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Distr: General
13 September 2001
Original: English

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Fifty-sixth session
Agenda item 28

International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World: Report of the Secretary-General


  1. Introduction
  2. Objective of the Decade
  3. Engagement of Member States, the United Nations system and civil society during the International Year for the Culture of Peace
  4. Engagement of Member States during the Decade, including national committees and national focal points
  5. Responsibility of UNESCO as the lead agency for the Decade
  6. Role of relevant United Nations bodies, in particular the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the University for Peace
  7. Dissemination of the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace
  8. Education for a culture of peace and non-violence
  9. Role of civil society
  10. Role of the media and of new information and communications technology

* A/56/150.

** The footnote requested by the General Assembly in resolution 54/248 was not included in the submission.

I. Introduction

1. In a rapidly and deeply changing world characterized by the growing importance of ethical issues, a culture of peace provides future generations with values that can help to shape their destiny and enable them to participate actively in constructing a more just, humane, free and prosperous society and a more peaceful world.

2. In order to meet the challenge of promoting a culture of peace successfully, it must become a priority for the entire United Nations system. The creation of the United Nations system itself was based upon universally shared values and goals as a major act of a culture of peace. The international instruments adopted under its auspices as well as the declarations and plans of action emanating from its recent world conferences reflect the development and deepening of commonly shared norms, values and goals which may be considered as the core of the evolving concept of a culture of peace.

3. The present report is submitted in compliance with General Assembly resolution 55/47 of 29 November 2000, entitled "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010", by which the Secretary-General is requested to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session on the implementation of that resolution. It is organized in sections corresponding to the operative paragraphs of the resolution. Its contents are based largely on the report of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the progress made by that organization in the implementation of the programme of action on a culture of peace and on cooperation with the United Nations system in its field (document 161 EX/17). The report of the Director-General was discussed by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its one hundred and sixty-first session, in the light of which the Executive Board adopted the following decision (161 EX/Decision 3.6.1):

The Executive Board,

    1. Having examined document 161 EX/17;

    2. Reaffirming 28 C/Resolution 5.12 recognizing the promotion of a culture of peace as the expression of the fundamental mandate of UNESCO to "contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations";

    3. Recalling 155 EX/Decision 9.6 inviting the Member States, the institutions of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations and the non-governmental organizations to celebrate the International Year for the Culture of Peace in the year 2000;

    4. Takes note with appreciation of the global mobilization achieved by UNESCO during the International Year for the Culture of Peace, including by Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and a large number of individuals who committed themselves to follow the principles of a culture of peace in their daily lives;

    5. Commends the Director-General for the breadth and effectiveness of all activities undertaken;

    6. Notes that UNESCO has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution A/55/47 as the lead agency for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World;

    7. Invites the Member States and all partners of UNESCO to continue and further deepen their engagement to a culture of peace during the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010);

    8. Further encourages the Director-General to continue his coordination and mobilization action to promote a culture of peace, in cooperation with the United Nations.

II. Objective of the Decade

4. The objective of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, as set forth in paragraph 1 of resolution 55/47, is to strengthen further the global movement for a culture of peace following the observance of the International Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000. This movement, called for in the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 53/243 of 13 September 1999, is based on partnerships between and among the various actors as set out in the Declaration, including Member States, civil society, the United Nations system, as well as individuals, with a key role belonging to parents, teachers, politicians, journalists, religious bodies and groups, intellectuals, those engaged in scientific, philosophical, creative and artistic activities, health and humanitarian workers, social workers, managers at various levels as well as non-governmental organizations. Together, their actions are to promote a culture of peace in the eight areas of the Programme of Action:

  • Culture of peace through education;

  • Sustainable economic and social development;

  • Respect for all human rights;

  • Equality between women and men;

  • Democratic participation;

  • Understanding, tolerance and solidarity;

  • Participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;

  • International peace and security.

5. In his report on the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (A/55/377) the Secretary-General stated that "each of these areas of action have been priorities of the United Nations since its foundation; what is new is their linkage through the culture of peace and nonviolence into a single coherent concept. Linkages have often been made (for example, democracy, development and peace; equality between women and men with development and peace, and so forth). This is the first time, however, that all these areas are interlinked so that the sum of their complementarities and synergies can be developed" (para. 3).

