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Peace Movements Plan Commemorative Events in Sarajevo, June 2014
an article by International Peace Bureau

The year 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, which was triggered by the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914. This is a symbolic date for a century of a “Culture of War and Violence” with two world wars and numerous regional wars - among them the one in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, when Sarajevo itself was under siege. Now peace movements (among them IPB) are planning a major programme of peace events in the city, as the best way to commemorate these events.

click on photo to enlarge

In September 2012 a number of Bosnian and other European organisations and individuals working in the field of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and nonviolent action have met for the first time as a group in Sarajevo, BiH.

During the Sarajevo meeting these organizations decided to organize a Peace Event in Sarajevo 2014, and to open up for participation in the planning and realization to all those willing to contribute to a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence. [Editor's note: a websi te for the Event is under construction.]

Thousands of people from the city of Sarajevo, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the region of the former Yugoslavia, all of Europe, but also from other countries around the world will be expected to participate to this Event.

This Peace Event will hopefully be embedded into a more extended series of events in Sarajevo and in different countries in Europe. It would create a “European Season for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence”, e.g. from June 2014 till September 21st, the International Day of Peace and October 2d, the International Day for Nonviolence.

Different decentralized previous or simultaneous events could be organized in many places in Europe.

Themes of the event:

ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE: Nonviolent actions for social justice; Nonviolent revolutions

SCIENCE AND PEACE: New technologies and Peace; Scientists for Peace

HISTORY AND PEACE: Demilitarization of History; Histories of peace movements

NETWORKING: Strengthen peace movements; Involve young people

ECONOMY AND WAR/PEACE: War industry & Arms trade; Conversion of these industries

ARTS AND PEACE: Peace artists; Music for peace; Forum and Playback Theatre

WOMEN FOR PEACE: Role of women in/after war; Gender issues and gender equality

DEALING WITH THE PAST: Reconciliation; Peace memories; Culture of remembering

HUMAN SECURITY: Human rights, gender justice, economic, food, health and development security

SUSTAINABILITY AND PEACE WITH NATURE: Ecological issues, economical systems and growth

MEDIA AND PEACE: Journalists & Press agencies for Peace; TV, Radio, Internet

NETWORKING: Strengthen peace movements; Youth involvement

ACTIVE PEACE POLICY: A new European policy for Peace; Ministries of Peace; Conflict transformation and Civil Peace corps

EDUCATION FOR PEACE: Education for Peace and Nonviolence; Curriculum for Peace; Teachers for Peace

INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE: Religions and cultures in peacebuilding; Cultural diversity


Question(s) related to this article:

Where are there other peace weeks and peace seasons?, And what are the advantages of this approach?

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Latest reader comment:

The peace weeks are going on in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, UK, some of them started 30 years ago. Regional Peace weeks for the African Great Lakes region as well as new peace week initiatives in Kosovo, Russia, Croatia, Philippines and Columbia.

Pax Christi Flanders will coordinate the peace week in Belgium and the theme this year is the concern of war refugees. The peace week will be hold from 28 th of September till the 7th of October 2007.

The Flemish peace week of 2008 will take the attention on media and peace, media and violence. In 2009 we will celebrate 20 years of peaceweeks in Belgium and 2010 we hope to point out the end of the decade.

[note added by CPNN Administrator: The website for Peace Week in Belgium (in Flemish) is  Further information on other peace weeks coordinated by Pax Christi may be found at and].

This report was posted on July 11, 2013.