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Question: Can the UN help move the world toward a culture of peace? CPNN article: UN Adopts New Resolution on Culture of Peace
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

UN Adopts New Resolution on Culture of Peace
United Nations 60th Birthday: Two Simple Ideas for Reform
Department of Political Affairs revamps UN Peacemaker
Briefing at UN: Determined to Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War
It’s Campaign Season for UN Secretary General…And It Is Pretty Radical
Annual Report of The Elders
‘Cyprus can be symbol of hope’ the world badly needs, says UN chief Guterres as conference opens
Chypre peut être le symbole d’espoir dont le monde a besoin, selon le chef de l’ONU
ONU: La reunificación de Chipre puede ser para el mundo un símbolo de esperanza
UN Security Council underlines need to halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
Le Conseil de sécurité mobilise les États Membres pour empêcher les acteurs non étatiques d’acquérir des armes de destruction massive

Click here for more recent articles and discussion.
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Profile PM 
Posted: Dec. 23 2003,09:44

Quote (CPNN Administrator @ Dec. 23 2003,07:58)
Readers' comments are invited on this article and discussion question.

What is the specific role sponsors play in this very formal resolution?  Do they participate in calling for strategies and programs, while taking an active part by funding or providing support to develop an actual long term strategy?   If not, who will take on this task?  If yes, what actions were discussed or planned and who will carry them out?
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Profile PM 
Posted: Dec. 23 2003,10:38

Sponsors of UN resolutions do not necessarily undertake any special financial or action responsibility other than those in the resolution which apply to the United Nations as a whole.  Of course, the civil society in each country may ask their government to promote culture of peace actions by the UN and its specialized agencies like UNESCO.  For a list of governments sponsoring the resolution, see below.

It could be useful if CPNN readers propose projects or actions that seem to be visible and working with the UN in their efforts to help move the world toward a culture of peace?  Hopefully, this might inspire more articles about projects that others could write about and give actual examples of what is being down "out in the field" by peacemakers.

Unfortunately, the UN does not have a budget for the culture of peace.  When the UN Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace was adopted in 1999, it was stripped (at the insistance of the European Union and United States) of provisions proposed in the draft resolution which would have provided a voluntary fund to finance UN actions promoting a culture of peace.

UNESCO continues to undertake activities in the framework of a culture of peace as described in their annual report on a culture of peace to the Secretary-General, A/58/182, including maintenance of the culture of peace website at http://www.unesco.org/cp.

It is the civil society that has taken on the lead in promoting a culture of peace.  In the US, for example, see the links on the CPNN page for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace.  Civil society initiatives in other countries are listed on the UNESCO site mentioned above.

Following the provisions of the UN resolution for reports from the civil society, the Canadian Peace Education initiative (mentioned in a recent CPNN report) plans to present such a report on culture of peace activities in Canada to the UN Secretary-General next year.  The civil society in other countries is invited to do the same.

Another set of civil society initiatives for a culture of peace concern the development and measurement of indicators to tell if progresss is being made during the International Decade for a Culture of Peace (2001-2010).
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Posted: Dec. 23 2003,11:01

Here is the list of sponsors of the 2003 UN culture of peace resolution.  Those in the first paragraph were sponsors in both 2002 and 2003, while those in the second paragraph were new sponsors in 2003.

Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Kuwait, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Venezuela and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Algeria, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam
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David Adams
Posted: Dec. 16 2012,08:15

The following comes from my blog of October 2012

The United Nations and the Culture of Peace

My ten years working in the United Nations system left me with a sweet and sour taste: the sweet side was the universality of the UN, both its staff and mandate, and its great significance for raising the consciousness of the peoples of the world; the sour side was the jealousy of the Member States who make sure that the UN does not encroach on their freedom to rule over their own citizens, as well as people in other countries that they may dominate through neo-colonial relations. This became crystal-clear to me when the United States delegate, during the informal meetings of the UN General Assembly in 1999, opposed the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, saying that it would make it more difficult for them to start a war. In fact, throughout history, war (call it “defense” if you prefer) has always been the most fundamental “right” of the state

With this in mind, I have been pleasantly surprised by the extent to which the UN system has once again taken up the culture of peace as a priority, as shown in this month's CPNN bulletin, just as it was a priority in the Year 2000 when I was the director of the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace

Of course, this does not happen by chance, and great credit belongs to two men who played key roles for the Year 2000, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, who made the culture of peace a priority of UNESCO, and Anwarul Chowdhury, who played the role of midwife at the UN General Assembly, guiding the culture of peace resolution through nine months of opposition by the powerful states. Once again, this last month, these two men motivated and spoke eloquently at the High Level Forum on a Culture of Peace at the UN

As always it was the countries of the South who supported the initiative (see the CPNN article of September 24 and its discussion), but at least this month it was not blocked by the powerful states

In fact, it is my impression that the powerful states pay less and less attention to the United Nations. When there was a financial crisis a few years ago, the powerful states did not turn to the UN agencies , the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but set up their own temporary system of finance ministers, and when it came time for the review of nuclear non-proliferation, President Obama held his own meeting with heads of state in Washington and ignored the UN conference where the only head of state to speak was that of Iran. And the US has pulled out of UNESCO entirely, forcing drastic cuts in its budget

In fact, the lack of attention by the powerful states may provide the UN system with an opportunity to push the agenda of the culture of peace without their opposition - let us hope that the UN can take advantage of this

Of course, in the long run, the UN, or any other institution, cannot mandate a culture of peace; instead, the culture of peace can only grow from the consciousness, both understanding and action, of the peoples of the world (see last month’s blog below). That’s why the role of the UN for consciousnes-raising is ultimately its greatest contribution!
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