When we drafted the Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace at UNESCO in 1998, adopted by the UN General Assembly a year later as Resolution a/53/243, we envisaged that progress towards a culture of peace could be achieved through the following:
– Partnerships between and among the various actors [including civil society] as set out in the Declaration should be encouraged and strengthened for a global movement for a culture of peace.
– A culture of peace could be promoted through sharing of information among actors on their initiatives in this regard.
As readers of this blog know, the communication function is being provided by CPNN and other such Internet websites.
And now we begin to see the development of the first function of partnerships, through development of civil society networks for a culture of peace.
At Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, UNESCO and the Network of Foundations and Research Institutions for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace in Africa co-sponsored the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the UNESCO initiative for a Culture of Peace, and met to refine and implement their Programme of Action. I was privileged to represent the Culture of Peace Corporation (the parent organization of CPNN) at this meeting.
Their initial Programme of Action was adopted last September in Addis Ababa and includes the following :
– Coordinate actions in order to ensure a common understanding and community of practices in pooling our resources in the implementation of our actions
– Strengthen the visibility of our organizations and our activities among citizens and institutions at national and international level;
– Contribute to the implementation of the Luanda Action Plan by the elaboration and implementation of joint programs;
– Endeavor to implement the African Union’s 2063 Agenda and the UNESCO Intersectoral Programme on Culture of Peace;
– Expand the network to African and non-African organizations with similar objectives.
More details, including the Luanda Action Plan may be found in the UNESCO brochure Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace in Africa.
This network parallels and interacts with the new network dedicated to “Women for a culture of peace in Africa” that was established in March of this year. There are plans to establish yet another such network next year dedicated to African youth organizations.
Indeed, we see in the pages of CPNN that around the world the consciousness already exists of the need for radical change, and that the necessary actions are taking place, but so far the consciousness and actions are too isolated.
In order to achieve an effective Global Movement for a Culture of Peace, networks like those in Africa need to be developed in other continents. Given the advanced state of consciousness and action for a culture of peace in Latin America, let us hope that it can be next.