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Question: National Culture of Peace Programs, What are their potentials and pitfalls? CPNN article: Birth of Canadian Culture of Peace Program
Posted: Dec. 29 2004,16:06

The first national culture of peace programmes were those supported by the UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme, for which I was the initial consultant in 1992.  In 1993-94 we launched national programmes in El Salvador and Mozambique.  And later, less ambitious programmes were begun in Burundi and Nicaragua and there was a related programme in the Philippines.  Although it was not called a national culture of peace programme, the Peace Process in South Africa at that time corresponded to all of its principles.  There are a number of sources of information on these programmes, available at my website, http://www.culture-of-peace.info.  See the section "Toward a Global Culture of Peace" and the documents on history and the monograph.  Within the monograph, see especially the chapters on national culture of peace programmes and national programmes.  Within the history, see the link to the description of the El Salvador National Peace Programme and the full draft for a Mozambique National Peace Programme which is one of the annexes.  An excellent evaluation of the El Salvador was produced, but like most UN evaluation studies, it is not public.

To summarize what we learned in those years, a national culture of peace programme is possible and it can work, but it requires the political and financial support of the great powers, which has never been forthcoming.  Once this became clear to me, I saw that the most effective way to work for a culture of peace was to make changes at the level of the most powerful states.  As described in my history of the culture of peace on the above website, the African diplomats told us at UNESCO that we should not look for a culture of peace in Africa, but should ask three questions: Where do the arms come from?  Where do the violent media programs come from?  And where are the decisions made that keep down the prices that the poor countries of the South can get for their exports?  These themes also came out strongly in the debate on the Human Right to Peace at Commission V of the UNESCO General Conference in 1999 - as described in one of the annexes to my on-line history of the culture of peace.
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