. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION .
An article from El Comentario – University of Colima
Within the framework of the Comprehensive Program for Building Peace by Universities, organized by the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES), this week the seminar on the Culture of Peace began in a distance mode, with a presentation by Alicia del Carmen López de Hernández, general director of the University Family Development Center of the University of Colima (CEDEFU) and president of the Volunteer University.
Through videoconferences, the participating universities will share, during the following weeks, best practices on the subject of peacebuilding. The University of Colima will announce the progress of the University Culture for Peace project, which was implemented in the current administration of the Rector José Eduardo Hernández Nava, explained the general director of CEDEFU.
López de Hernández explained that with this project, the University of Colima seeks to promote in university students the skills and favorable attitudes for dialogue, leadership and volunteering, as well as healthy cooperation and coexistence through the daily practice of universal values and the development of actions that strengthen the bases of a culture of peace within their schools and especially in the society of Colima.
Before starting the first conference, Javier Saldaña Almazán, rector of the Autonomous University of Guerrero, thanked the opportunity to participate in this type of event, since “those of us who do education in these difficult times that humanity is going through, not only in our country, it is important that you share with the community what we do in the academy regarding the culture of peace and human rights.”
(continued in right column)
(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)
(continued from left column)
At the opening of the seminar, Yolanda Legorreta Carranza, general director of Legal Affairs of ANUIES,, on behalf of the executive general secretary of the Association, Jaime Valls Esponda, welcomed the participants and said that due to the health emergency, ANUIES decided to carry out a series of virtual sessions in May and June of this year, unlike last year when this academic activity would be carried out in person.
These videoconferences, explained Legorreta Carranza, “are focused on sharing content and experiences of education and intervention for peace in Higher Education Institutions, as well as reflecting on the most significant aspects of the culture of peace for our educational institutions and communities” .
The first shared experience was from the Autonomous University of Guerrero, where César Augusto Pérez-Gamboa, coordinator of the Chair for Peace of that university, addressed the topic “Building a culture of peace in Mexico in the post-Covid 19 times.” He presented some success stories and actions for peace that have been developed in his institution and what is being done at this time of health crisis.
The speaker pointed out that “like the UN, we believe that it is time to start planning not only the return to our universities, but to rethink the concept of peace and propose new moments for humanity that will help us achieve the transition towards a culture of peace.”
Pérez-Gamboa stressed that his institution proposes to address the Covid 19 crisis with peace strategies, “strengthening people who are in vulnerable situations, those who are in great difficulties, reinforcing solidarity and human rights, above all.”
He mentioned that one of the actions that the Autonomous University of Guerrero has carried out in these moments of sanitary crisis, is to make one of its laboratories available to the State Secretary of Health to carry out tests to detect Covid-19.
Finally, he avowed that it is possible to develop a culture of peace in these times of crisis and he invited all universities to join; “Today the call is for us to do it together, not only in each university but an alliance between universities, so that after this crisis we can do it together in solidarity. It is a long but possible path. ”
In the weeks to come, experts from the Veracruzana, Autónoma de Chihuahua, Autónoma de Nuevo León and Universidad de Colima universities will participate in the online seminars.