2 July 2002 Fifty-seventh session
Culture of peace International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World Implementation of General Assembly resolution 56/5 Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General hereby transmits to the members of the General Assembly the report of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/5 of 1 November 2001.
Executive summary The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/5 of 5 November 2001, entitled "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010". It follows two reports of the Secretary-General, of 12 September 2000 (A/55/377) and 13 September 2001 (A/56/349), which provide the overall strategy for the implementation of the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (General Assembly resolution 53/243 B) and the International Decade. In resolution 56/5, the General Assembly reiterated that the objective of the International Decade was to further strengthen the global movement for a culture of peace following the observance of the International Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000, and invited Member States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other relevant bodies of the United Nations as well as civil society to continue their efforts to promote a culture of peace in the specific areas identified in the Programme of Action, including formal and nonformal education and education through the mass media. The Assembly also encouraged civil society organizations, including NGOs, to adopt their own programmes of activities and invited them to provide information to the Secretary- General on the activities undertaken. The Assembly furthermore welcomed the efforts made by UNESCO to continue its communication and networking arrangements for providing an instant update of developments related to the observance of the Decade. Based on the above considerations, the present report consists of three main sections, covering implementation of the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace; the role of civil society; and communication and networking arrangements.
1. Today, more than ever, the concept of culture of peace provides the way to confront emerging threats and challenges. In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at its thirty-first session, adopted resolution 39 of 20 October 2001, entitled "Call for international cooperation to prevent and eradicate acts of terrorism", stressing the importance of the overarching culture of peace concept.1
2. The commitment of UNESCO as the lead agency of the International Decade to further strengthen actions to promote a culture of peace has been prominently defined in the medium-term strategy of the organization for 2002-2007 (31 C/4). The major ongoing actions are clearly spelled out in the programme and budget of UNESCO for 2002-2003 (31 C/5). The organization’s mainstreaming approach to a culture of peace according to the eight action areas of the United Nations Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace is presented in a new brochure entitled "UNESCO: Mainstreaming the Culture of Peace", which is now available in English.2
3. In this respect, the Executive Board of UNESCO at its one hundred and sixty-fourth session adopted a decision (164 EX/Decision 7.1.4) by which it requested the Director-General "to strengthen, in particular, the promotion of formal and non-formal education at all levels with a view to fostering a culture of peace and non-violence" and "to continue the communication and networking arrangements providing updated information on the observance of the Decade on a global basis".
4. As regards special events and themes marking the International Decade, the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 55/282 of 7 September 2001, fixed one day each year, 21 September, for the celebration of the International Day of Peace as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, in pursuance of the recommendation made in the report of the Secretary-General (A/55/377, para. 17). Furthermore, as spelled out in the subsequent report of the Secretary- General (A/56/349, para. 28), each of the 10 years of the Decade will be marked with a different priority theme related to the areas of the Programme of Action; the first five have already been defined in the context of a particular United Nations event, as follows: o 2001: understanding, tolerance and solidarity, in the context of the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations; o 2002: sustainable economic and social development, in the context of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the International Year of Ecotourism and the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage; o 2003: participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge, in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society; o 2004: respect for all human rights, in the context of the conclusion of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education; o 2005: equality between women and men, in the context of the Beijing +10 process.
II. Implementation of the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace
5. This section presents examples of activities carried out essentially by UNESCO with the participation of other United Nations bodies, Governments and civil society.3 The activities are presented in eight sections, corresponding to the eight areas of the Programme of Action.
