19 October 2015. UN Headquarters, New York - On 19 October 2015, the Rector of the University for Peace (UPEACE), Dr. Francisco Rojas-Aravena, presented the Secretary-General’s Tri-Annual Report before the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly. The Report, which spanned the 2012-2015 period, detailed UPEACE’s achievements and challenges, and exhorted Member States to support the University’s mandate through financial and political support. The resolution presented by the Permanent Costa Rican Mission before the UN was co-sponsored by 23 countries, and included the creation of a Trust Fund for Peace – under the leadership of the Secretary-General – through which Member States, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other philanthropic institutions can make voluntary contributions to UPEACE in support of its mission.
During the presentation, Dr. Rojas Aravena expressed the view that, as the University commemorates its 35th Anniversary, its mission is today more relevant than ever, given the drastic changes in the nature of conflict. He also expressed the University’s commitment to high-quality and dynamic academic programmes for educating leaders capable of facing today’s evolving conflicts on a global scale, through conflict analysis and policy recommendations. He also spoke of the University’s more than 1,680 Alumni – of which more than 60% are women – who currently work for peace and conflict resolution in all parts of the world and in a variety of institutions, including the UN system, NGOs, local and national governments, and academia. He also expressed the need for financial and political support for the University in order for it to be able to fulfil the mandate given it by this General Assembly, both through voluntary contributions and political commitments. Specifically, the Rector invited Member States that have not done so to sign the International Agreement for the Establishment of the University for Peace and make voluntary financial contributions to the University, for example, through the creation of scholarship funds for their nationals. The Rector spoke of the relaunch of the University’s activities in light of its 35th Anniversary and the commitment of the entire University for Peace community to the mission of the UN and with maintaining the highest academic and efficiency standards.
For her part, First Lady of Costa Rica and Council Member Mercedes Peñas Domingo thanked the Rector for the report presented and publicly expressed the impact the University has had on her personally and professionally. She referenced the current global situation, the rampant poverty and inequality that plagues all regions, and thus, the relevance of an institution such as the University for Peace, now more than ever.
This presentation was part of a two-week mission to New York by a UPEACE delegation led by Dr. Rojas Aravena, which also included First Lady and Council Member Mercedes Peñas Domingo; Acting President of the Council, Hal Klepak; Dean for International Cooperation, Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo; and Director of the Rector’s Office and Council Secretary, Ariela Fernandez.
During their mission to New York, the UPEACE delegation met with the Ambassadors of Honduras, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, Monaco, and the United States, in an effort to lobby for their co-sponsorship of the UPEACE resolution, request their adhesion to the UPEACE Charter in case they have not done so, and to explore possible future cooperation initiatives in support of the University’s mission of educating future generations for the prevention, transformation, and resolution of conflicts for a lasting peace. Thanks in large part to these meetings, UPEACE received 23 co-sponsorships for its resolution A/C.4/70/L.10, adopted by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee without a vote.
Taking advantage of the fact that many UPEACE Council Members were in New York City attending the General Assembly meetings, there will be an extraordinary session of the Council, to be held in the UN Secretariat on 21 and 22 October 2015. This meeting will be used to further discuss the relaunch of UPEACE’s activities within the framework of its 35th Anniversary.
Finally, the UPEACE delegation met with a group of Alumni living and working in New York City to discuss the week’s events and highlights.
For a video of the presentation, please visit:
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