High Level Debate on Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

This year the  21st of September, proclaimed “International Day of Peace” in 2000 by the United Nations, is dedicated to the theme “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.”  In this context, UNESCO has organized a High-Level Debate which took place at the United Nations Headquarters (Conference Room 3, North Lawn Building) on Friday, 21 September 2012, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

Building peace is a challenge for the entire United Nations system. It is particularly relevant for UNESCO, which is called upon by its Constitution to build the “defences of peace in the minds of men”. Tasked with a “soft power” mandate organically integrating the culture of peace, sustainable development and knowledge societies, UNESCO has the responsibility to foster inclusive creative change, remaining a lookout post for the new challenges to lasting peace and acting through prevention, mediation and reconciliation.

History has taught that peace should never be taken for granted. It requires the active engagement of individuals, enlightened leadership and powerful educational values. Every one of these requirements is relevant to UNESCO’s mission who has a long-standing commitment to the development of education and the sciences, to a vibrant media landscape, and to the enrichment of cultural creativity and heritage.

Taking into account that there is an urgent need to identify and redefine the measures required to make peace an everyday reality for a safe world for all, the Director-General has invited the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) to participate in the Debate. Equally present were some eminent leaders from the political, academic and artistic worlds.

For more information: Katérina Stenou, Director of the Intersectoral Platform for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in the Bureau of Strategic Planning (tel: +33 1 45 68 23 73; fax: +33 1 45 68 55 21;  e-mail: k.stenou(at)unesco.org; l.valtchanova(at)unesco.org;  p.forest(at)unesco.org).


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