Hedva Ser's tree tracing the road to peace with UNESCO
A new program entitled "The Road to Peace", supported by nearly 77 member states, was created at the request of the Executive Board on a proposal from the Principality of Andorra.
The Road to Peace is inspired by the Tree of Peace, a sculpture by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Cultural Diplomacy Hedva Ser implanted in 16 symbolic places worldwilde, which symbolizes intercultural understanding between nations, thus creating a universal path of dialogue and tolerance. The Tree of Peace will aim to accompany the Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination whenever it is held.
The programme will be designed around four key pillars:
research, so as to develop applied knowledge to strengthen policy and practice related to dialogue for peace at the national level;
capacity building, so as to foster a transformative change in attitudes and behaviour, including through the development of new guidelines and toolkits and the leveraging of existing initiatives, such as the Art Camp project, the Art-Lab project, story circles for intercultural skills and master classes against racism and discrimination, UNESCO’s new toolbox against racism and discrimination and the initiative “Transforming MEN’talities”;
public advocacy, including social media campaigns and the creation of educational technology resources;
activities to advance peacebuilding through intercultural dialogue, to be included during the UNESCO Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination
In the current context of a global health crisis, violent conflict and increased violence against minorities and vulnerable groups, the concept of living together in peace has become more crucial than ever. Protecting shared values and promoting attitudes and behaviour conducive to dialogue, non-violence and socio-emotional resilience are key elements of democratic, inclusive and peaceful societies. In response to these challenges, “The Road to Peace: Dialogue and Action for Tolerance and Intercultural Understanding” will help promote a systematic and participatory approach to finding innovative solutions and new commitments to advance concrete initiatives for dialogue for peace.
It will also aim to underline the indispensable contribution of intercultural dialogue to education for sustainable development (ESD), as a cornerstone for tolerance and intercultural understanding. Its implementation depends on inclusive and equitable quality education in all settings and on all levels of education, from early childhood and throughout life, recognizing the critical role of education for the consolidation of a democratic citizenship as well as appreciation of human rights, diversity and the environment.
Peacebuilding can only be achieved through intergenerational exchange. Young people play a crucial role in promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding and contribute to shaping the social, economic, political and cultural life of their communities and countries.
This project will also focus on the important role that women play for dialogue for peace and the sharing of common values. The full and active participation of women is a prerequisite for the development of a culture of peace, particularly in the context of conflict prevention and peaceful conflict resolution.
Acknowledging the important role intercultural dialogue can play in establishing the understanding and mutual respect needed to combat racism and discrimination, which have unfortunately become global problems during the pandemic, the programme will also aim to align itself on the emerging priorities of the UNESCO’s new roadmap against racism and discrimination, and the direction set by UNESCO’s annual Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination, which will take place in Mexico in November 2022, for the second time.