All posts by CPNN Coordinator

About CPNN Coordinator

Dr David Adams is the coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, proclaimed for the Year 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly.

American Attitudes about the Conflict in Ukraine


A survey by the Gallup Poll


° Republican support for Ukraine war has withered since start of conflict

° 41% of Americans say U.S. is doing too much to support Ukraine

° Democrats remain steadfast in support of current approach to Ukraine

° 64% of Americans say neither side is winning the war

1. Helping Ukraine Too Much or Too Little?

As the harsh winter months approach in Ukraine, Americans’ views on the war there have shifted, with a plurality now saying the U.S. is doing too much to help Ukraine. Forty-one percent of Americans overall say the U.S. is doing too much, which has risen from 24% in August 2022 and 29% in June 2023. Thirty-three percent, down from 43% in June, say the U.S. is doing the right amount, while 25% believe the U.S. isn’t doing enough.

2. The Partisan Divide on the War Effort

Both Republicans (62%) and independents (44%) increasingly see the U.S. as doing too much to support Ukraine compared with when Gallup began asking this question in August 2022.

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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3. Ending the War or Going Long?

Another key question that has loomed over the conflict since it began is how it ends. In August 2022, a majority (66%) of Americans believed the U.S. should support Ukraine in reclaiming its former territory, even if this resulted in a prolonged conflict. That view has waned but not completely shifted, as 54% of Americans maintain that view. Forty-three percent now favor the U.S. trying to help end the war quickly, even if that means Ukraine cedes territory to Russia.

4. Partisans on “Staying the Course”

Partisan shifts have been significant on the question of how to end the war, with a majority of Republicans (55%) now preferring to end the conflict as soon as possible. Independents have also shifted notably on this question and are now divided evenly between those who support a prolonged conflict, with Ukraine regaining all lost territory, and those who would like to see the war end as soon as possible. Democrats continue to favor helping Ukraine regain its lost territory.

5. Financial Aid and Its Limits

While nations across Europe have contributed to the war effort in Ukraine, the U.S. has provided the lion’s share of support, which has become a hot political topic among some congressional leaders calling for limits on the funds being committed to Kyiv. Today, 61% of Americans say the financial aid Ukraine receives from Washington should have limits, with over eight in 10 Republicans sharing this view. Thirty-seven percent of Americans, including 65% of Democrats, believe the U.S. should continue to provide aid as long as Ukraine requests it.

6. Who’s Winning the War?

And finally, a question Gallup began asking in June of this year is who, if anyone, is winning the war? Today, 64% of Americans say neither side is, a seven-percentage-point increase in this view since the summer, when the world was awaiting a Ukrainian counteroffensive that stalled because of Russia’s military entrenchment across the Donbas. Interestingly, the view that neither side is currently winning the war is the only question on the war where there is at least some consistency across party ID, with little to no differences among Democrats, independents and Republicans. Democrats, however, are far more likely than Republicans and independents to believe Ukraine, rather than Russia, is winning.

Russian Attitudes about the Conflict with Ukraine


A survey by the Levada Center

(Editor’s note: Although we cannot be certain that these polls are not controlled by the Russian government, the fact that prominent dissident Sergey Aleksashenko quotes the polls suggests that we should take them seriously.)

About half of the respondents follow the Ukrainian events. The level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces remains high(74%). Most of the respondents believe that the “special military operation” is being carried out successfully. At the same time, the share of Russians advocating peace talks continues to grow (up to 57% in November). This opinion is more common among women, respondents who trust information from social networks and YouTube channels, who do not approve of V. Putin’s activities as president of the Russian Federation, as well as those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path.

What is happening mainly causes respondents to be proud of Russia or alarm, fear and horror. One in four respondents (same as a year ago) donated clothes and belongings to refugees from Ukraine. At the same time, the share of respondents who collected money and things to help the participants of the “special military operation” increased to 40%.

The level of attention to Ukrainian events has not changed significantly in the last four months. So in November, 18% of respondents said that they were watching the events “very closely” and another 35% were watching them “quite closely”. 34% of respondents follow events without much attention, and 13% do not follow them at all. People aged 65 and older are following the events in Ukraine most closely (31% – very closely, 49% quite carefully).

The level of support for the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine has remained consistently high over the past year and a half of observations. The majority of respondents (74%) support the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, 18% of respondents do not support them.

Older age groups are more likely to support the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine (89% among 65+ respondents); viewers (84%); those who believe that things in the country are going in the right direction (86%); those who approve of the activities of V. Putin as president (83%).

The level of support for the actions of Russian troops is lower among younger age groups (24% under the age of 24); viewers of YouTube channels (31%); those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path (47%); those who disapprove of the actions of V. Putin as president of Russia (62%).

The share of Russians who believe that peace talks should be started repeated the highest figures for the entire observation period – just as in October 2022 (after the announcement of partial mobilization) 57% of respondents stated the need to start peace talks (24% definitely start peace talks, 33% – rather start peace talks). 36% of respondents are in favor of continuing military operations (21% – definitely continue military operations, 15% – rather continue military operations).

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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The opinion on the need to move to peace negotiations is more widespread among women (64%); youth (73% under the age of 24); villagers (59%); respondents who trust information from social networks (67%) and YouTube channels (68%); those who disapprove Activity V. Putin as President of the Russian Federation (79%) & those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path (80%).

Men are more likely to believe that military operations should continue (48%) as well as those who trust information from television (42%); respondents 55 years and older (43%); those who approve of the president’s activities (41%); those who believe that things are going well in the country in the right direction (46%). Moscow stands out somewhat from other localities. Muscovites are less willing to move on to peaceful negotiations – only 43%, while in other localities about half of the respondents believe that it is necessary to start peace negotiations.

Over the past five months, the proportion of respondents who believe that the special operation is progressing successfully has continued to grow. In November of this year, 66% of respondents thought so (55% in June).

Those who trust the information from television (78%), those who believe that things in the country are going in the right direction (79%), those who approve of the activities of V. Putin (74%) are more likely to be confident that the special operation is going well.

Russia’s military actions in Ukraine mainly cause Russians to be proud of Russia (45%) or alarm, fear and horror (32%), these feelings have prevailed among respondents since the beginning of the conflict. Since September, the share of Russians feeling proud of Russia has increased – 45% (38% in September).

