25 public universities in Colombia work for peace in the regions


Excerpt from CoPaLa: Construyendo Paz Latinoamericana, Boletín cuatrimestral, número 8, México-Latinoamérica. marzo-junio, 2018 (translated by CPNN)

Representing the public institutions of Higher Education (Universities and Institutes), gathered in Girardot from October 22 to 27, 2017, developing of the Second Diploma on University, Region and Peace, following the premises, principles and conclusions of the first diploma of 2016, which culminated with the signing of the University Pact for Peace, sustained with a sense of territoriality and collective construction of stable and lasting peace, we subscribe to the present manifesto:

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1. We ratify the commitments to the construction of a stable and lasting peace with ethical responsibility, social commitment and a perspective of respect and recognition of the various communities in their diversity, plurality and culture.

2. We demand the institutions to address the voices, experiences and desires of the communities and to construct the policy and actions of Rural Higher Education from below and in context.

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Question related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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3. We call on the State, the Government and the Ministries of Education and Finance to understand in all their complexity that the main problem facing Public Universities is their de-financing and that it is necessary that they assume with urgency the reparative task of updating budgets and guaranteeing full autonomy and democracy so that the quality of educational processes and results respond to the demands of the territories and of the country that expects real peace with social justice.

4. As delegates and representatives of the public universities assembled here, whose common denominator is the strong ties to the territories where the armed conflict had its greatest impact, we commit ourselves to add and share efforts so that the policy of Rural Higher Education respects the interests of the communities, implementing the peace agreements and promoting a dialogue of knowledge between universities and communities.

5. We express our will for public universities to be recognized as privileged scenarios to promote dialogue and tolerance so that war will not be the alternative chosen to resolve differences or resolve conflicts.

6. We call for strengthening the capacities of the University Pact for Peace so that each university from its ranks and directives can support and commit to the Pact and promote a strategy of dialogue to deal with the issues of Peace and Higher Education and especially to help formulate the relevant policies and programs.

7. Within the framework of this pact, we hereby delegate to the Centro de Pensamiento para la Paz of the National University, to accept and carry out the tasks of the Technical Secretariat with a view to maintaining the coordination and exchange of our ideas, proposals and efforts.

Signed by representatives of the rectors of 25 public universities working from regions including the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia (UPTC); Universidad del Cauca; University of Nariño; Technological University of Choco; Popular University of Cesar; University of Guajira; Surcolombiana University; University of the Amazon; National University in its headquarters, among others.