Mr. President,

The Charter of the United Nations enjoins us to promote friendly relations based on peace and co-operation among states. International mechanisms to promote these objectives have their proper place and functions which seek to regulate the relations between states through the adoption of rules and norms of international law and through the operation of mechanisms for conflict resolution and the peaceful settlement of disputes. But this may not be enough if we are to succeed in saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

An important role is to be played by people in their ordinary lives in the development of global harmony, understanding and peaceful relations. The promotion of a culture of peace in all nations is essential in light of our increased awareness of the potential for conflict in a diverse world with often conflicting interests.

The global environment is one of diversity in culture, religion, and political systems and economic conditions. A deepening process of interdependence through increased communication and the interchange between nations is taking place, especially through the process of globalization. This is a significant reality of our time. The greater the degree of contact, the greater is the need for promoting ideals of tolerance and understanding of differences. One of the dangers of globalization is a tendency towards homogenization and the imposition of cultural norms and standards of the strong in power and influence over those who are weak. Tensions will arise from such interactions. The danger can be averted by the cultivation of values which promote tolerance and respect for pluralism. All peoples have the right to live their lives in accordance with the principle of self-determination and the preservation of their cultural heritage.

In promoting a culture of tolerance and peace different sectors have an important role to play.

The first is the role of national institutions in the promotion of peaceful relations and avoidance of conflict. Militarism, the growth of sophisticated armaments and glorification of military exploits undermine the inculcation of values of peace and non- violence in the process of socialization. The curriculum in schools at all levels should endeavour to provide guidance on the values of non-violence, tolerance and respect for diversity and the importance of peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

Nowhere is it more important to promote these values and attitudes than among the youth. It is the starting point for ensuring that non-violence is promoted in all our societies.

The second element is the role of civil society which has a vital role to play in ensuring success in our overall effort. Peace movements and organizations and their opposition to war have played a significant role in the mobilization of public opinion. It is important that they be encouraged to build national and international coalitions and exert influence through the democratic process on policies and actions of governments in favour of peace.

The third element is the significant role for international and national media outlets to exercise greater responsibility in supporting the values of peace and co- operation among states. Too often media presentations have shown a tendency to highlight materials which generate patriotic fervour and encourage resort to use of force. Instead there is need to give exposure to the horrors of war and civil conflict which should persuade leaders and policy makers to look for peaceful solutions and to avoid the military option. Also important is a reduction of the level of violence that is promoted in the entertainment industry which influence young minds. It is important not to glorify or glamorize military exploits or violent conduct.

The fourth element is the work done by the United Nations system in particular the work done by UNESCO in promoting the Programme for the 'Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. We welcome the information provided in the Secretary-General's Report on the Mid Term Global Review of the Decade which outline activities pursued in the different agencies under the leadership of UNESCO. Our view is that there is still considerable room for further work. Greater publicity needs to be given to the Programme through the DPI and more effort made to incorporate networks of relevant non-governmental organizations to generate greater awareness. There is need for further mobilization of human and material resources at all levels for activities that promote the various aspects of a culture of peace.

Mr. President,

Jamaica is doing its part through its programmes in schools to promote a culture of peace and non-violence. The Jamaican Schools Improvement Peace Programme is one recent initiative. It does not use a pre-designed programme. The aim is for each school in conjunction with the community to assess its own needs and to conceive and build its own peace programme. Seven schools have been participating in this initiative under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture. In addition, in co- operation with UNESCO, since 1994 there is an on-going programme of Peace and Love in Schools (PALS) which is also promoting inculcating values of peace and non- violence among our youth.

Progress over the next five years will require the full involvement of national governments, civil society and the mass media to support the global campaign. We would continue to encourage the United Nations to playa central role in co-ordinating programmes and giving support to initiatives at the national level.

Mr. President,

We have also studied the Report of the Secretary-General on the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations. The goals of this initiative in promoting greater understanding among civilizations are of vital importance in the world today. Respect for diversity and an understanding that no civilization can claim superiority over others in values and achievements is an essential starting point for this global dialogue.

It is clear from reading the Report that further steps need to be taken to advance the dialogue. It is therefore essential that the United Nations continue to give support for this effort. Some of the ideas in the Secretary-General's Report are useful, particularly in drawing attention to the activities that can be pursued at the local level where in many societies there are microcosms of different civilizations. This is a good approach and will contribute to the success of the overall Global Dialogue.

Our delegation has some reservations on some of the ideas in the Secretary-General's Report. In paragraph 16 it suggests that the global dialogue is a response to terrorism. We have doubts about this analysis. We believe it is preferable to give emphasis to the growing interdependence in the global community which brings greater contact between diverse cultures and peoples. As this process expands it becomes more important to eliminate intolerance, extremism, polarization, enmity and conflict. The understanding and appreciation of the richness of diversity and its positive dimensions of all civilizations should be promoted in all societies.

We will continue to support this effort which is complementary to our goal for further developing a culture of peace.

Thank you Mr. President