POLICY STATEMENT ON
ACHIEVEMENT OF A CULTURE OF PEACE
THROUGH INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
16 June 1999, Sacramento, CA,
United States of America
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.