A. Actions to foster a culture of peace through education
6. As they were called upon to do in paragraph 6 of resolution 56/5, UNESCO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) need to set up a comprehensive strategy on formal and non-formal education for a culture of peace to identify and mobilize new partners (United Nations agencies, civil society, national institutions, etc.), build a renewed consensus on the goals of the Decade and define a more appropriate mechanism of cooperation and coordination to ensure effective implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action at both the national and the international level. Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
7. Non-violence education activities. The UNESCO Non-Violence Education programme is a follow-up to the Interregional Project for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Educational Institutions launched by the Sintra Plan of Action in 1996 and is a vital component of the International Decade. Activities include a series of training courses in mediation and non-violent conflict resolution in and out of school and preparatory meetings and contacts with national authorities in various regions (Central Europe, Middle East, Africa), as well as numerous activities aimed at children and youth and posted on their web site, including games and building a "peace kite". A publication entitled Best practices on conflict resolution in and out of school has been issued, with contributions from the UNESCO partners (associations, peace educators, teachers), along with other reference books, and is being included in a non-violence education kit for teachers and trainers.4
8. UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. This annual prize rewards a particularly outstanding individual, organization or group promoting an exceptional and internationally recognized action extending over several years in favour of the advancement of peace, and especially peace education. Prize winners have included Mother Teresa in 1992; the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina) in 1999; the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace at Givat Haviva (Israel) and Ugandan Bishop Nelson Onono Onweg in 2001; and in 2002, the City Montessori School in India.5
9. UNESCO ASPnet Peace Pillar Award Initiative (PPAI). During the International Year for a Culture of Peace (2000), the Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) was invited to participate in the special activity entitled Peace Pillar Award Initiative (PPAI).6
10. Programme for education of children in difficult circumstances. Reinforcing the involvement of public authorities in providing basic education and vocational training for street and working children and awareness-raising among the general public concerning the situation of these children continued to be one of the major objectives of UNESCO.7
11. National projects. UNESCO provides technical assistance to its member States in mainstreaming a culture of peace into their national education systems (both formal and non-formal). This is being done through a number of operational projects focusing on: (a) training of teachers, (b) production of appropriate educational materials, (c) revision of curriculum. The main thrust of such projects is that they are implemented on the spot using local expertise and with the active participation of local communities and national NGOs.8 Such projects include the following: Albania - Intercultural and Human Rights Education in Albania (primary and secondary levels). The project aims at building capacity within the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Pedagogical Studies. Central America - Education for Human Rights and Democracy in the Central American Isthmus (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras). The project contributes to the development of national educational policies that integrate the values and principles of human rights and democracy. Southern Africa - Subregional Pilot Project on Education for Human Rights and Democracy (Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe). The project seeks to raise awareness of human rights and enhance democratic processes and practices so as to contribute to the development of democratic societies in the countries concerned. Kosovo - UNESCO is a technical and financial partner in a project on "Training of Kosovar Teachers in Democracy and Human Rights", implemented by the Kosovo Centre for Human Rights, a local NGO, and supported also by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Plataforma x Kosova - Barcelona, Caritas Spain and the Finnish Human Rights Group. Mali - Education for a culture of peace and human rights. Within the framework of the 10-year educational plan adopted in 1998 by the Government of Mali, a national programme on education for a culture of peace and human rights has been developed, which includes a revision of textbooks, teacher training and the development of pedagogical materials.
B. Actions to promote sustainable economic and social development
12. For this action area the main UNESCO focus in 2002 is the preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. UNESCO has contributed to the formulation of an integrated vision of sustainable development centred on the human being and based on the respect for human rights and democratic principles, solidarity, dignity, sharing and equity. UNESCO action in this area follows six strategic themes and action proposals9 set in the overall framework of a commitment to combat poverty. For its part, UNESCO has designated in its medium-term strategy the fight against poverty, in particular extreme poverty, as one of two cross-cutting themes for the next six years. Examples of UNESCO actions in this area are described in the following paragraphs.
