Canadian Peace Education Conference Report

Canadian Peace Education Conference
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
November 20 – 24, 2003

Report Goals: This conference report focus is on effective curricula that would forward the role of peace education in Canada. The SfP working group looked for existing Canadian Courses and Curricula in Universities, French Schools Secondary & Elementary Schools, Private Schools, and how they might include local communities.

General: The Second Annual Canadian Peace Education Conference was a very important gathering of the peace academics, educators, NGO’s, researchers, educational activists, university students, and young people from Secondary, Elementary and Private schools, such as Montessori and Waldorf Schools. All who attended were people involved in making a philosophical difference for peace education in Canada.

New approaches and Outcomes

15. In the original UNESCO constitution, UNESCO’s role was mandated for Peace Education, and this role needs to be encouraged. The Canadian Commission of UNESCO (CCU), although they have not achieved the Culture of Peace (COP) in all schools across Canada, are moving forward on their ‘Culture of Peace’ programme of work. Update from CCU: At the General Conference fall 2003 at the Commission III on sciences UNESCO’s members countries 4 adopted the Earth Charter. As you will see if you go to their site www.earthcharter.org It is at this moment based on the same principles and values as the culture of peace. A new CD has been produced for kids. Since 2000 each UN thematic topic of the year, relevant to the culture of peace, has been used to promote the culture of peace: in particular the year of dialogue of civilisations (2001) was well received by municipalities. In 2003 the year of water was particularly successful in raising interest among young people with excellent response.

Many more Youth Organizations are becoming involved; the ‘growing up in cities project’ GUIC, brings together universities and NGOs. Municipalities have started a pilot research action project that will bring a better understanding between adults and young people for a sustainable and democratic cooperation at the municipal level. In Science, participation of the Commission, linked events to Development and Peace Days on November 10th, 2003. FOlmal education, a recent development of the ASP school project in Canada lead by Alysouk Lynhiavu at CCU, has started with the organization of a spokespersons for ASPnet. A very interesting network of artists and Canadian role models are ready to encourage COP work with teachers and their schools; see www.unesco.ca.

During 2004 for the commemoration of the end of slavery, and several UN days, will encourage the promotion of the values of culture of peace. CCU materials have been developed for schools, in the context of the promotion of tolerance.

16. On Monday, a conference summary conversation was held with approx. 12 participants. There were two main outcomes. First was on creating collective peace organization to be called the “Canadian Peace Education Foundation: For a World Fit for Children” http: / /www.peace.ca/foundation.htm The second was a “Canadian Peace Initiative-CPI” which proposes a venue to help advance the unity, direction and capacity of Canadian peace building education, and is synonymous with a National Culture of Peace Program. It is a conceptual idea in development and will be the subject of the add-on Conference next November with a possible Interim Workshop in March or August 2004.

17. Helmut Burkhardt suggested that Science for Peace hold a Canadian Peace Education Roundtable prior to the “Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order” to be held at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, on October 14-16, 2004. A ‘Sustainable Peace Education Round Table’ is planned for October 13, 2004.

18. Although UNESCO’s ‘Culture of Peace’ main document, covered environmental and other educational and scientific conferences and outcomes, there was little curriculum evidence from participants or trade show holders, that linked peace and environment, at the conference. Most of the conference presentations and discussions were homocentric.

19. The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Decade 2005 – 2014 needed to be mentioned in the light of COP. There are too many terms being used by participants. Even though those who developed these concepts may think that they are ‘watertight’ there still needs to be future discussion on the semantics involved with’ A Culture of Peace’.

“Decision-makers and governments, must understand that globally that we are committing suicide for the planet and all species, with humanity’s current lack of peaceful, sustainable and security based actions.”

Conference Documents at http://www.peace.ca/Conference20030utcomeDocument.htm