Tag: Peace


The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), a category 1 UNESCO institute focusing on peace and sustainability education, and Penguin Random House India, the largest English-language trade publisher in the subcontinent, have come together for a new strategic content partnership.

The partnership will combine UNESCO MGIEP’s expertise on education for peace and sustainable development to foster global citizenship, with the level of proficiency that is synonymous with Penguin Random House India‘s work.

Together MGIEP and Penguin Random House India are aiming at encouraging a new generation of leaders by sharing content that will not only enhance their understanding of critical issues facing the world, but will also be easily accessible.

One of the first collaborations of the partnership will be at UNESCO MGIEP’s ‘Talking Across Generation on Education’ (TAGe) New Delhi, where 50 youth delegates from around the world will engage in a no-holds-barred discussion with experts and policy makers from across the globe on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education.

Talking about the partnership, Dr. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Director of UNESCO MGIEP said, “UNESCO MGIEP is delighted to partner with Penguin Random House India for our flagship Talking Across Generations through Education (TAGe) series. Books have always had the power to provide perspective and insights into some of the most challenging issues faced and we are positive that through this partnership we will be able to carry forward the global dialogue on critical matters in an open and transparent manner. We look forward to a fruitful association through our joint efforts.”

Adding about the partnership, Penguin Random House India’s Sr. VP Marketing & Children’s, Hemali Sodhi, said, ”We’re thrilled to be partnering with UNESCO MGEIP for their flagship town-hall series ‘Talking Across Generations through Education (TAGe)’. Our authors are the thought leaders of today and tomorrow and through their work, we aim to provide a platform that can engage the audience in a free-flowing dialogue on critical issues that affect the world. We hope that our endeavor is a success and that a global discussion will be generated from the digital display of the works of our authors.”

UNESCO MGIEP and Penguin Random House India aim to work closely together to ensure co-operation and co-innovation to equip future generations with the content to lead change for a more peaceful and sustainable world.


UNESCO MGIEP – Radhika Bhatnagar, Associate National Officer (Communications and Social Media)


Phone: 011 2338 6603


Penguin Random House India – Rukun Kaul, Digital Head at Penguin Random House India


Phone: 0124 478 5600

Peaceful families are key to resolving interpersonal conflict

This is the second in a series of blogs by the winners of our #spaceforpeace twitter campaign on Interpersonal conflict.

By Nili Majumder,

Conflict is the common part of human interactions and occurs in different contexts of our lives; Conflict can cause resentment, hostility and perhaps the end of the relationships. If it is handled well, however, conflict can be productive/creative-leading to deeper understanding, mutual respect and closeness.

Family is the fundamental unit of human society and the principal institution for the socialization. Person learns how to communicate & process emotions. People also learn many of their values, beliefs & choices from their families. In family interpersonal conflicts often increases stress, anger, frustration and can jeopardize the relationships.

In childhood children are imitating the behaviour of their parents. Interpersonal conflicts in family members have strong effects on children’s psychology. Children are moulded by the family culture into which they are born and growing up, their assumptions about what is right and wrong, good and bad reflect the beliefs, values and traditions of the family culture; they also carrying into adulthood numerous attitudes and behaviours acquired in childhood.

Future generations who grow up surrounded by destructive conflict may, as adults, determine never to participate in discord. In this situation, the person may never have learned that there are effective, adaptive ways to communicate in the face of conflict. Even those who later reject all or part of the family culture often discover that they are not entirely free of their early influences. No matter that they promise themselves they will never repeat the mistakes of their own family—certain cultural attitudes and responses are so ingrained in family members that they continue to affect their thinking and behaviour, whether or not those individuals are aware of such influences.


Attitudes and expectations about the roles of men and women vary from one family to other; it is an integral part of family culture. E.g. the boys or girls raised in a family in which female members are empowered are exposed to a very different family culture than from the one where female members are not socio-economically empowered.

When the society are not recognised or valued different practices, beliefs of families from different cultural backgrounds; it can also lead to miscommunication or misunderstandings, it affects family. Lack of understanding about differences is called discrimination. Discrimination impacts negatively on individuals and entire societies. Valuing and respecting diversity encourages people to see differences among individuals and groups as common and positive; inclusive positive attitude promote respectful relationships and reduces the discrimination and isolation.

This is when we need to talk about the role of education in our culture.

Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. It is important that the education at each step must be high standard and universal in order to ensure appropriate learning outcomes that provide knowledge, skills and attitudes for an active citizenship. Qualitative/scientific education is important because it helps to establish quality learning environments that are rights-based, gender-sensitive, healthy, open minded and tolerant. It also enhances life skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, coping, and self-management; it can be applied in violence prevention also.

Qualitative education can empower children to participate in activities to bringing constructive changes in the society, because qualitative education enriches our culture and ensure to make resilient families that provide tolerance, cooperation, respect to all human beings and their rights.

According to World Economic Forum among World happiest countries like Denmark and other Nordic countries achieved gender equality and there have strong presence of women in leadership positions.

We learnt from the World’s happiest countries that if we ensure gender equality, qualitative education & jobs for all, women empowerment and increase the women participation in decision making, all social factors will help to make resilient family.

In a resilient family (where women are socio-economically empowered & family members have quality education) future generations are getting the culture that in any critical situation (facing hunger, poverty, conflict) & if they belong in the leadership they will never loss patience power, not to use abusive language and not involve in corruption or unfair activities.

We can say that resilient peaceful families ensure that there is peace in society and vice versa.

Happy families can change the world.

Nili Majumder

About the author: Nili Majumder works as the Gender Equality Advocate on Social Media for the Global Fund for Women.

