Culture of Peace

The General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the ‘International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World’. The General Assembly recognises that peace is not only the absence of conflict, but that it also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. Key articles of the Declaration on a Culture of Peace include:

Article 1:

A culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour and ways of life based on:

  • Respect for life, ending of violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation;
  • Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law;
  • Full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • Commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts;
  • Efforts to meet the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations;
  • Respect for and promotion of the right to development;
  • Respect for and promotion of equal rights of and opportunities for women and men;
  • Respect for and promotion of the rights of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information;
  • 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;
  • A culture of peace is fostered by an enabling national and international environment conducive to peace;

Article 2:

Progress in the fuller development of a culture of peace comes about through values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life conducive to the promotion of peace among individuals, groups and nations;

Article 4:

Education at all levels is one of the principal means to build a culture of peace. In this context, human rights education is of particular importance;

Article 8:

A key role in the promotion of a culture of peace belongs to parents, teachers, politicians, journalists, religious bodies and groups, intellectuals, those engaged in scientific, philosophical and creative and artistic activities, health and humanitarian workers, social workers, managers at various levels as well as to non-governmental organizations;

and Article 9:

The United Nations should continue to play a critical role in the promotion and strengthening of a culture of peace worldwide.


Source: Declaration and Programme of action on a Culture of Peace (UN/GA/A/Res/53/243)

Theme: Countering racism – education, policy, legislation – International racism and anti-racism