We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in this International Year of Peace and in the years to come. Although these tasks are mainly institutional and collective, they also rest upon the consciousness of individual participants for whom pessimism and optimism are crucial factors. Just as "wars begin in the minds of men", peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us.


The invention of peace is a project with many tasks to which each of us has something to contribute. The tasks are individual, collective, and institutional. We can make our contributions as individuals, as members of groups or professions, as citizens of a nation, and in cooperation with the United Nations. At Seville, the writers of the Statement of Violence worked on all these levels at the same time.

One of the participants in Seville was a biochemist who has worked on brain metabolism and childhood diseases. That scientist was Federico Mayor Zaragoza who later was elected as Director-General of Unesco. As Director-General, he has carried on the commitment of Unesco to the task of inventing peace. Here is part of what he said in his inaugural address:

"Humanity can climb towards that high, bright summit of peace and justice, living in harmony with other peoples and with the environment. For it is not true that conflict is inevitable, and it is not true that humanity naturally tends toward aggression and war. There are no genes for love; nor are there genes for aggression. One is not born this way or that; one is made. One is made through education, through development, in the hands of those artisans who, throughout the world, carry out the most difficult and transcendent program: schoolteachers. I want to recognize them here, and I will keep them in mind throughout my term of office.

"Peace grows and makes its home in each person. There is an immense, imperceptible substratum for peace. We must recognize the uniqueness, the significance, and the relevance of each and every woman and man."