Pride in Russia is mainly felt by men (47%) and older people (52% aged 55 and older). Anxiety, fear and horror are experienced more often by women (42%) and younger Russians (43% under the age of 24).

One in four respondents gave clothes and belongings to refugees from Ukraine free of charge (as well as a year ago). At the same time, the share of respondents who collected money and things to help the participants of the special operation increased in November – 40% (+13% compared to December last year).

Despite the fact that Moscow residents are more likely to talk about supporting the special operation and the continuation of hostilities, over the past 12 months they have been less likely to donate money for generally useful purposes (22%) and collected money and things to help participants in the special operation (25%), compared with residents of other localities.

In general, one in three respondents has donated money to socially useful purposes in the last 12 months, and their share has been gradually increasing since March 2020.


The all-Russian survey by the Levada Center was conducted November 23 – 29 2023, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consisted of 1625 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The distribution of responses is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:
3.4% for indicators around 50%
2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%
2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%
1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

Proposal to UN Summit of the Future from Fabrica dos Sonhos, Brazil


A submission on the UN Website for the Summit of the Future

From Fábrica dos Sonhos and Right to Dream Movement, /, Myrian Castello, Executive Director,


Embracing the urgency of our interconnected challenges and dreaming of the world we want to live in, we propose a Pact for the Future that amplifies commitment and action. Our vision is action-oriented, concrete, and transformative, fostering inclusivity, innovation, regenerative solutions and sustainability. By uniting nations and generations, we forge a path to a future where no one is left behind.


Embracing the urgency of our interconnected challenges and dreaming of the world we want to live in, we propose a Pact for the Future that amplifies commitment and action. Our vision is action-oriented, concrete, and transformative, fostering inclusivity, innovation, regenerative solutions and sustainability. By uniting nations and generations, we forge a path to a future where no one is left behind.

Chapter I. Sustainable Development and Financing for Development:

1. Transform the global financial architecture to be more inclusive, just, and responsive, investing upfront in SDGs, climate action, and future generations. Re-soul and open space for new economies supporting initiatives and grassroots movements.

2. Reform global economic governance to enhance the voice and representation of developing countries, fostering coherence under the United Nations.

3. Ensure fair and diverse representation, and data based driven in decision-making.

4. Partnership and commitment of 1st, 2nd and 3rd sector, also between countries and generations.

5. Incentivize family agriculture to prevent food deserts and create opportunities so that people want to stay and work with the soil and food production.

6. Support indigenous communities including the demarcation of indigenous lands to protect their rights and preserve biodiversity.

Chapter II. International Peace and Security:

1. Reform the Security Council to reflect the global South’s diversity and ensure equitable representation.

2. Promote the New Declaration for a Culture of Peace in the XXI Century

Question for this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

3. Strengthen collective security through regional and local approaches and invest in sustainable development to address underlying drivers of conflicts.

4. Promote disarmament, prevent weaponization in emerging domains, and enhance peace operations with a focus on responsible innovation.

5. Invest in education and in a culture of peace.

6. Take care of the environment.

7. Exchange for good, knowing different realities is easier to empathize with and commit to make a change.

Chapter III. Science, Technology and Innovation, and Digital Cooperation:

1. Foster a culture of innovation, recognizing dreaming as a Universal Human Right and a new SDG.

2. Prioritize racial equality as a new SDG and human right, ensuring the inclusion of diverse voices in shaping the digital future.

3. Phase out fossil fuels, limiting global warming to 1.5°C, while supporting indigenous communities and embracing evidence-based decision-making.

Chapter IV. Youth and Future Generations:

1. Establish dedicated national youth consultative bodies to empower young voices in decisionmaking.

2. Create public policies and actions so that all can feel safe and with that they can dream and achieve more.

3. Recognize Dreaming as a Universal Human Right, infusing hope and aspirational thinking into policymaking.

4. Enshrine racial equality as a new SDG and human right, affirming our commitment to a diverse and inclusive global governance.

5. Cultivate opportunities for youth, mainly the ones living in outskirts and the countryside, ensuring their active participation in shaping the future.

Chapter V. Transforming Global Governance:

1. Decentralize decision-making to the local level, employing evidence-based approaches to address unique challenges.

2. Cultivate a culture of peace for all, emphasizing diplomacy, dialogue, and conflict resolution.

3. Bring culture and art to the local and global level.

4. Re-Humanize global leaders and people in power beyond their titles.

This concise document outlines actionable recommendations that, when implemented, will propel us toward a future characterized by sustainability, inclusivity, and a culture of peace.

We want to be part of the creation of the future that will make a better world for us all. Present and future generations.

Book Review: Frontlines of Peace


A book review by Dr Anurug Chakma from the Australian Institute of International Affairs (published under a Creative Commons License)

In her book, Séverine Autesserre investigates the persistence of an “unlikely peace” in certain conflict-ridden areas like Idjwi in Congo and Somaliland in Somalia. She argues that locally-led grassroots peacebuilding efforts uphold a unique peace in these regions.

Conflict arises from a multitude of factors, ranging from the absence of state presence throughout the territory, governance crises, democratic deficits, and pervasive violence to corruption, extreme poverty, unemployment, geographical location, and regional tensions. Despite these challenges, why does an “unlikely peace” prevail in certain parts of conflict-affected countries like Idjwi and Somaliland but not in other areas? Séverine Autesserre addresses this important question in her fascinating and insightful book.

Drawing from her extensive fieldwork spanning two decades across 12 conflict zones, including Congo, Somaliland, and Colombia, Autesserre argues that template-driven, outsider-led, and top-down international peacebuilding often emphasises governmental institutions, political leadership, and international interventions while neglecting the significance of locally-led grassroots peacebuilding efforts in sustaining peace in various conflict-affected countries.

Throughout her scholarly work, Autesserre has insisted on a “culture of peace” in communities like Idjwi, where strong taboos against violence are instilled from childhood. To prevent the escalation of local-level tensions, local people reach out to grassroots actors such as religious networks, traditional institutions such as mwamis (the traditional chiefs), and village chiefs and community groups instead of resorting to violence or asking for help from the police or the army.

In Somaliland, traditional governance and grassroots initiatives have led to peace, with local elders organising 39 peace conferences, with communities supporting them through hosting, financing, and providing security.

In Colombia, the residents of peace zones protect themselves by refusing cooperation with warring parties, remaining neutral and unarmed, and employing collective strategies to deter threats.

