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Organization: Danish Peace Academy, John Avery, Chairman
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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?

The last few years have witnessed disastrous global backslide away from the ideal of a culture of peace and nonviolence. The September 11 attacks were utilized by the G.W. Bush Administration as an excuse for launching an illegal invasion of Iraq, as well as attacks on domestic civil rights within the United States. The present neoconservative government of the US aims at global domination through military force, motivated perhaps by the desire to control dwindling oil supplies. Far from criticizing or condemning these actions, the global mass media tend to support the present culture of violence.  For example, a large percentage of the programs on the Discovery channel are devoted to re-living World War II or to discussing military hardware. Even the Animal Planet channel supports the culture of violence! It has a feature called "Animal Warriors", which glorifies violence. The only bright side of the picture is the increasing role of the Internet as a vehicle of protest.

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

I believe that the most important obstacle that has prevented progress is the enormous financial and political power of the military-industrial complex, against which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his farewell address. The world spends roughly a trillion (million million) US dollers each year on armaments and war. This almost unimaginable quantity of money spent on armaments implies that very many people make a living from war, and the military lobbys have great financial resources and influence. The financial power of the military-industrial complex has allowed it to control the mass media.

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 Danish Peace Academy maintains an internet website with more than 7000 documents related to peace.  We have about 2500 different visitors each day, from all parts of the world.  See www.fredsakademiet.dk/faquk.htm

Among the unique features of the Danish Peace Academy is an extremely detailed time-line, starting in ancient times and extending to the present and near future. Many of our visitors use the time-line as a source of news and facts that they are unable to find elsewhere. Our website also contains many articles and books that may be freely downloaded and read, as well as a peace bibliography, and other resources such as poems, songs and films. Our webmaster, Holger Terp, who has almost single-handedly created the website, has worked on a curriculum for peace education. We also sponsor publications and symposia. For example, this year we held a symposium entitled "Nuclear Weapons, Nonviolence, and the Nuremberg Principles".

On October 2 (Gandhi's birthday) 2004, the Danish Peace Academy and IPPNW held a seminar on "Nuclear Weapons, Nonviolence, and the Nuremberg Principles". The photo shows a panel discussion at the end of the seminar. From right
to left, the speakers are German Gandhi-expert Christian Bartolf, Norwegian peace-researcher Jørgen Johansen, with John Avery and Peter Mikæl Hansen, both from the Danish
Peace Academy.

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?

The United Nations ought to have its own television channel. This could be used to give unbiased news reports, and to support a global culture of peace. The UN TV Channel could broadcast cultural programs from various parts of the world which would help to increase international understanding. It would be very inspiring if the Secretary-General could boadcast a yearly "State of the World" message, perhaps at New Year, discussing problems of the past year, and suggesting solutions during the new year. For this project, and for its other activities, the UN needs much more money than it has at present. A Tobin Tax should be instituted, with proceeds going to the UN.

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

The Danish Peace Academy would be very happy indeed to work closely with UNESCO and with the Foundation for a Culture of Peace. We already collaborate with IPPNW, the Danish Pugwash Group, and the Danish Peace Council.

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)?

In collaboration with other Danish peace groups, we will mark the 60th anniversary of the tragic bombings of Hirioshima and Nagasaki by three events. 1) An exhibition of posters and video tapes sent to us from the city of Hiroshima, 2) A symposium on "Creating a Culture of Peace" to be held at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen on August 6, and 3) An evening ceremony with choral music and with speeches by the Japanese Ambassador and other distinguished speakers. We have invited Prof. Federico Mayor to speak both at the symposium and at the evening ceremony on August 6, and we hope that he will be able to attend.

Postal address of organization

John Avery, Chairman, Danish Peace Academy
Snebærhaven 24
DK-2620 Albertslund, Denmark

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization

<a href="http://www.fredsakademiet.dk">www.fredsakademiet.dk</a>

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

International peace and security

Highest priority country of action (or international)


Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: Danish Peace Academy, John Avery, Chairman

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