to all Governments of Europe


26-30 July 1996, 390 teachers and educators from 30 countries in Europe were gathered in Lillehammer, Norway, for the 2nd European Education for Peace Congress


In 1995 the world entered the United Nations


adapted by the General Assembly in its 49th session, including a plan of action.


Many of the children of Europe at this period grow up in a climate of conflicts, wars, increasing racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and violence as well as economic, social, and political crisis. School and education cannot alone solve these problems of the modern societies. All the same - education forms the basis for the qualification of the grown up population of tomorrow to consist of human beings capable of active participation of building a culture of peace in Europe.

Schools and education must participate in this challenge. On one hand it is a great task for everybody involved to develop the contents and methods of human rights education. On the other hand the very atmosphere as well as the structure of the schools - in which this education takes place - must reflect respect for human rights. It is in this sense the school system must encourage a true democratic upbringing.

We, the participants of this congress, have met to give our contribution to this development, to exchange educational experiences to establish contacts with colleagues all over Europe and to improve our knowledge and understanding of the very different local conditions of education.

Many conventions. declarations and recommendations concerning education for human rights. sustainable development, peace and democracy have been adopted by the member states of UN. by UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

We refer to

- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( 1948)

- the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. art. 5:1 ( 1960)

- the International Covention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. art. 7 (1965)

- the UNESCO Recommendation concerning education for international understanding, co-operation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms (1974, revised in 1994)

- the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 13 ( 1966) ratified by 35 UN member states in 1976

- the Tblisi Declaration of Ministers and Recommendations concerning environmental education (lJNESCO 1977)

- the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation No. R(84) 18 to member states on the training of teachers in education for intercultural understanding, notably in a context of migration (1984)

- the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation No R(85)7 on teaching and learning about human rights in schools (1985)

- the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

We, the participants of this congress, urgently appeal to you to take the necessary measures to upgrade the national educational system so as to implement the sense of these conventions and recommendations.

In particular

- that the national curriculum be changed where necessary to fulfill the content of the international documents
- that teaching material for the purposes mentioned be developed
- that the structure of schools, where necessary, be changed so as to help implement a true human rights education
- that studies of these international documents as well as methods for applying and teaching them in schools be entered into the teachers training program and in-service training for all teachers

We, the participants of the 2nd European Education for Peace Congress, shall do our utmost to commit ourselves and our colleagues in the process of transforming Human Rights from vision to reality.

Lillehammer 30 July 1996,
for all participants:

Aud Elisabeth Wasa
Congress President


The text was adopted, after an open discussion and a few amendments of the previous draft, in the last plenary session, where also the following recommendations to the delegates of each participating country were given:

* the appeal be handed in to your Government/Ministry of Education - you may want to add a translation, and any comments or additions that you find appropriate in an accompanying letter

* you try to get publicity for the appeal, in a daily paper, teachers magazine or wherever possible, and spread it to Human Rights organisations, your national Unesco commission if you have one, teachers´ organisations, Pedagogic Universities etc

* if you find it advisable, you and/or other participants from your country, maybe in cooperation with some of the above mentioned, keep the contact with your Ministry of Education now and then to check if anything is being done about it - report next congress





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