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U.N. to Commemorate 15th Anniversary of Culture of Peace

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 7 2014 (IPS) - The President of the General Assembly John Ashe will convene a one-day high-level forum (HLF) on Culture of Peace marking the 15th anniversary of the consensus adoption of the “Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture of Peace.”

The daylong event, scheduled to take place Tuesday, is being viewed as an opportunity for UN member states, UN system entities, media and civil society to discuss ways and means to promote the Culture of Peace.

”This is a great occasion for all of us to renew and rededicate our efforts and energies for the full and effective implementation of these norm-setting documents,” Ashe said in a statement released here.

The landmark resolution was also the driving force for the implementation of the UN-declared International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).

Asserting and re-affirming the commitment of the totality of the member-states for building the culture of peace, the UNGA has adopted every year since 1997 resolutions on the subject.

Under the leadership of Bangladesh, the General Assembly, through its annual substantive resolutions, has highlighted the priority it attaches to the full and effective implementation of these visionary decisions which are universally applicable and is sought after by the vast majority of all peoples in every nation, according to a U.N. press release..

“The world must build a culture of peace,” insists Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, a former Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the U.N. and the prime mover of the 1999 General Assembly resolution that adopted the U.N. Declaration and the Programme of Action (PoA) on the Culture of Peace and the subsequent proclamation of the “International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World, 2001-2010.”

Asked about his role, Chowdhury told IPS, “Yes, it was my sole initiative, and that initiative was possible because at that time I was the ambassador to the United Nations, and I happened to represent Bangladesh.

“I chaired the General Assembly drafting committee that prepared the declaration and Programme of Action after nine-month-long complex and intense negotiations,” he said.

In 1997, Chowdhury proposed to the secretary-general the inclusion of “Culture of Peace” as an agenda item to be deliberated upon in the General Assembly plenary.

In 1998, he also proposed the U.N. International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-violence “at the request of all living Nobel Peace Laureates made to me,” he added.

And since 1997, Bangladesh has remained the focal point for the Culture of Peace agenda item at the United Nations.

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