Headquartered in Costa Rica, the United Nations-mandated University for Peace was established in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization by the UN General Assembly. As determined in the Charter of the University, the mission of the University for Peace is: “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace 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.”
To ensure academic freedom, the University was established under its own Charter, approved by the General Assembly. UPEACE is not subject to UN regulations and is directed by its own Council of renowned personalities with expertise in peace and security matters. This has allowed the University to move rapidly and to innovate, focusing its new, rigorous academic programme on the fundamental causes of conflict through a multidisciplinary, multicultural-oriented approach.
The wider mission of the University should be seen in the context of the worldwide peace and security objectives of the United Nations. The central importance of education, training and research in all their aspects to build the foundations of peace and progress and to reduce the prejudice and hatred on which violence, conflict and terrorism are based is increasingly recognized. The Charter of the University calls for UPEACE “to contribute to the great universal task of educating for peace by engaging in teaching, research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge fundamental to the full development of the human person and societies through the interdisciplinary study of all matters related to peace”.
Funding of UPEACE programmes comes from the support of a number of donor governments, foundations and institutions who believe in the mission of the University. Fundraising for an endowment fund is in progress.
The vision of UPEACE is to become a network of collaborating UPEACE centres and activities in different regions, guided from its headquarters in Costa Rica and cooperating with a large number of universities, NGOs and other partners on education and research for peace.
It is a unique global academic institution with over 6,000 Alumni hailing from more than 120 nations working for peace on a global scale.
As part of the continuing process of United Nations reform, former UN Secretary-General Annan took a number of measures since early 1999 to reorganize, strengthen and internationalize more fully the University for Peace – so as to enable it to contribute more effectively to the peace and security objectives of the United Nations.
The Council has defined an innovative programme of education, training and research for peace – focused on key issues, including conflict-prevention, human security, human rights, environmental security and post-conflict rehabilitation.
Their projects include Peace Innovation Initiative (PII) which aims to create a global culture of peace through peace-inspired innovation. In partnership with the University for Peace, founded in 1980, PII is building an ecosystem for sustainable peacebuilding by bringing all society sectors together and harnessing their relative strengths and insights to innovate for change.
PII envisions a world where our global systems are built on a foundational framework for sustainable, positive peace. In order to create such a world, PII will:
- invest in original, collaborative research on peace & technology;
- build a digital peace education platform;
- design & build peace innovation projects and products;
- create commercialization opportunities for peace innovations;
- engage in high-level media campaigns and public talks;
- and build and offer training and consultation to the private sector and interested institutions on peace, peace innovation and integration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
PII will operate in a self-sustaining manner, where PII’s outputs support its infrastructure, in a circular model. In this way, PII values peace as a practice and believes such circular systems are the most effective way to create positive change and achieve the SDGs.
The website is https://www.upeace.org/
Their YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/@UPEACE01
Page updated January 2024