Sweden site of newest Rotary Peace Center

[Rotary International News]

The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees has selected Uppsala University in Sweden to host a new Rotary Center for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.

During their April meeting, the Trustees agreed to negotiate an agreement with Uppsala University to house the seventh Rotary Peace Center, which will join those in Asia, Australia, North America, South America, and the United Kingdom.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Uppsala University to take the Rotary Peace Centers program to the next level,” said Foundation Trustee Chair Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar. “We are confident that our Rotary Peace Fellow alumni, actively engaged in peace-building and conflict prevention and resolution around the world, will agree that partnering with Uppsala University to host a Rotary Peace Center is a winning strategy.”

In 2009, the Trustees began a search for institutions that met the Foundation’s requirements for a Rotary Peace Center. More than 100 received inquiries, and five received site visits between January and March.

Uppsala University has an established two-year master’s program in peace and conflict studies and a research program led by a large, internationally recognized faculty. The Uppsala Conflict Data Program is a leader in the field and will provide future Rotary Peace Fellows with the opportunity to combine informed theory with data-driven field research. The university is home to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library for peace research.

The Trustees also approved an extension to the application deadline for Rotary Peace Fellowships starting in 2012. Candidates have until 15 August 2011 to apply. The first class of peace fellows at Uppsala will begin their studies in September 2012.

The Rotary Peace Centers program offers individuals the opportunity to pursue either a master’s degree or certificate in studies related to peace and conflict resolution. Up to 110 fellowships are awarded annually. The existing centers are located at:

• University of Bradford, England
• University of Queensland, Australia
• International Christian University, Japan
• Universidad del Salvador, Argentina
• Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
• Chulalongkorn University, Thailand (three-month certificate program)

More than 500 Rotary Peace Centers alumni worldwide are working with international organizations such as the World Bank, Organization of American States, and United Nations, as well as with local and national governments, nongovernmental organizations, and consulting firms.

The program receives support from donations to the Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative. Paul A. Netzel, chair of the initiative, says it has obtained $55.8 million in commitments, which surpasses the phase 1 goal of $55 million.

“This is an important milestone for the Rotary Peace Centers and great timing, given the exciting announcement of the new center at Sweden’s Uppsala University,” Netzel said. “Now that we’ve reached $55 million, we’ve set our sights on a goal of $60 million by June 30. We’re well over half way to our overall goal of $95 million by 2015.”

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