III. Engagement of Member States, the United Nations system and civil society during the International Year for the Culture of Peace

6. Recognizing that the development of a global movement may be measured in terms of its common values, its actions and the "consciousness" of its participants, the strategy for the International Year included:

  • Invitation of a public awareness campaign based on the universal values of a culture of peace;

  • Promotion of actions (both short-term events and long-term projects) by a wide range of partners (Member States, the United Nations system and civil society) for a culture of peace;

  • Development of communication and information tools that enable the participants to feel they are playing an important part in the implementation of a global, effective, long-term campaign promoting a culture of peace.

7. The public awareness campaign was based on Manifesto 2000, which was signed during the International Year by more than 1 per cent of the world's population. The Manifesto was drafted by Nobel Peace Prize laureates in 1999 on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions in preparation for the International Year. Its six points correspond, for the most part, to the six values considered to be essential to international relations in the twenty-first century: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility, as adopted in the United Nations Millennium Declaration contained in General Assembly resolution 55/2 of 8 September 2000. Manifesto 2000 translates the basic principles of a culture of peace from the language and concerns of international diplomacy into the language and behaviours of everyday life:

  • Respect all life. Respect the life and dignity of each human being without discrimination or prejudice.

  • Reject violence. Practise active non-violence, rejecting violence in all its forms: physical, sexual, psychological, economical and social, in particular towards the most deprived and vulnerable such as children and adolescents.

  • Share with others. Share time and material resources in a spirit of generosity to put an end to exclusion, injustice and political and economic oppression.

  • Listen to understand. Defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity, giving preference always to dialogue and listening without engaging in fanaticism, defamation and the rejection of others.

  • Preserve the planet. Promote consumer behaviour that is responsible and development practices that respect all forms of life and preserve the balance of nature on the planet.

  • Rediscover solidarity. Contribute to the development of the community, with the full participation of women and respect for democratic principles, in order to create together new forms of solidarity.

8. Manifesto 2000, translated into more than 50 languages and signed by many heads of State and Government, was disseminated throughout the world. Individuals were invited to sign it, thereby committing themselves to practice its principles in everyday life. As a result, by the end of the International Year, UNESCO had registered, by way of this network, the signatures of over 74 million individuals. These signatures came from people in every region of the world, including more than 1 million each from Brazil, Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Nepal and the Republic of Korea. Details on the collection of signatures are published on the web site http://www.unesco.org/cp, including detailed data entries for the 20 countries with more than 100,000 signatures each.

9. A wide range of promotional and media materials were produced and distributed or broadcast for the International Year, including a television advertisement in which the photographs of Nobel Peace laureates provided a background for the six points of the Manifesto, radio advertisements, press publicity pages, posters, leaflets, pins, T-shirts, flags, postcards and other printed materials. Following an international appeal and competition which resulted in several hundred proposals, a logo was chosen that reflects one of the slogans for the campaign, "Peace is in our hands" ("Cultivons la paix" and "Cultivemos la paz", respectively, in French and Spanish). The slogans and logo provided a visual identity for the movement for a culture of peace and continue to be widely disseminated and reproduced in many forms throughout the world.

10. The media materials (television and radio advertisements and press pages) were translated and broadcast by national media in more than 100 countries, beginning with the inauguration of the International Year on 19 September 1999, thanks to the involvement of National Commissions for UNESCO and UNESCO field offices. In France alone, the space donated by the media to the campaign is estimated to have cost the equivalent of F6 million.

11. The high point of the media campaign was the simultaneous inauguration of the International Year in more than 100 countries throughout the world on 14 September 1999, the International Day of Peace and the opening day of the General Assembly. In many countries, heads of State and Government presided over the ceremonies, public events and press conferences on that day. On International Peace Day, 19 September 2000, the UNESCO Office in New York organized a ceremony in which Manifesto 2000 signatures were symbolically presented to the President of the General Assembly by young people from a number of the countries that had gathered the most signatures (Brazil, Colombia, India, France and Japan).

12. Following the strategy proposed in the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, partnerships were developed for the International Year for the Culture of Peace at national and international levels with the Member States, civil society and the United Nations. This partnership system consists of two parallel networks, one based on national focal points and the other based on international organizations.

