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Programmes Culture of Peace

Culture of Peace

A culture of peace consists of the set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing, based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, tolerance and solidarity, that reject violence, endeavour to prevent conflicts by tackling their roots, that solve problems through dialogue and negotiation and that guarantee everyone the full exercise of all rights and the means to participate fully in the endogenous development of their society.

Rather than intervening in violent conflicts after they have erupted and then engaging in post-conflict peace-building, it is more humane and more efficient to prevent such violence in the first place by addressing its roots-this is the essence of a culture of peace approach.  At the level of the State, this approach emphasizes good governance based upon justice, democratic participation and the broad inclusion of people in the process of development.

Based on the broadest and positive meaning of peace, a culture of peace is the set of values, attitudes, traditions, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reflect and inspire:

  • respect for life, for human beings and their rights;
  • the rejection of violence in all its forms;
  • recognition of the equal rights and opportunities of women and men;
  • recognition of the right of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information;
  • attachment to the principles of democracy, freedom, justice, tolerance, solidarity;
  • pluralism, acceptance of differences and understanding between nations, between ethnic;
  • religious, cultural and other groups, and between individuals; and
  • commitment to a caring society which protects the rights of those who are weak through sustained, long-term action for human-centred, mutually supportive development.

A culture of peace is not only an aim, an ultimate goal to be achieved. It is also a comprehensive process of institutional transformation and long-term action to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men and women. A culture of peace is the transition from the logic of force and fear to the force of reason and love. It constitutes the framework for the global implementation of the human right to peace.

Education: The Leading Modality to Promote a Culture of Peace

Reflecting its fundamental purpose, to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men and women, the culture of peace requires, as its principal means of this construction, the actions of education. IISD has as one of its main objective promoting education for a culture of peace that includes not only formal educational system but also the non-formal education, including the family and the mass media.  As expressed in the Report to UNESCO by the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-First Century, the goal is ‘learning to live together’. Similarly the World Commission on Culture and Development reported that it is through culture that we can develop diverse and peaceful ‘ways of living together’.

Culture of Peace, including the Education for a Culture of Peace is a transdisciplinary strategy. Emphasis is placed upon education, including non-formal and informal as well as formal education, and the basic principles of education for peace and human rights.

The organisation has been conducting trainings, orientation programmes, refresher courses, workshops, symposia, seminars, conferences, dialogues, exchange programmes and art work on education for a culture of peace. The particular thrust of activities of the organisation in promoting the culture of peace, has been the North-Eastern Region, which has been affected by militancy, alienation and underdevelopment.

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