Similar peace zones are found worldwide, from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Fiji, and Indonesia to Mozambique, Northern Ireland, and the Philippines. The bottom line is that the involvement of government elites or institutions is not always required to control violence at the local level.

Superstitions also play a vital role in preventing local-level violence between different groups, a concept Autesserre defines as “alternative peacebuilding.” They act as a deterrent to violence from both insiders and outsiders, similar to spiritual and religious systems in other regions that discourage conflict. One notable example is the blood pact, a traditional ceremony where individuals in Idjwi pledge allegiance by exchanging blood, symbolising a commitment to never harm one another. Although this practice has diminished in recent years due to concerns about hygiene and modernisation, it retains deep respect within the community. The case of Idjwi, approximately equivalent in size to Malta and inhabited by 300,000 individuals, is noteworthy for its capacity to uphold peace amid the catastrophic conflict of Congo that has resulted in the loss of millions of lives. This highlights the considerable influence of these beliefs in preserving peace on Idjwi Island.

To highlight the crucial role of local participation in peacebuilding, the author references the peacebuilding strategy of the Life & Peace Institute (LPI) as an illustrative example. Initially, LPI adhered to the notion that external actors could lead peacebuilding efforts, but this approach proved counterproductive. LPI then shifted its approach to embrace the Participatory Action Research Method. In this revised approach, outside researchers, project implementers, and intended beneficiaries collaborated as co-investigators to collectively identify and address problems. They then engaged in multiple cycles of research, action, and reflection, empowering ordinary citizens to analyse community conflicts, agree on solutions, and implement them. LPI continuously monitored its actions, partners, and impacts, incorporating local advice and learning and adjusted strategies accordingly. Despite being messy, time-consuming, and unconventional, this process proved effective.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

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Autesserre  discusses the many  drawbacks of international peacebuilding, often labelled as “top-down tyranny.” She remarks that time constraints, recruitment processes, and security protocols influence the effectiveness of template-oriented international peacebuilding. Most international peacebuilders don’t have time to understand the conflict, andtime constraints remain strong due to  the high turnover among staff within peacebuilding organisations, where diplomats, NGO personnel, peacekeeping contingents, and UN civilian employees frequently rotate every few months to a few years, preventing the development of a deep understanding of local dynamics. International interveners often travel from one conflict zone to another without adequately grasping the nuances of the situations they aim to address. In addition to this, peacebuilding organisations frequently recruit and deploy staff outside their area of expertise, undermining the relevance and impact of their interventions. Finally, strict security protocols enforced by headquarters contribute to the disconnect between foreign peacebuilders and local populations, hindering information collection essential for designing robust interventions.

Autesserre also notes that international interveners often neglect grassroots tensions, favouring top-down approaches guided by “liberal peacebuilding” principles. They impose the Western-led and donor-driven agenda that disregards the intricacies of local contexts and fosters a dependency on international aid, further exacerbating conflict dynamics. Driven by the stereotypes that external “experts” possess the solutions to conflicts, international interveners tend to overlook the expertise and perspectives of local populations. This approach, rooted in the Peace Inc. paradigm, underestimates the capabilities of local individuals, which often prove counterproductive.

The failure to understand local contexts for needs assessment leads to ineffective and sometimes absurd initiatives. For instance, in 2010 United Nations peacekeepers tried to protect civilians in Congo by distributing cell phones to point persons in some villages. In theory, the villagers would call the nearest peacekeepers if attacked, though in reality, there was no mobile internet access and no electricity to charge the devices.

International peacebuilding is affected by two further crucial factors: how the impacts of interventions are assessed and how the funds are released and distributed among intended beneficiaries. For evaluating their program impact, foreign peacebuilders and their donors prioritise quantifying the qualitative impact of their actions, neglecting local populations’ involvement in assessing success.

Another claim is that the flow of international aid incentivises participation in grassroots conflict resolution for financial gain rather than genuine peacebuilding, leading to numerous cases of “briefcase NGO” corruption. These examples add to the erosion of local peace infrastructures and, eventually, a legitimacy crisis in the eyes of local communities.

The lessons learned from Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste illustrate that depending exclusively on top-down strategies leads to disastrous consequences. Similarly, relying solely on bottom-up approaches can only result in a fragile and temporary decrease in violence, as national leaders manipulate or interfere from neighbouring armed factions, thus undermining any local peace effort. Additionally, civilians do not possess the capability to overcome armed groups independently, nor do they have the necessary networks to establish peace across an entire nation.

Hence, peacebuilding success hinges on leveraging insiders’ and outsiders’ knowledge, perspectives, networks, and resources. For this reason, model and experienced peacebuilders, akin to Vijaya Priyadarshini Thakur, Déo Buuma, Urbain Bisimwa, and Banu Altunbas, understand the importance of bolstering and reinforcing local peace efforts rather than imposing a donor-driven peacebuilding agenda.

Hence, Autesserre suggests that foreign peacebuilders must challenge existing stereotypes such as the belief that outsiders always know best, the perception that local individuals are untrustworthy and incompetent, the notion that using standardised templates are beneficial, the belief that only top-down initiatives are necessary, the misconception that grassroots peacebuilding cannot occur during ongoing violence, and the idea that peacebuilding is always expensive and time-consuming. Their program needs to incorporate not only national elites but also local leaders, beneficiaries, and citizens. More importantly, long-term engagement is also crucial to deeply understanding the local context and building trust and credibility with local stakeholders, which is essential to make peacebuilding successful and sustainable.

This is a review Séverine Autesserre’s Frontlines of Peace (Oxford University Press 2021). ISBN: 9780197530351

Dr Anurug Chakma is a Research Fellow within the Migration Hub at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia. For inquiries or further communication, Dr Chakma can be reached at 

The Rez of the Story: What is a culture of peace?


An article by Vince Two Eagles in the Lakota Times (located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, USA)

Yesterday, February 4th, was recognized as the “International Day of Human Fraternity by the United Nations.” The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for we humans to “…reaffirm our commitment to bridging divides, fostering religious understanding and cooperation among people of all cultures and beliefs. Together, let us forge a path towards a more peaceful, just and harmonious work for all.”

The headline reads, “Human fraternity for peace and cooperation” on the UN website. The very valid question, “What is the culture of peace?” is asked and answered as follows:

“The culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and models of behavior and ways of life based on:

1. Respect for life, ending of violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation;

2. Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law;

3. Full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

4. Commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts;

5. Efforts to meet the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations;

6. Respect for and promotion of the right to development; Respect for and promotion of equal rights and opportunities for women and men;

7. Respect for and promotion of the right of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information;

8. Adherence to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, culture diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations; and fostered by an enabling national and international environment conducive to peace; (Source: A/ RES/53/243).”

The UN site goes on to state:”We need — perhaps more than ever before — to recognize the valuable contribution of people of all religions, or beliefs, to humanity and the contribution that dialogue among all religious groups can make towards an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind.”

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Question for this article:

Can the vision of a culture of peace help inspire action?

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“We also need to underline the importance of raising awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance, which involves societal acceptance and respect for religious and cultural diversity, including with regard to religious expression. Education, in particular at school, should contribute in a meaningful way to promoting tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.”

“Furthermore, we must acknowledge that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity. Thus, it is imperative that we encourage activities aimed at promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue in order to enhance peace and social stability, respect for diversity and mutual respect and to create, at the global level, and also at the regional, national and local levels, an environment conducive to peace and mutual understanding.”

“Within that frame, the General-Assembly took note of all international, regional, national and local initiatives, as appropriate, as well as efforts by religious leaders, to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, and in this regard took note also of the meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyib, on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, which resulted in the signing of the document entitled ‘Human fraternity for world peace and living together’.”

“Following the devastation of the Second World War, the United Nations was established to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. One of its purposes is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, including by promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

“In 1999, the General-Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations.”

“The declaration came about as a result of the long held and cherished concept — contained within the Constitution of UNESCO — that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” The Declaration embraces the principle that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process, in which dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.”

“On 20 October 2010, the General-Assembly in resolutionA/RES/65/5 pointed out that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. It further recognized the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.”

“At the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all in this together and that we need to love and support one another to live in harmony and peace in an environmentally sustainable world. Our world continues to be beset by conflict and intolerance with rising numbers refugees and the internationally displaced in a hostile and unwelcoming world around them. We are also, unfortunately, witnessing messages of hate spreading discord among people. The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is imperative that we double our efforts to spread the message of good neighborliness based on our common humanity, a message shared by all faith [and non-faith] traditions.”

“The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity, with resolution 75/200.”

And now you know the Rez of the story.

Doksha . . . (“see you later” in the Sioux language)

Fredrik S. Heffermehl (1938-2023)


An article by  Peter van den Dungen in World Beyond War

Norwegian peace activist and lawyer who waged a long campaign against the Norwegian Nobel Committee for not respecting the will of Alfred Nobel.
A growing unease that the persons Alfred Nobel had in mind as deserving winners of his peace prize were losing out and that the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decisions were often failing to respect Nobel’s intentions (as expressed in his will), led Norwegian lawyer and peace activist Fredrik S. Heffermehl to start a campaign to oblige the Committee to bring its awards more in line with the requirements of the will. With considerable justification he argued that successive Committees had never undertaken a legal analysis of it (as regards the prize for peace) or considered the circumstances which had given rise to the prize.

Heffermehl, who has died at his home near Oslo on 21 December (only weeks after celebrating his 85th birthday on 11th November), was a leading member of the Norwegian peace movement, of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), and one-time vice-president of the International Peace Bureau (1910 Nobel laureate). As an active supporter of many public campaigns concerning the abolition of war, disarmament, peaceful conflict resolution, strengthening of the United Nations and international law, and global cooperation, he was well aware that the lack of funding inevitably limited the extent and success of such efforts in which mobilisation of large numbers of people is dependent on raising awareness, inspiring hope, and encouraging engagement. The contrast with the military establishment and the vast resources at its disposal could not be greater. This now consists of an increasingly out of control Juggernaut, the military-industrial complex that U. S. President Dwight Eisenhower (a World War II four-star general) had warned against in his 1961 farewell address to the American people. At the end of the 19th century Alfred Nobel had predicted a return to barbarity within a few decades if the powers that be failed to reform the international system so that recourse to war was no longer an option. Both world wars, and the countless wars since then and continuing today, have confirmed his premonition. For the second year in succession, the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stands ominously at ninety seconds to midnight – a time of unprecedented danger.

The questions of what is peace, and who deserves what is widely regarded as the world’s most prestigious prize, are raised every October when the Norwegian Nobel Committee announces the name(s) of the new laureate(s). Another opportunity for further debate presents itself two months later when the award ceremony takes place in Oslo on 10th December, the day when Alfred Nobel died in 1896. The prize for what he called ‘champions of peace’ is one of five annual prizes that the Swedish inventor and successful entrepreneur included in his last will and testament drawn up the previous year. The will specified that most of his enormous wealth should be invested in a fund, the interest on which should be used to annually award prizes to those who have conferred ‘the greatest benefit on mankind’. Unlike the prizes for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature, the prize for peace was (and remains) controversial. Heffermehl was its most severe, persistent and passionate critic while also being the most eloquent interpreter of what the prize should have been and still could be.

There was already dismay among those in the know in 1901 (when the first prize was awarded) that Frédéric Passy, the grand old man of the French and international peace movement, had to share the prize with Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross. The will specified that the peace prize should go to ‘the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses’. Although the work of the Red Cross is highly meritorious, whether it meets the criteria specified by Nobel is highly debatable. The prize was not meant for helping victims of war, but for efforts leading to its abolition. The same is true for awards that have honoured work promoting, e.g., human rights, freedom of the press, labour relations, food security, care for the environment.

It cannot be doubted that Nobel was greatly influenced by his friendship with the Austrian baroness Bertha von Suttner, author of the bestselling anti-war novel, Lay down your arms (1889) that was translated into most European languages. She wrote the novel after having learnt of the existence of a peace society (the International Arbitration and Peace Association, created in London in 1880 by Hodgson Pratt), in order to bring more people into the peace movement. Soon, she herself became a famous and highly respected leader of it. Money is the sinews of war, and she pleaded with Nobel that it was also the sinews of peace. She founded the Austrian Peace Society, co-founded the German Peace Society and was much involved in the annual conferences of the international peace movement that were held in the quarter century before World War I. Nobel frequently replied positively to her request for funding without which she would have been unable to pursue her work. In her penultimate letter, after Nobel had mentioned his poor health, she urged him to continue his support ‘even from beyond the grave’. It was widely known at the time that Nobel’s posthumous support for the peace movement (through the creation of a peace prize) was due to Bertha von Suttner who was widely expected to be the first recipient. She had to wait until 1905.

