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Organization: Vennskap Nord/Sør, Friendship North/South
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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?

Vennskap Nord/Sør links about 190 communities in Norway with partners in the South. The communities consists of Local government, schools, faith institutions and grassroot organisations.  The organisation contributes to the culture of peace by encouraging cross-cultural linkages and promoting cross-cultural understanding. We have not developed clear indicator to measure progress but through reporting from our groups we have noted that the more people meet and know each other better, they become more aware of their partners' culture, show more understanding, tolerance and empathy. We have arranged seminars/workshops/conferences and written about "friendship in conflict areas". Our friendship groups particularly in Guatemala and Palestine have contributed to peacebuilding activities by supporting their partners in these countries that are working for peace resolution of conflicts.

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

Our network of communities in Norway and the South are not aware of their potential role as peacebuilders. Neither has policy maker and institutions for conflict management including the UN understood or recognised this potential. There is need for capacity building.

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

1. Linking communities in Norway and the South
2. Workshops/conferences about conflict, conflict resolution and dialogue
3. Encouraging groups in our network including schools to participate in UN's activities that promote peace
4. Promoting local participation in campaigns that promote peace and sustainable development
5. Publication of a munual for facilitating dialogue

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?

1. To recognise and encourage cross-cultural links in promoting culture of peace and non-violence
2. To increase efforts towards educating people about how to manage conflicts in a non-violence way
3. Increase support for democracy and human rights in the South so that it can spread and take roots from the grassroot

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

UNESCO (Norway), United Nation Union in Norway, UKOWLA in England

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)?

1. We will continue to strengthen links between local communities in Norway and countries in the South.
2. Increase our member's awareness and capacity for enganging in activties that promote culture of peace

Postal address of organization

Storgt. 11, 0155 Oslo, Norway

E-mail address of organization

godt@vennskap.no

Website address of organization

www.vennskap.no

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

understanding, tolerance, solidarity

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

culture of peace domains

Highest priority country of action (or international)

Norway, Tanzania, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Nicaragua, Zambia, Malawi, Palestine, India, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Cambodia

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: Vennskap Nord/Sør, Friendship North/South

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