indispensable for the future development
- and even survival - of humanity.
Not only is a culture of peace both
feasible and indispensable, but, as the
following pages describe, it is already in
progress. Since UNESCO launched its
Culture of Peace Programme in February
1994, people from all walks of life and
from all continents are rallying to the
challenge of moving from imposition to
discussion, from monologue to dialogue,
from privilege to sharing, from force to
reason, from plutocracy to democracy.
They are showing that conflict can be
settled peacefully if all the parties try to
understand the other, to listen to the
other's arguments, to defend their views
steadfastly but without violence.
The concept of a culture of peace,
based on the principles enshrined in the
UNESCO's Constitution, has grown so
rapidly that I am sometimes asked in
bewilderment if the culture of peace has
any specificity, or is it rather 'all things
to all people'. For this reason, I am very
pleased to introduce this monograph,
which is a detailed report on the actions
for a culture of peace and which shows
that it is a very specific concept - both a
product of this particular moment of
history and an appropriate vision for the
future that is in our power to create.
Because, in fact, the culture of peace
represents an everyday attitude of 'non-
violent rebellion', of peaceful dissent, of
firm determination to defend human
rights and human dignity.
To save succeeding generations from
the scourge of war', as proclaimed by the
UN Charter, is our concern and mission.
Our supreme task is to spare humanity
the suffering and death that have been
produced by the culture of war and
violence. It is to build peace perma-

nently in our families, in the schools, in
the media, in sports. The key word is
prevention. The best way is to identify the
roots of the conflict and to take steps to
prevent them at the initial step. For there
is no peace without development, just as
there can be no development without
stability and security. Peace is
the premise.
To ensure that the culture of peace
movement remains always linked to the
pursuit of social and economic justice for
all, it is necessary for everyone to
become involved. To provide the needed
solidarity, both intellectual and moral, to
unite people working around the world
for peace and justice, to inspire hope and
persistence for the common task, a
vision is needed. UNESCO invites every-
one to join with us in the creation of this
vision and its realization as a culture of

Federico Mayor
Director-General of UNESCO

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