Author: Mark Joseph A. Euste

Devastated Manila, February 1945

Note: From the collection of The National World War II Museum, 1945,

In the aftermath of World War II, the international community recognized the urgent need for fostering global peace and cooperation. The war, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, brought unprecedented destruction, loss of life, and suffering on a global scale. It left nations shattered, economies in ruins, and societies deeply scarred. The horrors of the war served as a stark reminder of the dangers of ultranationalism, totalitarianism, and the failure of diplomacy. As a result, a new era of peace has emerged, driven by the collective desire to prevent such a catastrophic event from ever happening again.

| Most Essential Learning Competencies 

  • Recognize the context of peace in the contemporary world;
  • Identify the efforts of the international community to achieve world peace and prosperity post-World War 2; and
  • Analyze the role played by states and international organizations in promoting international peace, unity, cooperation, and development.

| Content Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • The importance of dialogue and collective action in the contemporary world to achieve world peace, unity, solidarity and cooperation, and development.

| Performance Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to:

  • Understand and discuss the efforts of nations and states in achieving global peace and progress; and
  • Recognize the importance to the roles of international organizations in pursuing world peace, unity, solidarity and cooperation, and development.

Lesson 1: Peace-building and Global Cooperation in the Contemporary World

| Lesson Objectives

At the end of the lesson, the student is able to:

  • Identify and map the roles of states and international organizations in peace-building;
  • List the initiatives towards global peace, unity, cooperation, and development;
  • Be able to map the roles played by states and international organizations in peace-building;
  • Be able to identify the various initiatives that demonstrate global cooperation;
  • Be able to participate in activities, programs, projects at the community level that promote regional and international peace, unity, cooperation, and development; and
  • Design a peace-building activity, program, or project that can be implemented in the school or the local community.

| Lesson Overview

This lesson covers peace as a concept and the ways in fostering it in the contemporary world. It will also include a discussion of the various initiatives by the international community in building a culture of peace at the world stage.

| Key Concepts

  • Peace: From the Latin pax, it literally translates to “compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of hostility, harmony.” Generally, it is a state of tranquility or quiet. But in the political sense, peace refers to “a state or period of mutual concord between governments.” Moreover, it also may refer to “a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom” ( Dictionary).
  • Peace-building: Refers to “the development of constructive personal, group, and political relationships across ethnic, religious, class, national, and racial boundaries” (Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2018). It seeks to resolve injustice by nonviolent means and to change the underlying structural conditions that breed lethal conflict.
  • Global Cooperation: Refers to the act where the international community comes together in unison to “create an enabling global environment free of structural obstacles, wherein all individuals, peoples and nations have opportunities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development” (United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2023). 

| Self-Evaluation Form (Part I)

Answer the following questions:

  1. What do you feel when you see other people fighting or in conflict with one another?


  1. How do you think they should resolve their differences?


The Context of Peace

| The Context of Peace


At the heart of peace-building efforts post-World War II was the establishment of the United Nations or the UN, an international organization founded on October 24, 1945 with the primary goal of maintaining peace and security among nations. Its formation marked a significant shift in global governance, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation, diplomacy, and the rule of law. Through its Charter originally signed by representatives from 50 countries including the Philippines, the UN set forth principles and mechanisms for peaceful resolution of disputes, the promotion of human rights, and the advancement of social and economic development worldwide.


The Preamble of the UN Charter reads:



to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…


Aside from the founding of the UN, another pivotal achievement related to peace-building was the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 which laid down a set of fundamental human rights and freedoms inherent to all individuals. It served to promote the values of equality, justice, and dignity for every person and provided a moral foundation for peace-building efforts, emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights as a means to prevent conflicts and foster harmonious coexistence among nations.

In “An Agenda for Peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, and peacekeeping” (Boutros-Ghali, 1992), 1992), then-UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali outlined a comprehensive framework for promoting and maintaining global peace. This seminal report identified the need for preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, and peacekeeping as essential tools in resolving conflicts and preventing the escalation of violence.