Note: The views expressed in this blog are of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of UNESCO MGIEP.

Interpersonal conflict and education

This is the first in a series of blogs by the winners of our #spaceforpeace twitter campaign on Interpersonal conflict.
By Dr. Sergio Costa

Interpersonal conflict is the consequence of one’s inability to relate to others and may involve some personal stake. The stakes could range from self-preservation of mind or body to losing or acquiring resources and land in the instance of war. Some conflicts are based on real threats. Some are not. Parsing out the real from the unreal is a challenge spanning generations. People misunderstand and misperceive all the time.

Education plays a key role in developing the person to be a discerning, scrutinizing and well-meaning participant in the space of human interaction. Education, of course, encompasses different things. In many societies, interpersonal skills  – people skills, cultural competence, knowledge of different societies – is often lacking. Skills focusing on the areas of mathematics and science in their various applications are often perceived as more important that the humanities and arts. Societies fail to produce well-rounded individuals if we skew preferences to certain careers and domains, particularly when they are so lucrative, at the expense of others.

The focus must be on the whole person. Cultural works, novels that illustrate different societies, cultural norms, societal problems illustrated through creative works, perspectives on globalization and international political economy (what could benefit you may be a cost to someone else), expression of ideas through sound and imagery: all these are effective means to relate to others. Knowing the other greatly depends on knowing oneself, being aware of the dynamics of interpersonal exchange. Self-awareness enables us to act responsibly and nobly.


People want to be validated and respected. The skills required to do this are listening well (speaking prematurely and without invitation or expectation impedes that) and establishing trust through open dialogue and respect. If there is no intention to truly seek out the reasons for each other’s positions (perceiving the threats through the eyes of the other) then there is little hope that conflict can be overcome. While we can never truly know someone else, we can appreciate through experience and expression to the greatest extent possible what others feel and mean. While one individual can never know the cumulative effect of systematic marginalization over the course of a lifetime, we have the power of words and our willingness to listen and to honor the experience and suffering of someone else. We can validate the other by confirming what is heard and repeating it back for reciprocal validation. It’s an iterative exercise of give and take in order to come to a mutual understanding – very much like a dance.


While pervasive today, the absence of interpersonal skills is not without hope. Yes, parents and employers may compound the problem by not teaching and exhibiting interpersonal skills to their children, employees and others.  Curricula, strategic plans, and policy actions may completely overlook respect and appreciation for others. But, interpersonal skills can be learned at anytime. Overcoming interpersonal conflict at the global level will require the participation of many sectors, leaders, the public, decision makers, and policy makers and likely more. One way we can accomplish the goal of reducing interpersonal conflict is spreading the message: the call to listen, respect, and validate others. We can do that with those we know in our own orbits.


Human beings often fall victim to hurtful and pointless dichotomies. The “us “ versus “them” mentality often shows as at our worst. For example, one’s sports team can do no wrong; the opponent is always wrong. We need to be aware of our own psychology including our tendency for confirmation bias (we look for information that validates our biases, positions regardless of merit) and resilience to cognitive dissonance (discomfort with facing cracks in what we perceived as truth). But more than this, we as human beings should foster curiosity in the other and nurture humility through recognizing that we are not alone on this planet. Everyone is a story that is worth the time to listen to, respect, and understand.

About the author: 

Dr. Sergio Costa is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy at the City University of New York. He directs the innovative pedagogical online initiatives for the school. Dr. Costa has a PhD in political science from Boston University and a Master of Science in Education degree. He worked for Pearson Education in the area of e-learning and higher education academic support for students at all levels. From 2010-2014, Dr. Costa was the Director of Distance Learning for the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is interested in the intersection of public health and education, intercultural dialogue, and international development. He is published in the areas of public health education and policy.

Note: The views expressed in this blog are of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of UNESCO MGIEP.

Reviewing the Current State of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Asia and the Pacific

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have formally been adopted by the United Nations, setting the world’s development agenda for the next 15 years. Target 4.7 of the SDGs is an acknowledgment of the critical importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and other transformational education movements for a sustainable and peaceful future for all: “by 2030 ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” .

However, it has been observed that despite numerous endorsements and declarations on integrating education for peace, human rights, sustainable development and global citizenship in education systems in countries around the world, there has been limited systematic review of how much progress has been made in integrating/embedding them in education policy, curriculum, teaching and learning processes and assessment.

Furthermore, given that the proposed global indicator for SDG Target 4.7 is the “extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development, including gender equality and human rights, are mainstreamed at all levels in (a) national education policies (b) curricula (c) teacher education and (d) student assessment”, it is especially pertinent to assess the extent to which GCED and ESD are embedded in these aspects to establish a baseline against which progress towards achieving this target can be monitored in Asia and the Pacific over the next 15 years.

UNESCO MGIEP and the other implementing agencies of UNESCO Bangkok – Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and UNESCO Cluster, National and Project Offices in Asia and the Pacific, are undertaking this project with an aim to review the extent to which GCED and ESD are mainstreamed in national policies and curricula in 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, with a particular focus on core subjects (mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies) at primary and secondary school levels.

For the federal states (eg. India), data sources (eg. policy and curricular documents) may be collected at sub-national level as well.  Among the four areas included in the proposed global indicator of SDG 4.7, this project will focus on policies and curricula. Where possible, textbooks may be examined as well. The state of GCED and ESD in teacher education and student assessment will be examined by other related projects.

A workshop reviewing the current state of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Asia and the Pacific will be held at UNESCO MGIEP on 30th-31st May.