FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
by Anne Creter, GMCOP
The 20th anniversary of the landmark UN “Culture of Peace” Resolution passage is being observed at the UN on 13 September, at this year’s Eighth annual High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace in UN headquarters. The Global Movement for the Culture of Peace at the UN (GMCOP) is urging global citizens throughout the world to join us during this special observance — to amplify the importance of fully implementing this normative-setting Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace Resolution A/RES/53/243 – NOW — at this perilous time of worldwide existential violence.
The resolution’s evolutionary passage in the General Assembly by consensus on 13 September 1999 was a watershed moment in UN history for it set peacebuilding standards through its many actions in 8 domains, based on the science of nonviolence and peace studies, that when fully implemented will build the culture of peace.
The High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace seeks to strengthen the Culture of Peace global movement, bringing together citizen’s groups, international agencies and governments actively working to build the Culture of Peace. This year’s High Level Forum will be convened by Her Excellency President of the General Assembly Maria Fernandes Espinoza of Ecuador. Bearing in mind the broader dimension and potential impact of the Culture of Peace, the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly chose this year’s theme to be “The Culture of Peace: Empowering and Transforming Humanity.”
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In addition to the day-long High Level Forum which is broadcast worldwide on the UN webcast – www.un.org/webcast/index.asp, a unique mind-body spirit Day -2 Culture of Peace event on Saturday, 14 September — On, By and For Youth — is being planned near the UN by Pathways for Peace. A universal meditation on the Culture of Peace is also in the works. GMCOP will provide details of these and other observances as they become available. So please stay “woke” and proactive if you want to participate.
Further, we invite you and / or your organization to align with these efforts around 13 September by creating and / or participating in events of your choosing within your community to demonstrate your commitment to the Culture of Peace. Suggested actions could be: mention Culture of Peace anniversary on your website front page, conduct a Culture of Peace workshop, initiate an educational Culture of Peace campaign, advocate with your government officials for Departments, Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace, citing the Culture of Peace resolution as the basis for them.
Pathways for Peace has set up a website dedicated to the Culture of Peace 20th anniversary that is designed to collect all the Culture of Peace actions taken around the world in observance of this milestone anniversary. A world map will be produced from the data showing the range and depth of Culture of Peace activities occurring globally. Civil society is encouraged to provide input to it at this link: www.internationaldayofpeace.org.
In conclusion, GMCOP at the UN is in the planning stages of putting together what we hope will be a fitting and memorable Culture of Peace 20th anniversary observance. Please become involved and join us. Peace is a group effort.