratic community.

- Education must develop the ability to recognize and accept the values which exist in the diversity of individuals, genders, peoples and cultures and devlop the ability to communicate, share and co-operate with others.

- Education must develop the ability of non violent conflict resolution. It should therefore promote also the development of inner peace in the minds of students so that they can establish more firmly the qualities of tolerance, compassion, sharing and caring.

- Education must cultivate in citizens the ability to make informed choices, basing their judgements and actions not only oil the analysis of present situations but also oil the vision of a preferred future.

- Education must teach citizens to respect the cultural heritage, protest the environment, and adopt methods of production and patterns of consumption which lead to sustainable development.

- Education should cultivate feelings of solidarity and equity at the national and international levels ill tile perspective of a balanced and long term development.

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