October/November Bulletin of World Report on the Culture of Peace

Dear Friends,

Good news. The plenary debate of the United Nations on October 20, dedicated to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, has strongly recognized the Civil Society Report to which you contributed.

This success was the result of two works of advocacy with the UN missions by seven courageous young people, as described in their report available online at http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/youth.html. They delivered the Report directly to 48 missions and contacted an additional 69 about the Report. The Report was also made available to the missions at the United Nations during their plenary debate.

A full account of the UN plenary debate of October 20 is available online at http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/undebate/overview.html . The following are excerpts related to the Civil Society Report:

BANGLADESH: At this mid-point of the Decade, we wish to express our gratitude to all the actors that have contributed to the promotion of such a culture. We applaud in this connection the role of UNESCO. Appreciation is also due to other involved organizations which lie within and outside the UN system. We are particularly thankful to the civil society. These include the NGOs and the young people. Their enthusiastic support to this cause has made a huge difference. Our special thanks go to the Fundación Cultura de Paz for their commendable work in compiling a report on the progress achieved by over 700 organizations from over 100 countries, including my own. We urge all of them to continue their good work.

UK (for the EUROPEAN UNION): The European Union pays particular tribute to "The United Network of Young Peacebuilders", a global network of young people and youth organisations active in the field of peacebuilding. Their work is an example to us all, and evidence of the significant role that civil society can play in advancing a culture of peace. In this regard the European Union welcomes the World Report on the Culture of Peace prepared by over 700 civil society organisations as an important contribution to assessing the review of progress made in the last five years.

QATAR: We commend the many young people from different parts of the World who collectively contributed to the Mid Decade World Civil Society Report on a Culture of Peace.

FIJI: This year marks the midpoint for the decade of the Culture of Peace. It is time to take stock of how much has been achieved, and balanced against the targets that were established with much hope and aspirations over five years ago. It is true that when reviewed, a number of aims may not have been realized and it is also true that in the thinking of some the United Nations has seemingly reduced its support of certain aspects of the spirit of the Culture of Peace ... While we agree with the general thrust of the points raised by the Civil Society Report at Midpoint of Culture of Peace Decade, we must say that one cannot hope to get one's wishes granted too completely. Further, there are other branches of the UN that are actively pursuing the realization of particular issues and are not quite ready to present reports.

THAILAND: My delegation wishes to express our appreciation to the civil society for engaging so actively in promoting the Decade and the Global Agenda. My delegation welcomes the report on the contributions by almost 700 civil society organizations from over 100 countries as appeared in the annex of the UNESCO's report. We do recognize that Governments and the civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector need to continue working closely together to maintain the momentum of the Decade until its completion in 2010 and, I would believe, beyond.

The General Assembly then adopted draft resolution A/60/L.5 (which will be given a final number at a later date), sponsored by 107 countries, including a new paragraph mentioning the Civil Society Report:

6. Commends civil society, including 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 of the progress achieved by more than seven hundred organizations in more than one hundred countries.

The Ambassador from Bangladesh has now written again to the Secretary-General requesting that the full 11-page summary of the Civil Society Report be published as a UN document.

As you know from the previous newsletter, we have opened new Internet Information Boards for published articles on the culture of peace and for discussion of strategy for the Decade, and we will continue to send out this monthly bulletin.


David Adams