Peace education in the 21st century: an essential strategy for building lasting peace

(Reposted from: UNESCO 2024)

This 2024 UNESCO report provides an overview of the importance of peace education, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for using it in efforts to bring about lasting global peace.

The report reviews key research and is heavily inspired by the discussions held in the context of the revision process of the 1974 Recommendation Concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education Relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

This report was developed thanks to significant contributions from Tony Jenkins, Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.


“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of Peace must be constructed.”

Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO

Negative trends in inter- and intra-state conflicts and the convergence of unconventional global threats to peace (climate change, pandemics, resource scarcity, migration, amongst many others) present tremendous challenges to the achievement and maintenance of international peace and security in the 21st century. Reducing violent conflict is vital to peace, but it also requires much more than that. Peace cannot be decreed solely through treaties. It must be nurtured through the dignity, rights, and capacities of every man and woman.

The pursuit of peace must therefore be a holistic and comprehensive endeavour. It requires the development of institutions that are essential for sustaining collective security, diplomacy, international law, and peacekeeping and peacebuilding. At the same time, peace must be rooted in normative and ethical standards, which are dependent upon democratic participation and the presence of justice, dignity, human rights, empathy, understanding and the assurance of basic human needs.

This report illuminates the essential role of education in upholding the institutions, norms and standards that help constructively manage conflict and prevent violence, and sustain peace. While education for peace has a long history as a tool and strategy for preventing and transforming violent conflicts, this overview seeks to uplift its significance as an essential tool within the UN framework, as well as with nation states, and non-state actors.

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1 thought on “Peace education in the 21st century: an essential strategy for building lasting peace”

  1. Please kindly help me. My name is Khin Ni Ni Thein, former UNESCO staff. I have joined the Manifesto2000 for Peace since 2000. I worked for UNESCO from 2005 till 2006 before I joined the Asian Institute of Technology as the Vice President. I do not have an active UNESCO account since then however the ground access card for retirees. I am actively working on Peace Education and joined the Global Campaign for Peace Education. Therefore, I would like to have a UNESCO account to explore more resources on Peace Education. Please kindly show me the way on how to get an account.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Warmly, NiNi.
    My Linked In profile

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