Session on ‘Social inclusion and the promotion of a culture of non-violence and peace’

'Sea of Dreams', shelter for unaccompanied minor migrants, 2010. Maria Jose Trapiello Suarez/CCM

Participants in the 12th Mediterranean Conference will attempt to identify the needs and opportunities related to the promotion of a culture of non-violence and peace in the region as well as define the support required to implement actions in this regard.

In any community there are groups who are excluded from the widespread benefits accessible to the general public. There are many reasons for this exclusion: social or economic disadvantages, stigmatization of a social group, gender discrimination or intolerance against refugees, migrants or minority groups.

According to the UN, “Social inclusion is the process by which efforts are made to ensure equal opportunities”. Strategic aim 3 of IFRC Strategy 2020 ‘Promote Social Inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace’ reminds us of its 3 expected impacts: greater public support for the Fundamental Principles and reduced stigma and discrimination; lower levels of violence and more peaceful reconciliation of social differences; and fuller integration of disadvantaged people into their communities. Yet, halfway through the implementation of IFRC Strategy 2020, how can National Societies improve their cooperation in meeting Strategic aim 3 both at national and regional level?

From the IFRC and the National Societies there are different programmes and initiatives to promote a culture of non-violence and peace, as it “not only reduces violence and discrimination but also creates stronger, healthier and more resilient communities”*. According to the IFRC Strategy on violence prevention, mitigation and response, a culture of non-violence “respects human beings, their well-being and dignity; it honours diversity, non-discrimination, inclusiveness, mutual understanding and dialogue, willingness to serve, cooperation and lasting peace. It is a culture where individuals, institutions and societies refrain from harming others, groups, communities or themselves. There is a commitment to positive and constructive solutions to problems, tensions and the source of violence; violence is never an option.”

*The Red Cross Red Crescent approach to Promoting a culture of non-violence and peace

  • Humanity
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Voluntary Service
  • Independence
  • Unity
  • Universality