Building a Culture of Peace (2008)

Each year the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) hosts our Intergenerational Spring Seminar. Below is the statement complied by attendees to represent Unitarian Universalist voices at the United Nations. Learn more about UU work on building peace and microfinance.

UU United Nations 2008 Seminar Statement

Whereas peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of economic, social, and political justice,

Whereas the question isn’t whether or not the goal is peace, but rather what is the best course of action towards obtaining peace,

Whereas a military force sets a precedent for violence rather than a goal of building and maintaining a culture of peace, therefore emphasizing the importance of taking preventative measures so that intervention is rendered obsolete,

Whereas the United Nations Charter reaffirms “friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace,”

Whereas the Unitarian Universalist principles affirm and promote “justice, equity and compassion in human relations”, “the goal of world community with peace liberty, and justice for all,” and “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large,”

Recognizing that youth without options and opportunities become vulnerable to gangs, terrorist groups, or violent extremist organizations with respect to geography,

Emphasizing the importance of multi-generational support and understanding for youth in the peace building process,

Whereas communication technology has become more advanced and widely accessible throughout the world over the past decade,

Be it hereby resolved that:

  • We advocate for the Department of Peace and Non-Violence that was reinitiated in 2001 by Representative Dennis Kucinich through the 2007 HR 808 Bill.
  • We strongly encourage the continued use of micro-loans.
  • We call upon the United Nations and NGO’s to empower youth to promote peace via media and the internet as well as to provide support for international youth networking by means of an internet forum for youth.
  • We recommend that governments mandate the integration of peaceful conflict resolution and prevention in primary and secondary school curricula.
  • We call on the United States government to increase the funding and promotion of the Future Leaders Exchange founded in 1992 by the U.S. Department of State, and to expand the program to encompass group exchanges.
  • We strongly promote multi-generational activism in politics and democracy beyond voting by taking advantage of free speech and the right to dissent.
  • We call upon all Unitarian Universalist congregations to participate in United Nations Sunday and to appoint both a youth and adult envoy for the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office.

Therefore, as liberal religious people, guided by compassion, commitment to social justice, and the UU-UNO goal to promote sustainable development as a means to achieve peace, security and human rights, we call all peoples to urgent action to partake in building a culture of peace, as we reaffirm our commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and to the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.