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The International University of People's Institutions for Peace (IUPIP)

By Price, Jane | International Journal of Humanities and Peace, Annual 2001 | Go to article overview

The International University of People's Institutions for Peace (IUPIP)


Price, Jane, International Journal of Humanities and Peace


What is IUPIP?

The International University of Peoples' Institutions for Peace (IUPIP)was established in 1993 in Rovereto, Italy, by the Fondazione Opera Campana del Caduti (Peace Bell Foundation).

It provides a place for teaching and training in people's diplomacy and non-violence. The world of NGOs and social movements operating for human promotion and peace is the immediate target of this initiative.

The initiative is supported by the Trentino Forum for Peace, the City of Rovereto, the University of Trento and the Autonomous Province of Trento, which contributes financially in conformity with its bylaw n. 11 of l0th June, 1991, for the promotion and propagation of the culture of peace.

The primary goals of IUPIP are:

* to promote a global culture of peace in the spirit of UNESCO;

* to contribute to the development of a world order based on the implementation of fundamental human rights;

* to spread the idea of non-violence;

* to train and to enhance the abilities and skills for people's diplomacy and the peaceful conduct of conflicts.

Background

The city of Rovereto hosts, on Miravalle Hill, the big Bell of Peace made from the bronze obtained by fusing cannons used by all the armies which fought in the First World War. The Bell tolls a hundred times every evening in remembrance of those killed in all wars.

The Fondazione Opera Campana del Caduti was founded in 1968 with the decree of January 18th from the President of the Republic. During recent decades the Foundation has been involved in a growing number of educational and peace building activities, culminating in the creation of the International University of People's Institutions for Peace.

The IUPIP Project

The International Course - IUPIP offers a three-week residential course in Rovereto to active members of NGOs and grassroots movements. The central areas addressed are people's diplomacy, non-violent conflict resolution and related topics. The teaching faculty and participants are drawn from many countries all over the world.

Over the years several knowledgeable experts and activists have lectured, amongst which Philip Alston (European University Institute, Italy), Elise Boulding (Dartmouth College, USA), Michel Chossudovsky Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada), Johan Galtung (Transcend: a Peace and Development Network, France), Francois Rigaux (Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium)

The course takes place in a transnational context of positive interaction between faculty and participants and of intensive exchange of experiences among persons coming from different cultures, societies and social backgrounds. The course is run under the patronage of UNESCO.

The first year (Summer 1993) focused on the study of two major situations of intense conflict: the wars in the former Yugoslavia and various social conflicts in Brazilian society. Both were analyzed in the light of general conflict theory, International human rights law, and the theory and practice of non-violence. The second year (Summer 1994) highlighted questions concerning people's diplomacy, non-violence and the role of women's movements in the peaceful resolution of conflict. Special attention was given to the role of women's peace movements in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. The third year (Summer 1995) focused on the role of media as an obstacle to and a resource for the peaceful and non-violent conduct of conflict. The fourth year (Summer 1996) was particularly concerned with the human, legal and economic aspects of migration. The topics of the fifth year (Autumn 1997) were the problems linked to the globalization of economy, the elements of structural violence therein and the possible alternative approaches. The sixth academic year (Autumn 1998) involved the examination of social and spiritual reconstruction of post-war societies.

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