In a remarkable campaign stretching back nearly two decades and documented in many articles and several books (English editions in 2010 and 2023), Heffermehl argued that Nobel’s prize was meant to support the peace movement and also to allow young and talented idealists who were working towards a world without war not to have to worry about earning a living as well. In his most recent and highly original book, The Real Nobel Peace Prize: A Squandered Opportunity to Abolish War (see, he examined every award, and all nominations received by the Committee, through this lens, making extensive use of its archives.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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His meticulous research resulted in a list in which more than half of all laureates (including presidents and foreign ministers) have been replaced by leading promoters of peace and international law. He demonstrated how, again and again, promising ideas and initiatives promoting disarmament, demilitarisation and the abolition of war have been overlooked in favour of work promoting, e.g., Norwegian foreign policy, or concerning areas which have only a tenuous link to the pursuit of world peace and a new global order of cooperation, not confrontation. Heffermehl also showed decisively that the Committee could not have been more wrong when, on fifteen occasions (excluding the years of World War II when Norway was occupied), it decided to make no award on the spurious ground that no candidate was considered qualified. There are no instances of this disreputable practice after 1972.

Heffermehl’s middle name was Stang; he was related to Fredrik Stang, a law professor who was also a leading politician as well as a chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee for almost two decades (1921-1940). Heffermehl attended the annual Nobel peace prize ceremony in Oslo for the first time in 1964 when Martin Luther King delivered his Nobel lecture. He was routinely invited to all ceremonies in future years but this came to an abrupt end when he started his campaign after having carefully examined Nobel’s testament. As recounted in great detail in his most recent book, he found the best peace ideas and people in the archives of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (because of the fifty-year secrecy rule, Heffermehl could only consult them for the period from 1901 until the early 1970s). However, they were often overlooked or deliberately sidelined when it came to choosing laureates. Although the United Nations was established ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’ – which was also the objective of Bertha von Suttner and Alfred Nobel – that promise remains unfulfilled. The belief in security by military power continues to reign supreme, even in the nuclear age. A former Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman, Heffermehl observed that what he often found missing in the military sector was consumer protection. While arms and weapons are the most profitable of all markets, he found little truth in its promises of security. Indeed, he argued that the arms industry is selling solutions to problems that it actively creates. Nations respond to fear of other nations by making themselves more frightening, guaranteeing an endless upward spiral in both cost and danger.

Arguably Heffermehl had an over-optimistic view of the potential of the peace prize to materially contribute to the abolition of war (as long as it was awarded in accordance with the founder’s intentions). As he put it succinctly and memorably, ‘the prize that should have been and the world that could have been’.

More than ever, survival in the atomic era necessitates ‘the reduction and abolition of standing armies’ that Nobel stipulated and putting recourse to war (now with weapons of mass destruction) beyond the law. It is thanks to Heffermehl’s campaign that during the past fifteen years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee developed the habit of justifying its choice of laureate by indicating how it fulfils Alfred Nobel’s mandate – even though this frequently amounts to paying lip-service only. As part of his campaign, Heffermehl compiled every year a list of individuals and organisations known to have been nominated and entitled, in his estimation, to receive the prize. He criticised the secrecy surrounding the nomination process and encouraged greater transparency and wider participation. He also took issue with the selection process of the five members of the Committee: whereas knowledge of, interest in, and support for the peace movement should have been a condition to qualify for membership, these attributes have rarely been in evidence. Members are appointed by a committee of the Norwegian parliament in a way that reflects its political composition; membership of the Committee is regarded as a badge of honour but does not necessarily imply expertise. For a long time, members of the Committee were not only members of parliament but at times also prime minister, or foreign minister leading Heffermehl to quip, ‘The managers of the Norwegian military also managed the prize to abolish the military’.

Although the Committee dismissed his campaign as one man’s misguided obsession based on a misreading of Nobel’s will, he enjoyed the support of many legal scholars from Norway and beyond, and even from former justices of the Norwegian Supreme Court, including a former Chief Justice. It goes without saying that his campaign was also supported by leading representatives of the global peace and disarmament movement who, like Bertha von Suttner, are dependent on financial support without which progress is hard to achieve. Against the Committee, Heffermehl also drew on the fascinating private diaries of Gunnar Jahn, a jurist and leading politician, who was a member of the Committee for almost thirty years and who served as its chairperson for a quarter of a century (1941-1966). In his earlier book, The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted (2010), Heffermehl included long extracts, translated for the first time from the Norwegian, showing that on several occasions Jahn threatened to resign because he could not countenance the choice of candidate by fellow members. On such occasions, Jahn justified his unease, and preference for another laureate, by explicitly referring to the terms of Nobel’s will and finding that his colleagues were instead putting forward a candidate whose otherwise praiseworthy work had little to do with peace in the understanding of Alfred Nobel. In his diary Jahn complained that the other committee members were not the least interested when he mentioned Nobel.

In his forensic examination of Nobel’s will, Heffermehl was also able to draw on the insight of Ragnvald Moe, a long-serving secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. In a book that was unusual in tracing the history of the Nobel peace prize and of the peace movement from 1896 to 1930 (published in 1932 in French), Moe noted the changes Nobel had made pertaining to the prize for peace in his final testament compared with the previous version and concluded that they ‘more adequately cover the various aspects of the peace movement in the 1890s’.

Very recently Heffermehl’s campaign achieved an astounding climax when a former chairman of the Committee (2009-2015) declared that Nobel’s understanding of peace (and ‘champions of peace’) should be the guiding principle of the Committee and poses restrictions on the nature of the work that can be considered for the award. He is the prominent politician, Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister and foreign minister. In 2009 he combined the posts as Nobel committee chair and president of parliament, and afterwards combined being a committee member and secretary general of the Council of Europe. In his memoirs (2021), he wrote that ‘there can be no doubt that Alfred Nobel wanted the world to overcome nationalism and militarism. A new world order had to develop – he wanted to do something with the world. It is clear that the criteria in the will are restrictions on who the prize can be awarded to. It cannot be given to all people of good will who wish the best for humanity. The winners of the award must have a clear agenda which can be said to lead towards the goal of the abolition of militarism and nationalism and the formation of a new international order’. Heffermehl quoted Jagland’s words in his speech at an event in central Oslo last November launching The Real Nobel Peace Prize and rightly claimed that he had now an ally with impeccable credentials. It may well be that Jagland, eventually, had been persuaded by the case so tenaciously pursued by Heffermehl. Heffermehl said, ‘I wish to declare my war of sixteen years with the Nobel awarders over. We can proceed on the basis of a common interpretation’. It is ironic that only a few weeks later he passed away at this crucial turning point. It remains to be seen whether his campaign will have had a lasting impact on future decisions of the Nobel Committee.