13. The biosphere reserves: a negotiation tool for diverging interests. The Boucle de Baoulé Management Plan serves as a model for resolving conflicts between pastoralists and farmers by setting up transhumance corridors and creating a system for the common management of pasturelands. The basic premise was to define biosphere reserve zoning which would best meet the needs of all the local actors (sedentary populations, transhumant pastoralists) with a view to conserving and sustainably managing the natural resources, wildlife and the archaeological heritage. The plan was officially approved by the Government of Mali in November 1999, giving the Boucle de Baoulé National Park and Adjacent Reserves Unit a negotiation tool in contacts with donors to secure the $3 million required to implement the plan in the next five years.10
14. Holistic and interdisciplinary environmental education. The goal of the South-East Mediterranean Sea Project (SEMEP) is to foster knowledge, awareness and understanding of the south-east Mediterranean and to promote a culture of peace between countries by developing holistic and interdisciplinary teaching/learning actions for teachers and students and by reaching out to the community through science and environmental education. Currently 12 countries are active in SEMEP: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malta, the Palestinian Authority, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey. One specific activity of SEMEP is a biennial summer school, a typical intercultural exchange activity through which tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding between teachers and students from the different countries are promoted.11
15. Crafts for sustainable development. Crafts are expressions of age-old tradition, full-time sources of employment and thus vital sources of income supplement. Indeed, they are excellent entry points for development and the empowerment of women. The importance of women’s crafts in the fight to alleviate poverty led UNESCO to launch a series of creative workshops for craftswomen working in the same sphere of activity and geographical region (textiles in Central America, Western Africa and Central Asia; pottery and basketry in southern Africa), in order to encourage the development of small-craft businesses and develop greater self-confidence of craftswomen and enhance their reliance on their talents. At the workshops, problems, concerns and solutions can be compared and common strategies formulated in a spirit of understanding and solidarity.12
C. Actions to promote respect for all human rights
16. UNESCO is called upon to play a central role in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects under the Plan of Action of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), considering the organization’s long experience in education, educational methodology and human rights and through its network of UNESCO schools, clubs, human rights Chairs and national Commissions. UNESCO is also preparing a new comprehensive strategy on human rights for consideration by its Executive Board in October 2003, to address the following issues: mainstreaming human rights in UNESCO programmes; human rights research; human rights education; human rights protection and monitoring in UNESCO fields of competence; and strengthening cooperation, in particular with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Examples of UNESCO actions in this area are described in the following paragraphs.
17. International Clearinghouse on Children and Violence on the Screen. The clearinghouse, established in 1997 through the efforts of the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (Nordicom) at Göteborg University, Sweden, and jointly financed by the Government of Sweden and UNESCO, informs users - researchers, policy makers, media professionals, teachers, voluntary organizations and interested individuals - about research on children, young people and media violence; children’s access to mass media and their use of media; media literacy and children’s participation in the media; and regulatory and voluntary measures and activities in the area. Fundamental to the work of the clearinghouse is the creation of a global network. A yearbook, a newsletter, several bibliographies and a worldwide register of organizations that work with issues relating to children and the media have been published.13
18. Regional conferences on human rights education. A series of regional conferences was convened within the framework of the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education with the aim of sensitizing decision makers and the general public on the need to promote human rights education and contribute to the formulation and implementation of national plans for human rights education. The most recently held was the Regional Conference on Human Rights Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (Mexico City, 28 November-1 December 2001), organized by UNESCO in cooperation with OHCHR, within the context of the Decade. The regional conference resulted in the Mexico Declaration.14
19. Network of human rights research and training institutions. Cooperation with human rights research and training institutions is constantly being developed. Increased cooperation among human rights institutions is facilitated by the biannual publication entitled World Directory of Human Rights Research and Training Institutions, based on the output of the DARE data bank of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Documentation Centre. It includes some 670 institutions in 121 countries.15
D. Actions to ensure equality between women and men
20. To implement the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UNESCO pursues a three-pronged strategy: (a) mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policy-planning, programming, implementation and evaluation activities; (b) promoting the participation of women at all levels and in all fields of activity, giving particular attention to women’s own priorities and perspectives in redefining both the goals and means of development; and (c) developing specific programmes and activities for the benefit of girls and women, particularly those that promote equality, endogenous capacity-building and full citizenship. Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
21. Socialization for egalitarian partnerships. Based on a UNESCO expert group meeting held in Norway in 1997, whose outcomes were disseminated in several languages, along with the book Male Roles and Masculinities and Violence (see para. 22 below), university programmes and courses, discussion groups and other activities and programmes have been developed for reducing men’s violence and strengthening groups of gender-sensitive young men working against violence, including violence against women. A research project called "Gender, Peace and Development in the Caribbean" was undertaken in 2001.
