The education for a culture of peace is founded in UNESCO’s constitutional mandate to build peace “in the minds of men”. Over the years since then, UNESCO and the United Nations have developed a number of standard-setting instruments, declarations and action plans which are widely accepted by the international community and which provide the basic framework for promoting the concept of education for a culture of peace world-wide – the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Paris, 1974), 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), the Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (Paris, 1995) and the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2005).

At the eve of the new millennium, the General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed the year 2000 as International Year for the Culture of Peace and the Decade 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. LetŐs make this a landmark around which people can mobilise for fundamental change.

Access to education and to various forms of learning is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a culture of peace. A comprehensive system of education and training is needed for all groups of people at all levels and forms of education, both formal and non-formal. The development of a holistic approach, based on participatory methods and taking into account the various dimensions of education for a culture of peace (peace and non-violence, human rights, democracy, tolerance, international and intercultural understanding, cultural and linguistic diversity) is its main objective.

To that end, the Department of Education for a Culture of Peace will, in cooperation with other programme sectors of UNESCO:

  • monitor the implementation of standard-setting instruments and plans of action,
  • implement national plans and programmes relating to the education for a culture of peace,
  • encourage improvement and innovation related to curricula, contents and teaching methods, pedagogical materials and also the training of teachers and other educational staff,
  • encourage bilateral and multilateral cooperation to revise history and geography textbooks,
  • promote the linguistic diversity at all educational levels,
  • strengthen the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet),
  • promote physical education and sport for a culture of peace
Associated Schools Project
Network (ASPnet)
Languages Education
Peace, Human Rights
and Democracy Education
Physical Education
and Sport
Declaration
Adresses