||1) The difference between "peace" and "culture of peace" and a brief history of the culture of war||A Strategy for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace|
World Peace through the Town Hall
We had arrived at these eight programme areas as alternatives to the culture of war, in other words, replacing the culture of war in all its eight characteristics by a culture of peace. In an earlier resolution of 1998, the UN General Assembly had called for a transition from the culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and non-violence. However, in 1999, the European Union claimed "there is no culture of war" and forced the revision of the document, omitting any reference to it. In order to see the analysis based on the culture of war, one must go back to the original draft (United Nations, 1998) before it was "censored:"
1. "Education is the principle means of promoting a culture of peace ... The very concept of power needs to be transformed - from the logic of force and fear to the force of reason and love." [Although education for the culture of war and violence is not specifically mentioned here, it is inferred that it is based on force and fear.]
2. "sustainable human development for all ... This represents a major change in the concept of economic growth which, in the past, could be considered as benefiting from military supremacy and structural violence and achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak."
3. "The elaboration and international acceptance of universal human rights, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has been one of the most important steps towards the transition from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and nonviolence. It calls for a transformation of values, attitudes and behaviours from whose which would benefit exclusively the clan, the tribe or the nation towards those which benefit the entire human family."
4. "equality between women and men ... can replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence."
5. "democratic participation and governance ... the only way to replace the authoritarian structures of power which were created by and which have, in the past, sustained the culture of war and violence."
6. "There has never been a war without an 'enemy', and to abolish war, we must transcend and supersede enemy images with understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all peoples and cultures."
7. "participatory communication and the free flow and sharing of information and knowledge ... is needed to replace the secrecy and manipulation of information which characterize the culture of war."
8. "International peace and security, including disarmament". [It seemed so obvious that we did not bother to state that this is an alternative to the soldiers and weapons that are central to the culture of war.]
I have conducted an exercise dozens of times, deriving the culture of peace by defining first the characteristics of the culture of war and then specifying their alternatives. The exercise is a key part of the dialogue with local activists and elected officials in order to clarify the difference between peace and culture of peace, war and culture of war. And no matter where the exercise is done, whether in Japan or Korea, Malaysia or Egypt, Netherlands, France, Spain or England, Brazil or Mexico, Canada or the USA, the results come out the same. It turns out that the culture of war is universal and, by consequence, its opposite, the culture of peace, is also universal. The United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, like its predecessor, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is valid on all continents and in all societies. War, which is universal, is the tip of a universal iceberg, of which the base is the culture of war.
The History of the Culture of War