Since 1997, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted resolutions every year in support of a culture of peace. The initial resolution in 1997 called for a “transformation from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and non-violence.” The resolution defines the culture of peace as based on “respect for human rights, democracy and tolerance, the promotion of development, education for peace, the free flow of information and the wider participation of women.” These seven points, along with an eighth point of disarmament, became the base of the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace adopted in 1999, on which CPNN is based.
Responsibility for the program was given to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. To put the resolutions into action, UNESCO launched the International Year for a Culture of Peace (2000) and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence (2001-2010).
To involve people at a local level, UNESCO circulated the Manifesto 2000 through global networks of National Commissions, UNESCO and UN field offices and non-governmental organizations. The Manifesto, drafted by Nobel Peace Laureates on the basis of the UN resolutions, was signed during the International Year for a Culture of Peace by 75 million people, pledging to work for a culture of peace “in my daily life, in my family, my work, my community, my country and my region.”
The mobilization around the Manifesto was the first step in the development of a global movement for a culture of peace. The global movement is advancing, according the World Civil Society Report submitted to the United Nations in 2005 at the midpoint of the International Decade and again in 2010 at the end of the Decade.
In its culture of peace resolutions during the Culture of Peace Decade, the UN General Assembly has singled out the importance for the global movement of the mass media in general and the Culture of Peace News Network in particular, calling for the expansion of CPNN as a global network of Internet sites in many languages (see operative paragraph 9 of the resolution).
For an early history of the culture of peace see http://culture-of-peace.info/history/introduction.html