High Level Forum on Culture of Peace 09 Sep 2014

Filed under Other programmes

Members of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations attended the

United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace,

9  September 2014,

Trusteeship Council/ECOSOC Chamber; United Nations, New York


The Forum has become an annual UN event, a day-long opportunity for the UN member states, UN officials, experts, inter-governmental, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, youth, religious leaders, media and all others interested in discussing the ways and means to come together to promote the Culture of Peace.

This year’s High Level Forum began in the Trusteeship Council with statements by the current President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, both endorsing the culture of peace.

The keynote address was given by H.E. Ms. Leyrnah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace laureate and Liberian peace activist. Ms Gbowe spoke passionately about her experiences and especially thanked Ambassador Chowdhury and his team for making it possible for her to be present at the High Level Forum.

High level representatives from 21 Member States, 5 of whom were women, came to the microphone, each confirming their continued support for the advancement of the Culture of Peace.


Ambassador Chowdhury (center) moderates the Panel Discussion on “The Role and Contributions of Women and Youth to the Culture of Peace”. UN photo, Devra Berkowitz

The afternoon session, held in the ECOSOC Chamber, included two Panel Discussions:

-“Role and contributions of women and youth to the Culture of Peace”First Panel, Chair and Moderator: H.E. Mr. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations –

-“Global citizenship as a pathway to the Culture of Peace”  Second Panel, Chair and Moderator: H.E. Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Honduras to the United Nations –

H.E. Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and a close friend of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations, closed the Forum by calling on all within the United Nations system to take stronger action to promote the development of a global culture of peace.

Participants in the Programme were extremely supportive, appreciative and grateful to Ambassador Chowdhury for his personal and sustaining efforts toward not only the success of the day’s High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, but also for his continued effort and inspiration toward building a global movement for a culture of peace.

Midday  special event:

Video – Early Childhood Development and Culture of Peace 2014 Sep 09, during a special Lunch Event on Early Childhood Development and Peace.

For more event information, please also visit   http://childstudycenter.yale.edu/inte…

Excerpt:   Professor Salah in her opening remarks emphasized that children and families have the transformative power to promote peace and reduce violence, so they can be “agents of change and agents of peace rather than simply victims of violence”. She also stressed the urgent need for “greater efforts to bring winds of change to promote peace”, especially with respect to the vision and goals of the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.

In addition to Ambasador Chowdhyrty, Three other panelists  magnified Professor Salah’s potent opening remarks with compelling scientific and clinical testimony:

  • Christian Salazar-Volkmann, PhD (Deputy Program Director, UNICEF),
  • Siobhan Fitzpatrick, PhD (CEO Early Years), and
  • James F. Leckman , PhD (Yale Child Study Center)

That evening there was related programme: (See programme in Gallery Below)

The Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium at The United Nations
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on September 9, 2014

see more info on event and awards on poster in gallery below;

Ambassador Chowdhury’s energy was strikingly ever-present, obviously inspiring the outcome of the day. We offer our congratulations and gratitude to Ambassador Chowdhury for continuing his life’s work of establishing a Oneness-World by spreading the Culture of Peace ever wider and deeper around the globe.

“The seed of peace exists in all of us. It must be nurtured, cared for and promoted by us all to flourish. Peace cannot be imposed from outside, it must be realized from within.” ~ Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

 About Ambassador Chowdhury and History of Culture of Peace and High Level Forum

A most distinguished and well respected global leader, a tireless champion and advocate for peace, women and children, Ambassador Chowdhury served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York from 1996 to 2001 and most recently, from 2002 to 2007 as the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, responsible for the most vulnerable countries of the world (48 countries).

Ambassador Chowdhury’s determined leadership led to the United Nations General Assembly adoption, by consensus, on 13th September 1999 of the historical Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, UN Resolution A/RES/53/243, interestingly, 14 years to the day, after meeting Sri Chinmoy. The declaration calls upon all governments and all peoples to strive for a more peaceful world through “a positive, dynamic participatory process where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.”

The culture of peace continues to be relevant 15 years after Resolution 53/243 was adopted (13th September 1999), this year’s UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace marking an unprecedented 15th anniversary of the adoption – exactly 29 years from the very date Ambassador Chowdhury met Sri Chinmoy on 13 September 1985.

Instrumental in initiating the first High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace in September 2012, was the President of the 66th Session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and Ambassador Chowdhury, then working as President Al-Nasser’s senior adviser.

Historical Note: Ambassador Chowdhury and Sri Chinmoy

On 13 September 1985, then Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury and his wife, Mariam, first met Sri Chinmoy at a “Special Welcome Reception to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations” at a Jharna-Kala Exhibition in Soho, Manhattan, hosted by the Permanent Representative of India.

see related: Exhibition and Song for UN 40th: UN Community at NY SOHO Gallery 1985 Sept 13

A close friend and confidant of Sri Chinmoy, Ambassador Chowdhury has continually supported Sri Chinmoy’s activities in significant ways through his presence and through his specific participation, both within the United Nations community as well as for activities of the Sri Chinmoy Centre,  NGO..

Over the many years of their friendship, on numerous occasions during their discussions, Sri Chinmoy offered guidance regarding Ambassador Chowdhury’s aspirations and goals for establishing a global culture of peace.


(Kusumita Pedersen and Rijuta Tooker attending the morning session in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. Photo by Jose Pinto Stephen, provided by ‘The Light Millennium in collaboration with the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace)

Click on image below for larger or different resolution photo – image: