TO THE HEADS OF STATE OF ALL MEMBER COUNTRIES
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
Today, in every single country throughout the world, there are many children silently suffering the effects and consequences of violence.
This violence takes many different forms: between children on streets, at school, in family life and in the community. There is physical violence, psychological violence, socio-economic violence, environmental violence and political violence. Many children – too many children – live in a "culture of violence".
We wish to contribute to reduce their suffering. We believe that each child can discover, by himself, that violence is not inevitable. We can offer hope, not only to the children of the world, but to all of humanity, by beginning to create, and build, a new Culture of Nonviolence.
For this reason, we address this solemn appeal to all Heads of States, of all member countries of the General Assembly of the United nations, for the UN General Assembly to declare:
• That the first decade of the new millennium, the years 2001-2010, be declared the "Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence";
• That at the start of the decade the year 2000 be declared the "Year of Education for Nonviolence";
• That nonviolence be taught at every level in our societies during this decade, to make the children of the world aware of the
real, practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in their daily lives, in order to reduce the violence, and consequent suffering, perpetrated against them and humanity in general.
Together, we can build a new culture of nonviolence for humankind which will give hope to all humanity, and in particular, to the children of our world.
With deepest respect,
– The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Signed by: Mairead Maguire Corrigan, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Shimon Peres, Elie Wiesel, Mgr. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Yasser Arafat, Mgr. Carlos Felipe Ximenez Belo, José Ramos-Horta, Norman Borlaug, Oscar Arias Sánchez, UNICEF, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Betty Williams, Lech Walesa, Joseph Rotblat, Henry Kissinger, Jody Williams, John Hume, David Trimble, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and the American Friends Society.