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Christopher Tordoff Christopher Tordoff 24/09/2019 6 min read
(Banner photo credit: Basak Dola, India)

Peace is more than just the absence of war. UNESCO, our SMA13 partner, determines that peace is a mindset that must be shared by everyone on this small, blue marble we call Earth. But who exactly are UNESCO, and what is their plan to achieve this monumental goal?

Children from the countryside of Myanmar are learning and teaching their lessons. Create manga that promotes the education of children for our future! (Photo credit: Kyaw Kyaw Winn, Myanmar)

In the aftermath of the horrors of World War II, the United Nations was formed to preserve peace in helping to build a better world. That mission is at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate to build peace in the minds of people, through its work in Education, Sciences, Culture, Communication and Information.

What is UNESCO?

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Established in 1945, its mission is to contribute to the building of peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. It has its headquarters in Paris, France, and 54 offices around the world.


Many modern day cultures share a common source. (Photo credit: Sirisak Chaiyasook, Thailand)

UNESCO’s fundamental belief is that peace cannot be achieved only through political and economic arrangements between governments, but it must be founded upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of all human beings.

Preamble of UNESCO’s 1945 Constitution… Since wars begin in the minds of people, it is in the minds of people that the defences of peace must be constructed.
UNESCO’s network of young people come together to lead their own projects, from empowerment of indigenous communities to the championing of LGBTI rights.

Access to education can be life changing (Photo credit: Farhan, Bangladesh)

Additionally and in a crossover with education, UNESCO’s art campaign has brought together young artists from across the region to highlight safe and inclusive schools for LGBTI youth. In Culture, the “Shared Histories” project has introduced school curricula in countries across South-East Asia emphasizing a commonly shared culture and historical legacy across the region, as an alternative to narrow historical narratives that foster prejudice and hatred. UNESCO’s World Heritage programme aims to preserve our cultural and natural heritage sites that are of universal significance to humanity.

What does peace mean to you? (Photo credit: Bautista, Dennis, Philippines)

All of these projects depend on partnerships with governments, policy-makers, civil societies and manga artists like you! More than seven decades after its founding, UNESCO’s work continues to change lives one person at a time.  
PENMARU’s TIP! “Peace isn’t just “no war”, so we want to see stories about building peace using Education, Culture and Science!”
Christopher Tordoff

Christopher Tordoff