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Organization: European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU)
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Yes. We can assess it by:  

- the increasing number of applications: they have doubled in the last two years.

- students take more classes than they are required

- students volunteer to organise activities at the local school, involve with the local community and do internships.

- No serious conflict among all involved (participants, professors)

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

- Scarcity of scholarships. They have been reduced by 80% in the past 10 years.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

The EPU (European University Center for Peace Studies) is an international, non-governmental organisation with UNESCO status, and is affiliated to the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), also located at Stadtschlaining. It was founded in 1988 by Gerald Mader in his capacity as president of the ASPR, with the support of European UNESCO commissions. The original curriculum of EPU was designed along the lines of Johan Galtung’s ” Plan for a Master of Peace and Conflict Resolution” which he developed for the University of Hawaii.  Galtung teaches each fall and spring at EPU.

The EPU has been offering postgraduate programs in Peace Studies since 1990. In 1995, EPU was co-winner of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. The EPU’s UNESCO Chair on Peace, Human Rights and Democracy was established in 1996.

Primary goals of the EPU are:
spreading the idea of peace in the spirit of the UNESCO;
giving scientific and educational support to peace building in Europe as inspired by the OSCE process;
promoting a "world domestic policy" based on sustainable development, cooperative responsibility and ecological security;
contributing to the development of a global peace culture;
training and improving individual capabilities in peace-making and conflict resolution.

EPU has designed progams to provide students with the intellectual skills to analyse conflicts and their underlying causes and with practical skills in peace building and related fields. EPU adheres to the idea of integrated learning, believing that learning needs to occur not only on an intellectual level, but must take the person as a whole into account. The faculty come from many different countries from every continent and a wide variety of disciplines and emphasise a transnational, transdisciplinary perspective in their teaching. They bring practical experience as well as a profound theoretical background to the EPU courses.

The Master of Arts in “Peace and Conflict Studies” consists of two taught terms of three months each, a research period in between these two terms plus a final research period for completion of the M.A. thesis. Each term of this program can also be attended individually and be completed with the award of a Certificate for the Advanced International Study Program in Peace and Conflict Transformation.


In addition to one-week sessions for introduction, conclusion and a special analysis of the field of conflict transformation, each term offers in-depth exploration of several grouped themes. Each of these longer units incorporates aspects of practical peace work.

The three main themes in the fall semester (Oct-Dec) are non violence and disarmament; peace and global economy; human rights, democracy and political participation. The spring semester (March-May) covers peace education, peace culture, development theories, alternative economics, reconciliation, peace and deep culture, and leadership.


ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

We would advise him to support the training of large number of people in every country in peaceful conflict transformation and peace initiatives undertaken by civil society actors.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Consortium for a European Master in Peace Studies, coordinated by the University of Florence.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

Expanding number of students to be trained in developing strategies for peaceful conflict transformation, reconciliation, sustainable development, democratic participation and the respect for human rights.

Create a global network of schools and universities that teach peace.

Postal address of organization

Rochusplatz 1, A-7461 Stadtschlaining/ Austria, Tel.: ++43-(0) 3355 2498, Fax: ++43-(0) 3355 2381,

E-mail address of organization

fischer@epu.ac.at

Website address of organization

http://www.aspr.ac.at/welcome.htm

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Peace Education

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

International  peace and security

Highest priority country of action (or international)

International

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU)

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