Foreword by the Director General of UNESCO

The report of the International Commission on Peace and Food focuses on the 'uncommon opportunities' that have arisen as the world shifts into new alignments. These include the chance to tackle the problems of hunger and injustice at the root of so many of the global challenges confronting us not the least, the overriding challenge of nurturing a worldwide culture of peace.

The Commission has put people first, recognizing that the greatest potential for change is within us, that with education and information we can mobilize the vast amounts of energy and skill which are currently wasted in the scramble for survival. It, nevertheless, also accepts that there are no easy solutions and that concerted action is necessary on many fronts in order to untangle the tortuous connections between, for instance, defence spending and food security, for no country can truly be said to be at peace while the violence of hunger blights the life of its citizens.

ICPF has no hesitation in putting forward ideas that are bound to unsettle, and it should be encouraged since imagination and daring are precisely what we need at the present time. Its calls for a standing world army, for the recognition of full employment as a fundamental right and for the elimination of protectionist trade policies to mention but a few examples will cause some sharp intakes of breath among world leaders. Indeed, the report contains many ideas that merit and should stimulate further reflection.

The situation of the countries in transition in Eastern Europe, high lighted in this report, illustrates perfectly the need for an integrated approach to development considered as a total human process. The Commission's report contains specific proposals in this regard as well as an overview pointing to existing domestic assets of various kinds which could help the countries concerned. It addresses the topic of job creation with innovative ideas on the roles of technology and trade, and emphasizes the significance of the developing countries and agricul ture in the world economy. Its global education programme proposal placing appropriate emphasis on the key issue of girls' and women's education is one that particularly commends itself to UNESCO, which is already actively engaged in efforts along similar lines in conjunction with its UN partners.

This timely report should help to promote the idea of human-centred development within a culture of peace as a way forward to a better world. We are gratified that ICPF should have assigned UNESCO, as the intellectual arm of the United Nations, a prominent role in its recommended agenda for action, and we reaffirm our commit ment to working with all possible partners in pursuit of the goal of global peace and sustainable human development.

Federico Mayor
Director General
UNESCO