13. Communication and information tools based on the Internet were developed by UNESCO during the International Year that enabled individuals and organizations to feel that their activities play an important part in the implementation of a global, effective, long-term campaign to promote a culture of peace. The public web site (http://www.unesco.org/iycp) provided constantly updated information about partners and their events and projects, as well as newsletter articles about these activities. Information was entered directly by the national focal points and international NGO partners on a "private" Internet site (http://www.unesco.org/iycp) to which they had access through their own personalized code and through which their information was transferred automatically to the public site. This Internet system, which makes available large amounts of reliable information to the general public with a minimum of editing work to be done at UNESCO headquarters, is being continued during the Decade.

14. At the national level, the Member States and their civil societies were involved through a network of national focal points involving 160 National Commissions for UNESCO and more than 50 UNESCO field offices. Over 1,500 of these national and local partners are registered on the web site, including 488 national NGOs or associations, 266 schools (including UNESCO Associated Schools), 250 local NGOs or associations (including UNESCO Clubs), 185 universities, 109 businesses, 87 United Nations agencies, 72 media organizations, 62 national or regional authorities or agencies and 48 cities and local authorities. More than 300 newsletter articles concerning activities in 138 countries are posted by the national focal points on the web site, including 81 articles from Europe and North America, 69 from Africa, 76 from Latin America, 63 from Asia and the Pacific and 32 from Arab States. In addition to this information, the actions carried out in some countries are published on web sites and publications of National Commissions and UNESCO field offices in their national languages.

15. In order to involve civil society at the international level, a standardized partnership agreement was developed and distributed by the NGO UNESCO Liaison Committee to the international NGOs associated with UNESCO and with the NGOs of the Economic and Social Council and the Department of Public Information of the United Nations Secretariat. Partnership agreements were signed by 180 international NGOs. By mobilizing their national networks, they publicized the International Year, contributed to tens of millions of signatures on Manifesto 2000 and organized hundreds of flagship events as well as culture of peace projects. Newsletter articles concerning their actions are published on the above-mentioned web site. Many of these organizations have devoted special sections of their own Internet sites and printed publications to the International Year and their activities.

16. International NGOs reviewed the actions of the International Year and the perspectives for the Decade at a symposium held at UNESCO headquarters on 24 and 25 November 2000. The symposium, organized by the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and addressed by the Director-General of UNESCO, involved more than 400 participants representing over 130 NGOs. Summaries from the eight workshops of the symposium are available on the International Year's web site. The results of these workshops, corresponding to the eight points in the Programme of Action, laid the foundation for the NGO plan of activities for the Decade. The symposium was accompanied by an Internet forum and by an exposition which presented both the materials produced by the partners of the International Year (both national and international) and information about their activities.

17. Actions, both short term "flagship events" and long term "culture of peace projects" were carried out during the International Year by the above-mentioned networks of UNESCO institutional partners, United Nations organizations and national and local organizations. These actions included coordinated national events and projects, meetings, workshops, conferences, training programmes, school initiatives, concerts and shows, sporting events, teaching materials and games, press conferences, youth camps, festivals and marches, peace cruises, campaigns, artistic competitions and exhibitions, publications, media productions and Internet web sites. A large body of information, too much to be included in the present report, is available on the public web site for the International Year.

18. Special recognition is due to the extensive involvement of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) in the mobilization of classrooms, playgrounds, schools and communities and the promotion of Manifesto 2000 in the framework of the International Year. In addition to numerous international meetings and encounters of ASPnet students and teachers, educational activities included the international Cartoons 2000 contest in collaboration with the International Council for Cinema, Television and Audiovisual Communication and the production and distribution of poster calendars as well as an updated version of the Peace Package. A special ASPnet Peace Pillar Award was produced and will be awarded to schools for outstanding work in favour of a culture of peace. The pilot project, "Peaceful alternatives to conflict through education" (PACE) in south-east Europe, launched in July 2000, will bring together ASPnet schools in the subregion for joint projects and building partnerships for peace and conflict management.

19. In order to fulfil the long-term objective of education for a culture of peace, UNESCO is providing assistance to Member States to develop national plans and programmes on education for a culture of peace. This includes teacher-training programmes and curriculum revision on the themes of human rights, peace, democracy, civics education, non-violence education, tolerance and international understanding, and linguistic and cultural diversity. Particular emphasis has been placed on the elaboration of national plans on human rights education.