Book review: The Real Nobel Prize


A CPNN book review

Frederik Heffermehl begins his book, “The Real Nobel Prize” with the words from the testament of Alfred Nobel: a prize “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for creating the brotherhood of nations, for the abolition of reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Nobel tasked the Norwegian parliament to establish a five-member committee to award the prize.

The internal committee’s archives are available until 50 years ago, and for more recent years Heffermehl examined the reports from consultants and the committee’s shortlist to determine if Nobel’s intentions were respected. “It was a daunting task. The material is enormous. Fortunately, the Nobel Foundation, at its website, presents all laureates with a short essence of the reasons – under Facts.”

Considering the choices made by this committee over the years, Heffermehl says, “No doubt, the Norwegian committee has honored many fine people and purposes, humanitarian aid, democracy, resource conservation, the fight against poverty and child labor, for the environment, climate, human rights, education” but these do not correspond to Nobel’s testament as expressed above. Heffermehl concludes that only 36 awards over the 134 years pass the test.

If his Nobel’s will had been carried out correctly in recent years, Heffermehl argues that the prize could have gone to the following nominees:

2020: Federico Mayor, who created the Culture of Peace Programme at UNESCO.

2021: Julian Assange, who distributed to the world press “a huge and horrifying amount of revealing documents on US diplomacy and war crimes in Asia.”

2022: Alfred de Zayas, who “has become a leading, most prolific defender of improving global co-operation and “Building a Just World Order”, the title of his latest book.

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Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

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Instead, the prize in 2020 went to the World Food Programme “for its efforts to combat hunger.”

The prize in 2021 went to Maria Ressa (Philippines) and Dmitry Muratov (Russia) “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.” As Heffermehl says, “In 2021 the committee had several nominations asking it to help stop the probably deadliest onslaught against media feedom in human history”, e.g. Assange, “but the committee did not wish to embarass the US war machine. . . ”

In 2022, the prize went to three human rights advocates, Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, Memorial from Russia, and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties. “As was the case in 2021, all three laureates were financed generously by a tool for the US secret services, the National Endowment for Democracy. They used their acceptance speeches to ‘parrot US State Department:Pentagon talking points’, even directly asking the the Norwegian government for weapons. . . the prize was used to take sides in an ongoing war, instead of against all war and war culture.”

As a Norwegian citizen and scholar concerning the Nobel Prize, Heffermehl has tried to correct the work of the Nobel Prize Committee. He first published his critique in 2007. The first official response came in June 2008 from the speaker of the Norwegian parliament who argued that “Parliament has no power to instruct the Nobel committee.” A few months later he became a member of the committee.

Over the years, Heffermehl has continued to request the Parliament to nominate committee members who would respect Nobel’s testament, and several times he has been joined in his request by other specialists. However, the Parliament even voted against the idea that Nobel’s intention should count in the election of members for the Nobel Committee.

One should not give up, however, and the book provides an appendix on how to nominate, and how to get nominated for the Nobel Prize.

At the end of the book, after listing his many acknowledgements, Heffermehl concludes, “My warmest thanks . . . to the inspiring line-up of peacemakers I discovered in the archives of the Nobel Committee. It has been heartbeaking to follow how our society, blinded by militarism, so far has been unable to benefit from their wisdom and unselfish dedication to our common security and survival.”

– – –

(Editor’s note: On December 12, two months ago, Frederik Heffermehl sent me an email, saying “Thanks for the fine contribution to the Vijay Mehta and David Swanson talk on the net Saturday. I think you should consider my latest book as a very useful tool for peace education and creating awareness of the vast and varied movement for a fundamental change of attitude to weapons and war – launched a month ago: The Real Nobel Peace Prize. I would like to send you a copy – but then will need your postal address.” In reply I sent him my address and then received a copy of his book in the post. I then wrote the above review and sent it to him for his additions and corrections. But I did not receive a reply, and recently learned that he died on December 23. An article about his life is reprinted here on CPNN.)

Press Release: Peace Starts Here – The Global Movement For Local Peacebuilders


A press release from Peace Starts Now

Today (January 31), a cohort of local peacebuilders from around the world launch Peace Starts Here, a global movement for peacebuilders. The campaigners are inviting people to sign a manifesto demanding that local peacebuilders be seen, heard, and better supported locally and globally. 

Peace Starts Here will highlight the effectiveness and necessity of local peacebuilding, while calling for more international support and educating the bigger system about the realities of local peacebuilding. It will also galvanise a movement for change in the sector.

Through a manifesto for change, this campaign aims to ignite a movement that will change the status quo. With five separate asks, the manifesto centres local peacebuilders, and calls on the wider sector to ensure they are supported to lead:

° Make space for local peacebuilders – Create more inclusive ways for local peacebuilders to lead, shape and influence the peace process in their regions.

° Fund more local peacebuilding efforts – Remove the barriers to funding for all genuine grassroots peacebuilding initiatives making a difference for local people, and proactively channel resources to local peacebuilders in communities closest to conflict.

° Support and strengthen local peacebuilders – Build the capacity and resilience of local peacebuilders so they can participate in sustainable peacebuilding and build trust with policymakers, funders and donors.

° Centre peacebuilding around local people – Invest in more human-centred, collaborative, and community-led approaches to global peacebuilding efforts, encouraging local peacebuilders to play an active role in decolonising the role of global actors.

° Learn from local peacebuilders – Promote successful local peacebuilding initiatives to aid learning, insight-sharing and collaboration in the wider peacebuilding sector.

Join the movement today by sharing your thoughts on the asks and signing the manifesto.

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Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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Backed by Peace Direct and now with the added support of United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) and Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) Peace Starts Here is for local peacebuilders and by local peacebuilders.

Diana Ishaqat, one of the campaign’s co-creators and local peacebuilder, says:
“We are calling for the recognition of local voices for peace. It is us who navigate the consequences of conflict and violence; it is us who should lead in building long-lasting peace. This is the real story of peace, told by local peacebuilders. It starts with them. It starts with their work. It starts in their communities.”