22. Training manuals and reference books. To provide gender-sensitive education and training, a manual entitled Promoting Women’s Participation in Conflict Resolution to Build a Culture of Peace has been developed, tested and finalized in collaboration with the Forum for African Women’s Educationalists (FAWE). Translation into relevant languages and training of women trainers to strengthen their roles as peace promoters has begun. A second training manual, entitled Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective, was published by UNESCO in 2001. It is conceived as a teacher’s guide for use at different levels within the school system, primarily at the secondary level. Women Say "No" to War (1999), Towards a Women’s Agenda for a Culture of Peace (1999) and Male Roles, Masculinities and Violence: A Culture of Peace Perspective (2000), are being used as reference texts and in university courses. An interagency document, "Best Practices in Peace-Building and Non-violent Conflict Resolution: Some Documented African Women’s Peace Initiatives", is also available.16
23. The Gender and Culture of Peace (GENPEACE) project in Indonesia was developed in 1998 to promote a culture of peace and gender development among the Tri-people (Christians, Muslims and indigenous Lumads people) in areas affected by the Mindanao conflict. This project being conducted through integration with the Peace Literacy Education Programme as well as through collaboration with the UNESCO/Danish Agency for Development Assistance (DANIDA) Tambuli Community Radio Project (Philippines) to install community radio stations to enhance community participation, mobilization and communication. GENPEACE has increased women’s productivity and capacity to contribute to family economic security and alleviate poverty. The learning classes have become venues for peace and reconciliation.17
E. Actions to foster democratic participation
24. As mentioned in its medium-term strategy for 2002-2007, UNESCO will seek to help reinforce a growing trend towards localization and empowerment at local levels, especially in the cultural, scientific and educational spheres and more generally in the creation, preservation, dissemination and sharing of knowledge. This will enable people to operate on a platform of their own when dealing with globalization. Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
25. The Practice of Citizenship. This UNESCO educational kit, released in 1998 in English, French and Spanish, contains basic learning materials and promotes a broad concept of civics education to include the dimensions of peace, human rights, democracy, tolerance and international understanding. Some materials can be used by teachers, while others provide impetus to the development of specific teaching aids and programmes at the national and local levels. Lastly, a multimedia CD-ROM entitled "Educating for Citizenship" was produced, in cooperation with Education International, containing a glossary, a bibliography, guideline texts and normative instruments, different methodological guides, several learning activities and a selection of videos. The kit has been distributed to all UNESCO member States, and has been requested by numerous NGOs, institutes and individuals. A number of publications in the kit have been translated into various other languages (Finnish, Lithuanian, Turkish, Albanian, Bosnian, Bengali, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesian) and/or adapted for national and local environments.18
26. UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize. This prize pays tribute to the initiatives of cities that have succeeded in strengthening social cohesion, improving living conditions in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and developing a constructive intercultural dialogue, all indispensable elements in developing a peaceful and harmonious urban environment. The candidate cities for the prize may also participate in the UNESCO Cities for Peace Network, consisting of municipalities and other local actors and relevant partners. The network serves as a means of identifying, validating and disseminating information on best practices, funding institutions, training courses, research, etc. The UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize for 2000-2001 was presented in Marrakesh on 18 March 2002 to Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt; Cotacachi, Ecuador; Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Vilnius, Lithuania. UNESCO gives international visibility to innovative practices submitted by the candidate cities by including them in the database of best practices: "The city: network of cultures" is available for consultation.19
27. Community radio. UNESCO supports the development of local-level community media to give especially isolated or disadvantaged social groups a chance to participate in the development of strategies and projects that promote dialogue and pool experiences at local levels. The UNESCO Community Media Programme seeks to strengthen the role of civil society in promoting, building and maintaining democratic processes within countries. UNESCO is now experimenting with the use of community radio as an effective informational interface at the local level by combining it with community Internet access and developing community databases and community libraries, thus broadening the reach of new technologies to rural populations.20
F. Actions to advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
