Positive Early Childhood & The Culture of Peace

United Nations HQ NYC, 9 September 2014 - Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative speaks to an audience of distinguished guests at the Lunch Event on Early Childhood Development and Peace. (Photo N. Fallon)


Event on Early Childhood Development and Peace

On the occasion of the 2014 UN High-level Forum on The Culture of Peace on 9th September, Yale University along with members of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (a loose affiliation of global partners from multiple sectors, institutions and organizations engaged in peace building in early childhood development), UNICEF and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace organized a luncheon with distinguished guests to discuss the transformative power of children and families as a pathway to peace. This page captures the knowledge, ideas and human spirit shared during the event.

Dr. Federico Mayor - thumbnail

For at this moment, is the moment to say - when? Now, let us change the world. Now, let us have a new paradigm, a new beginning.

Event remarks by Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Director-General of UNESCO (1987–1999) & creator of The Culture of Peace program

Do peaceful childhoods create a peaceful world?
The John E. Fetzer Institute, Inc.

Loving, compassionate care during early development has been shown to yield happier, more productive children. A partnership between Yale University researchers and UNICEF is working to show that peaceful families ripple out to create a more peaceful world. More ....

This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on the Natural Sciences.

Yale researchers participate in the U.N. Culture of Peace forum

"If we can make a difference early in family life, we can break cycles of maltreatment, and increase the likelihood of peace.” - James F. Leckman, MD, PhD, Yale University

Yale News / 29 September 2014 - Peacebuilding and early childhood development are rarely discussed together, but research studies support the idea that they are indeed connected, and can go a long way to ending cycles of violence on a global scale. To support this theory, four Yale Child Study Center researchers presented scientific evidence at a Sept. 9 United Nations luncheon showing that early development for children can be a transformative solution for promoting peace. More ...

U.N. Event on Early Childhood Development and Peace 

  • Agenda and Concept Note, available here.

Rima Salah, PhD / Event Chairperson

"Excellencies, distinguished guests, colleagues and friends, It gives me great pleasure and honor to warmly welcome you, on behalf of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, to this lunch event, on this very special day, where U.N. Member States, U.N. system entities, civil society organizations, media and the private sector are meeting to renew their commitment, and to find ways and means to strengthen the Global Movement to promote the Culture of Peace, thus changing the tide of violence that is marking our world today. 

We all know that violence is threatening the peace and security of families and communities, where their homes are no more safe havens, where their schools and streets become battlefields, all this disrupting the fabric of their society compromising the rights of its most vulnerable citizens, children that are most vulnerable to violence. 

Today the Early Childhood Peace CONSORTIUM, launched at UNICEF last September, wants to join forces with the international community to advance global and national efforts to prevent violence, laying the foundation of a sustained peace through the transformative power of Early Childhood Development. 

Today we have with us a very distinguished panel to tell us why these transformative solutions are important for a Peaceful future, recognizing the vital role of families and children in creating a just and peaceful world, supported by scientific evidence and good practice."

- Rima Salah, PhD, Yale University; Former Deputy Executive Director UNICEF

7-Part Video Series - "Early Childhood Development (ECD): A New Paradigm for Peace", featuring distinguished event panelists:

  • This video series can be viewed on this webpage (left sidebar). 
  • High Definition (HD) versions can be viewed on YouTube here.
  1. "Video slideshow: The transformative power of ECD for peace"
  2. "A new paradigm for peace: Summation - Early Childhood Development and Peace Event"
  3. "Changing tides: New ECD foundations for sustained peace" 
  4. Opening remarks by Event Chairperson Rima Salah, PhD, Yale University; Former Deputy Executive Director UNICEF
  5. "Articulating the problem: Transformative ECD solutions for peace" 
  6. Panelist, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative
  7. "UNICEF: ECD, Resilience and Peace building"
  8. Panelist, Dr. Christian Salazar Volkmann, Deputy Programme Director UNICEF 
  9. "Scientific evidence: Early developmental neurobiology and peace"
  10. Panelist, James F. Leckman, MD, PhD, Neison Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Pediatrics and of Psychiatry 
  11. "Good Practice: Programmatic evidence on ECD and peace building" 
  12. Panelist, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, PhD, CEO of Early Years (Northern Ireland)

Distinguished Guests (in alphabetical order)

Yale Delegation L-R: Angelica Ponguta, James Leckman, Rima Salah, Catherine Panter-Brick