The International Institute for Peace

© UN Photo/Martine Perret

The International Institute for Peace (IIP) was founded in May 2011 by Forest Whitaker, Artist, Humanist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation, and Aldo Civico, Professor of Anthropology and Conflict Resolution expert. It is based at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in the United States of America.

In October 2011, the General Conference of UNESCO unanimously designated the International Institute for Peace as an Institute under the auspices of UNESCO. It has been recognized that the IIP brings to UNESCO a unique focus and expertise in addressing the violent conflicts that take place in cities and urban areas, particularly among youth and gangs in virtually all regions. It complements in a concrete manner UNESCO’s vocation set out in its Constitution, “to build the defences of peace in the minds of men (and women).”

The IIP’s activities will contribute in particular to strengthen UNESCO’s work towards a culture of peace and non-violence, and to its activities involving and benefitting youth.



To foster a culture of peace through education, research and practice by strengthening the human potential for dialogue and negotiation.

Pioneering innovative research and educating the next generation of peace-building leaders, the IIP works to reorient societies and urban centers affected by destructive conflicts or gang violence.

The IIP aims at a sustainable peace rooted in human rights, respect for cultural diversity, and the elimination of poverty.


Academic excellence for theory and practice.

The IIP is a nexus of scholars and practitioners wishing to collaborate and participate in cutting-edge research, field work, and intervention. These synergies will help the Institute to prevent, reduce and solve conflicts. Our tools of the trade are dialogue, openness and empowerment of communities and societies crippled by violence with a focus on community-building.


Peace as a public good.

The IIP works side-by-side with communities in urban areas around the world to foster community- and peace-building among educators, community and religious leaders, entrepreneurs, local police, and youth affected by violence.

The IIP also builds capacity in civic diplomacy to advance the role of citizens in building and sustaining peace and democratic participation.




© Aldo Civico

  • to promote research on cutting-edge issues related to security, conflict resolution, and peace-building; the focus will be in particular on citizen security and youth violence prevention; climate change, environment and peace-building; women and peace-building; and the role of the arts in peace-building;
  • to contribute to the resolution of armed conflicts by supporting the negotiation and mediation efforts in societies trapped in violent conflicts;
  • to assist national governments and community bodies in the design and implementation of innovative public policies with a view to effectively addressing the challenges posed by violence to citizen security;
  • to establish a global Internet platform to serve as a nexus and networking digital tool for individuals and organizations engaged worldwide in building peaceful, open and sustainable societies – and to provide immediate peace-building and conflict resolution training anywhere in the world.


The IIP responds directly to the expressed needs of parties in conflicts, working in partnership with multilateral organizations, governments, businesses, and civil society organizations in countries across the world. In an increasingly interdependent and globalized world, the IIP will have an international outreach, and will initially prioritize its interventions in Africa, Latin America, and North America.

© Shiv Mandavia/ Forest Whitaker visiting Hope North in Uganda

For more information on IIP's flagship programmes or projects in the field, consult the following brochure or contact Caroline Descombris, Liaison Officer of the IIP, UNESCO Bureau of Strategic Planning (c.descombris(at); +33145681624).

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