The Seville Statement on Violence is a statement on violence that was adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain, on May 16, 1986. It was subsequently adopted by UNESCO at the twenty-fifth session of the General Conference on November 16, 1989. The statement, then known as a ‘Statement on Violence’, was designed to refute “the notion that organized human violence is biologically determined”.
The statement contains five core ideas:
- “It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors.”
- “It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature.”
- “It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior.”
- “It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a ‘violent brain’.”
- “It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by ‘instinct’ or any single motivation.”
The statement concludes: “Just as ‘wars begin in the minds of men’, peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us.”