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Santos creates a Peace Commission to avoid violence and intolerance (Brazil)
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The Mayor of Santos and the City Secretary of Defense of Citizenship signed this Friday (December 12), the document creating a City Peace Commission to avoid violence and intolerance.

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The idea for the creation of the group is to transform society to be more civilized. "We have been carrying out actions since last year like the "Peace Wave", along the beach with the participation of thousands of Santistas. It is ever more important to stimulate such actions and to spread a culture of peace in the everyday life of the population," affirmed the Mayor of Santos, Paulo Alexandre Barbosa.

According to the City Secretary of Defense of Citizenship, Marcelo Del Bosco, between January and August of this year 223 incidents of violence were reported, and the majority were against women. "We are going into the communities with workshops, trying to reach the women who are not reporting the aggressors. We know of some cases already where women are afraid to report the offender. With work and discussion, we can resolve this problem ," said the Secretary.

The City invited the former Minister of Justice and former National Secretary of Human Rights, José Gregori, who is chairman of the Commission on Human Rights of the University of São Paulo, to help form the peace commission . According to him, education is the main and best way to achieve a more just society. "We put education as the top priority and, accordingly, we value teachers, increase the quality of education that the teacher is able to pass on, and hence improve the quality of basic education in Brazil," said Gregori.

The Commission will have as one of its challenges to strengthen social work, and thus to avoid any violence, whether physical or psychological. "The issues of racial equality, the struggle against prejudice and against homophobia; these are kinds of violence that have plagued our country and that we can fight. The Peace Commission can play an important role, in coordination with the various city departments and people from the civil society," concluded Del Bosco .

(Click here for a Portuguese version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the history of culture of peace in Santos?,

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?,

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The following comes from the blogspot of ABrasOFFA. . .

What is a Culture of Peace ? Are we born violent ? or do we acquire violence throughout our lives ?

It's questions like these that ABrasOFFA has been working on over the years, according to the guidelines of UNESCO, indicating that there is an imperative need to build a new vision of Peace

Peace is the absence of expressions of violence, minimizing conflicts and transforming them through real negotiations as a possible alternative. To that end, since 1987 the NGO ABrasOFFA, has been working on the creation of International Folklore Festivals in Brazil and abroad, in order to meet different folk groups around the world and work with the issues surrounding cultural diversity of each nation with this initiative. The organization has worked on important issues like cultural revival, actions and exchanges for young people in order to spread the culture of peace and nonviolence among youth.

Within the Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace of United Nations, adopted in 1999 are eight programme areas that deserve special attention, such as : Culture of Peace through Education, Sustainable Development and Social Economy; Commitment to all human rights, equity between genders; democratic participation; understanding, tolerance and solidarity; participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge; and peace and International Security .

Working with other international movements for peace,  ABrasOFFA has already obtained prominence with international organizations such as UNESCO on two of its projects : the Network of Youth for Culture of Peace and the International Folklore Festival in Brazil. In the International Exhibition of Best Initiatives for Peace, held in Paris in 2006 and 2008 ABrasOFFA was the only Brazilian organization invited to participate in workshops and lectures aimed to promote their projects.

In August 2009 ABrasOFFA realized the World Peace Congress  in the Americas , with the support of Senac and UNIP Santos.

People came from projects linked to the Culture of Peace and Non Violence from countries like Spain, Norway , Austria , United States , England , Mexico, Paraguay and Brazil.  The highlight was the renowned Lia Diskin from Sao Paulo, who attended the opening event at the Coliseum Theatre .

Also participating in this initiative was a former Director of UNESCO , the neuroscientist David Adams, an American who was responsible for the Decade of Peace under the guidelines implemented by UNESCO in the year 2000-2010 .

In March 2010, David Adams, returned to Brazil and lectured in the presence of over 500 people in the Auditorium of UNISANTOS, requesting the creation of a peace council in the city of Santos to the Alderman at that time, Arlindo Barros, who headed Executive but it was  not yet accepted.

Since then, ABrasOFFA has carried out projects focused on Culture of Peace and Non Violence,  such as Peace as the Tip of Chalk, the Peter Crescenti School and the Santos Municipal Market besides continuing the creation of Festivals of National and International Folklore with a focus on the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence .

Responsible in Brazil for the preparation of the Decade of Peace World Report, the NGO participated with renowned organizations throughout the world, collecting and compiling information on Civil Society and the actions undertaken. . ...more.

This report was posted on December 15, 2013.