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Culture of Peace Congress calls for justice and equality (Bolivia)
an article by La Patria

One of the main topics and conclusions at the second Congress of Culture of Peace, held in the Capitol, is that if there is no justice, equality and listening to the voice of the people, there can be no peace .

Segundo congreso de jornada de paz (foto: La Patria)

click on photo to enlarge

That is the vision that was presented by the analyst and writer Nelsa Libertad Curbelo in her presentation at the meeting that brings together leading intellectuals from Latin America to establish a culture of peace as a system and a way of peaceful coexistence of peoples.

Curbelo , a citizen of Ecuador and Uruguay is master in neurolinguistic programming and has a background in conflict management at the Universidad Santa María de Guayaquil, among others. Currently she is the director of Ser Paz, an organization of education for peace and nonviolence .

"To attain peace, we must raise a worldview different than the one we have now. To achieve economic , social, ecological, cultural and artistic equality, we must change old patterns, completely," she added .

She said governments in the region lack the necessary institutions of peace and peace ministries because violence has always been seen as the means to secure peace. "On the subject of peace everything is uncertain ," she added.

According to Curbelo , "one generally speaks of peace as opposed to violence. Rather than being a positive approach, it is a negative approach saying that we don't want violence."

For his part, Luis Bedardo Benitez , MA in economic and political problems of the University of Colombia , among others, said that in the process of consolidating a society all conflict is always positive .

"We are experts in theories of conflict and in that regard, the emotions also influence the crisis in the peace process," he said.

He added that peace recognizes that conflict is a process that sometimes supports violence, but in practice you have to transform these conflicts through peace.

Meanwhile, Antonio Aramayo , director of the Foundation UNIR of Bolivia said that the event aims to contribute to building a culture of peace to raise awareness about different types of violence that are present in society.

He argued that we should approach peace not only as the absence of war but as the absence of any kind of violence.

"In Bolivia violence in its various forms has been present throughout history, from the pre-Hispanic period to the present. It has been expressed not in isolation, but rather, in a complex web of direct violence, structural violenc eand cultural symbolic violence", he said.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Latin America, has it taken the lead in the struggle for a culture of peace?

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I argued in my blog this January that indeed Latin America is now the "leading edge" of the global movement for a culture of peace.

Latin America continues to take the lead in the transition to a culture of peace.

As indicated by this month’s CPNN Bulletin, the continent was the first to establish city culture of peace commissions, as well as city commissions for components such as human rights in Sao Paulo and sustainable development in Aguascalientes.  Also the invocation of the culture of peace as the basis for the Union of South American States (UNASUR) was a pioneering development.

Now, we can add to this list of innovations, the development of the culture of peace at a regional level in Brazil, Peru and Mexico.  As discussed, this is an important new step since a region can be self-sustaining with regard to its agricultural basis, unlike the city.

In fact, Latin America has always been at the leading edge.  The initial concept came in 1986 from an initiative in Peru headed by the Jesuit scholar Felipe MacGregor.  The first national project was in El Salvador in 1993, and that experience was the basis for the adoption of the culture of peace programme by the Executive Board and General Conference of UNESCO.  The further development of the culture of peace as a social movement came in 1994 from a  “Group of Reflection” of Latin American experts in association with UNESCO.  It was the representatives from Latin American countries at the United Nations in New York that began in 1995 the annual resolutions which led eventually to the UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.  And the initial call for an International Year for the Culture of Peace came from a meeting of Latin American newspaper editors in Puebla, Mexico, in 1997.

The second and third largest number of signatures on the Manifesto 2000, by which individuals promised to support a culture of peace in their daily lives, came from Brazil (15 million) and Colombia (11 million).

During the International Decade for a Culture of Peace from 2001-2010, the rich countries, including Europe and the United States and their allies, refused to support the culture of peace, including its annual UN resolutions. . ...more.

This report was posted on November 4, 2013.