Visit  to read about the co-creators behind this campaign, their journey and the manifesto asks.

Notes for editors:

° Peace Starts Here is a global campaign created by 10 peacebuilders from around the world

° For the past year, ten local peacebuilders from around the world have worked together to co-create a global movement to improve recognition and support for local peacebuilders. Together, they drafted a manifesto for change based on their experience of the peacebuilding sector, particularly their experience of the marginalisation of local perspectives in international discourse

° The idea of a co-created global campaign began in Beirut, Lebanon in August 2018. Peace Direct’s Peace Exchange event brought together a group of peacebuilders from around the world to discuss how to best resolve conflict in their communities and build sustainable peace. During one of these conversations, the idea of a locally-led, global campaign was born

° The campaign creation phase was facilitated by Peace Direct, an international peacebuilding NGO, InsightPact and creative agency Neo.

Contact details:

° Luis Alvarado Bruzual, Campaign Co-Creator, Caracas, Venezuela – (GMT -4hrs

° Diana Ishaqat, Campaign Co-Creator, Beijing, China – (GMT +8hrs)

° Ruth Mileham, Peace Direct, London, UK – (GMT)

° Amal Atrakouti, Peace Direct, Montreal, Canada – (GMT -5hrs)

Powerful Protest Against Racism Sweeps Germany


An article from Common Dreams ( licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Up to 300,000 people took to the rainy streets of Berlin, Germany on Saturday as nationwide protests against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Protests were also taking place in dozens of other cities such as Freiburg, Dresden, Hannover, and Mainz, a sign of growing alarm at growing support for the AfD.

Video of protest

Under the slogan “We are the Firewall” — a reference to the longstanding taboo against collaborating with the far right in German politics — protesters turned the space next to the Bundestag, or national parliament, into a sea of signs, flags, and umbrellas.

“All together against racism,” the crowd in Berlin shouted. Some held posters that said “Heart instead of hate” or “Racism is not an alternative.”

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Question related to this article:
Are we making progress against racism?

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The new wave of mobilization against Alternative for Germany (AfD) was ignited by a January report by investigative outlet Correctiv. It revealed that AfD members had discussed the expulsion of immigrants and “non-assimilated citizens” at a meeting with extremists.

The report sent shockwaves across Germany at a time when the AfD was soaring in opinion polls, months ahead of three major regional elections in eastern Germany where their support was strongest.

“We absolutely must not allow the stories that we experienced in 1930 or even back in the 1920s to happen again … We must do everything we can to prevent that,” said Jonas Schmidt, who came from the western port city of Bremen told the Associated Press. “That’s why I’m here.”

Kathrin Zauter, another protester, called the strong attendance “really encouraging.”

“This encourages everyone and shows that we are more — we are many,” she said.

Jakob Springfeld, the spokesman for the NGO Solidarity Network Saxony, said he was shocked that it had taken such a long time for mass demonstrations against the far-right, given the AfD had been successful in many smaller communities already. “But there’s a jolt now. And the fact that the jolt is coming provides hope, I believe.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the protests, writing in a Saturday post on the social media platform X that citizens’ presence at the gatherings is “a strong sign for democracy and our constitution.”

“In small and big cities across the country, citizens are coming together to demonstrate against forgetting, against hate and incitement,” he added.

The Culture of Peace – Utopia or Alternative Security Policy?


Received at CPNN by email

Is it possible to see the UNESCO/UN culture of peace program as a blueprint for a feminist, non-violent security policy? Are there alternatives to war and militarisation, or is the culture of peace just utopia? Can a more pacifist view help us out of the increasing horrors of war?

These are questions that Ingeborg Breines, a former UNESCO director and president of the International Peace Bureau, raises in her new book The Culture of Peace – Utopia or Alternative Security Policy? published May 2023, by the Orkana Publishing House, Stamsund/Oslo. The publication, which is written in Norwegian, has gotten good reviews. It consists of 416 pages in hard cover and includes rich reference material and some illustrations.

The publication has three parts. The introduction describes the intentions of the author and the challenges facing the culture of peace vision. (See attached table of contents.) The author argues both for peace on earth and peace with the earth. Drawing on her background she challenges the old thinking that “Si vis pacem, para bellum/If you want peace, prepare for war”. For the survival of humanity it is considered urgent to develop a new paradigm and new structures and practices underlining that “If you want peace, prepare for peace”!

Part I describes the culture of peace program of UNESCO/UN – the origin, the process, the vision, the goals, the partners, the hopes, the enthusiasm, the achievements. The author brings to the forefront a series of guiding documents, inspiring projects and publications such as the International Year for a Culture of Peace, the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, the Manifesto 2000 on a Culture of Peace, the Seville Declaration on Violence, the Statement on Women’s Contribution to a Culture of peace, the Declaration on the Right to Peace and not least the Constitution of UNESCO with its emphasis on international intellectual and ethical cooperation and its credo: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defences for peace must be constructed” .

Part II highlights factors that hinder the culture of peace to take roots, notably the broad and growing militarization, not only of society but also of the human mind. The author argues that humanity is facing three alarming existential crises: (i) the climate and environmental catastrophe, (ii) the growing gap between the “haves” and the “have- nots”, and (iii) the nuclear arms threat. She considers that the military-industrial complex seriously – economically, ecologically and ethically – stand in the way of finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing humanity.

Part III presents an holistic approach to peace-building based on the eight pillars of the UNESCO/UN culture of peace program: (i) Learn to live together, (ii) Promote sustainable social and economic development, (iii) Promote respect for human rights, (iv) Secure equality between women and men, (v) Foster democratic participation, (vi) Foster understanding, tolerance and solidarity, (vii) Promote free flow of information and knowledge, (viii) Foster international peace and security, with special emphasis on pillar one on education and pillar eight on peace-building.

Part III contains descriptions of relevant international structures and institutions, both within the UN system and regional and sub-regional, as well as peace building projects and ideas, including from the international peace movement and visionary individuals. Seen together, the publication provides both important knowledge and suggestions for an effective transition from a culture of war and violence towards cultures of peace and non-violence.


