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“Peace4Culture” Partners Forum

2nd of December, 2021

Baku, Azerbaijan

 

In a world of turmoil, uncertainty and constant strains the importance of capturing the positive impact of peace and peacefulness is clear to us all, and the urgencies for such positive impact grow with intensity each year. Once conflict subsides and new reconciliations are pursued, the inevitable and negative consequences of disruptive conflicts become apparent.

Global communities understand well the role that culture, heritage and identity can bring to the building of peace and how each and all of these can bring positive influence around shared values and common interests.  The destruction of physical infrastructure, of heritage, of buildings and artefacts, of institutions and communities yields irreplaceable loss to humanity and actions that are impossible to overturn.

25 years ago, at its General Conference, UNESCO introduced the concept of a ‘culture of peace,’ which is now used to refer to values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing, based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, all human rights, tolerance, and solidarity.

This “culture of peace” recognised the link between peace, development, and human rights and the term sought to highlight and tackle the root causes of conflicts through attention to culture, broadly defined, placing emphasis on the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation among individuals, groups, and nations. This challenge was taken up on 2nd of December in 2008 with the initiation and establishment of the Baku Process – a collaboration between international organisations, governments and non-governmental agencies and scholars and practitioners. The Baku Process, through its World Forums for Intercultural Dialogue has set standards and agendas for the dialogue and intercultural cooperation understood to be so critical for peace.

The significant report on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” (2018) from UN Secretary-General Gutteres set out several of the challenges including the limitations inherent in the focus on merely preventing conflict. Preventing crises and addressing the root causes of conflict can reduce distrust, enmity, hostility, and violence within and between communities, but alone it will not promote trust, cooperation, common bonds, harmony, and peace.

Without the protection of our cultural heritage, and its physical forms of buildings, monuments, mosques, churches, synagogues, and societal and international peace will remain fragile.

 

The Draft Agenda

Venue – ADA University

10:30   Opening Ceremony

11:00-13:00   1st Plenary Session

“Think not just what culture can do for peace, but also what peace can do for culture.” 

13:00-14:30   Lunch

14:30-16:00   2nd Plenary Session

How do we strengthen sustainably peaceful societies and international peace system?

16:00-16:30   Coffee break

16:30-18:00    3rd Plenary session and Closing

The Peace and Security Challenges: building multilateral cooperation