28. As mentioned in paragraph 4 of the present report, the main focus for 2001, the first year of the International Decade, was the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. UNESCO action in this field is seen in the framework of the United Nations Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations (General Assembly resolution 56/6) and in the context of the follow-up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. A major contribution of UNESCO to the concept of culture of peace in this action area was also the adoption by the UNESCO General Conference at its thirty-first session in 2001 of a Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In 2002, a special focus on "dialogue and reconciliation" has been identified in the context of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, for which UNESCO has been invited to serve as lead agency by the United Nations General Assembly. Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
29. Dialogue among civilizations. UNESCO contributed substantively to the preparation for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations and the organization of special meetings by the General Assembly which resulted in the adoption of the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations. Based on its Action Plan for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations,21 UNESCO contributed to the implementation of the Global Agenda, in particular through: (a) preparation of major symposia organized during the International Year and the wide dissemination of their proceedings; (b) organization of meetings of scholars, intellectuals and writers on various aspects of the dialogue among civilizations; (c) participation in and sponsoring of many events and symposia organized by organizations of the United Nations system, by international, regional and subregional organizations as well as by academic, research and civil society organizations in various countries; (d) providing intellectual and technical support and advice to member States which are scheduling dialogue among civilizations-related activities in 2002-2003; (e) participating in the exchange of information with regional and subregional organizations, such as the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as well as with organizations of the United Nations system, such as the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations University; and (f) maintaining a dedicated web site containing broad information on the dialogue among civilizations.22
30. Intercultural dialogue projects. UNESCO intercultural projects promote the concept of a common cultural heritage and a plural identity. They include the Breaking the Silence campaign jointly launched by the Slave Route Project and the Associated Schools Project; the revision of school textbooks in order to reduce stereotyping and discrimination (Slave Route Project and the Mediterranean Programme); producing pedagogical tools in order to promote reciprocal knowledge among different religious communities (Interreligious Dialogue Programme); and stimulating intercultural understanding through the UNESCO chairs of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and the International Institutes in Central Asia and Mongolia.23
31. UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. To put the concept of tolerance in practice, in line with the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance (1995) and the follow-up to the United Nations Year for Tolerance (1995), various actions are being undertaken, such as an annual International Tolerance Day on 16 November, which seeks to raise awareness through events organized each year in schools and in the media; and the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, which will be awarded for the fourth time in 2002. The laureates who have already received the prize are Pope Shenouda III, leader of the Coptic Church of Egypt, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark’s See, in 2000; the anti-nuclear activists Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights of Pakistan and Narayan Desai of India, in 1998; and Pro Femmes Twese Hamwe of Rwanda, presided by Veneranda Nzambazamariya, in 1997.24
32. Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. The linkage with the area of action on the concept of culture of peace and "understanding, tolerance and solidarity" is the preamble to the Declaration, which states that "culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs", and that "respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are among the best guarantees of international peace and security". The principles of this Universal Declaration are arranged around four main sections, three of them linked to the concept of culture of peace: identity, diversity and pluralism; cultural diversity and human rights; and cultural diversity and international solidarity. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity may be cited as one of the existing frameworks of action within the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (under "actions to advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity", General Assembly resolution 53/243 B, para. 14), together with the Declaration on Principles on Tolerance and the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.25
