The University for Peace (UPEACE) was created in 1980 as a Treaty Organization within the framework of the United Nations to support the central peace and security objectives of the UN. Its mission is to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace.
As it prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary, a high priority of the UPEACE programme is to develop innovative educational materials on peace-related issues and to disseminate these through a network of partnerships to universities throughout the world. A new generation of leaders, academics and experts can thus be educated in their own countries on all the topics that promote mutual understanding between different nations and cultures, non-violence, security and peace. In this way, the efforts of UPEACE itself can be multiplied across the world, strengthening capacities to prevent and mediate conflict, particularly in developing countries, but also improving understanding in developed countries of the realities of the modern world. Currently UPEACE offers several Master’s Degree programmes (MA, Dual MA and Online MA) to students from all over the world, see www.upeace.org.
The University for Peace was established in 1980 under its own Charter which authorised UPEACE to grant Master’s degrees and doctorates - approved by the UN General Assembly - under United Nations resolution 35/55 which called for a Treaty Organization to “support the central Peace and Security objectives of the United Nations through a world-wide movement of education for Peace.”
Its mission is "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations".
The University for Peace’s more than 1,600 Alumni live and work in every region of the world. The vast majority works in peace-building capacities in their home countries, and, internationally, often on the front line of conflict situations. The Alumni community is multicultural, multinational, pluriprofessional and diverse. UPEACE Alumni are recognized for their cultural sensitivity, creativeness, analytical capacities and, especially, their commitment to Peace. They will continue to be leaders for peace – at every level of society, and in whatever career or activity they choose. Ultimately, it will be the Alumni who demonstrate the value of the University for Peace.
In 1999, within the context of United Nations reform, Secretary-General Kofi Annan expanded the role of the University for Peace to support the Peace and Security objectives of the United Nations through teaching and research in the areas of defense and promotion of human rights, the prevention and mitigation of conflict in regard to natural resources, the strengthening of civil society, the democratization of the military and the civil police, and the training of civic leaders in the techniques of mediation in support of peace processes worldwide, both at the Master’s and Doctoral level.
In 2012 UPEACE established its European subsidiary: UPEACE Centre The Hague. Its office is located in the Academy Building of the Peace Palace. UPEACE The Hague offers educational services to The Hague University of Applied Sciences, performs peace-related research and organizes conferences, seminars and lectures (like the Lecture Series “Peacebuilding in Progress”). Besides that it tries to promote the activities of UPEACE Costa Rica throughout the countries of the European Union.
After its first 35 years of existence, UPEACE has decided to pause and take stock of its academic activity in light of the road travelled thus far and in an effort to face the new challenges to peace and conflict resolution and to fulfil the mandate entrusted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. As part of this relaunch of its activities, the University for Peace is organizing an International Seminar on 3 and 4 December 2015, with the purpose of observing and dialoguing on conflict in the 21st century and how to address it from a global perspective in terms of education, analysis and training new generations with the skills to transform these realities.
For more information about the University for Peace and its programmes, please visit www.upeace.org.