20. As a contribution to the International Year for the Culture of Peace, a wide range of partners produced and disseminated materials in the field of education for a culture of peace. Among these partners were educational NGOs (e.g., Civitas International, Education International and the World Scout Movement), universities and UNESCO Chairs and cooperation agencies (e.g., Italian Cooperation, the Danish Agency for Development Assistance and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation). Materials included a variety of books, brochures, games, audio-visual materials, Internet sites, teacher-training manuals, instructional kits and packets, often in local languages and frequently linked to the message of Manifesto 2000. Young people themselves produced educational materials as well, resulting, among other things, from art, photography and essay contests, student workshops and conferences, summer camps and debates.

21. Women and a culture of peace was the theme of a number of meetings and publications during the International Year. Meetings, training courses and publications as a follow-up to the Pan-African Women's Conference on a Culture of Peace, held in Zanzibar in May 1999, have taken place at national and subregional levels. Case studies on women's peace-building techniques and experiences have been undertaken in Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania and a training module, based in part on these case studies, has been developed. A regional conference, Asian Women for a Culture of Peace, was organized by the Government of Viet Nam with UNESCO and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Hanoi in December 2000 with participants from 35 countries.

22. Several "national mobilizing projects" were launched during the International Year, involving a large number of partners. These projects are under way in Cambodia, Guatemala, Mali and the Russian Federation.

23. In Cambodia, following one of the recommendations of the National Conference on a Culture of Peace, held in Phnom Penh on 10 and 11 December 1999, a study was conducted on best traditional and innovative practices of conflict-prevention and resolution in Cambodia. The first phase of this study, carried out in coordination with the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh, is taking place in the rural zones of the country near the borders with Viet Nam and Thailand.

24. In Guatemala, the national project, "Culture of Peace in Guatemala", financed by the Italian Government and executed by UNESCO and the Guatemalan Ministry of Education, has involved schools, municipalities, youth associations and the general public in debate and activities. In addition to an active signature campaign around Manifesto 2000, the following is a partial listing of the activities and events devoted to themes of the culture of peace: "Graduation 2000", involving over 5,000 graduating students; training seminars for teachers, peace promoters and "multiplying agents"; proposals as part of the national Curricular Transformation Process; the annual Youth Gathering of the Foundation for Youth; the gathering, Guatemalan Youth towards the New Millennium for a Culture of Peace, with the Youth Movement for Peace and Democracy, and the annual Youth Festival in Xela.

25. The national mobilizing project in Mali was launched in March 2000 on the fourth anniversary of the historic "Flame of Peace", at which weapons were burned in a ceremony to symbolize the end of the armed struggle that had previously torn apart the country. Among the activities carried out by the project during the International Year for the Culture of Peace was a study on "Perceptions in Mali on peace and human rights" by the Steering Committee of the National Education Programme for a Culture of Peace and Human Rights in Mali (Decree 98-401 of December 1998). Moreover, in collaboration with the Steering Committee, the Bamako Office of UNESCO and the National Ministry of Education of Mali, UNESCO organized a workshop concerning the study in question.

26. The pilot project, "Culture of Peace in Russia - Year 2000", was successful and evoked great interest throughout the country. Many initiatives were mobilized by civil society. Among the cities and regions involved were Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nalchik, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Tomsk, Birobidzhan, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Derbent, Borisoglebsk, Novocherkassk, Stavropol, Pyatigorsk, Samara, Syktyvkar, Omsk, Elabuga and Yakutsk. Most important, the project laid the foundation for the Federal Programme on Tolerance and Prevention of Extremism in Russian Society. It is hoped that the experience gained and the many publications produced by the pilot project will prove to be useful to other countries.

IV. Engagement of Member States during the Decade, including national committees and national focal points

27. The engagement of Member States during the Decade is expected to follow the strategy provided in the report of the Secretary-General referred to in paragraph 5 above. This includes two main aspects: education for a culture of peace that places "children at the centre" and an organizational strategy for the global movement that stresses partnerships and new information technologies.

28. Each of the 10 years of the Decade will be marked with a different priority theme. The United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations provides the theme for the first year. Themes for the first half of the Decade have already been established through discussions with the Member States and other partners, while those for the second half of the Decade have yet to be determined. In addition to the theme of understanding, tolerance and solidarity, in the context of the International Year of Dialogue among Civilizations in 2001, the established themes include:

  • 2002: sustainable economic and social development - in the context of the Rio+10 process and the International Year of Ecotourism;

  • 2003: participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge - in the context of the world communication conference;

  • 2004: respect for human rights - in the context of the conclusion of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education;

  • 2005: equality between women and men - in the context of the Beijing+10 process.

