The conference included a keynote address by TPRF Founder Prem Rawat, a panel discussion with Peace Education Program Director Willow Baker, and others involved with TPRF. Watch video recordings of the conference below. (Prem Rawat starts speaking in Part 1 at the 1:19:45 mark. Willow Baker participates in the panel at the beginning of Part 2)
Learn more about the conference and the goals of the organizers in their press release below the videos, or visit their website here.
Prepare for Peace: Global Group Calls on UN to Declare Global Peace Education Day
Global Conference Spotlights Partnerships, Strategies for Sharing Peace Skills and Know-how
Leading peace advocates, diplomats, educators, and artists gathered on Zoom, on Monday, September 20, for the planet’s first global Peace Education Day conference. The conference spotlighted the success of peace education in transforming the lives of individuals and communities around the world, even in the face of the pandemic, violence, and climate change. More than 1,500 people attended. The conference called on the UN General Assembly to declare a Global Peace Education Day.
“I’m honored to be the inaugural speaker for a Global Peace Education Day,” said Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, former UN Undersecretary-General. “As human beings, we must empower ourselves to contribute more effectively to bring inner as well as outer peace. This realization has now become more important, especially for women, youth, and children, in the midst of the ever-increasing military expansion that is destroying both our planet and our people.” The ambassador has served the United Nations as UN Under-Secretary-General, president of the UN Security Council, the UNICEF board, and high representative of the UN, advocating for the most vulnerable countries of the world.
“A United Nations Peace Education Day will provide a transition from a culture of imposition, domination, and war to a culture of encounter, conciliation, dialog, alliance & Peace,” said former UNESCO Director-General Frederico Mayor Zaragoza. “We need educators who can educate in a culture of peace and non-violence. We know that our earth faces an irreversible threat but now we the people will act to prevent all this by implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
Peace Education Day speaker Kehkashan Basu was only 12 years old when she founded the global Green Hope Foundation to educate her peers about the Sustainable Development Goals. She is a Climate Reality Mentor, former Global Coordinator for Children and Youth, UNEP MGFC, and a UN Human Rights Champion. “The way we facilitate peace education is to empower women in underserved communities to drive change. We’ve just opened a sewing school where women and girls make masks, clothes, bags and sell these products to earn their livelihood.
Screen actor Michael Nouri hosted the event. “If we prepared for peace the way we prepare for war, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” he said. “That’s why I’m an ambassador for Seeds of Peace, preparing young leaders around the globe to be ready for peace with training, skills, knowledge, and experience to build a peaceful world.”
Other noted speakers included:
- Kozue Akibayashi: Professor at Doshisha University Graduate School of Global Studies, in Kyoto, Japan, and a member of the WILPF.
- Ambassador Prof. Dr. Karim Errouaki: President Emeritus at the American University of Europe (AUE-FON)
- Avon Mattison, Co-founder and President/Steward of Pathways To Peace, an UN-designated Peace Messenger Organization, with UN Consultative Status (ECOSOC).
- Stéphane Monney Mouandjo: Director General of the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD)
- Dot Maver, Ph.D. Board/Trustee founder of the National Peace Academy, a founder of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures of Peace, and Founding Executive Director of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding.
- Tony Jenkins, Ph.D. Managing Director of the International Institute of Peace Education (IIPE), Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE), and a full-time lecturer in the Justice and Peace program at Georgetown University.
- Monica Willard, United Religions Initiative, is the main URI representative to the United Nations and works with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI)on the Student Observance for Peace Day.
“We no longer understand that simply need to be kind. Even in environments that should be full of love, full of encouragement, full of understanding, you find that people are fighting,” said keynote speaker Prem Rawat, founder of the Peace Education Program which partners with governments, NGOs, and volunteers in more than 70 countries. “On the other hand, you have a Peace Education Program in India’s Telangana State that closed down five prisons! The people that were released did not come back. This is what the Peace Education Program has done! Not what it can do.”
The Peace Education Network is calling upon the UN General Assembly to declare a Global Peace Education Day. The newly formed global collaboration is taking grassroots action to share skills, know-how, and best practices to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. It includes the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, Fundación Cultura de Paz, the UNESCO Centre for Peace, Spanish Federation of UNESCO Associations and Clubs, Pathways to Peace, International Institute for Peace Education, Global Campaign for Peace Education, The Prem Rawat Foundation, the National Peace Academy, Unity Foundation, PeaceChannel.com and a growing number of others. The Peace Education Network will continue to host webinars and webcasts about peace education strategies, structures, and curricula.
For more info on the conference and the Peace Education Network contact: [email protected]