STATEMENT BY MINISTER-COUNSELLOR FREDERICO DUQUE ESTRADA MEYER
MISSION OF BRAZIL TO THE UN
CULTURE OF PEACE
PLENARY ITEM 43
(NEW YORK, 20 OCTOBER 2005)
My delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for the preparation of the reports we have before the General Assembly.
Brazil is a strong supporter of the Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace. The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World has and continues to generate very large and deep interest in Brazil. At all levels of government, In civil society and in the media, and as a traditionally peace-loving country, Brazil is increasingly committed to the promotion of a culture of peace, through the promotion of democracy; human rights and the elimination of racism, xenophobia and re1ated intolerance; gender equality; and sustainable social and economic development, as well as the eradication of hunger and poverty, and illiteracy. Nowadays, it has become quite clear, in our view, that - given the worldwide information revolution - domestic concerns and foreign policy and security considerations should positively interact in the process of creating a better life for all. Over 97 actors from civil society - including universities, schools, NGO's, and the private sector - are currently involved in 13 projects that are directly linked to the Culture of Peace. Over 15 million Brazilians have signed the 2000 Manifesto launched by UNESCO. Amongst the programs developed in Brazil, with the cooperation of UNESCO, seven of our States have already adopted the "Opening Spaces Program: Education and Culture for Peace", that outlines a strategy for opening schools on weekends for activities in the fields of sport, art, culture and leisure.
Moreover, there is a wide convergence between the principles established in the Declaration and Plan of Action for a Culture of Peace and Brazil's Multiyear Strategic Plan for 2004 to 2007 - "BRAZIL FOR ALL" - that identifies three major goals: promotion of social inclusion and reduction of social inequality; environmentally sustainable growth with the generation of employment and income, leading to the reduction of regional inequalities; and the promotion and expansion of citizenship and democracy.
As regards education, the Brazilian National Human Rights Education Program provides a strong framework for the promotion of education that is fundamentally in line with the principles of the culture of peace. The Plan outlines actions for promoting a culture of respect for fundamental human rights through the participation of the different entities of civil society and the institutions of the legal and justice system. The Program is based on the belief that a situation of persistent violations can only be altered by fostering generations of citizens who are enabled to contribute to the strengthening of the Rule of Law and the culture of peace; who are conscious of their rights and of the means at their disposal for the protection of those rights; and who are ingrained with a respect for plurality and cultural, sexual, ethnic, gender and religious diversity
Also in line with the culture of peace is the Brazilian handbook on "Religious diversity and human rights" issued as a result of a process of consultations with religious leaders carried over the course of nearly a year and a half. The handbook is based on the conviction that Brazil's plurality of races and cultures, as well as religious freedom, makes it unique. It acknowledges, however, the remaining strain of prejudice, particularly with regard to Afro-Brazilian, indigenous and gipsy religious manifestations, and states clearly that such prejudice is absolutely unacceptable and incompatible with Brazil's commitment to a culture of peace.
Finally, Mr. President, I would like to refer to the program "Brazil without Homophobia", our National Program for Combating Violence and Discrimination Against Gays, Lesbians, Transgenders and Bisexuals (GLTBs) and for the Promotion of the Citizenship of Homosexuals. The program outlines actions for the strengthening of public and non- governmental institutions involved in the promotion of homosexual citizenship or combating homophobia; capacity-building for professionals and representatives of the homosexual movement active in the promotion of human rights; dissemination of information on rights and the promotion of self-esteem for homosexuals; and stimulating complaints on violations of the human rights of GLTBs,
It is Brazil's firm belief that the promotion of a culture of peace - to which we are all committed -must contain all these elements I mentioned. A comprehensive culture of peace is an essential goal of our social and economic development.
Thank you, Mr. President.