EVANSTON, Ill., April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing efforts to foster peace and world understanding through education, Rotary International today announced Uppsala University (Uppsala Universitet) in Uppsala, Sweden as the humanitarian service organization's seventh center for international studies in peace and conflict resolution.
Out of an international pool of more than 100 universities, Uppsala University was selected for its established core curriculum in international relations, peace, and conflict resolution; superior faculty, excellent academic credentials and financial stability.
Founded in 1477, Uppsala University is one of oldest and top ranked universities in Northern Europe. Its department of Peace and Conflict Research was established in 1971. "A key aspect of the department's research has been its numerous and wide-ranging collaborations with internationally leading scholars and institutions," said Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, chair of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. "The new Rotary Peace Center in Uppsala will be a wonderful addition to our global network of Rotary Centers."
The center is scheduled to open in September, 2012. "Rotary's decision is a source of tremendous pride for us," said Anders Hallberg, Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University. "Peace, security, and democracy comprise one of our University's truly robust fields of research and education, and it means a great deal to us to have been selected out of more than 100 universities in the world."
Those interested in the program can apply through local Rotary clubs or email [email protected] for more information. The 2012 application form is available for download from the Rotary website at http://www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/EducationalPrograms/RotaryCentersForInternationalStudies/Pages/ridefault.aspx , with completed applications due to The Rotary Foundation by August 15, 2011.
Rotary clubs have always embraced the call for peace at the grass-roots level by addressing the underlying causes of conflict and violence such as hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy. "Since 1905, Rotary clubs have worked locally and internationally to make the world a better and more peaceful place one person, one family, and one community at a time," said Stenhammar.
Even before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Rotary unveiled its plans to take a more direct approach by providing future leaders with the tools they need to "wage peace" on the global stage with its innovative Rotary Peace Centers program. Since 2002, Rotary awards up to 110 full fellowships each year for master's-level degrees or a professional certificate in peace and conflict studies at seven Rotary Peace Centers located at:
- Uppsala University, Sweden
- University of Bradford, United Kingdom
- University of Queensland, Australia
- International Christian University, Japan
- Universidad del Salvador, Argentina
- Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
- Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, (three-month certificate program)
The program and US$26 million investment by Rotary is already showing results. Currently, 540 Rotary Peace Fellow alumni are already making a difference in key positions within United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and leading non-governmental organizations.
Margaret Soo of Malaysia, who studied at the Rotary Center at International Christian University in Japan (2002-04), is now the chief operating officer of the University Foundation Office and group vice president of the Group Corporate Affairs office at UCSI University in Malaysia. "Many people have good intentions, but they do not have the specialized training needed to make a difference," said Soo. "I think it is important to have professional training in this field. You should be able to say 'I'm a peacekeeper' the way you say 'I'm a doctor'."
Other notable alumni:
Etsuko Teranishi of Japan, who earned a master's degree at the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Queensland in 2005-07, is a junior professional officer sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of Japan, working for the International Organization for Migration on human trafficking and labor migration issues in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kouame Remi Oussou of Cote d'Ivoire, who earned a master's degree at the Rotary Peace Center at the International Christian University, 2007-2009, is now a monitoring and evaluation officer for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration with the United Nations Development Programme in the Central African Republic, where a comprehensive peace accord took effect in 2007.
Cameron Chisholm of the United States, who earned a master's degree at the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Bradford, 2006-08, founded a peace advocacy organization, the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI), based in Washington D.C. Last year, the IPSI hosted a month-long, mediation and peacekeeping symposium in Bologna, which will now be offered annually. In 2012, the IPSI will add another program in The Hague focusing on international and transitional justice.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. It is comprised of 1.2 million members working in more than 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographic regions.
SOURCE Rotary International