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Organization: UNIPAZ International
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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?

From the perspective of those working within Unipaz, the report on a progress in creating a culture of peace is broadly negative. We see two movements occurring at the same time: one, on a large scale, where the conventional social structure is less and less able to produce peace or stop violence and one, on a much smaller scale, where a real and profound progress has been made, e.g. in certain schools, certain organisations, certain communities and certain cities to articulate a culture of peace. On the latter, the greatest progress is being made where the responsibility for acting as agents of peace is placed on a group of people or community and not just on an individual.

Having said that, the least progress globally seems to have been made at the political level, where the need for a holistic approach to creating a culture of peace is often not understood or misunderstood, and not linked to inner transformation. This can be summed up as:  “We are advancing in words but taking a step backwards in deeds”.

However, there are some specific examples of progress worth mentioning:

• In the UK, for example, there is an active development of network of organisations and individuals working toward a culture of peace and holistic peace education is starting to be recognised as a valid contribution to help communities and schools. Concretely this has led to the creation of a development group for a Ministry of Peace within the UK government. At the regional level, a Member of the Scottish Parliament is chairing a group in support of peace education as a part of Scottish curriculum in schools.  Within Unipaz UK in particular, the results of individual school programmes on peace education show a marked shift towards a culture of peace in the classroom and in the lives of individual students in a number of areas, personal, social and academic.

• In the state of Parana in Brazil, the Municipal Ministry of Education of Curitiba has granted scholarships to 30 people who have previously followed a holistic peace education programme, to spread peace principles within the public school network.

• In the State of Sao Paulo, the city of Altinopolis put in place a comprehensive municipal programme based on the principle of the Manifesto 2000 of the UN and touching upon the health, education and social welfare programmes, amongst others. As a result, the violence in the city, including domestic violence, has been reduced by 95%, and the quality of life of a majority of the inhabitants and families has been improved significantly at the personal, social and environmental level.

• Unipaz-France has seen a doubling of demand for taking part in holistic peace education workshops from people who are concerned and searching to increase their capacity to act to improve the situation of the planet.

• In Brasilia, 340 military policemen have had peace education training with excellent results.

In general, the move towards the creation of a culture of peace is very difficult to measure in quantitative terms and to this date not many specific indicators have been used by Unipaz to evaluate progress. One method of measuring has been the increase of public and/or private involvement in developing the human resources necessary for promoting a culture or peace and non-violence.

There is a need to develop a comprehensive set of indicators, however, and Unipaz will work in the next 5 years to develop and use specific indicators, which it will share with UNESCO.

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

At the most basic level, as long as there is no progress in addressing social injustice and social exclusion, from the perspective of education, the economy, technology, race and gender, and basic needs for food, health and education are not met, there is no foundation for establishing a culture of peace.

Beyond that, one of the greatest obstacles to the creation of a culture of peace, and political support thereof, is the fact that the concept of peace is globally still associated with the absence of military conflict or a state of non-violence and not viewed as a continuous and dynamic process which incorporates the individual, society and the environment. This is reflected in the media and augmented by the prevailing approach to education, which is fragmented and achievement-oriented, and not one encouraging a transdisciplinary vision and an inner transformation for peace and non-violence.

Furthermore, today, mobilising sufficient resources, including funding for full-time salaried workers for peace education and a legal basis therefore in school curriculae, is one of the greatest obstacles to making concrete, effective and sustainable progress in creating a mainstream culture of peace. One of the reasons is that creating a dynamics of peace is long-term and quantifiable results are not always visible in the short to medium-term, often a criteria for obtaining funding from private or public sources. Peace education should get the same support as education in mathematics, languages, history and geography in the national school curriculae.

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

Globally, since 2001, the Unipaz network has trained over 15000 people in basic peace education in Latin America, North America, Europe and Africa, including primary and secondary school teachers and students, policemen, health professionals, journalists, government employees, elected officials, prison inmates and staff, youth and children.

This has taken place through several core actions:

• Provided ongoing peace education programmes such as:
• at the introductory level, the “Art of Living in Peace” two-day workshop in local communities and organisations and public lectures;
• the “Art of Living Life”, a series of 8 workshops looking at a more in-depth level at the dynamics of peace that can be created at the individual, social and environmental level;
• the two-year post-graduate academic programme in holistic peace education, with interdisciplinary methods, and on some campuses in cooperation with certified university programmes;
• 6-week and permanent peace education programmes within and/or for primary and secondary students, and;
• facilitators training for new peace educators

• Created new workshops in the areas of leadership training, trans-religious dialogue, inter-cultural respect

• UNIPAZ is associated to several peace education programmes, such as the “network of people who make peace” in Sao Paulo, which targets to train 2000 persons per year.

UNIPAZ has co-produced and participated in several events such as:
• The annual International Holistic and Transdisciplinarity Congress since 1987
• The Fair on Peace Initiatives in Paris in 2004
• The Congress on Science and Conscience in Strasbourg in 2003

Unipaz has published the following books and journals:
• “The Art of Living in Peace” with UNESCO in English and French (also existing in Portuguese and Spanish (2002)
• “The Art of Living Life» in Portuguese and French (2004)
• META, an inter-disciplinary publication in Portuguese on actions for creating a culture of peace
• Peace, reality: a bilingual newsletter (French/Portuguese) on UNIPAZ activities and partnerships in Europe

Unipaz has participated in or created TV or radio programmes, such as:
• “Ethics and Sustainability” in association with the NGO Uniao Planetaria, transmitted in prime time to 26 Brazilian cities, with a  focus on the process of peace in actions related to education, the environment, agriculture, politics and public policy, architecture, city planning etc.
• a one minute radio programme in Brasilia, the “Water Minute” educating the general public on how to preserve water resources and the environment as a whole.
• “Altinopolis” as a city of peace on French National Radio on the programme “Interception” (France Inter, September 2004)

To celebrate the International Day of Peace, several Unipaz units, including in Fortaleze, Goiana, Recife, Florianopolis, Londrina, Porto Alegre and Lisbon, have created one-day or one-week public street festivals or open-air events, including public lectures, debates, walks, movies and art, open to the local community to discuss and celebrate elements of a culture of peace. Tens of thousands of people have participated in these events.

