Basra, March 14, 2019 – Strengthen the capacity of universities across Iraq to contribute to the achievement of SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, UNDP Iraq, national NGO, Iraq Al-Amal and UNESCO Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, has jointly launched a new national program – “Peace and Conflict Studies Diploma Program”, which will be piloted in October 2019.
With the approval of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), the program was developed with the participation of 14 academics from the universities of Baghdad, Tikrit, Anbar, Mosul, Koufa, Babylon and Basra, and designed to admit graduate students from universities any BA program. Admission of the first cohort of the two-semester program will be determined by an assessment by an academic council.
In Iraq, a country with a history torn by conflict, from colonialism to the regime of Saddam Hussein, the 2003 foreign invasion and the rise of ISIS, recurring conflicts have helped create a status quo that sees many traumatized and divided communities. . This program is the first step towards a theoretical understanding of peace and non-violent conflict transformation; and lays the foundation for community engagement by educated practitioners.
Jamal Aljawaheri, Executive Director of Iraq Al-Amal, explains: “Peace education is profitable and sustainable. If we are able to educate the leaders of tomorrow in the ideas of peaceful coexistence and conflict transformation, these ideas will infiltrate communities and, over time, reduce the burden of military and police costs associated with the ongoing violence. and the security currently required to keep others safe. Keeping in mind, this should be well informed and contextualize the ideas of peace and conflict.
UNDP Iraq and Eastern Menonnite University have previously collaborated on peace education in Iraq, having been instrumental in building and developing the capacity of the Consortium of Iraqi Universities for Peace Studies between 2016-2017 , who has since advocated for the integration of peace studies into higher education. systems in Iraq.
Subsequently, the partnership with the University of Innsbruck enabled the training of 23 academics (6 women) on conflict assessment / analysis, dialogue, negotiation and facilitation, which will also allow the efficient delivery of the new diploma program.
“In an economy that knows the value of people, we know how to communicate with each other, we know how to cooperate with each other, we feel empathy for the suffering of the other but also the joy of the other – and that’s what Peace Studies is about, that’s why we need it in universities. I think in many societies we have lost this ability, and peace studies can contribute a lot to their recovery – I think Iraq is a place where people aspire to that, ”said Wolfgang Dietrich, incumbent. of the UNESCO Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck.
In 2018, UNDP and Iraq Al-Amal also supported 11 academics and experts (4 from Iraq and 7 from the region) to develop the first-ever Arabic-language Peace Lexicon, which has since been adopted at the national as a key strategic tool for peace. education. With over 263 key terms relating to peace and conflict, this lexicon will allow academics to share common ground when communicating about peace and conflict in Iraq, especially in the implementation of the new agenda.
Dr Mohammedsiddig Mudawi, Head of Stabilization, UNDP Iraq, commented on the enthusiasm of the academics present, all eager to see the results of the pilot diploma in October at the University of Baghdad, “For the first time, academics from different fields of studies – psychology, law and sociology, come together to explore the idea of peace studies, which is indeed still in its infancy in many Iraqi universities. The fact that we were able to bring together so many academics not only to develop the program together, but to adopt it at today’s launch, is a testament to the enthusiasm and passion of Iraqi society and their desire. to achieve peaceful coexistence.
The development and launch of the Diploma Program for the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Arabic Peace Lexicon has been made possible by generous funding from the Government of Japan.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Marley Tinnock, Communications and Reporting Officer
Iraqi Crisis Response and Resilience Program
Mob: +964 751 741 9535