Mexico: Culture of peace in higher education


An article by Jaime Valls Esponda in El Universal

On February 17, the proposal of the Comprehensive Culture of Peace Plan in the Higher Education Institutions was presented at the headquarters of the ANUIES [National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education]. In addition to the subject of peace, it contains measures for the prevention of addictions and seeks to contribute to the development of young people in school and social settings.

Statistics indicate a deterioration of values ​​that has increased insecurity, which especially affects the most vulnerable sectors of the population: women, the elderly , children and low-income households in general. Without values, society loses cohesion and the social fabric is eroded. What is needed is a culture of peace that returns stability throughout the nation and ensures harmonious coexistence. An active contribution of higher education institutions is needed; they are spaces for the socialization of essential principles of well-being and peace. They are the ideal environment for the flourishing of the rule of law, inclusive justice and citizenship.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

Where is peace education taking place?

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The proposal, which is the result of the work of the academics and specialists of the associated institutions, will be submitted to the ANUIES National Council for consideration next March. One of the main actions foreseen is the figure of Peace Agents formed by university students and citizens, in order to strengthen the social fabric in their environment. Similarly, it is proposed to establish Specialized Care Centers to delineate peace programs with a social sense. The “Together for Peace” campaign will be supported with the participation of academics and students; the opening of Clubs for peace, the implementation of health and wellness projects with drug use prevention measures and the offer of courses, workshops and materials related to addictions.

Likewise, it was agreed to integrate an inter-institutional group of specialists and experts from the Center for Documentation, Research and Prospect for Security, Justice and Peace of ANUIES. They are to develop programs and indicators on the subject. It was proposed to create, in the medium term, a School of thought for peace, with an educational offer focused on social transformation. Finally, it was recognized that since society is central to the construction of peace, there is need for an active change that involves the joint management of citizenship, family and school.

ANUIES calls for the creation of a National Network of Specialists and Experts in the Criminal Justice System. One of its tasks should be the promotion of a culture of peace in the justice system in all regions of the country.

Higher education institutions, in the full exercise of their social responsibility, expressed in teaching, research, innovation and culture, should recognize the demands of society and contribute to solving the problems of the nation. Higher education institutions are sensitive and in solidarity with the causes of a culture of peace, social justice and full respect for human rights.

Jaime Valls Esponda is the Executive Secretary General of ANUIES.