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Promotion of a Culture of Peace Debated at Forum of El Moudjahid (Algeria)

an article by Nora Chergui, El Moudjahid (extraits)

For their first press conference, the Secretary-General of the National Organization for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace, Mme Fatma Zohra Bousbaa has chosen the Press Center of El Moudjahid to present the Organization's objectives, and to organize a conference on the need to promote the idea of peace in the heart of the society through dialogue and reconciliation.

click on photo to enlarge

For Mme Bousbaa, even if the preoccupation for peace is inscribed in the very history of humanity and has accompanied human activity since its origins, the concept of a "culture of peace" remains to be promoted. On the basis of this, the members of the Organization, who decided to create an organization open to all men and women of good will, remain convinced that "since wars begin the minds of men, it is the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed."

Following up on the remarks of the Secretary-General of the Organization, Professor Yahia Djaffri said that the definition of life itself rhymes with liberty. And without peace there can be no liberty. For this speaker, the culture of peace must be defined as the ensemble of values, attitudes, traditions, behaviors and ways of life founded essentially on respect for life, rejection of violence, the practice and promotion of non-violence, the respect and promotion of the right to development and the equality of women and men. Mr. Djaffri considers that the civil society, considered as a third force, should be involved in programs that promote a culture of peace.

In effect, peace is not necessarily something that is inborn, but it must be learned. It is the prevention of conflicts and intervention at the root causes of problems that offers a hopeful perspective to local communities who wish to act concretely and mobilize their citiznes for human progress. It is evident that infants at a young age should be initiated in the culture of non-violence. And above all, they should learn that peace is not simply the absence of war or its opposite. One of the speakers was a retired teacher, Mme Zerhouni, who said that children in schools should receive an education that enables them to solve their conflicts in a peaceful way, in a spirit of respect and human dignity, tolerance and non-discrimination. They should participate in activities that teach them the values and goals of a culture of peace . . .

For Mme. Dridi, the President of the Association for the Promotion of Women and Youth, all must begin in the family . . . All of the speakers agreed that the promotion of a culture of peace passes inevitably through the promotion of dialogue and communication.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the best way to teach peace to children?,

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Latest reader comment:

Maria Montessori believed that peace was innate within children. Her timeless educational philosophy was developed around this basic understanding. Perhaps all we need to do as teachers is to provide stimulating learning environments that validate this knowing and understanding and nurture it. We may not have to actually teach it,  Sharing peace-building stories gently attends to this. Strong, creative and imaginative peace-building characters who focus upon win-win and have faith in peace being possible are at the centre of the story plots. In Hassaun Ali-Jones Bey's (Boundless Gratitude ) unique and mesmerising story, Black Ink is such a character who bravely crosses the universe seeking validation of what he knows in his heart. The magical character also models all the important peace-building values, understandings and actions needed for peace-building. I believe also that peace-building must be modelled and the whole teaching-learning environment should reflect similar values, understandings and is the primary focus of the Save the Children Australia UN Global Peace School Program upon which I am presently fortunate to be working. As Gandhi stated: 'If we want peace in the world then we need to begin with the children.' We need to listen to them. I also believe there are many ways to attend to peace-building..there's not just one way...and fun and creativity should be elements of any peace-learning programme with children working together. Parents are also teachers and they can choose to share peace-building stories with children as well.

This report was posted on February 4, 2012.

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