IAUP POLICY STATEMENT
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 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.
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
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
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
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.