The concept of preventive diplomacy emphasized the importance of addressing conflicts at their early stages, before they could escalate into full-blown wars. It called for the UN and other international actors to proactively engage in diplomatic efforts, mediation, and negotiation to prevent conflicts from erupting or spreading.

Peacemaking, as outlined in the report, referred to the diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving ongoing conflicts. It stressed the need for impartial mediation and negotiation between conflicting parties, with the goal of achieving a just and sustainable peace settlement. The report emphasized the importance of inclusive peace processes that involve all relevant stakeholders, including governments, rebel groups, civil society, and regional organizations. It also recognized the need for addressing the underlying political, economic, and social grievances that fuel conflicts.

Meanwhile, peacekeeping highlighted the role of multinational peacekeeping forces in helping to maintain peace and security in post-conflict situations. Peacekeepers, deployed with the consent of the parties involved, were tasked with monitoring ceasefires, protecting civilians, facilitating humanitarian assistance, and supporting the implementation of peace agreements. In sum, the report called for a comprehensive approach that not only addressed the immediate security concerns but also focused on the structural root causes of conflicts, including poverty, inequality, and corruption.

This holistic view of peace runs parallel with the definition of Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung (1969): that peace is the absence of violence. He also conceptualized two facets of peace, namely: negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace refers to the absence of personal violence (harassment, domestic abuse, crimes). Positive peace refers to the absence of structural violence (discrimination, racism, social inequality).

Note: From Galtung, J. (1969). Violence, peace, and peace research. Journal of peace research, 6(3), 167-191.


The Role of States and International Organizations in Peace-building

| The Role of States and International Organizations in Peace-building


The state, more commonly referred to as the government, plays a central and crucial role in the process of peace-building and global cooperation. It is the primary responsible for sustaining peace, security, and stability within its geographical boundaries. While peacebuilding is a multifaceted and collaborative effort involving many actors, the role of the state is critical in creating and maintaining long-term peace.


As such, in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the 1987 Philippines Constitution (Art. II Sec. 5), the state in principle declares that “The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.” The peace discourse is also included in the Philippine Development Plan (NEDA, 2011) as an integral part of national development:

The government shall exert all efforts to win peace and ensure national security. The peace process shall center on the pursuit of negotiated political settlement of all armed conflicts and the implementation of complementary development tracks to address its causes. This shall be anchored on conflict prevention and peacebuilding in conflict-affected areas.

The state’s role in peacebuilding also encompasses strengthening government institutions, conflict prevention and management, security sector reform, reconciliation and transitional justice, and regional and international cooperation.

Some governmental organizations that support the peace-building agenda from industrialized countries are the French Development Agency, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the 

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In the Philippines, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) is the main government agency tasked to “manage, direct, integrate, and supervise the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Process through promoting and reinforcing reconciliation and unity among the Filipino people.” (OPAPRU, 2016). Some of the office’s key programs include Gawad Kapayapaan, the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAPWPS), the Philippine National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security (NAPYPS), the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program, and the Philippine Peace Ambassadors.

At the regional level, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) composed its own Political Security Community that aims to “to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.” Under its blueprint, ASEAN is envisaged to be a rules-based community of shared values and norms; a cohesive, peaceful, stable, and resilient region with shared responsibility for comprehensive security; and a dynamic and outward-looking region in a world that is becoming more interdependent and integrated (ASEAN Secretariat, 2020).