33. Reconciliation through cultural heritage projects. In its resolution 56/8 of 21 November 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2002 United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage and invited UNESCO to serve as the lead agency for the Year. Two priority themes have been chosen for the Year, "dialogue and reconciliation" and "development" as the main thrusts of the celebration.26 Activities advancing these themes include: Bosnia and Herzegovina - the Old Bridge of Mostar (Stari Most). The Old Bridge of Mostar, dating from the Ottoman period in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was destroyed during the Balkan war in 1993. UNESCO undertook the plans for reconstructing the bridge and involved all the communities of the country, that is, the former belligerents themselves, in the project. Angkor: a symbol of national unity. Cambodian monuments and archaeological sites suffered from neglect and pillage and faced the risk of destruction. After the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement in 1991, national authorities recognized the richness and importance of cultural heritage for shaping Cambodians’ identity, strengthening social cohesion and contributing to economic development.27 A peace-building process in Korea. UNESCO has been able to establish cooperation between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea through the Republic of Korea/UNESCO Fund-in-Trust for the preservation of cultural heritage, notably of the Kokuryo Tombs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It is hoped that this cooperation will contribute to the building of mutual understanding and trust between the two countries.28
G. Actions to support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
34. In the UNESCO medium-term strategy (2002- 2007) there are three strategic objectives and one crosscutting theme pertaining to this action area: "promoting free flow of ideas and universal access to information"; "promoting the expression of pluralism and cultural diversity in the media and world information networks"; "access for all to information and communication technologies, especially in the public domain" and "the contribution of information and communication technologies to the development of education, science and culture and the construction of a knowledge society". These themes will be at the top of the agenda for the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held at Geneva in December 2003. Furthermore, strategic objective 6 of the Medium-Term Strategy states, in paragraph 114, that UNESCO "must bring to bear its position at the forefront of international efforts for the advancement, transfer, sharing and dissemination of knowledge" (31 C/4). Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
35. Freedom of expression and media for peace projects: support to the media in Afghanistan. Radio/television training. A UNESCO-funded training course for media personnel at Radio- Television Afghanistan was launched in February 2001. An entire one-year plan of action for Afghan media human resources development has been prepared by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development with funding from UNESCO and other partners, especially Germany. Television equipment. Radio-Television Afghanistan is very eager to establish a "people in the street" type of programme to assist democracy-building and the greater flow of information. UNESCO is helping through the provision of mobile television equipment and high-quality television programmes (at least 160 hours of programming) from the global CreaTV network of public service broadcasters provided free of charge. Seminar on press freedom. UNESCO is assisting the Ministry of Information and Culture in organizing in fall 2002 a seminar on press freedom to discuss future directions of the media in Afghanistan, including a revision of the press law. Kabul Weekly. The first independent newspaper in the "new era" of Afghanistan’s development was launched in January 2002 in four languages (English, French, Pashto and Dari) and with a print run of 2,000 copies, with the assistance of the French NGO AÏNA and UNESCO which provided equipment and printing support. National news agency. As with other media in the country, the national news agency is in dire straits. UNESCO provided computer equipment and gave training to staff enabling them to produce better-quality material, as well as a new daily newspaper. Voice of Afghan Women in Global Media. UNESCO assisted in the establishment of this national professional association (composed of 60 women journalists) and provides training to its secretariat in operating an NGO along with equipment and other practical assistance. Afghan Independent Media Project. UNESCO also supported this project led by AÏNA which aimed at creating media resources in Kabul, including: an Afghan Media and Culture Centre with common facilities for journalists; a Media Incubator providing support for independent media projects; a training centre in computers, languages, journalism and photography; a TV production unit and printing facilities.29
36. Community multimedia centres. Addressing the digital divide in the poorest communities, community media centres combine community radio run by local people in local languages with community telecentre facilities such as computers with Internet and e-mail, phone, fax and photocopying services. The first pilot project was developed in the Kothmale region in Sri Lanka. The success of the community media centre strategy in the Kothmale Internet project has inspired a series of projects now under way in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.30
37. The Culture of Peace News Network is expanding into additional regions and languages, providing opportunities for Internet users to read, write and discuss articles promoting the basic principles of a culture of peace. The first site in the United States of America was opened in spring 200231 joining active sites in Australia,32 Japan33 and the Russian Federation.34 Additional sites in Chinese, French and Spanish are expected to be opened during the coming year.
H. Actions to promote international peace and security
38. "Improving human security by better management and social change" is one of the organization’s 12 strategic objectives which, along with the cross-cutting theme on eradication of poverty, expresses the commitment of UNESCO in the framework of its medium-term strategy (2002-2007) for this action area. Examples of UNESCO activities in this action area are described in the following paragraphs.
