In 1997, for the first time in history, all the living Nobel Peace Prize winners sent the same call to the Heads of State of the Member States of the United Nations.
This initiative was started by Mr. Pierre Marchand, founder of the association Partage and IFOR representative at UNESCO. The initial project was supported from the start by Mrs. Mairead Maguire, Mr. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, both Nobel Peace Prize winners, and Mr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of the UNESCO.
The objective of the initiative was to encourage the United Nations to declare one decade to promote a culture of non-violence in order to reduce the suffering of the children of the world. After many exchanges of mail with the Heads of State, several meetings with Ambassadors at the United Nations in New York and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the resolution was presented to the United Nations by the ambassador of Bangladesh, Mr. M. K. Chowdhury. After discussion, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution.
On November 10th, 1998, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first decade of the 21st century and the third millenium, the years 2001 to 2010, as the "International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World".
The year 2000 - international Year of the Culture of Peace
During the year 2000, declared International Year for a Culture of Peace, more than 75 million people in the world headed the call of the UNESCO and signed the Manifesto 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence.
On November 29th, 2000, the UN General Assembly decided to entrust UNESCO with the coordination "of the activities of the organizations of the United Nations system to promote a culture of peace, as well as liaison with other organizations concerned in this matter." The UNESCO created a website allowing the actors of the world movement to promote the initiatives and to exchange information and resources: http://www3.unesco.org/iycp.
Since the vote of the UN resolution, several books and articles have concentrated on the Decade and on the philosophy of Active Non-Violence. You can find a first list of them here.