It has been three months since we last communicated about the World Report from the Civil Society for the Culture of Peace Decade ( http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf ).
During this time many of you have sent letters to the United Nations General Secretary requesting that he forward the report to the UN General Assembly.
Despite your many fine letters, the Secretary-General has not forwarded the report to the General Assembly as a UN document.
HOWEVER, the report was printed in a limited edition by the Fundacion Cultura de Paz to be distributed to the 200 members of the UN General Assembly.
Thanks to the initiative of Manuel Manonelles of the Fundacion, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, Dr. Abdul Momen, and his staff member Sarwar Mahmood, copies of the report were distributed along with a cover letter by the Bangladesh Ambassador to all of the desks in the General Assembly Meeting Hall during the final debate on the Decade for a Culture of Peace that took place on October 18.
As a result, Our report is recognized in a paragraph of the final resolution for the Decade that was submitted in recent days in draft form by Bangladesh, as follows:
"Commends civil society, non-governmental organizations and young people, for their activities in further promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, including through their campaign to raise awareness on a culture of peace, and takes note that one thousand and fifty four organizations from the civil societies in more than one hundred countries have observed the International Decade, as called for in paragraph 13 of the General Assembly resolution 64/80."
Our report was also recognized in the following contribution to the General Assembly debate on October 18 by the representative of Spain: "El informe del Secretario General (documentao A/65/299) [UNESCO] señala que el Decenio Internacional ha conseguido difundir el concepto de una cultura de paz a diversos niveles y sectores de la sociedad ... En el mismo sentido se pronuncia el denominado "Informe global sobre Cultura de Paz 2010", elaborado por la Fundacion Cultura de Paz con contribuciones de más de 1000 organizaciones de la sociedad civil de un centenar de países de todo el mundo, qu ha sido transmitido al Secretario General con arregio a lo previsto en la resolucion 64/80 de la AG y distribuido a los Estados Miembros por la Misión de Bangladesh".
Here is my rough translation of the preceding remarks: "the report of the Secretary General (document A/65/299) [report of UNESCO] indicates that the International Decade succeeded in diffusing the concept of a culture of peace in various levels and sectors of society.... A similar success has been achieved by the so-called "World Report on the Culture of Peace 2010" elaborated by the Fundacion Cultura de Paz with contributions from over 1000 organizations of the civil society and over one hundred countries throughout the world, which was transmitted to the Secretary General in accordance with resolution 64/80 of the General Assembly and distributed to the Member States by the Bangladesh Mission."
Relevant remarks about the need to continue working for a culture of peace were also made during the October 18 debate by the representatives of Cuba and Pakistan. Cuba called in particular for work on educational curricula and responsibility of the mass media, while Pakistan called upon all countries to include reference to the culture of peace in the preambles to their constitutions.
Unfortunately, the General Assembly chamber was almost empty throughout the debate on October 18. The speaker from Pakistan remarked that the lack of attendance at the session showed that peace is not really a priority at the UN, which is also indicated, he said, by the lack of mention of peace in the MDGs. No speaker mentioned the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/53/243), that was adopted in 1999 and which calls for a global movement for a culture of peace.
Our World Civil Society Report on the Culture of Peace will be presented to the Forum 2010 which is dedicated to the culture of peace and which will take place throughout the month of December in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). See their website at http://www.foro2010.org for details. I promise to send you more information in a December Bulletin, since I will be participating in the Forum along with the youth team members who were responsible for the report.
I conclude with the opening operative paragraph of the draft resolution tabled by Bangladesh that provides a challenge for the years to come, based upon the Programme of Action:
"Reiterates that the objective of the effective implementation of the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace is to strengthen further the global movement for culture of peace following the observance of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) and calls upon all concerned that renewed attention be given to this objective."