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Strengthening Peace and Non-Violence through education

A cluster of projects entitled "UNESCO Global Initiative for Building a Culture of Peace through Education and Youth Empowerment" aiming at promoting a culture of peace and non violence through education at global and regional levels has been implemented.The initiative has offered a framework for designing strategic actions to improve the capacity of relevant actors to respond to challenges for building peaceful and inclusive societies.

The projectes have covered three continents: Asia and Pasific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa.

In Asia and the Pacific UNESCO Bangkok realized a multi-country mapping to operationalize the concept of "Learning to Live Together" (LTLT) through education in Asia and the Pacific. Working In collaboration with the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), this initiative covered 10 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. A regional report entitled "Learning to Live Together" was published in March 2014.

Under this same project, a regional youth contest on peace and intercultural dialogue was held. As a result a photo exhibition was held on the occassion of  the Global Forum on Global Citizenship Education that took place in Bangkok from 2-4 December 2013. An e-exhibition on "Learning to Live Together is available at UNESCO Bangkok website

In Latin America and the Caribbean, a region where the phenomenon of violence in schools is dangerously increasing, the promotion of violence-free school environments has been the main objective of work initiated to support Member States in providing adequate responses to these societal challenges. National consultations on education for peace, democratic coexistance and Human Rights were therefore held in participant countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia and Paraguay). 

A systemization of programmes and innovative experiences in school life regarding the building of a culture of peace and violence reduction was initiated. In addition, surveys to document the situation of gender-based violence in schools of the region were undertaken. In this regard, a partnership was established with the CEAAL (Consejo de Educación Popular de América Latina y El Caribe), UNESCO/OREALC to support the project "School, Urban Violence and Educational Impact for Moving Forward: A compared analysis among Colombia, Mexico and Chile". The objective was to generate knowledge, information and data on education for peace, democratic coexistence, culture of peace and the reduction of gender-based violence in schools, to disseminate 10 best practices and to formulate recommendations on the basis of the findings, in order to inform relevant educational policies. A national consultation was held in March 2013 in three countries on their national context and a Regional call was made in May 2013 for the systematization of 10 experiments on Education for Peace. The 10 selected experiences were collected and published in INNOVEMOS network, led by UNESCO Santiago.

The UNESCO Open School Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean was particularly revitalized through coordinated work of the UNESCO office Santiago.

Promoting peace as an everyday reality in Latin America and the Caribbean has been also strengthened by empowering young students in the production of newsletters enhancing the values of peace, tolerance, intercultural dialogue, and respect for diversity, with the active mobilization of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network in Cuba and Dominican Republic under the coordination of UNESCO Havana Office.Around 2500 students were reached out by the project. Also, 250 teachers from the ASPNet in both countries were trained on themes related to the culture of peace and non-violence, as well as in the use of communication as an effective means of social participation. 41 school newsletters were developed by students and issued on the website of the UNESCO Havana Office .

In Africa, a region with the highest incidence of violent conflicts and a priority area of work for UNESCO, the focus has been placed on promoting a culture of peace and non-violence through education for peace and conflict prevention, drawing on the rich resources and diverse experience of UNESCO in this field. This includes the comprehensive mapping of existing resources on education for peace and conflict prevention, to make them available to all UNESCO colleagues, UN sister agencies and the wider public. Such review informed the development of a specific package of capacity support for key stakeholders including Ministries of Education, teacher training institutes, etc. with a view to strengthening policy and programming in this domain.

Project coordinated by the Education sector, the Priority Africa Intersectoral Platform, Communication and Information, and Culture sectors in close cooperation with UNESCO IBE, IIEP Institute, PEERS, and the Bureaus of Addis Ababa and Dakar.