The role of universities in the building of peace
Together with the Peace Research Center Oslo and the University College of Southeast Norway, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 22 January arranged the conference The Role of the University in the Building of Peace in Drammen.
Universities and university colleges play an important role by providing education in human rights, multicultural understanding, reconciliation, and peace and conflict studies. The core values of these institutions include openness and dialogue in inclusive and democratic settings. Nevertheless, it is a historical fact that universities, in many conflicts, act as forerunners for conflict entrepreneurs and helps to legitimize political projects that weaken democracy, the rule of law and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
How we can ensure that universities remain true to its core values, and how they can contribute, in partnership with civil society, to build peace in conflict-ridden societies was discussed at the conference.
Another key point discussed at the conference was the universities’ role in various conflict zones, and the challenges that Norwegian universities face when they collaborate with universities in areas of conflict.
Among the speakers at the conference were Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector at University of Oslo, László Majtényi, Founder and President of the Eötvös Károly Institute in Hungary and Amela Lukac who is Associate professor at the International University of Novi Pazar.