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A culture of peace in West Africa : Essential for economic development and social cohesion

Report on the international Forum of Reflection
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
4 and 5 June 2012

19 mai 2021

The « Culture of Peace » concept was first elaborated at global level by UNESCO during the International Congress on « Peace in the Minds of Men », held in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire in 1989.
As a follow‐Up to this Congress, numerous resolutions, made by the Executive Board and the General Conference of UNESCO as well as by the United Nations General Assembly, enabled the establishment of a framework for action and many experiences of setting up programs for a Culture of peace at the national and international levels, throughout the 1990s. UNESCO’s work led to the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the « Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace » (A/53/243) in 1999 and in celebrating the « International Year
for the Culture of Peace » in 2000. This International Year was followed by the « International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non‐violence for the Children of the World (2001‐2010) ».
In the framework of UNESCO Programme and Budget for the biennium 2012‐2013, approved by the 36th Session of its General Conference, held in November 2011, UNESCO committed to implement an « Intersectoral and Interdisciplinary Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non‐violence ». As part of the Global Priority Africa of the Organization, UNESCO’s work is focused in the following areas : education for peace, reconciliation, dialogue and regional integration and post‐conflict situations.
To implement this Programme of action and in order to respond to the needs of African States, especially those made vulnerable by crisis and conflicts, Africa Department at UNESCO, on a sub‐regional and regional basis, has established Reflection Fora.
The first of these Fora took place in Côte d’Ivoire, organized in partnership with the Center for
Prospective and Strategic Studies (CEPS). These preparatory Fora will culminate in the
organization of a Forum for a Culture of Peace in Africa in 2013, in margin of the Summit of
Heads of States and Governments of the African Union.
The Center for Prospective and Strategic Studies (CEPS) is officially recognized as a partner by :
‐ UNESCO, as an NGO with a consultative status,
‐ the European Commission, as a partner of interest,
‐ the Council of Europe, as an INGO with a participatory status,
‐ OECD, as a partner of the Development Centre.
In the classic tradition of philosophical societies (true think‐tank tradition), CEPS relies upon a group of over 700 decision‐makers from different backgrounds, of 41 nationalities, with twelve international delegations. For many years CEPS has been combining reflection and determined actions for promoting the Culture of Peace and Development in Africa. In 2010, CEPS published a book entitled “Africa, Land of Talents and the Future ‐ Afrique Terre de Talents et d’Avenir » prefaced by one of its most prominent members, Archbishop Desmond TUTU. In 2011, CEPS opened an office in Abidjan.
The objective of Abidjan Forum was to identify innovative action areas for a Culture of Peace in Africa that would contribute towards formulating a new UNESCO Programme and Medium‐Term Strategy for the period 2014‐2021.

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