Education for peace
Education for peace
The Role of Universities
This chapter emphasizes the potential leadership functions of universities in this field. They can (1) heighten awareness of the gravity of the problem, especially by international cooperation in sharing data; (2) conduct research with emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration that gives deeper understanding of causes, nature and scope, amelioration, and prevention of mass violence; (3) upgrade education for peace in the universities and also extend the reach to educate the general public and leaders, including political, religious, ethnic, and military leaders–all of whom have massive responsibility for preventing catastrophes rather than inducing them; and (4) program excellent developmentally-appropriate educational materials for elementary and secondary schools, working in conjunction with teachers at each level. In March 2001, an international group of experts from various fields met to discuss the current status of education for peace and ways to improve it. Scholars from academia, prominent UN officials, and experts from nongovernmental, governmental, and multilateral organizations considered ways in which the University for Peace (UPEACE) might be able to strengthen the field of peace education.More broadly, participants analyzed the current state of peace education internationally. All concurred that the concerns posed by human conflict in the twenty-first century must be more adequately addressed. This initial section outlines important issues raised at the conference as well as its recommendations. In opening this meeting at the United Nations, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, made these remarks:… Knowledge, research, and teaching are vital in our new global environment. To achieve effective education for peace, we need to reach out to as many actors as possible to devise new approaches to challenges that are in themselves only beginning to be fully understood. . . . How do we promote the good governance needed to underpin stable and transparent societies? How do we make the unprecedented opportunities offered by science and technology work as a tool for peace? . . . Achieving decent, just, and peaceful relations among diverse human groups is an enterprise that must be constantly renewed–and education for peace is a fundamental part of that enterprise. Yet the world’s record on education for peace has been weak indeed. . . . To address complex causes, we need complex, interdisciplinary solutions.
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