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Read More about the Culture of Peace ...

The nine topics of the nine chapters of the Online Journal for Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence are linked thematically as much as they are complex topics in their own right. The purpose of this side note is two-fold - to first remind us of those interlinkages and then to explore this topic in greater depth to provide greater explanation for the interlinkages.

The Interlinkages ....

In the following chapters we discuss the important parallels of Peacebuilding to the UN Program for a Culture of Peace, and the emerging importance of a movement to scientifically measure peacefulness to provide guidelines for Peacebuilding planning. We discuss the relationship of Peacebuilding to nonviolence - how nonviolence is the core nature of peace, and how the study of Peacebuilding leads to the study of five levels of nonviolent action. We also discuss important parallels and interrelations of Peacebuilding to individual psychology and to social and sustainable development. Social and Sustainable Development programs are remarkably similar to Peacebuilding programs. This similarity points to the interrelationship between Sustainable peace and sustainable development - that you can’t have one without the other. And this points to the fact that peace is better for the economy than a state of war and widespread violence. Finally we discuss the indispensable place of disarmament in Peacebuilding. This is a single theory with Peacebuilding at its center - the idea that you must have equality, justice, inclusiveness and strong democratic institutions in order for peace to last - but that has myriads of detailed facets reflecting the diversity of locations and cultures and histories found across the world. The unified theory is explained in our summary document - Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Creating Peace that Lasts, while the myriad of details is reflected in our growing body of papers, blogs, videos and expert resources that are found in each chapter.

(and now more detail on this topic; excerpted from Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Creating Peace that Lasts, by David Kirshbaum….)

Chapter 5. Culture of Peace

A very important parallel program at the UN to Peacebuilding/Sustaining Peace is the program for a culture of peace. This program is very similar to Galtung’s ideas about Positive Peace but with a focus on culture because many of the things that Galtung describes as necessary for peace to last are very similar to what the UN describes as what is necessary for or what distinguishes a culture of peace(16,17).

The best document describing the UN Program for a culture of peace is UN General Assembly Resolution 53/243. This resolution describes the following things as necessary for creating a culture of peace:(18)


Resolution 53/243. Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace

Article 1. A culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour and ways of life based on: (a) Respect for life, ending of violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation; (b) Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-interve

ntion in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law; (c) Full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; (d) Commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts; (e) Efforts to meet the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations; (f) Respect for and promotion of the right to development; (g) Respect for and promotion of equal rights and opportunities for women and men; (h) Respect for and promotion of the right of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information; (i) Adherence to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations; and fostered by an enabling national and international environment conducive to peace. Article 3: The fuller development of a culture of peace is integrally linked to: (a) Promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts, mutual respect and understanding and international cooperation; (b) Complying with international obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and international law; (c) Promoting democracy, development and universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; (d) Enabling people at all levels to develop skills of dialogue, negotiation, consensus-building and peaceful resolution of differences; (e) Strengthening democratic institutions and ensuring full participation in the development process; (f) Eradicating poverty and illiteracy and reducing inequalities within and among nations; (g) Promoting sustainable economic and social development; (h) Eliminating all forms of discrimination against women through their empowerment and equal representation at all levels of decision-making; (i) Ensuring respect for and promotion and protection of the rights of children; (j) Ensuring free flow of information at all levels and enhancing access thereto; (k) Increasing transparency and accountability in governance; (l) Eliminating all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (m) Advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all civilizations, peoples and cultures, including towards ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities; (n) Realizing fully the right of all peoples, including those living under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, to self-determination enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and embodied in the International Covenants on Human Rights,2 as well as in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.


Thus the parallels are obvious to Galtung’s six things needed for peace to last (equity, entropy, symbiosis, etc.).which included equality, justice, cooperation between all parties, and inclusiveness of all parties and ideas, etc.

But Galtung put the effort to create a culture of peace within a framework of Positive Peace (creating lasting peace which included also changing laws, training people, managing social entropy and building a peace superstructure, and more) and Negative Peace (efforts to stop and prevent violence in the short term), which makes it much more broadly workable than just changing a culture alone.

What this also points out is that while creating a culture of peace is necessary for peace to last, the process of peacebuilding itself helps create a culture of peace.

To read more articles and watch videos about this topic, check out the


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