Main areas of action
The following areas for action are proposed, developed and coordinated by the intersectoral platform for a culture of peace and led by one programme sector (HQ or Field Offices) in close cooperation with one or two other Sectors.
- Improvement of access to formal and non-formal education, with emphasis on quality education for all, education on human rights, cultural diversity, gender equality and the integration of marginalized groups and the strengthening of South-South and North-South-South inter-university cooperation, particularly through creating centres of excellence and innovation, with the support of the UNESCO institutes and in cooperation with UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs, the UNESCO Associated Schools, category 1 and 2 institutes. Particular attention will be paid to the following components:
- Revision of textbooks and improvement of learning materials, especially in history, taking into account the recent guidelines produced by UNESCO such as “On a Common Path – New Approaches to Writing History Textbooks in Europe and the Arab and Islamic Words: The case of the Mediterranean”.
- Using the UNESCO Associated Schools Project (ASP) Network as an outreach possibility, develop a model interactive educational programme to stop violence for adaptation and implementation at local/community levels involving schools (including students and teachers), parents, the media and professional bodies (such as municipalities).
- Support online exchanges for public and professional communities in order to help stop violence.
- Develop teacher-training handbooks on new intercultural competences with a view to fighting intolerance, stereotyping, discrimination and violence in schools.
- Support exchange on education for peace, human rights and tolerance using ICTs and social and new media networks.
- Greater opportunities for research, networking and public debates illustrating exchanges and transfers between cultures, in the form of exhibitions as well as of fairs and festivals and making use of new technologies that specifically foster linguistic diversity. Special emphasis will be given to the development of learning and teaching materials to demonstrate the links between cultural diversity and human rights (including gender equality) which sometimes are in conflict. In this regard, a multimedia intercultural library as well as an anthology of universal literature promoting intercultural sensitivity and solidarity for both formal and non-forma intercultural education could be elaborated.
- Promotion of the role of creativity, which is a fundamental attribute of innovation, by stressing both individual features and similarities of societies, and in that regard, enhancing the promotion of an integrated vision of all aspects of the cultural expression (ancient and contemporary) as a conveyor of identity and future aspirations, a resource and engine of sustainable development and tool for intercultural dialogue, which includes interreligious dialogue (for instance, the 40th Anniversary of the Convention concerning the World Natural and Cultural Heritage; the African Liberation Heritage Programme in collaboration with the African Union and UNESCO, and the initiative on training local and urban media to report on cultures e.g. hidden cultures, or intangible culture heritage). This can also include a series of public forums and training programmes for opinion leaders such as legislators, educators, mass media professionals, religious leaders and people engaged in culture related activities – e.g. directors of museums and archaeologists – as well as artists and designers of pop culture.
- Contribution of the media and ICTs to change the perception of different cultures and religions through, inter alia, the promotion of dialogue on the Internet where numerous cultural and linguistic contents can circulate and be shared; co-productions fostering dialogue between media professionals from different cultures, particularly on sensitive issues; a special emphasis will be given to media as vectors for intercultural dialogue and media literacy programmes, training of journalists, including on conflict-sensitive reporting and choice of images, particularly training of young media professionals such as through the UNESCO Power of Peace Network.
- Recognition of and respect for knowledge – including traditional knowledge and the knowledge of indigenous peoples – which contributes to safeguarding biodiversity and to promoting sustainable development. In this regard, one or to two pilot projects highlighting the place of science in the process of dialogue as a universal language could be developed (for instance, activities underlying the importance of the history of science in raising awareness on the role of science for the rapprochement of cultures and its significance in helping to understand the close interconnection of science with the growth of civilization and the flourishing of cultures). The history of science and scientific thought should be regarded as an instrument of scientific humanism which will be celebrated each year on the occasion of the World Science Day for Peace and Development (10 November). Besides, an array of activities to promote human rights, philosophy and intercultural dialogue, with particular emphasis on fighting racism and discrimination as well as on the culture of peace and democracy, will be further implemented to meet new challenges, especially in the light of recent events in the Arab world.
- Development of an interactive educational programme to stop violence in schools. Using the UNESCO ASP Network as an outreach tool, develop a model interactive educational programme for adaptation and implementation at local/community levels involving schools (including students and teachers), parents, the media and professional bodies to stop violence. School children and youth are the main actors in this exercise. They document by themselves (through interviews, testimonies, etc.) the problems inside/outside schools and possible solutions in working with parents, the media, police, municipal education boards, municipal administrators and councillors through online platforms and school-based activities.
- Learning from the past: promoting dialogue for reconciliation and intercultural understanding. Building on the experience of the ongoing Transatlantic Slave Trade Education project, this activity will continue to provide opportunities for networking and exchange to increase awareness and deepen knowledge about the causes and consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in order to work towards a future free from racism, discrimination, and intolerance. A specific focus will be given to increase interregional student and teacher exchanges via the use ICTs. In cooperation with the UN, an international teacher and student conference will take place around 25 March 2012, designated as UN International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Students and teachers in three regions will be able to develop an intercultural dialogue via an e-forum, videoconference and the use of social networking tools. The support of the new UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation would give this event high visibility and outreach to young people.