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Organization: The World Peace Prayer Society
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Yes, the Culture of Peace has been greatly advanced during the past 5 years.  The World Peace Prayer Society promotes the prayer and message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" around the globe as a constant reminder for people to hold peace in their hearts.  Peace Poles, which are monuments with the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" inscribed in various languages, have been dedicated in over 180 countries and now total well over 200,000.  World Peace Flag Ceremonies, where the flag of each nation is raised as people pray for peace in that country, have been held in many countries and touched the lives of thousands of people of all ages.  The Peace Pals program has engaged children in in over 30 countries and continues to share successful peace education activities that have worked in different parts of the world.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

One of the greatest challenges to creating a Culture of Peace has been the prevailing culture of violence evident in much of today's media and popular culture.  Furthermore, the concept of a Culture of Peace has not been clearly defined in the public arena.  Instead, the “war on terror” and the constant focus on “security” have overshadowed the prevailing discussion on issues of war and peace.  UNESCO and the UN system as a whole must be more active in promoting the Culture of Peace.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

The culture of peace and nonviolence has been actively promoted through all actions of the World Peace Prayer Society.  In particular, efforts to celebrate and publicize the International Day of Peace 21 September (A/RES/55/282) have been spread through the network of Peace Representatives in over 60 countries and through collaboration with numerous partners in the civil society and UN communities around the world.  The annual World Peace Festival has brought thousands of people together to commemorate the International Day of Peace.  World Peace Flag Ceremonies have empowered people to put forth their prayers for peace for every nation.  The Peace Pals program, with coordinators in 40 countries, has inspired children in many countries to plant the seeds of peace in their hearts and communities through peace related activities and games.  Thousands of Peace Poles have been dedicated as constant reminders for people to hold the wish for world peace in their hearts and minds.  The International Essay Contest for Young People, co-sponsored with the Goi Peace Foundation, has inspired thousands of children (up to age 15) and youth (16 to 25 years old) around the world to write about their visions of the culture of peace and nonviolence.  The World Peace Prayer Society has published a new peace education tool entitled “PEACE OFFERINGS: ACTIVITIES FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE FROM AROUND THE WORLD.” Our office in Scotland is developing a peace education curriculum that is being tested in the classroom.



Israeli and Palestinian Youth



Olympic Peace Path Day



GambiaSNV wPole, Flags, Banners

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

Greater focus on the International Day of Peace can help inspire governments and civil society to focus on building a culture of peace together. All bodies of the United Nations system should use the language of the “Culture of Peace” in as many places as possible.  Documents and speeches should include reminders about the culture of peace and the decade as a whole.  The culture of peace presents a positive opportunity for people in all countries to overcome the negative issues of terrorism and security concerns.  As we move into the 60th anniversary of the UN and the Millennium +5 review, the UN can propel the culture of peace forward as the foundation for international harmony in achieving the global agendas articulated in the millennium development goals and other agreed upon plans of action.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

The World Peace Prayer Society collaborates openly with as many civil society, UN, and governmental organizations as possible.  Partnering with networks of Non-Governmental Organizations has been a powerful way of promoting the culture of peace.  Some of these networks include:
International Day of Peace NGO Committee
International Day of Peace annual student observation with the UN Department of Public Information
International Day of Peace Vigil
Culture of Peace Subcommittee of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns
Spiritual Caucus at the UN
Values Caucus at the UN
United Religions Initiative
Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Interfaith Partnership for the Environment
NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns
Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence
The “We, The Peoples” Initiative
Friends of the United Nations
…and many more.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

The World Peace Prayer Society will continue to plant the seeds of peace in young minds with the essay contest about the culture of peace and nonviolence, peace pals programs and activities, international day of peace awareness and celebration, Gandhi-King season for nonviolence, peace poles, and world peace flag ceremonies.  New engagements to promote the culture of peace will include focus on education for sustainable development and future collaborations and initiatives with new and existing partners. Continue to encourage use of the prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” as a call for a worldwide culture of peace.

Postal address of organization

World Peace Sanctuary
26 Benton Road
Wassaic, New York, 12592 USA

E-mail address of organization

info@worldpeace.org

Website address of organization

www.worldpeace.org

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace


Highest priority country of action (or international)

International

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: The World Peace Prayer Society

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