By September 7, 2016 Read More →

Culture of Peace Event

Global Movement for the Culture of Peace

Thursday, September 1, 2016, Trusteeship Council Chamber, UNHQ


Culture of Peace, Trusteeship Council Chamber

The 5th High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace convened by the President of the General Assembly Office of the United Nations was held on September 1.

During the morning session, keynote speaker, Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui, Founder of The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, Nobel Peace Prize 2015 Laureate, delivered a powerful message in which she stated, “let us create a future in which young people can flourish, let us create a culture of peace. Let choices be made in peace, rather than in violence. Let us be custodians of peace, justice, freedom, order, and dignity.”  For the full speech, please go here

A beautiful musical interlude, featuring Chinese music, was performed by the duo, Feifei Yang and Jiaju Shen, who co-founded FJ Music. You may also enjoy by clicking here

Member states then shared their current activities and vision for creating a Culture of Peace worldwide.



Denise and Sabita at Culture of Peace event

The afternoon session consisted of two panel discussions.

The first panel explored, ‘Enhancing synergy between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 8 action areas of the UN Programme of Action on Culture of Peace’. What stood out for me were how the SDGs are like a gift to the world as this plan included all pictures/aspects of humanity, such as women and climate change; that to be a human being is to be able to resolve differences in a peaceful way; and that non-violent behavior needs to be valued and rewarded.

One of the panelists, Ms. Barbara Marx Hubbard, founder and leader of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, spoke about the story of nature – “all things to move from a state of dis-order to a state of high order”. The process is: dis-order which leads to innovation which then leads to connectivity then to high order. She stated there is a need for people to connect to their own creativity from which the motivation to bring about this evolutionary transition will emerge. She noted there is enough crisis (dis-order) in our world to get us going on this process.  She went even further to say that what is needed is an ‘Office of the Future,’ convening people to discuss what is working to support this process. Ms. Hubbard suggested the UN to cover stories of the making of a new world.


BK Julia Grindon-Welch and Ms.Barbara Marx Hubbard

During the second panel, ‘The Role of Youth in advancing the Culture of Peace in the context of the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security’, Secretary-General’s envoy for Youth, Mr. Ahmed Alhendawi, was very clear about the present situation young people are facing today. The world needs to stop labeling the young people as problems and start seeing  them as solutions. His question to us is: why are we failing in offering young people opportunities?

Here are a few other areas I thought would be useful in creating a Culture of Peace:

  • violence feeds on corruption, peace feeds on cooperation. A Culture of Peace can only be created if there is a shared consensus to be cooperative.
  • peace is an ongoing challenge. It involves people and planet in which the role of women in decision-making is essential.
  • a look at how the young people who use social media and the internet can be encouraged to do this in a responsible manner in building a culture of peace.
  • the attitude towards young people needs to change: they need to be listened to, not looked at.
  • it is essential to make young people partners in achieving peace.
  • since 15 million young people will not enter school, how can the internet be used to educate them?

To view the event, please go here

Julia, Denise, and Jean, members of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN, attending the event

Julia, Denise, and Jean, members of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN, attending the event

It was a bit disappointing, however, for after member states read their statements, there was not enough time for interaction with civil society . If we want a culture of peace to be established in the world, it is absolutely essential to hear what the civil society has to say and to get their input. People feel inspired to support a worthy cause and participate in it when their voice is heard!

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