The culture of peace is not a quick fix. It is a movement, not a revolution. Peace cannot be imposed from outsideit must be realized from within.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General, High Representative of the UN and Founder for the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace

What is the culture of peace?

In 1999, the UN General Assembly adopted the “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” (A/RES/53/243). As stated in the United Nations definition, “a culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviors and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations.”

The Programme of Action identifies eight action areas:

  • 1
    Foster a culture of peace through education
  • 2
    Promote sustainable economic and social development
  • 3
    Promote respect for all human rights
  • 4
    Ensure equality between women and men
  • 5
    Foster democratic participation
  • 6
    Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
  • 7
    Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
  • 8
    Promote international peace and security

Not since the United Nations was founded have we faced such a complex and multidimensional threat to global peace and security. . . . In the face of this grave danger, it is more important than ever to work for a culture of peace, as the essential foundation for global cooperation and action.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, 2020 High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

SGI and the Culture of Peace

Betty Williams addressing the 2017 High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, UN General Assembly Hall, New York

As expressed in our mission and vision statements, we believe that each individual is capable of fostering the culture of peace. The culture of peace is a framework that enables us to approach the various issues at the UN, which are reflected in our focus areas, as interconnected and interrelated. Be it disarmament, sustainability and climate change, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment or humanitarian relief, they all are integral to the “peace” we envision, in which each person can make meaningful contributions.

SGI has been working to advance the culture of peace through various efforts, such as conducting lectures and forums and creating educational resources like exhibitions, publications and videos, resulting in large civil society engagement worldwide. As a founding member of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, we have been actively involved in supporting the UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace convened by the President of the General Assembly since 2012.

It is the forging of personal relationships based on trust and respect that is exactly the culture of peace put into practice. I am convinced that a culture of peace can truly be realized on a global scale and become permanent when peace takes root in the minds of every single person.

Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai International President