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The peace we wish to achieve tomorrow begins today - in the classroom

On September 21st, International Day of Peace, Education International invites teachers and education workers from around the world to promote the ideals of peace and non-violent conflict resolution.

The increase in war and armed conflicts affecting various regions and countries -where teachers and students continue to be victimized by violence and intolerance - is of grave concern. Despite the commitments made by national governments, schools are neither protected from such violence nor considered to be areas of peace. Education International denounces the fact that resources which should be channelled towards the urgent needs of Humanity are wasted as a consequence of the blind promotion of the tools of war and violence. It is estimated that global military expenditure exceeds U$ 1 trillion per year, a figure that has been steadily increasing. Conversely, according to UNESCO, expenditure on education as a % of GNP has decreased in 41% of countries in the world since 1999. UNESCO estimates indicate that an additional US$11 billion per year of external donor financing will be required to achieve universal primary education in all developing countries by 2015. It is time that all governments and armed groups engaged in dialogue in order to end the violence afflicting their countries. The cost of war in human lives is insurmountable. The waste of resources in maintaining the “war machine” is unsustainable. At the Education International 5th World Congress, delegates from all over the world unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution calling for dialogue rather than conflict, for laws and regulations contributing towards the elimination of violence, for peaceful coexistence and the exercise of democracy and citizenship. The International Day of Peace is the perfect opportunity to stop and think of ways to pursue the peaceful resolution of all conflicts.

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