Military expenditure was reduced in the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 and many people started to hope that finally the world’s military and political resources would be used for welfare instead of warfare. UNESCO developed a global program for a culture of peace that got broad and enthusiastic support. Individuals, organisations, institutions and countries contributed to the development of the vision of a culture of peace and got inspiration, energy and sense of community and meaning. The UN, both in a visionary and hopeful way, put the culture of peace as the headline for the new millennium.

But the war against terror changed everything. Also Norway participated in wars in countries where we had no controversies. Fear, enemy images and suspicion were created – again. The climate- and environmental crisis is threatening both humanity and the planet. A worldwide pandemic has further aggravated poverty, violence against women and social unrest.

The war in Ukraine has brought the horrors of war closer to us. Could it lead to disgust for all war, for war as an option? Could the vision and experience of a culture of peace help us stand against a dominating and desperate belief that weapons, ever more numerous, ever more lethal and potentially capable of full extinction of humanity, and that it is necessary in order to build peace and justice? Is the time ripe for acknowledging that it is only through disarmament and détente that we can manage to meet the ecological and social challenges facing us?

This book is a contribution to the strengthening of the world’s fragile peace architecture and gives suggestions as to how a culture of peace may be build through education, diplomacy, dialogue, democracy, justice, gender equality, art, culture and sound common sense.




° The dream of peace and the fight for a world organisation
° Utopia
° The vision
° The League of Nations
° The UN
° UNESCO and the Culture of Peace
– The vision of a culture of peace – a new Millennium – new hope
– The concept of a culture of peace
– The culture of peace program
– The International Year for a Culture of Peace and the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence
for the Children of the World.
– Manifesto for a Culture of Peace
– Culture for peace
– Women and a culture of peace
– National culture of peace programs
– The UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace


° Corona collapse and a new security concept
° Hindrances for a culture of peace
° Military meaninglessness and powerlessness
° ”Security” or peace?
° Militarisation
° Criminalizing war
° War against terror
° Why would a rich country need an arms industry?
° Economic warfare – sanctions
° Hybrid war
° Defensive, non-aggressive defence
° Nato – beyond expiration date
° Closing down Nato
° Our “big” ally
° Star wars
° Norway says no to the UN, yes to Nato
° Russia, our neighbour
° Neighbours as friends, not foes


° Anthropocentric
° Mother Earth
° Nexus environment – security
° The military and the environment
° Ecocide
° Food insecurity
° From capitalism to a new green deal


° The billionaire report
° The social report
° Inequality between men and women

(Continued in right column)

Question for this article:

What are the most important books about the culture of peace?

(Continued from left column)


° How to stigmatise, delegitimize and prohibit nuclear arms.
° How many nuclear weapons exist, and where?
° Status symbol?
° It is called balance of terror?
° Usable nukes
° Enough is enough
° First use
° Nuclear weapons agreements
° The Non-proliferation Treaty
° The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons, TPNW
Norway, party to the NATO strategy on nuclear weapons
The International Atomic Energy Agency – verification and dual role
° Environmental and health consequences
° Nuclear weapons and nuclear energy – Siamese twins
° Depleted uranium
° Women and nuclear weapons
° Nuclear free zones
° With the UN for nuclear disarmament and development
° Anti-nuclear arms organisations


° Mother Earth and the Matriarchy
° Rather pluralism than unilateralism
° Who do we want to be?
° World future orientation
° Meaning and happiness
° Change and transformation
° Positive thinking
° Emotional intelligence
° Getting out of fundamentalism
° The Seville Declaration on Violence
° Radical love, the ultimate goal?
° Hope
° Creativity


° Education for all
° Good development requires good education
° Children on the run
° Peace education
° Disarmament education
° Methodology
° It is fun to be nice
° My history – and your history
° What is the situation for peace education in Norwegian schools?
° How to avoid militarization in schools?
° The education of the heart
° Moral codex and ethical standards
° Pakistan – Afghanistan – examples
° To teach a culture of peace in Pakistan


° The desired future – the UN Agenda 2030
° Food security
° Limits to growth
° To do without – what is enough?
° Finance capitalistic globalisation
° Human – humanistic – humanitarian
° Ecologic economy
° What is productive work?
° Useful, bullshit and dangerous jobs
° Converting the military industry
° Progressive taxation
° Guaranteed minimum income – basic salary – citizen’s salary
° Social contract
° Democratic multilateralism


° The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
° The Human Rights Council
° Universal Periodic Review, UPR
° The International Court of Justice, ICJ
° The International Criminal Court, ICC
° International law – the duty of peace – prohibition of violence
° Humanitarian law– the international law of war
° Responsibility to Protect, R2P
° Norway, a champion of international law?
° From international law to the law of war?


° The rights, resources and representation of women
° Gender equality is healthy
° The end of Patriarchy?
° Men and masculinities
° The rationality of care
° Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
° Sexualized violence
° Feminism – both a tool for change and an imperative
° Feministic foreign policy


° Are the people allowed to rule?
° Democracy-ranking
° Direct democracy or disciplined democracy?
° Lobbying
° 99% versus 1%
° Non-hierarchical structure and local democracy
° Centralization weakens local democracy
° Military exceptions
° Thinking globally – acting locally
° Regional cooperation


° The grey-pink race and racism
° Symbols and statues
° Longing for meaning
° Religious tolerance – interreligious understanding
° The image of God of Spinoza
° Violations, humiliations of honour and human dignity
° Ethical disposition
° Compassion


° New Information and Communication order
° Languages
° News and fake narratives
° Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression
° The language of peace – the language of war
° Getting rid of enemy images
° Dialogue – debate – discussion
° Whistleblowers and human rights defenders
° Peace journalism
° Women in the media – women journalists
° War and cultural industry


° Peace by peaceful means
° The right to peace
° Peace as a condition for sustainable development
° Disarmament, essential, but not in vogue
° How to strengthen the political will to disarm?
° Peace race or arms race?
° Dismantling of national capacities for war
° Preventive diplomacy
° Is the UN able to unite the nations?
° Human security
° Common security
° Pacifism
° Civil obedience – civil disobedience
° Nonviolence
° Conscientious objection – civil service
° Equality in the military – on whose terms?
° Community service – new conscription
° Ministries of a culture of peace
° Peace tax
° Peace movement
° Peace research – research for peace?
° The Nobel Prize for Peace Promoters
° Nobel Summits
° Military-free and environment conscious Costa Rica – a role model


° Bibliography
° UN days
° Acronyms

Ingeborg Breines (