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Culture of Peace Advances Despite Media Silence
an article by David Adams

The culture of peace is advancing, according to a vast majority of the 700 organizations participating from over 100 countries in the 2005 World Report on the Culture of Peace. The report provides the first comprehensive view of the progress of the global movement for a culture of peace, since it was called for in 1999 by United Nations Resolution A/53/243. A summary of the report was presented by the Ambassador from Bangladesh to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on June 29 so that it can be considered in the plenary debate of the General Assembly to mark the midpoint of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).

The summary report includes assessments of progress and obstacles by region: International NGOs (two pages), Africa, Arab States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean, all of which report progress. It also includes two pages of advice to the United Nations from participating organizations which addresses the eight program areas for the culture of peace that are recognized by United Nations Resolutions. There are now almost 500 photographs on the Information Board of the report website (for a few of them, see the illustrated version) of the summary report).

The inspiring advance of the global movement for a culture of peace comes despite almost total neglect from the mass media, according to most accounts from all regions. This suggests a major challenge for the second half of the decade: to ensure that news of the global movement for a culture of peace is recognized and documented by both the mass media and alternative media.

The Information Board of the World Report website will remain open for additional organizations to participate until the General Assembly debate in the fall of 2005.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can we know if the culture of peace is advancing?,

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Latest reader comment:

One way we can NOT know if the culture of peace is advancing is from projects like the Global Peace Index which has recently been reviewed in CPNN.

The Global Peace Index measures the old dimensions of war and peace, not the new dimensions of culture or war / culture of peace.    Peace, in the old paradigm was the period between wars when countries were preparing themselves for the next war.    Culture of Peace, the new paradigm, is concerned with the deep roots of war, its cultural basis.

That can explain the paradox that it is the wealthy countries of the North that score highest on the index (Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Finland), countries of Europe, which was involved in both the World Wars and which continue to profit from the unequal terms of trade between North and South which is enforced by the culture of war.  

When I was at UNESCO, the African ambassadors had the following to say: "One should not look to the South for the causes of the culture of war; instead, pose three questions. From where do the weapons come? From where do the violent television programmes come? And where are the terms of trade decided that impoverish the people of the South which leads to violence? "

This report was posted on July 18, 2005.