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?

• To create a permanent and well-resourced organisational branch of the UN (like or within UNESCO) responsible for peace education/ creating a culture of peace.  Such a branch could:
o Support countries to understand and establish peace education programmes in their national school curriculae on the basis of UN resolution 53/25 which invited all world governments to include peace education within their formal education systems.
o Support the training of peace educators throughout the world, including via long-distance learning.
o Fund and accredit peace educators in the field.
o Research work that is already going on to provide evidence of the tools and approach that can be used and the results that can be achieved in establishing a culture of peace, and disseminate this widely.
o To encourage partnerships between organisations working on a holistic approach to the establishment of a culture of peace, through grants for common projects.

The objective should be to train all human beings living on the planet in the principles of a culture of peace.

• To raise awareness of nation-states that they are still working from the perspective of a culture of war, and support a transformation to a culture of peace by first and foremost, calling upon and offering basic training on the creation of a culture of peace to all national political leaders, UN political delegations and UN civil servants. The global objective should be to change the general focus of the UN and its bodies from how to stop war to how to create a sustainable dynamics of peace.  

• Concretely, the Secretary General is invited:
* to organise a two-day training session for all Heads of State, and to all delegates of the General Assembly, to make a concrete step to put theory and words into practice;
* to produce a weekly TV or radio programme on the initiatives and actions for a peace culture taking place across the planet, inviting every week one citizen of the planet to give her/his testimony for peace on the planet;
* to create a special recognition for “citizens of peace”, citizens actively  to promote in their life the principles of peace culture. The objective is to give the possibility for all citizens of the planet to take this commitment in the next 10 years
* to promote a world wide programme for making all wars illegal and to make the concept of a “legal” or “just” war obsolete.

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

• Universities in Brazil and Portugal where the transdisciplinary training of UNIPAZ is a recognised as post-graduate academic programme by 4 different universities, including the Escola Superior de Tecnologias & Arte de Lisboa, the Faculdade Sao Judas Tadeu in Rio de Janeiro
• In Portugal, a partnership with the National Syndicat of Professers
• Partnership in a programme called “Rede Gente que Faz a Paz” which includes UNESCO, Viva Rio, Palas Athena, Uniao Planetaria and other institutions and networks in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the Federal District of Brasilia
• “Cuidar do Ser”, a specialisation training of therapists in cooperation with the Universidade do Extremo-sul (Criciuma)
• In Porto Alegre, a partnership with CESBLU (Centro de Ensino Superior de Blumenau) in 3 projects: a specialisation course on Basic Holistic Peace Education training, a specialisatoion course “Cuidar do Ser” for therapists, a specialisation course “Advanced Studies in Trans-personal Psychology”
• In Belo Horizonte, partnerships with the NGO’s Instituto Renascer Da Consciencia and the Centro de Ecologia Integral for the organisation and dissemination of all  projects, courses and training programmes
• In Rio de Janeiro, a partnership with the Faculdade Sao Judas Tadeu to introduce the transdisciplinary approach in education and recognition of the Ministry of Education of the Basic Holistic Peace Education training as an extension of post-graduate programmes, and a partnership with the NGO Viva Rio in the social area of education in peace and non-violence
• In Sao Paulo, partnerships with the Centro de Ensino Superior de Blumenaul, Petrobras and with the state governmental organisation, FEBEM, to work with youth in situations of risk
• Involvement in Rededapaz (Brazil)
• Involvement in UNESCO network of a culture of peace
• UN University of Peace, Costa Rica (offering “The Art of Living in Peace” workshop to students and teachers in the 2004-5 academic year)
• World Peace Prayer Society
• UK Peace Foundation Network
• UK Ministry of Peace movement
• Scottish Parliament ad hoc peace education group
• Terre et Ciel (France)
• College of Therapists
• Citoyens de paix (Belgium)
• Fondacion Martinez-Bouquet and Aluminé Universidad del Hombre (Argentina)

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)?

Globally, new objectives for 2006-10 for UNIPAZ include:

• To extend peace education development work in schools and education establishments.
• To expand awareness-raising of holistic education at political levels.
• To connect with the business community to develop awareness of holistic principles.
• To establish more partnerships with universities and institutions, and other NGO’s active in creating a culture of peace, including making links with people and organisations active in sustainable development and participatory democracy.

Concretely, the new engagements that are planned:

• The World Festival of Peace, from 1-10 September 2006 in Florianopolis, Brazil, an international event to celebrate and promote a culture of peace including several international personalities who have made significant contributions to the creation of a peace culture.
• To establish an annual summer university on peace education in Europe.
• To create new UNIPAZ units focusing on actions in and for the United States, Spain, Honduras, Australia, Germany, China, Mozambique.
• To create an internationally recognised post-graduate programme in transdisciplinary peace education.

Postal address of organization

UNIPAZ International
co Yves Mathieu
23/2 place Saint Géry
1000 Brussels
Belgium, Europe

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization


Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Free flow of information

Highest priority country of action (or international)


Second priority country of action (or international)

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