 Intergovernmental bodies are one with the international community in advancing peace. Different organizations at the international level participate in many areas of peacebuilding: (1) Security and military; (2) Social, economic, developmental, and humanitarian; (3) Political and diplomatic; and (4) Justice and reconciliation (Barnett et al., 2007). The UN, for instance, is involved in many peacebuilding activities through its peacebuilding architecture—composed of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office—an intergovernmental structure that supports peace efforts in conflict-affected countries and is a key addition to the capacity of the international community in the broad peace agenda. Other attached agencies such as the UN Department of Political Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are involved mainly in conflict prevention and post-conflict recovery, while the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is focused on the promotion of human rights and global citizenship. According to the UN, “the most effective way to diminish human suffering and the massive economic costs of conflicts and their aftermath is to prevent conflicts in the first place” (United Nations, n.d.). Through diplomacy, goodwill, and mediation, the UN plays a significant part in conflict prevention. Special envoys and political missions on the ground are some of the methods the organization used to promote peace.

There are also intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that help in funding post-conflict reconstruction and recovery. Aside from these, there are other international actors such as non-government organizations (NGOs) and research and academic institutions that support peacebuilding efforts in the local, national, regional, and international level.


International Solidarity and Collective Action

| International Solidarity and Collective Action

Various international conventions and agreements addressing topics like arms control, disarmament, non-proliferation, and environmental protection were established as a result of post-World War II peace-building efforts. These agreements sought to foster stability, lessen the likelihood of armed conflict, and deal with the transnational issues that endangered world peace. Reflecting the growing recognition of the intersectionality and interdependence of nations, global cooperation in areas like nuclear disarmament, climate change, and human security became crucial components of the peace-building agenda.

In conclusion, World War II’s devastation and horrors acted as a powerful catalyst for establishing peace and fostering international collaboration. Significant steps have been taken to prevent conflicts and foster peace among states with the founding of the United Nations, the advancement of human rights, the creation of regional organizations, and the pursuit of international accords. Even though it is still difficult to bring about world peace, the post-World War II age shows the value of collective efforts, dialogue, and cooperation in building a more peaceful and prosperous world for future generations.

| Self-Evaluation Form (Part 2)


Answer the following question.


Do you think we can achieve just and lasting peace within this generation? Explain your answer. 




List of Activities

| Synchronous Activities

Activity 1: The Peace Map

Description: Learners will create a concept map that shows the different actors and activities involved in peace-building and global cooperation.


  1. This can be done individually, by pair, or by small groups.
  2. On a sheet of paper, ask them to list down the different actors involved in peace-building in one column.
  3. Ask them to list down key activities involved in peace-building in another column.
  4. On a manila paper, create a visual representation (e.g. concept map) that shows their relationship between and among each other. If done digitally, learners may use Zoom Whiteboard or Google Jamboard.
  5. Allot time for the reporting of selected outputs. Highlight similar and distinct responses during the discussion.


Activity 2: Local Peace Ambassadors

Description: Learners will design an activity, project, or program related to peace-building that can be implemented in the school or the local community/barangay.


  1. Divide the class into groups with at least 5 members each.
  2. Each group will act as Local Peace Ambassadors by drafting a proposal to an activity, project, or program related to peace-building that can be implemented at the community level (school/barangay).
  3. Each group shall identify a problem-solution situation. The Design Thinking process (Empathize-Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test) may be used as a framework in designing a proposed solution to the identified problem related to peace-building. Read here about Design Thinking. Note that the test stage is not required given that this is a classroom exercise only. However, the outputs can also be pitched to school or barangay officials if given the opportunity.
  4. The rubric for written output below may be used as reference, or may be modified accordingly.


| Asynchronous Activities

Activity 1: The Peace Research Collective

Description: Each learner will act as a peace researcher by researching about a local, national, or international peace initiative.


  1. The class shall be divided into continents or regional groupings (e.g.,  Western European and Others Group, Latin American and Caribbean Group, African Group, Eastern European Group, Asia and the Pacific Group).
  2. Each student will research about a local, national, or international peace initiative that is being implemented within the assigned regional grouping:
    1. What is the name of the peace initiative?
    2. Who are involved?
    3. What are its goals/objectives?
    4. In what country/countries is it being implemented?
    5. How is it being implemented?
    6. What are the results (if any)?
    7. Etc.
  3. Each student from the assigned regional grouping must choose a distinct peace initiative.
  4. OPTIONAL: Each student shall contribute to a collated version of peace initiatives being implemented in the assigned regional grouping. A curated research exhibit may be done on a cartolina or through a digital poster. Photos and other elements may be added as visual aid.


