Mercy Global Concern

MIA Global Action at the UN attends the Culture of Peace Forum

Reports: September 14, 2017

In September of 1999, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 53/243 the Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture of Peace. Along with other resolutions, this declaration became the motivation behind the UN-declared International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). Over the decades, through annual resolutions, the General Assembly emphasizes the universal implementation of this agenda.

On September 7th, the UN held its second High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace with a theme “Sowing the Seeds of the Culture of Peace: Early Childhood Development is the Beginning”.

To begin this year’s forum, President of the General Assembly, H.E. Peter Thomson highlighted a quote by Mahatma Gandhi stating, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with children”. While it is important to have peace begin with children, it is also imperative that those children are able to grow up in a state free from violence. We need to first see our nation’s leaders as champions and models of peace so that we can teach the children of the world “values of peace, tolerance, equality and respect” by example, not as an imaginary concept. Thomson emphasized that “to meet these challenges and sustain peace will require the very best of humanity. Fostering a culture of peace requires all of us —individuals, nations and international organisations—to work together to promote understanding of our common humanity. We must promote intercultural respect, strengthen interreligious understanding, and inspire people’s hopes for the future. Above all we must unite for peace.” In addition to his statement, Thomson encouraged the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a key model for promoting and sustaining peace in the world.

Keynote speaker, Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate in 1976 and advocate for children, gave a heart rendering account of how she began her work towards promoting a world of peace for children. Reminiscing on a time in Northern Ireland with the "Troubles" and witnessing the death of three children in Belfast, she wanted to ensure that those children did not die in vain—she committed herself to a life advocating for peace and justice. Williams highlighted the importance of encouraging education for children’s rights as well as the right for children to have a voice. With this, we can build future generations, cities, and a global culture of peace.

View the September 7th High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace sessions at the United Nations

 Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action

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