29. National Commissions for UNESCO and UNESCO field offices constituted an effective network of national focal points during the International Year, thereby mobilizing and coordinating actions carried out at the national level. The Director-General of UNESCO has written to the National Commissions for UNESCO and UNESCO field offices, congratulating them on this achievement and inviting them to continue this work during the Decade, and many National Commissions and field offices have already expressed their interest and readiness to proceed. A number of National Committees were established for the International Year, integrating the National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO field office (in some countries) and representatives of other government agencies, the United Nations and civil society. These committees should be continued during the Decade and may serve as a model for other countries as well. Special consideration should be given to the involvement and participation of youth in these committees.

30. The participation in the global movement of national and local associations, universities, schools, municipalities, parliamentary groups, media organizations and enterprises through the national focal points within each country should be continued and expanded during the Decade, facilitating their engagement in short-term events and long-term projects that contribute to a culture of peace. Special importance should be given to the participation of youth organizations and cities, towns and national parliaments, encouraging them to develop action plans and legislation for a culture of peace and non-violence.

V. Responsibility of UNESCO as the lead agency for the Decade

31. As the lead agency for the Decade, UNESCO is asked to coordinate the activities of the organizations of the United Nations system to promote a culture of peace, as well as to provide liaison with the other organizations concerned. With regard to its own activities, UNESCO has placed the culture of peace squarely in its draft Medium-Term Strategy for 2002-2007, as indicated in paragraph 2 of document 31 C/4, which is being submitted to the General Conference of the organization at its thirty-first session in October 2001: "UNESCO's commitment to fostering a culture of peace in all its fields of competence is as relevant as ever in the face of ongoing and newly flaring conflicts among and within States and newly emerging types of societal risks, which are taking a heavy toll on civilian populations and aggravating the vulnerability of many societies." The programmatic contributions of UNESCO sectors and field offices to a culture of peace will be integrated with information concerning the initiatives of the external partners of the Organization, making possible greater interaction and synergy.

32. As the lead agency for the Decade, UNESCO will:

  • Coordinate with the National Commissions, National Committees and UNESCO field offices as focal points for mobilization at the national level, including capacity-building assistance for use of communication systems;

  • Cooperate with the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and to the extent possible with the equivalent mechanisms for NGOs accorded status with the Department of Public Information and the Economic and Social Council for mobilization of international NGOs;

  • Solicit contributions of United Nations agencies and programmes to the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and present them in a systematic and consolidated manner;

  • Help identify available indicators for the eight domains of action for a culture of peace;

  • Further develop the reporting, communication and electronic networking arrangements for the global movement.

33. With regard to mobilization of the United Nations system, the High-level Committee on Programmes of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, in response to a request from UNESCO, has called on all agencies to nominate focal points to work with UNESCO in the preparation of indicators and reports for the implementation of the Programme of Action. In addition, United Nations activities at the national level will be included in the information systems for the Decade described below (see paras. 53-56).

VI. Role of relevant United Nations bodies, in particular the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the University for Peace

A. United Nations Children's Fund

34. In UNICEF, peace education refers to the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural, to resolve conflict peacefully and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level. UNICEF sees peace education as an essential component of quality basic education in which the content, learning processes and learning environment all work to promote a culture of peace. It also fits in with the Fund's emphases on reaching disadvantaged and excluded groups, particularly those living in an atmosphere of violence, and on child-unfriendly learning environments. This approach is also in line with the Dakar Framework for Action. Peace education has a place in all societies, not only in countries experiencing armed conflict or emergencies. As lasting behaviour change in children and adults only occurs over time, effective peace education is necessarily a long-term process, not a short-term intervention. While often based in schools and other learning environments, peace education should ideally involve the entire community.

35. As the United Nations focal point for landmine awareness education, UNICEF aims to encourage awareness of the presence and dangers of mines and to teach children and their families how to live more safely in mine contaminated environments. UNICEF programmes also employ other channels of communication in order to reach children, youth and adults who may not be served by the programmes in schools or out of schools. Initiatives include:

  • UNICEF "Voices of Youth". This Internet (http://www.unicef.org/) activity provides an opportunity for children and young people to learn about global issues, particularly in the light of how they affect children and young people worldwide, share their views with others and look at ways in which they can take action in their own communities. "Children and War" is one of the sections of the web site;

  • TV programmes. The "Vote for Peace" campaign in Colombia mobilized citizens, including many children, to express a mandate for an end to violence. The award-winning documentary, "Soldiers of Peace", was broadcast globally by CNN international;

  • Tolerance-building in Kosovo through its pilot school project supported by the Government of Japan. Out of the 10 first phase pilot schools, five are "mixed", with pupils from different ethnic backgrounds.

