Reflections: UN Forum On The Culture Of Peace
“Peace is more than the end of armed conflict. Peace is a mode of behavior.” It is a “deep rooted commitment to the principles of liberty, justice, equality and solidarity among all.” Yamoussoukro Declaration
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN – High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, Opening session (Video)
Remarks: By H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations at the Opening session of the High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace.
The Culture Of Peace: 25 years ago, in Yamoussoukro, capital of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the concept of a global culture of peace was initiated by the UNESCO-supported International Congress of Peace. UNESCO declared that peace must be “nurtured through the dignity, rights and capacities of every man and woman.” Today, at the UN High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon outlined his vision for cultivating peace around the world. He reminded us that:
Peace should be a fundamental way of interacting with each other on our planet.
Peace means equal (including girls/women) access to education, health and other key services.
Peace means giving all of us freedom of choice – the chance to live as we choose.
Peace means tolerance, respect and mutual understanding amongst nations.
Peace means “developing sustainably and protecting the planet’s biodiversity.”
Peace means cultural literacy and diplomacy between nations.
Peace means holding a common vision for peace, development and human rights; a “universal aspiration for a meaningful culture of peace.”
Peace means the eradication of poverty, the implementation of sustainable development, human rights, and a sense of shared destiny.
In our global community, we might start out as strangers but, in our hearts, if we stop to consider our shared humanity, we are one family. From a peace perspective, we can support each other to develop and share creativity and innovative ideas. We can choose to live peaceably. However, it a choice and we can only achieve this belief through the lens of love, tolerance and peace.
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” From UNESCO’s Constitution
The meeting, which is ongoing, had many high level peace activists, including Nobel Peace prize recipient, Leymah Gbowee, in attendance. Key speakers reiterated resolutions, declarations, and important points, on the Culture Of Peace, taken from previous general assembly gatherings. To get updates on the key issues that were discussed today, visit UN Web TV for more information. These are difficult times for many of us around the world. We live in a global community at war with each other; it is a war on humanity.
When we talk about war, we must remember that war is not only fought in the battlefield. It is fought through oppressive methods that include poverty, lack of education, environmental abuses, poor governing, denial of fundamental rights, religious and ethnic intolerance, and a laundry list of other atrocities. We can put a stop to these fractious wars by uniting in peace – it begins in our homes and the messages we teach our children. If we are to leave a legacy of peace for our children, our interactions with others must begin from a place of love, tolerance and truth. Where do you stand on the subject of peace? How are you fostering peace in your home and community?
We are many cultures, but we are a single family, bound by respect for human rights and dignity for all.
This message stands at the heart of the UN Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures initiated by the General Assembly, launched last year in Astana, Kazakhstan and led forward by UNESCO.
We need a new commitment to respect the right to be different and to make the most of diversity as a strength to share among all people, regardless of where you are coming from, what kind of ethnicities or languages and traditions and history one may have. We need mutual respect and mutual tolerance. We have to raise the level of tolerance among all of us. UN Statement
John Ashe (on behalf) – High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, Opening session (video)
Remarks: On behalf of H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe, President of the 68th session of the General Assembly at the Opening session of the High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace.
Developing a culture of peace in our communities takes a lot of effort. It demands a call to action amongst men and women of goodwill. It demands vigilance in our attitudes and interactions with others. It demands open and honest dialogue between people from diverse backgrounds and belief systems. It demands a vision of inclusiveness that is grounded in respect, tolerance and sensitivity to diversity. In the words of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, “Let us pledge to work together to spread and deepen these shared values across our world.” We must start now. Where do you stand on the subject of peace?
This post was inspired partly by yesterday’s daily prompt: Greetings, Stranger You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?
Please bear with me as I’m finally beginning to catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience!
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: We might start out as strangers, but in our hearts, if we operate from a place of peace, we are one. We can only achieve this goal through the lens of love, tolerance and peace. Find that place of peace and love within, then share same with others. Peace.