Ever since its creation, UNESCO has always acted in accordance with the principles found in the preamble of its constitutive Act: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed".
In 1997, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the year 2000 the "International Year for the Culture of Peace" (IYCP) - and the period from 2001-2010 "International Decade for the promotion of the Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World".
All over the world, many individuals, groups, organisations and institutions are working towards the construction of peace, by eliminating the very roots of these conflicts. Their actions aim to eradicate poverty and inequality, to promote sustainable development and the respect of human rights, to encourage freedom of expression, the preservation of the environment, to facilitate women's access to education and improve their status in society, to quote only a few of their fields of intervention. Hence, today peace cannot be understood as the mere "absence of conflict".
It is this line of thought that the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence was born, and it is thus to be a "grand alliance of existing movements", a process gathering all those who are already striving towards this profound transformation of our societies.
The development of this Global Movement must be undertaken in stages, and rests upon the creation of partnerships with NGOs, schools, universities, private enterprises, the media, parliamentary groups, towns, and the United Nations Agencies, which center around four main axes:
- Manifesto 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence: this document was drafted by a group of Nobel Prize Peace Laureates in order to enable the most people to express their personal contribution to a culture of peace on a daily basis. The participation in its diffusion is fundamental, the objective being to collect 100 million signatures to be presented at the United Nations "Millennium Assembly" in September of the year 2000.
- Events to celebrate the "International Year for the Culture of Peace": each partner has the opportunity to contribute to the public awareness campaign by proposing an event which will carry the logo of the IYCP. Certain highly symbolic sites such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Teotihuacán in Mexico, Byblos and Tyr in Lebanon, Hiroshima in Japan or even the Peace Cruise in Thessaloniki will serve as platforms for the global launch of the International Year for the Culture of Peace on the 14 September 1999.
- Local Projects for a Culture of Peace: the signatories of the Manifesto 2000 are encouraged to contribute concretely by participating in local actions already underway in the various domains of the culture of peace; in this perspective, each partner is encouraged to submit such actions to the Movement's International Database of local projects for a Culture of Peace.
- The "International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World": in order for the actions initiated for the IYCP to be of a continuous nature, all the partners are encouraged to think about their potential development in the next decade.
At the dawn of the next millennium, the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence provides us with the opportunity to unite our efforts to ensure the transition of a culture of war, of violence and of discrimination to a culture of peace, of non-violence, of dialogue and of solidarity.
The "Peace Cruise" is an exemplary case of a partnership between UNESCO and the World Organization of the Scout Movement , which contributes to the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence. Its actors are young people, and therefore by definition the promoters of the values which will define the next millennium. As "Messengers of the Manifesto 2000" they will distribute this appeal for an individual contribution at all stages of the cruise, which itself bears the colours and messages of the IYCP (sails with the logo, a flag, as well as the different communication support materials, etc.)
For further information and in order to get to know more about our partnership proposals, contact us:
UNESCO / YCP
7 Place Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
Tel: + 33 (0) 1 45 68 05 80 / 05 68
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 45 68 56 38