High-level Meeting on Culture of Peace Highlights Education, 2030 Agenda
(Reposted from: IISD SDG Knowledge Hub. September 12, 2017)
By Ana Maria Lebada
Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Romania)
- Participants highlighted the role of education and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in promoting a culture of peace during a meeting of the UNGA.
- The UNGA President called for teaching children to peacefully resolve disputes, confront injustice and intolerance and reject all forms of discrimination and hate.
- The UN Secretary-General invited investment in children, youth, gender equality and social cohesion.
7 September 2017: Representatives from governments, UN entities, civil society and the private sector exchanged ideas on ways to build and promote a culture of peace and stressed the contribution of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in achieving these goals. During a high-level event on how to achieve a culture of peace, participants emphasized education as a key means to promote the ideals of non-violence, equality and mutual respect, while highlighting also the role of human rights, rule of law and sustainable development.
The ‘High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace’ took place on 7 September 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
Delivering opening remarks, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Peter Thomson observed that fostering a culture of peace requires individuals, nations and international organizations to work together to promote understanding of “our common humanity.” He stressed the importance of promoting intercultural respect, strengthening inter-religious understanding and inspiring people’s hopes for the future.
Thomson stressed implementing the 2030 Agenda is “the most effective way to sustain peace,” as the Agenda aims to: eradicate poverty; increase inclusive prosperity; protect human rights; strengthen the rule of law; and build effective and accountable institutions for peaceful and just societies. To build the next generation of agents of peace, the UNGA President recommended teaching children to peacefully resolve disputes, confront injustice and intolerance and reject all forms of discrimination and hate.
Ana María Menéndez, UN Secretary-General’s Senior Advisor on Policy, delivered remarks on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. Guterres noted that megatrends, such as climate change, population growth, rapid urbanization, food insecurity and water scarcity have increased resource competition and heightened tensions and instability. At the same time, he said terrorism has taken on new global dimensions.
Noting that no political or economic arrangements can, by themselves, assure peace if they are not underpinned by a sense of “our shared humanity and common purpose,” Guterres said the 2030 Agenda is one of the best tools for putting in place the building blocks for peace. He further highlighted four areas of urgent action to combat today’s conflicts and intolerance: investing in children; investing in youth; empowering women and investing in gender equality; and investing in inclusion and social cohesion.
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