39. Reinforcing human security. The UNESCO programme Violence, War and Peace focuses on the need to prevent conflicts at the source through a global network of peace research and training institutions to reinforce human security. The programme provides a framework for discussing human security from ethical, normative and educational perspectives through expert meetings, broad reflection on the subject and awareness-raising at the political decision-making level. In November 2000, the First International Meeting of Directors of Peace Research and Training Institutions was held in Paris, to discuss the theme "What Agenda for Human Security in the Twenty-first Century?" One result was the creation of the International SecuriPax Network for the Promotion of Human Security and Peace. Another was the organization in 2001 of regional expert meetings on peace, human security and conflict prevention in Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two followup meetings for the same regions are foreseen for the biennium 2002-2003 to involve all actors and partners dealing with human security.35
40. Regional programme for education in emergencies. The UNESCO Regional Programme for Education in Emergencies (PEER) organized peace education workshops for Somali teachers in Somalia in 2000. Training trainers in the Djibouti refugee camps was carried out for over 80 Ethiopian and Somali refugee teachers, along with Somali teachers in camps in Aden and Yemen. These workshops, using the Peace Education Package (PEP) and carried out in cooperation with other stakeholders, contributed to the establishment of a culture of peace education at three levels: school, community and nation. The refugee school in Aden operated by Radda Barnen (Save the Children programme of Sweden), a model for best practices, has been instrumental in raising awareness in both schools and the communities. Other related initiatives since 2000 have been launched in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region, in Cambodia among the former Khmer Rouge population of Koh Sla in Kampot Province, and in Algeria, which featured a sports-for-peace project, a culture of peace and childhood protection awareness campaign, basic education, community development and other conflict prevention and peace-building approaches.36
41. Sharing water wisely. The UNESCO contribution to the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme is entitled "From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential" (PC-CP). In collaboration with Green Cross International, the project addresses the obstacles, identifies the incentives and promotes the means for achieving the integrated, equitable and sustainable sharing of water resources worldwide. Although shared water resources can be a source of conflict, their joint management should be strengthened and facilitated as a means of cooperation between various water users. The primary objective of PC-CP is to foster cooperation between stakeholders in the management of shared water resources and to mitigate the risk of potential conflicts. The project analyses historical experiences and reviews legal, negotiation and systems analysis tools and their ability to solve water-related conflicts. Case studies of successful cooperation will provide stakeholders with educational material. The priority target groups of PCCP are institutions and individuals that manage shared water resources, including Governments, donor and funding agencies, educators at all levels and professionals of water management institutions, and current and future decision makers.37
III. The role of civil society
42. In paragraph 7 of its resolution 56/5, the General Assembly encouraged civil society, including nongovernmental organizations, to continue and strengthen its efforts in furtherance of the objectives of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non- Violence for the Children of the World, by adopting its own programme of activities. In that respect, the International Conference of NGOs maintaining official relations with UNESCO, held in Paris from 12 to 15 December 2001, adopted a resolution entitled "Action Plan for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World", including the following action proposals for NGOs associated with UNESCO: o NGOs having official relations with UNESCO were encouraged to: (a) Exchange information and resources between each other in the Culture of Peace eight domains of action and to update the Internet exchange market of resource38 by registering their initiatives in the eight domains of action; (b) Encourage their national or local branches to create a common media event for children on the International Day of Peace each year on 21 September (General Assembly resolution 55/282); (c) Continue to reproduce and distribute in their networks the contents of the United Nations Manifesto 2000 so as to help popularize the culture of peace and to disseminate its educational contents; to that end, the NGOs should cooperate with the focal points of the Decade and with the States Members of the United Nations each time it proved possible; o The Liaison Committee was invited to draw up a list of "Monuments: Messengers of the Culture of Peace" by the end of 2004, by developing the idea already given concrete form by the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations in Italy, to encourage the appropriation of the notion of "culture of peace" by the general public, with each NGO contributing at least one monument to the list; o The Liaison Committee was invited to organize a conference midway in the Decade to take stock of the progress of the NGO Action Plan and to participate in the reports to be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the progress and initial results of the Decade; o The International NGO Conference recommended to the Liaison Committee to establish an ad hoc group that could concentrate on implementing joint proposals to continue the policy of the culture of peace during the Decade.
43. The formulation of the NGO Plan of Action was the result of consultations organized by the NGOUNESCO Liaison Committee during the interval between the NGO Symposium on "The Culture of Peace: An Idea in Action" held in November 2000 and the International Conference of UNESCO NGOs held in December 2001. Thematic workshops were organized on each of the eight areas of the United Nations Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and this structure is reflected in the recommendations attached to the above resolution.
44. To implement the resolution, the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee created an ad hoc group and developed a joint project entitled "Cultural Heritage for a Culture of Peace" to establish "A List of Monuments: Messengers of the Culture of Peace". The project was developed also in accordance with the action plan for the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage observed in 2002, whose main perspectives are "action for development" and "action for dialogue and reconciliation". Specific materials have been prepared to allow national and local organizations affiliated with the international NGOs to identify local heritage as a symbol of culture of peace and organize a long-term initiative around it. This local initiative will be registered in the Culture of Peace web site to participate in its Exchange Market (see sect. IV).
