CULTURE OF PEACE CONFERENCES
This summer and fall there are international conferences for the culture of peace sponsored by organizations throughout the world.
The United Nations on September 13 will hold a high level forum at its New York headquarters to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Organizations are invited to initiate actions to mark the event such as: mention Culture of Peace anniversary on your website front page, conduct a Culture of Peace workshop, initiate an educational Culture of Peace campaign, advocate with your government officials for Departments, Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace, citing the Culture of Peace resolution as the basis for them. The meeting is convened by the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa.
The government of Angola and UNESCO will hold a Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace 18-22 Sept, called the Luanda Biennale. The event is expected to take place every two years to develop actors and partners of a Pan-African movement for the prevention of violence and conflict, and the consolidation of peace. It continues a series of inititiatives by UNESCDO for the culture of peace in Africa that has been developing over many years.
Luanda is also the site for an International Symposium on the Culture of Peace, sponsored by the Instituto Superior Politécnico Tocoísta and including participants from Brazil, Portugal and the United States. The specific objective of the Symposium is to consider the creation of a Masters in African and African American Studies in Political Science (Sociology) with Howard University in the US]and Bahia State University in Brazil.
A conference on Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on July 16-17, sponsored by two Ivoirian research centers and the the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Africa Program based in Washington, D.C. Among the sessions was one entitled “Building a Culture of Peace: Educating Youth for Peace.”
The 14th World Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace: Integrating approaches will be held on Sept 17 in Buenos Aires in conjunction with the organization T20 Argentina which strives to add value to the G20 process with evidence-based public policy proposals on areas of interest for the international agenda. The Congress brings together international professionals to exchange practices that help to address conflict and to construct a culture of sustainable peace in Latin America and the world.
The International Peace Bureau (IPB), based in Berlin, will hold a Youth Network Conference under the theme of Transform! Towards a Culture of Peace on Sept 20-22. The Youth Congress will engage youth from various different backgrounds and with varying perspectives and approaches to peace, justice and sustainability as well as diverse experts and lays from different fields related to the Congress’ issues. The IPB is one of the oldest and most prestigious peace organizations, having received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910.
Work for peace by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers was a highlight of the annual meeting of the International Institute for Peace Education. This year’s meeting, which brought together 75 participants from 35 countries during the week of July 23-28. was held in Cyprus to showcase initiatives that have the potential to turn the island into a hub of innovation in the fields of History for Reconciliation and Education for a Culture of Peace. The IIPE is currently coordinated via a secretariat at The University of Toledo in the United States.
A World Forum for the Culture of Peace was held in the Hague, Netherlands on June 13, organized by the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation of Kuwait and the International Peace Institute based in New York. According to the Forum, “the definition of peace has shifted in the United Nations community from the absence of conflict to a more active, “positive peace”… The ‘culture of peace’ recognizes the link between peace, development, and human rights. Defined in 1999, the term seeks to tackle the root causes of conflicts emphasizing the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation among individuals, groups, and nations.”
The World Peace Award: International Peace Conference was held in Stockholm, June 29-July 3. The focus of the conference was “to explore what universally shared values are and how they can contribute to a world of peace and provide hope for the future of humankind.” The initial session was devoted to “the agenda for how to share a mutual responsibility to create a culture of peace.”Most of the sponsors were Buddhist organizations, including those based in Thailand, Sweden, USA, India-Nepal, UK, Europe and China.
The United Nations High Level Forum is explicit that the culture of peace is based solidly on the 1999 United Nations Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace. While the other international conferences listed here do not explicitly mention the resolution for the culture of peace, they acknowledge that it is the United Nations that has provided a universal basis for its concept and practice.
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