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25.05.2018 - Geneva Office

Geneva hosts the launch of a new UNESCO publication “Long Walk of Peace”

© UNOG Library

UNESCO launched its new publication “Long Work of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention” on 24 May 2018 in Geneva. In a solemn hall of the United Nations Library, the Geneva diplomatic community, the representative and staff of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, the academia, journalists, civil society and the public attended the launching ceremony, which also featured a thought-provoking panel discussion with eminent speakers on the achievements and challenges of the UN peace work over the past seven decades.

Opening the event, Mr. Michel Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked UNESCO for choosing Geneva as the launch venue of this publication. The book embodies everything that makes Geneva the capital of peace and prevention, he said. It brings together theoretical and academic reflection with real-life experiences of the agencies working on the ground on prevention and on building and sustaining peace.

“I sincerely thank UNESCO for their exemplary work of bringing all the contributors of this book around the table to share their experiences and innovative ideas on how to prevent violent conflict and build and sustain peace”, said Mr. Møller. “This publication is an example par excellence of ‘Delivering as one’, taking stock and being aware of each other’s activities.”

This latest publication, which is the result of the partnership between UNESCO and the Abat Oliba CEU University (Barcelona, Spain), contains contributions from 32 UN entities, detailing their perspectives on peace building against the backdrop of the Agenda 2030. It also analyses the value of peace as the first pillar of the United Nations’ work and one of the main objectives of UNESCO. It attempts to answer the question of “How can the United Nations best address the imperatives of peace beyond security interventions?”

“For more than 70 years, the pursuit of peace has been at the core of the mandate of the United Nations system and a major driving force behind all actions undertaken by its different entities,” stated UNESCO Director-General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay, in her foreword to the Book. “Building peace is a continuous process. Constructing ‘the defences of peace’ in the minds of men and women needs constant investment.”

The panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Nada Al-Nashif, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, featured the substantive interventions by Mr. Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Syria; Professor Priyankar Upadhyaya, Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Understanding; Mr. Christian Guillermet-Fernández, former Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on the Right to Peace; and Ms. Ann-Belinda Preis, Chief of Intercultural Dialogue Section of UNESCO.

All speakers underlined that peace is a multi-leveled and complex process and that the UN remains a symbol of hope for people, especially for those in conflict-torn regions. Peace is often a political issue, and it should not be merely reduced to a simplistic ideal. While attempts to provide a definitive approach to everlasting peace are recommended to be avoided, a sober analysis of historic achievements as well as occasional failures of the UN system may help to develop innovative and robust pathways towards sustaining peace.

The book is now available at the United Nations Library in Geneva. Under UNESCO’s Open Access Policy, it is also accessible at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002628/262885e.pdf

Click here for the full opening remarks by Mr. Møller.

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