45. The relationships with civil society are being further developed during the International Decade at the national level through national focal points and at the international level through the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and the equivalent committees at United Nations Headquarters. Actors in the global movement are invited to share information about their actions (events as well as projects) through the communication and networking arrangements described below, including reporting and assessing these actions as a contribution to the mid-term and final reports on the Decade and the programme of action to be submitted to the General Assembly.
IV. Communication and networking arrangements
46. The communication and networking arrangements established during the International Year for the Culture of Peace are being continued and made available to serve actors of a culture of peace in their work during the Decade. They allow an instant update on efforts of the global movement. An interactive web site, maintained by UNESCO, serves as a rallying point for Decade activities and allows all actors to exchange information and resources for better interaction and networking and also serves as a tool for advocacy.39 The core data on this web site (events, long-duration projects, articles, signatures gathered for Manifesto 2000, etc.) are being updated by the Culture of Peace actors themselves by means of a private web site40 using a personal Internet account number.
47. To become part of the Culture of Peace web site, international organizations are invited to request an Internet account number from the international focal points (UNESCO Culture of Peace coordination or UNESCO/United Nations NGOs liaison committees). At the national level, requests should be directed to a national focal point (National Commission for UNESCO, regional or national office of UNESCO). Focal point contacts are listed on the web site.41 The system also makes possible a certain degree of decentralization: organizations already part of the web site are able to provide Internet account numbers to national and local branches. Capacity-building for focal points on the use of the web site will continue to be the responsibility of UNESCO during the Decade. In this regard, specific guidelines have been distributed to national and international focal points worldwide.
48. In June 2002, the total number of actors in the global movement at the international, national and local levels registered on the Culture of Peace web site reached 2,238 (248 focal points, 235 international organizations and 1,755 national and local organizations), representing 196 countries.42 In terms of input, these organizations registered 784 events promoted in the Decade calendar, 101 projects participating in the Exchange Market of resources and 505 articles for the Newsletter,43 providing an overall view of the mobilization by country and network of international organizations. Signatures on Manifesto 2000 continue to be collected during the Decade and more than 75,200,000 have been registered on the web site along with 3,875 individuals as Messengers of Manifesto 2000.
49. As suggested in the report of the United Nations Secretary-General (A/56/349, para. 56), the Planet Society Exchange Market of Resources system has been developed for use by actors at all levels and is accessible in a new section on the Culture of Peace web site entitled "Information Exchange/Projects and Resources".44 The system includes, in addition to a section devoted to the "identity" of the project with contact references and a section for the description of "activities", a third section providing information on the resources that each project can offer and what it solicits from others. In sum, it is an online marketplace for exchanging culture of peace initiatives. A search engine makes it possible to proceed to personalized searches using the following criteria: thematic (area of action), geographical (continent/country), specific (by name of organization/project) and type of resource offered and/or requested (information/experience, products/services, funding, institutional support, contacts/networks, communication means, voluntary service).
V. Conclusions and recommendations
50. The present report is a preparatory contribution to the report of the Secretary-General to be submitted to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session in 2005 on the observance of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World at its mid-point and on the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.
51. Member States are invited to further expand their activities promoting a culture of peace and non-violence at the national, regional and international levels and to provide information about these activities to UNESCO through their national focal points for the Decade.
52. Concerning formal and non-formal education for a culture of peace, including through the mass media, a coordinated effort should be undertaken by specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations, in particular UNESCO and UNICEF, with a view to developing a comprehensive strategy for the International Decade.
53. Civil society, and especially non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, should be invited to adopt a distinct programme of activities along the same lines as those undertaken by NGOs in consultative status with UNESCO, which adopted a Plan of Action for the Decade and invited their members to implement it through national and local branches.
54. UNESCO should be encouraged to continue to maintain and develop the communication and networking arrangements providing updated information on promoting a global movement for a culture of peace. Actors at the local, national and international levels should be encouraged to introduce and update information on their own activities in order to contribute to the preparation of the report of the Secretary-General in 2005.