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High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace – 20th Anniversary
United Nations High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace – 20th Anniversary
convened by the President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 73/126 of 12 December 2018 requests the President of the 73rd session of the Assembly, H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, to convene a high-level forum devoted to the implementation of the Programme of Action on the occasion of the anniversary of its adoption. The Assembly also requested the President of the General Assembly to give special attention to the appropriate and befitting observance of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration and Programme of Action, which falls on 13 September 2019, as an opportunity for renewing the commitments to strengthen further the global movement for the culture of peace.
Recognizing the need to further promote the Culture of Peace, particularly in the current global context, the 73rd UNGA has affirmed the afore-mentioned mandate with the co-sponsorship of 100 Member States.
It may be recalled that on 13 September 1999, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by consensus and without reservation, its pioneering and norm-setting resolution 53/243 on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Asserting and re-affirming the commitment of the totality of the UN membership for building the Culture of Peace, the UNGA has adopted resolutions on the subject every year since 1997. Through annual substantive resolutions of the last 20 years as well as annual High-Level Forums since 2012, the General Assembly has highlighted the priority it attaches to the full and effective implementation of these forward-looking decisions which are universally applicable and responds to the yearnings of every people for progress.
In the light of the need for continual support for the further strengthening of the global movement to promote the Culture of Peace, as envisaged by the United Nations, particularly in the current global context, including for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and taking into account emerging trends, the one-day High-Level Forum is intended to be an opportunity for the UN Member States, observers, UN system entities, civil society, including NGOs, academia, media, private sector, and all interested parties, to exchange ideas and make suggestions on the ways to build and promote the Culture of Peace.
Significance of the 20th Anniversary and the Theme of the Forum: “The Culture of Peace: Empowering and Transforming Humanity”
The Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace unanimously adopted two decades ago is a universal document explaining, outlining, and defining the focus of the Culture of Peace as agreed upon by the international community. This historic norm-setting document, considered one of the most significant legacies of the United Nations, sees the Culture of Peace as a process of individual, collective and institutional transformation. The Programme of Action identifies eight specific areas which encourage actions at all levels – the individual, the family, the community, the national, the regional and, of course, the global levels. Even though the Declaration and Programme of Action is an agreement among states, in this document governments, civil society, media and individuals are all identified as key actors for its effective implementation.
The Culture of Peace is interlinked with the sustainable development agenda. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its sustainable development goal 4.7 includes, among others, promotion of culture of peace and non-violence as well as global citizenship as part of the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. The international community is called upon to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills for culture of peace and non-violence as well as global citizenship by 2030. The High-Level Forum on the 20th Anniversary of the Culture of Peace and the subsequent events of the High-Level Meetings of the High-Level Week of the 74th session in September provide collectively a unique opportunity to highlight the interconnection between peace and sustainable development and advance progress in the last decade of implementation of the SDGs.
In the light of the importance of the Culture of Peace and its potential for responding to the global challenges facing mankind, the 20th Anniversary Observance should be central to the pivotal discussions and commitments expected at the General Assembly in September. The theme for the High-Level Forum on 13 September 2019, “The Culture of Peace: Empowering and Transforming Humanity”, reflects the enduring value of the culture of peace for the transformative 2030 Agenda.
Member States and Observers of the General Assembly are invited to participate at the highest level possible. The meeting is also open to UN agencies, civil society organizations, including NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders.
Interested stakeholders can apply to participate in the event. The deadline for registration is 8 September 2019.
The format of the High-Level Forum on the 20th Anniversary of the Culture of Peace, to be held on Friday, 13 September 2019, will consist of an opening segment, a plenary segment, an interactive panel discussion and a closing segment.
The opening segment and plenary segment will be held in the General Assembly Hall from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. The panel discussion will take place in the Trusteeship Council Chamber from 3:00 pm-5.50 pm, followed by closing segment from 5:50pm-6:00 pm. The opening segment will feature statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, and will hear a keynote speaker and a solidarity message.
Also, during the opening segment, there will be a short video, which will provide a historical background on the High-Level Forum on Culture of Peace held in the past, as well as a musical interlude.
The plenary segment will comprise of statements by Member States, Observer States and Observers of the General Assembly. A list of speakers will be made available in accordance with the established practices of the Assembly. The list of speakers will be open for inscriptions on 26 August 2019 at 12 noon. Member States are encouraged to limit their statements to three minutes for individual delegations and five minutes for statements made on behalf of a group of States. For inscriptions, please contact the General Assembly Affairs Branch, Mr. Carlos Galindo (firstname.lastname@example.org). Member States are encouraged to deliver statements on behalf of a group of States, whenever possible. In view of the time limitation for the plenary segment, delegations that did not have the opportunity to speak can upload their statements on the Paper Smart portal.
The panel discussion in the afternoon will focus on the theme of the Anniversary of the High-Level Forum: “The Culture of Peace: Empowering and Transforming Humanity”. The panel discussion will feature remarks by five distinguished panelists followed by an interactive discussion and comments by selected respondents and a special commentator. The panel will be moderated by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh (1996-2001), and former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations (2002-2007). There will be no established list of speakers for the panel discussion.
During the closing segment, also in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the High-Level Forum will be closed by the President of the General Assembly.
Letter dated 28 August 2019 on the High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace to observe the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace to be held 13 September 2019