On the instructions of the General Curia of the Order, the members of the Augustinian NGO at the United Nations have made the Culture of Peace program of UNESCO a primary focus of its energies.
Culture of Peace is a movement developed in a series of documents that have been sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and endorsed by U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
The Program of Action for the Culture of Peace was adopted in 1999 with the years 2001 - 2010 being proclaimed the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
The Culture of Peace is a movement based on six attitudes and values or keys that are meant to give rise to a world of respect, peace, and justice. The six key principles are:
1. Respect for every human beings life and dignity.
2. The rejection of violence in all its forms (physical, social, sexual, economic, psychological) especially that violence which effects the vulnerable such as children.
3. Sharing of resources to put an end to exclusion.
4. The defence of one's freedom to express their views and opting to engage in dialogue as opposed to rejection.
5. To promote responsible consumerism that will foster respect for life and the balance of nature.
6. Help to develop one's local community and give special attention to the promotion of democratic principles and the inclusion of women to create solidarity.
It is hoped that by the adoption and implementation of these principles on a broad basis a Culture of Peace can be promoted. The Culture of Peace considers education as the means to achieve its goal. It asserts that the first step to getting the people to adopt the key principles is to help them to be aware of problems not just in their communities but also in the world at large.
The Augustinian NGO team will develop and make available to interested schools an educational program for primary and secondary schools that will focus on the creation of the culture of peace, especially through looking at how racism hinders the culture of peace.
Along with the educational programs, the U.N. team will encourage teachers in Augustinian educational institutions to incorporate culture of peace education into lesson plans on a regular basis.
They will also make an effort to keep Augustinian parishes and communities informed of global events that affect the creation of the culture of peace.