B. University for Peace

36. The University for Peace was established in December 1980 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 35/55 in order to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations. Within this mission, the University for Peace is developing broad fields of study, teaching and research ranging from human rights and international law, peace and development, gender and peace, human security, impact on children of armed conflict, media and peace, environmental degradation and conflict, peace-building rehabilitation, including demilitarization, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, and the cross-cutting area of making education a better instrument for peace, including through education of educators.

37. Specific actions taken in this Decade that promote a culture of peace in the eight domains of the Programme of Action include:

(a) Culture of peace through education

38. In support of developing the fields of study referred to above, extensive consultations are being carried out all over the world, with academic and research institutions, Governments, civil society, foundations and others. In December 2000 in collaboration with Mahidol University, the University for Peace convened in Bangkok its first advisory meeting of university presidents, vice chancellors, rectors and deans from 35 universities in 20 countries in the Asia and Pacific region. They shared experience on national programmes on peace and conflict-resolution and explored modalities and strategies for collaboration in research, education, teaching and training in areas related to conflict-prevention and peace-building. The University for Peace and Mahidol University have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop collaborative programmes in areas related to conflict-resolution and peace-building and to establish a joint centre at the Mahidol campus. In March 2001, a second advisory meeting of a group of eminent international scholars, prominent United Nations officials and others was convened at United Nations Headquarters, on the future development of the academic programme of the University for Peace, particularly on how to ensure that the University will serve effectively as a global resource for education on the prevention of conflict and the peaceful settlement of disputes. The participants discussed the University's institutional plans and agreed that, as part of a general shift in the approach to the study of peace and conflict, the University can make a significant contribution to the field of peace studies internationally. A third advisory meeting was held in Tajikistan in June 2001, in partnership with the Department of Political Affairs, preparing the basis for a programme on education, training and research on peace-related issues in central Asia. A fourth advisory meeting was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, in August 2001 with rectors and chancellors from 18 universities. Support of United Nations objectives, in its work on peace and security, is a primary factor in the development of the University programme. The University for Peace can provide the education and training increasingly required in specialized, peace-related areas. It can also take full advantage of the intellectual resources and experience of the United Nations. In order to enhance the coordination of their work and to strengthen cooperation, especially on programmes that promote education and wider understanding of peace-related issues, the University for Peace and the United Nations University signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2000. The University for Peace and UNESCO are also working towards strengthening their collaboration, including through the establishment of a UNESCO Chair at the University.

(b) Sustainable economic and social development

39. The Earth Council, an independent, nongovernmental organization based in Costa Rica, and the University for Peace are collaborating on a number of activities related to the environment and natural resources. Collaboration is also developing with another related organization, the International Ombudsman Centre for the Environment and Development, located on the campus of the University for Peace. Short courses are being launched over the next several months in the field of natural resources and conflict-prevention and in socio-economic development and peace. The University for Peace is also collaborating with the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., in the implementation of a dual master's degree programme on natural resources and sustainable development, which began in September 2001.

(c) Respect for human rights

40. The Expert Seminar on Human Rights and Peace was organized in Geneva at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in compliance with resolution 2000/66 of the Commission on Human Rights. The insights and proposals of 30 international experts and scholars focusing on the contribution of human rights to the further development of a culture of peace were presented to an intergovernmental forum on Human Rights Day in December 2000 and to the Commission on Human Rights in March 2001.

(d) Equality between men and women

41. In addition to the master's degree programme being prepared in gender and peace, a short course on gender studies in relation to conflict is being launched.

(e) Democratic participation

42. The Government of Italy has committed funds for a University of Peace programme to promote peace and prevent conflict in the subregion of central America. The University and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance signed a memorandum of agreement in August 2001 to establish bases by which to propose, promote and implement bilateral and multilateral projects involving exchanges, consultation, technical cooperation and assistance in which the parties are to participate, dealing with issues involving the development of peace, democracy and human rights.

