NGOs UNESCO CALL: Drones and Robots for Peace


International Day of Peace Celebration – September  2018

Concept note – March 28, 2017

 Drones and Robots for Peace 


The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 agenda, adopted on 25 September 2015 by the United Nations’ member states, encourage countries to adopt measures aimed at combatting poverty, protecting the earth and ensuring prosperity for all human beings. These goals form an integral part of peace-building in our time (cf. goal 16), a mission UNESCO has undertaken for more than seventy years, stating in its preamble, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.“

The commemoration of the beginning of World War I included a major event for peace, which was held at UNESCO headquarters in September 2014. Around 50 international NGOs, all official partners of UNESCO, had asked children from the five world regions to express their aspirations for peace through the art of puppetry. More recently, the Sixth International Forum of NGOs that took place in November 2016 in Querétaro, Mexico, emphasized the role of youth in promoting peace. This is the reason why our NGOs are particularly motivated to renew this appeal for peace in 2018, a year that will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. 

For over two decades, the implementation of new increasingly sophisticated devices in the military arsenal, had rendered obsolete former conceptions of warfare and international security, such as they continue to be featured in the media. As the world evolves, the use of new technologies related to robotics, alongside with artificial intelligence, challenges the wisdom and ethics of societies with regard to these technologies. If technology grows faster than wisdom and ethics, then mankind will resemble a small child playing with explosives. In the current context, certain prototypes have already exceeded Science Fiction’s darkest projections. These technologies are sophisticated weapons that destroy lives, territories and social networks. However, other projects, notably those currently implemented by UNICEF, reveal to us that robots can also bear hope and that drones can be designed to serve people, as well as humanitarian and peaceful purposes.  

 “Tell me, how do we do to play peace?” To answer this six-year-old child’s question, our group of NGOs has imagined putting robots and drones – so significant in children’s and young people’s daily life – at the centre of an information and education campaign, aimed at promoting sustainable peace. Young people from all regions of the world are thus invited to create paintings, including handmade and digital drawings, illustrating the subject of drones and robots for peace. These original works will be exhibited locally. Their digital versions will be sent to the steering committee of the official NGOs working in partnership with Unesco, so they can be highlighted in numerous countries and in prestigious sites around Paris. Cultural events encompassing plastic arts, ceramics, music, dans, theatre, puppetry… will be scheduled around the date of september 21, 2018. Round tables will also be organized.

This day is not an end in itself. It forms an integral part of our concern to promote a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World and their families.



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