Activity 2: If I Were the President

Description: According to the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (2018), “peacebuilding becomes strategic when it works over the long run and at all levels of society to establish and sustain relationships among people locally and globally.” It links those “on the ground” (community and religious groups, grassroots organizations, etc.) with those in positions of authority (governments, the UN, corporations, banks, etc.). Thus, heads of state and heads of government must be a strategic peacebuilder in order to address related issues of structural violence, violation of human rights, economic disparity, environmental degradation, among others. Below is the model for Strategic Peacebuilding Paths:

Note: From Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, 2018, 



  1. Study the graphic organizer above that lists the Strategic Peacebuilding Paths.
  2. Ask the learners the question: If you were the president of the Philippines, which component/s of the Strategic Peacebuilding Paths would you prioritize to resolve our long-standing conflict in the West Philippine Sea with China and other neighboring countries? Why did you choose this/these?
  3. Answers are to be written in essay form with at least 5 sentences as explanation.


Self-Evaluation Form (Part 2)

Answer the following question.

Do you think we can achieve just and lasting peace within this generation? Explain your answer. 



| Rubric for Discussions


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The central theme/idea/argument of the student’s output is focused and supported by evidence which indicates mastery of the content.


The flow of the discussion of the central theme/idea/theme is coherent.


The form and presentation of the central theme/idea is clear, persuasive, polite, and easy to understand.


| Rubric for Written Outputs


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The central theme/idea of the paper is focused and supported by evidence which indicates mastery of the content.


The flow of the discussion of the central theme/idea is coherent.


The form and presentation of the central theme/idea is clear and easy to understand..


| Rubric for Creative Outputs


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The artwork clearly presents information, ideas, and/or theme on topic which demonstrates understanding and mastery of the content.


The artwork is meaningful and elicits understanding on the subject.

| Learning Resources

IOM – UN Migration. (2020, May 20). Peacebuilding to Prevent and Resolve Conflict – IOM’s Approach [Video file]. YouTube. 

Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc. (2018). Resources. Retrieved July 12, 2023 from  

Minecraft Education. (2023). Peace builders. Retrieved July 12, 2023 from 

PDFPK. (2023). Issues. Journal of Peace, Development & Communication. Retrieved July 12, 2023 from 

Peace Building Support Office. (n.d.). PBSO resources list – regional approaches to peacebuilding. Retrieved July 12, 2023 from files/documents/ 08_06_2007_key_references.pdf 


| References

ASEAN Secretariat. (2020). ASEAN political security community. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

Barash, D. P. (2013). Approaches to peace: A reader in peace studies.

Barnett, M., Kim, H., O’donnell, M., & Sitea, L. (2007). Peacebuilding: What is in a name. Global governance, 13, 35.

Boutros-Ghali, B. (1992). An agenda for peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping. International relations, 11(3), 201-218.

Galtung, J. (1969). Violence, peace, and peace research. Journal of peace research, 6(3), 167-191.

Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. (2018). What is strategic peacebuilding?. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Peace. In dictionary. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

National Economic and Development Authority. (2011). Peace & security. Official Gazette. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 2011-2016-Chapter-9-BSA.pdf 

Official Gazette. (n.d.). The constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity. (2016). About OPAPRU. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

United Nations. (n.d.). Maintain international peace and security. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

United Nations. (n.d.). United Nations charter (full text). Retrieved July 1, 2023, from 

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2023). International cooperation and solidarity. Retrieved July 1, 2023, from and-solidarity#:~:text=It%20requires%20the%20international%20community,inclusive%2C%20equitable%20and%20sustainable%20development