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IAUP
POLICY STATEMENT
ON THE
ACHIEVEMENT OF A CULTURE OF PEACE
THROUGH INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

16 June 1999, Sacramento, CA, United States of America


POLICY 1

THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS RECOMMENDS THAT ALL INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AS WELL AS POLICY MAKING HIGHER EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER RELATED ORGANIZATIONS DEVOTE MAJOR PUBLIC AND ACADEMIC EFFORTS TO TEACHING, RESEARCH AND SERVICE THAT SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A WORLDWIDE CULTURE OF PEACE.

A Culture of Peace as defined by UNESCO includes "values, attitudes and forms of behavior that reflect respect for life, for human beings and their dignity and for all human rights, the rejection of violence in all its form and commitment to the principles of freedom, justice, solidarity, tolerance, and understanding among peoples and between groups and individuals."

HISTORY OF IAUP PEACE ACTIVITIES

From its inception in 1964, the International Association of University Presidents has promoted peace, welfare and security of humankind through education. Dialogue and collaboration among and between institutions of higher education and related organizations have been the hallmarks of the Association's work towards world peace.

The International Association of University Presidents helped to develop the philosophy and curriculum for the United Nations sponsored University of Peace in Costa Rica. The Association was designated as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 1983 and in 1986 successfully worked with the UN General Assembly to establish a Year of Peace. In 1989, the Association joined the Consortium of Non Governmental Organizations (CONGO) and became a member of the New York Committee on Disarmament which works with the United Nations First Committee of the General Assembly and the Department of Disarmament Affairs.

In 1990, at the Ninth IAUP Triennial, the Association approved the formation of the IAUP/UN Commission on Arms Control; the name was later expanded to include the concepts of Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace.

The Commission has developed and conducted conferences, workshops, seminars on the concepts of arms control, disarmament education, peace making and peace keeping, conflict resolution, security, the role of women in conflict resolution, the proliferation of nuclear arms as well as conventional arms, public health issues as a result of war and economic and environmental
issues that support peace making. The Association has also identified faculty at major universities around the world and assisted them in the development of prototype coursework on regional conflict, confidence building, nuclear proliferation threats as well as other topics vital to the achievement of a Culture of Peace.

POLICY II

THE IAUP RECOMMENDS AND IS COMMITTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW PARADIGM FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF PEACE THROUGH THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITIES FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD.

THE NEED

The need to construct a new paradigm is most apparent and the role that universities around the world must play in this academic effort is the core of the work done by the IAUP/UN Commission.

Violence has taken on a new face globally with the end of the Cold War. No longer is confrontation between superpowers the central issue of war and peace. Today, intrasocietal violence - violence within nations - overshadows violence that pits nation against nation.

Intrasocietal violence is not always confined within national borders. As the violent activities in Rwanda, Burundi, the Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sri Lanka and the Balkans demonstrate, intrasocietal violence can cross boundaries miring entire regions in intersocietal conflict.

In the world today, there are 3500 population groups that define themselves as "nations" while only 185 such groups are actively recognized as "nation states" by the international community. The potential for intersocietal and intrasocietal conflict involving a large number of these population groups is enormous and provides a powerful rational for the vigorous promotion of a Culture of Peace.

Other factors which are very important in the promotion of a Culture of Peace include environmental concerns, sustainable economic development, solutions for the increasing number of refugees and the promotion of international relations among and between countries, nationalities, and ethnic populations.

Thus the development of a new paradigm for peace in response to the challenges of increased societal violence is vital. The paradigm must be envisioned as a Culture of Peace and include the variables that support the principles of freedom and justice for all human beings. The development of a worldwide Culture of Peace is pertinent to the continuance of the human society on this planet. The participation of universities and other policy making higher education organizations is a critical component of the realization of a worldwide Culture of Peace.

The tools of the past used by nations to reduce conflict - -war and diplomacy - are no longer sufficient in the present and future global environment. Military power has limits in its power to arrest violence, and when the roots of conflict extend beyond states seeking power over territory - often the end result of economic resource deprivation, deep-set nationalistic, ethnic and racial enmities, and excess arms sales - diplomacy has its limits.

Thus the challenge today in dealing with war and violence is the establishment of a Culture of Peace in nations and in population groups by providing education that causes nations and their people to learn ways to live in peace with each other.
Universities have several distinct and related responsibilities, chief among them being to discover and impart knowledge through research and teaching and to educate professionals to use the knowledge in ways that are beneficial to society.

In the past, universities have not been immune from involvement in the culture of conflict. Students historically have been indoctrinated with their nation's rhetoric supportive of war; indeed they have been trained in many nations at war colleges and also at civilian universities as well in the techniques of war. In addition, the university has often been party to the development of knowledge pertinent to the purposes of war by conducting military research.

However, there has been a major change in the past several decades. Many universities are offering peace studies as well as war studies. This is an academic tradition that has much more to accomplish, yet there is a strong foundation on which to build coursework, teaching, research and service devoted to the establishment of a Culture of Peace.

Peace studies have grown out of a concern that while the academic community has invested enormous resources and dedicated some of its finest talent to the rationales and ways of war, academic efforts to learn about and strive for peace have been scattered and often disorganized and ignored in institutions of higher education. Peace scholars often feel that the relationship of much of the academic community to the "war system" has been characterized by complicity at best and full participation at worst. Peace studies, as early as in the 1920's, were considered a way to redirect the higher education community toward analyzing, demythologizing and ultimately confronting that system. Whereas traditional academic disciplines treated war either as an inevitable phenomenon or as a useful tool, and in fact glorified war, peace studies seek to treat war as a human problem which should be solved.

POLICY III

THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS URGENTLY RECOMMENDS THAT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION NOT ONLY DEVELOP AS WELL AS EXPAND THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A WORLDWIDE CULTURE OF PEACE AS AN ACADEMIC COURSE OF STUDY AND RESEARCH, BUT THAT THEY MAKE PUBLIC DECLARATION OF THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A CULTURE OF PEACE.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, institutions of higher education networking with other organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to promote teaching, research and service devoted to the establishment of a Culture of Peace throughout the world so as to provide for their students and their larger communities the awareness of the global nature of issues relevant to world needs today and for the future.

The proclamation by the United Nations in November 1997 naming the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the Declaration and Program of Action on the Culture of Peace submitted to the UN General Assembly in 1998 can serve as catalysts for institutions of higher education to promote the development of curriculum research and service devoted to an international Culture of Peace. International cooperation leading to broad alliances, linkages and networking among and between institutions of higher education in all parts of the world will encourage the exchange of experiences, materials, publications, curricula and research projects devoted to the establishment of a Culture of Peace. The action and support of worldwide universities for the establishment of a Culture of Peace will promote the decline of war and the establishment of world peace for today and for future generations.

 

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