UN Proclaims 2000-2010 Decade of Nonviolence

For Immediate Release
November 10, 1998
5:00 PM EST

Contact John Dear or Richard Deats


In an historic vote, the United Nations General Assembly today unanimously voted to proclaim the first decade of the twenty-first century "The Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2000-2010)."

Thirty years after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and fifty years after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, the call for the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence came from an Appeal to the United Nations signed by twenty-three Nobel Peace Laureates, including Nelson Mandela, the late Mother Theresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The proclamation invites each Member-State to take the necessary steps so that the principles of nonviolence be taught at every level of society. UN bodies, NGOs, educational institutions, religious leaders, the media, performing artists and civil societies in general are summoned to support the Decade for the benefit of the children of the world. The proclamation was issued after speeches by twenty nations calling for a future without war.

"This historic vote challenges the world to reject violence as a way of solving conflict and to pursue the creative possibilities of nonviolence," said John Dear, executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the US sponsor of the Appeal. "The world community agrees we must dedicate ourselves to ending war, abolishing nuclear weapons, and bringing Dr. King's dream of nonviolence into reality. Now, more than ever, we all need to adopt the alternative of nonviolence. FOR congratulates the United Nations, and we pledge to do everything we can to teach and promote nonviolence as the only realistic solution to humanity's crisis."

The Appeal of the Nobel Laureates has developed out of the efforts of the French humanitarian organization, PARTAGE, along with Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ), the International Fellowship of Reconciliation(IFOR), and its US branch, the Fellowship of Reconciliation(FOR).

(For further information contact John Dear, 914-358-4601 or fornatl@igc.org; Anke Kooke, IFOR(Holland), fax 31 72 515 1102; a.kooke@ifor.ccmail.compuserve.com; Pierre Marchand(France), fax or dipti.marchand@wannadoo.fr.

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