(f) Understanding, tolerance and solidarity

43. A specific project has also been developed to launch peace education and research activities in the countries of central Asia, a region exposed to threats to stability and peace. As a first step, a preparatory meeting on the lessons learned from the Tajik peace process was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 21 and 22 June 2001. The meeting, organized in close collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs, drew together a group of academics, experts and officials from the region and elsewhere. The studies and activities conceived and launched are a first step in the development of a programme of education and research for peace in central Asia. The Governments of Germany, Denmark and Finland provided support for the meeting.

(g) Participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge

44. The important role of the media in promoting reconciliation and resolution of differences by peaceful means is clear and the Council of the University for Peace has therefore approved the establishment of a media and peace institute. A preparatory meeting was convened in April 2001, with senior media executives, experts in peace-building and rehabilitation, training professionals, researchers and scholars from various parts of the world. They provided advice on the three-year development plan of the institute. A major fund-raising campaign is under way to generate the necessary funding to launch the institute, which will be based in Europe.

(h) International peace and security

45. As a continuation of efforts made by the University for Peace to build constituency and support in the Asia and Pacific region, a high-level informal meeting was held in Bangkok in June 2001 to discuss the evolving role of the military in the context of changes that are taking place around the world in terms of economic, social and ecological trends, including responses to natural disasters. Military leaders from eight Asian countries attended. The University has entered into an agreement with the Institute of Advanced Military Studies of the Royal Thai Army to develop education and training programmes, as well as to conduct joint research. Following a decision of the Colombian Senate, the University is undertaking a joint initiative with the Government of Colombia to establish a world centre for research and training in conflict resolution. The centre will aim to: (a) provide international support and experience in the development of training and research to support peace-building and conflict-resolution in Colombia; (b) offer a forum to share the lessons learned and to develop new approaches to peace-building and conflict-resolution; and (c) disseminate the experience of Colombia in peace-building and conflict-resolution and to facilitate ongoing exchange with policy makers, Governments and civil society in other countries experiencing protracted violent conflict.

VII. Dissemination of the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace

46. UNESCO will help ensure the wide dissemination in various languages of the Declaration and the Programme of Action and related materials throughout the Decade. In his letter to all National Commissions for UNESCO, transmitted on 29 December 2000, the Director-General of UNESCO enclosed the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and called upon the National Commissions to help ensure they were translated and disseminated in national languages. Responses came from the UNESCO office in Sarajevo, which has translated the documents and disseminated them in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from the United Nations Information Centre and the UNESCO office in Moscow, which disseminated them in the Russian Federation.

VIII. Education for a culture of peace and non-violence

47. In order to put children at the centre, the strategy for the Decade, as developed in detail in the aforementioned report of the Secretary-General, puts a priority on education for a culture of peace and nonviolence, both formal and non-formal and at all levels. This is based upon the Declaration and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the constitutional mandate of UNESCO and the Dakar Framework for Action.

48. The contents of education for a culture of peace and non-violence should promote the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviours corresponding to the definition of a culture of peace provided by the General Assembly resolutions on this subject. Manifesto 2000, which expresses these values in everyday language, will be integrated into educational curricula, both formal and non-formal. The broad definition of the culture of peace ensures that it includes and expands the educational priorities that have been developed by UNESCO since its inception, including education for peace, human rights, democracy, tolerance and international understanding, as well as education for sustainable development, freedom of expression and equality between women and men.

49. The modalities for education for a culture of peace and non-violence, as developed in the report of the Secretary-General, include training of educators, revision and creation of curricula, educational materials and textbooks, involvement of the family and community, promotion of linguistic pluralism, networking among educational institutions, strengthening and evaluation of pilot projects, development of methods of peaceful conflict-resolution and special programmes for children in regions of conflict.

50. UNESCO is playing a leading role in education for a culture of peace and non-violence and continues to work closely with UNICEF, which collaborated with UNESCO in the preparation of the report of the Secretary-General. At UNESCO, the Education Sector, in particular the Division for the Promotion of Quality Education, takes the leadership in education for a culture of peace and non-violence which is seen as an intersectoral and organization-wide initiative, with every sector and field office making a contribution.

IX. Role of civil society

51. The role of civil society at all levels - local, regional and national - is highlighted in resolution 55/47. Civil society is invited to widen the scope of its activities to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence, engaging in partnerships and sharing information, thus contributing to a global movement for a culture of peace. Civil society, including nongovernmental organizations, is encouraged to further the objectives of the Decade by adopting its own programme of activities to complement the initiatives of Member States, the organizations of the United Nations system and other global and regional organizations.

