News from UPEACE

UPEACE delegates attend the II International Conference

“Con Todos y para el Bien de Todos” (With All and for the Good of All)

La Habana, Cuba. 25-28 January. UPEACE professors and student, Amabella Lapiz Carumba, (M.A. Programme in International Peace Studies) participated in the II International Conference on the theme “Con Todos y para el Bien de Todos” (With All and for the Good of All) held at the Palacio de Convenciones, La Habana, Cuba on the 25 to 28 January, 2016. This second International Conference was held as a forum of plural thought bringing together 750 delegates (government leaders, policy makers, academics, researchers, NGO's, activists and youth leaders), from 50 countries, to dialogue on the challenges and problems in today's world. The conference also attracted delegates interested in Cuban national hero Jose Marti's ideas about the construction of a better world and in light of the serious dangers facing humanity.
 
In the conference, Prof. Toh Swee-Hin and Prof. Virginia Cawagas shared their ideas on Catalyzing Solidarity, Cultivating Peace: Toward a Culture of Transformative Education where they highlighted the dominant paradigm of education that reproduces a neo-liberal economic, political, and social order reflecting structural violence, elite-centered “democracy” and social-cultural hierarchies. They offered an education for a culture of peace that develops critical consciousness and empowers peoples to engage in personal and social action in the building of a peaceful world for all humanity and all parts of the planet. In particular, their presentation highlighted the need to catalyze solidarity within and between the global North and global South as an indispensable element in a culture of transformative education.
 
Informal conversations with delegates from Cuba and  many other countries helped the UPEACE delegates gain a deeper understanding of the relevance of Jose Mart’s ideas to the building of a world grounded in principles of  justice, equality, freedoms and solidarity.
 
The UPEACE delegates from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Prof. Toh Swee-Hin (Department Head & IPS Coordinator),  Prof. Virginia Cawagas ( Peace Education Coordinator) and Amabella Lapiz Carumba, (MA programme in International Peace Studies) shared with the UPEACE community some highlights of the conference and lessons learned related to the theories of peace and conflict that underpin our academic programmes.
 
Specific issues discussed with the UPEACE community included the core philosophical and revolutionary ideas of Jose Marti and relevance to the building of a world based on justice, freedom, self-determination and solidarity; the case of the “Cuban Five,” their detention in the US and subsequent or negotiated release; Cuba and the United States relations and implications for Cuba’s “socialist” model of “development”; keynote addresses by the Brazilian liberation theologian Frei Betto and former Uruguay President Jose Mujica; the Annual Youth Torch March, Havana urban and countryside glimpses.