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The University for Peace (UPEACE) was established in 1980 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, with the mandate to support the Peace and Security objectives of the United Nations through a world-wide programme of education for Peace.
According to the UPEACE Charter, as approved by the General Assembly, "the University is established with a clear determination to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace". To this end, the University was authorized by the General Assembly, inter alia, "to grant master's degrees and doctorates" . This unique world-wide authorization to award academic degrees, recognized by all countries which are members of the General Assembly, has been the basis of UPEACE's work ever since. UPEACE has carried out this mandate for more than 30 years by providing education, research, training and dissemination of knowledge fundamental to the full peaceful development of societies and individuals.
Building on the strength of this unique and universal international mandate, the University established an International Academic Council, composed of distinguished academics from around the world, to review, validate and ensure the highest academic standards of its programmes and courses. UPEACE's unique multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural approaches draw on the best pedagogical and educational practices in fields related to peace studies. In addition, UPEACE has steadily widened its academic reach through partnerships with distinguished Universities in all geographic regions.
Thousands of individuals, from virtually every country in the world, have graduated from UPEACE MA, Ph.D., short courses and individual training programmes over the years, and UPEACE alumni are now working in government agencies, international and non-governmental organizations, further academic studies, and individual careers to advance worldwide peace.
Since 2008 UPEACE has also been a full member of the National Accreditation System of Costa Rica (SINAES) and the Central American Higher Education Accreditation Council (ACAP).