52. In this regard, the symposium of international NGOs held at UNESCO headquarters on 24 and 25 November 2000 under the direction of the NGO UNESCO Liaison Committee proposed a far-reaching plan of activities for the Decade to be adopted at their international conference at the end of 2001. The NGO UNESCO Liaison Committee is writing to its colleagues in the NGO committees of ECOSOC and the Department of Public Information in New York to involve them in mobilizing for the Decade.

53. The relationships developed during the International Year for the Culture of Peace will be maintained with civil society, at the national level through the national focal points and at the international level through the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and the equivalent committees at United Nations Headquarters. The previous system of partnership agreements has been discontinued. Instead, actors in the global movement will be invited to share information about their actions (both events and projects) via Internet web sites as described below, including reporting and assessing these actions as a contribution to the mid-term and final reports on the Decade and the Programme of Action to be submitted to the General Assembly.

X. Role of the media and of new information and communications technology

54. Concerted action is foreseen, described in detail in the report of the Secretary-General, for the involvement of the mass media in education for a culture of peace and non-violence. This is particularly crucial with regard to children who are especially vulnerable to the excessive violence and sexual exploitation in the press, television, cinema, video games and on the Internet. Special attention will be given to initiatives that allow young people to review and to discuss positive media productions that promote the principles of a culture of peace and non-violence, for example, the Culture of Peace News Network (CPNN) of moderated Internet sites described below.

55. The communication and networking arrangements established during the International Year will be continued and made available to serve partners in the work of the Decade in order to provide an instant update of the global movement, which is essential to enhance awareness and commitment. In particular, the pair of web sites, http://www.unesco.org/iycp (public) and http://www.unesco.org/iycptec (private), have been revised as web sites for the global movement: http://www.unesco.org/cp (public) and http://www.unesco.org/cptec (private). All those working for a culture of peace are invited to enter information into the system concerning their activities for a culture of peace. To request an Internet access number, those organizations at an international level are invited to contact a relevant UNESCO department or field office or UNESCO and United Nations offices for NGOs (for all NGOs associated with UNESCO or the United Nations). At the national level, requests should be directed to a national focal point, as indicated on the web site (National Commission for UNESCO, regional office of UNESCO or national office of the United Nations). The building of capacity of national focal points (National Commissions and UNESCO field offices) and international NGO partners in the use of these systems will continue to be a priority during the Decade.

56. The "Planet Society Resource Exchange Market" system will be further developed for use by partners at all levels to enter information about their long-term projects promoting a culture of peace. In addition to a brief description of the actions of each project, the system provides information about what resources each project can give and what it would like to receive from others, in sum, an online marketplace for culture of peace initiatives.

57. The CPNN system will be expanded as a global network of Internet sites in many languages, providing information on positive news and media productions that promote in a positive way one or more of the domains of a culture of peace. CPNN web sites in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Japanese have been established, along with a central "repository" site in English. This achieves universality by the following means. Each partner translates articles in both directions: into English, sending it to the central site; and from the central site into their own language. Articles are written by visitors with the help of trained moderators at each site in accordance with "rules of the game" that ensure quality and responsibility for the content. As during the International Year, these Internet systems will continue to be integrated with other media in order to engage the widest possible audience.

XI. Reports on the Decade and the implementation of the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace

58. The responsibility of UNESCO as the lead agency of the Decade includes the organization of reviews and appraisals of the Programme of Action. In addition to the present report, two other reports to the General Assembly are foreseen: a mid-term progress report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session in 2005, concerning the implementation of the Declaration and the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, including activities for the Decade by all relevant actors, as called for in resolution 55/47; and a similar report, which should be submitted at the end of the Decade, in 2010.

59. As an initial phase of this process, UNESCO will seek to identify, from among available statistics and data, indicators to cover the Programme of Action that can be shared with all actors so as to prepare the midterm progress report. These indicators will be drawn from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, appropriate institutes, universities and United Nations bodies and will reflect the results of the activities of the global movement. The indicators identified will be shared with national focal points (National Commissions and United Nations and UNESCO field offices), as well as with international NGOs.

60. Culture of peace indicators should be dynamic and forward-looking. As it is relatively new, the concept of a culture of peace is still evolving as a result of practical activities and lessons learned. Therefore, the various actors in the global movement for a culture of peace will be invited to contribute fully to the preparation of the reports to the General Assembly.