IIPE at the IPB World Congress 2016

International Peace Bureau World Congress 2016
“Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda”

Technical University. Berlin, Germany
September 30-October 3, 2016

Visit the IPB 2016 World Congress Website

The International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) is partnering with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) to integrate a special peace education strand and side event workshops for the IPB World Congress 2016 on the theme of: ““Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda.”

IIPE’s participation is intended to infuse educational perspectives, including formal and non-formal, public and community-based learning strategies, into the policy & citizen action recommendations generated at the Congress. IIPE is also encouraging educators to participate in the Congress to learn from the experience and perspectives of activist and policy-maker counterparts.

The aim of the IPB World Congress 2016 is to bring the issue of military spending, often seen as technical question, into the broad public debate and to strengthen our global community of activism regarding disarmament and demilitarization. Solutions to the enormous global challenges of hunger, jobs, and climate change can be significantly enhanced by real disarmament steps – steps that need to be clearly formulated and put into political reality.

The objectives of the World Congress concern the connection between, on the one hand, the current global militarization and wars, and on the other, the need for a transformation of the war system. It becomes increasingly evident that without overcoming militarism and the dependence on militarized global and national security systems, a socio-ecological transformation with the goal of a just and equitable international social order cannot be achieved.

Earlier work on the essential need for economic conversion and demilitarization has in recent years rarely been addressed by peace movements or by the social and educational organizations that embrace transformation as their primary goal. Illuminating the connection between militarism and socio-ecological transformation is the specific challenge to be addressed by IPB’s World Congress.

Special IIPE organized events during the main Congress

Global Perspectives on Disarmament Education – with the Global Campaign for Peace Education  (Saturday, Oct 1: 2:30-4:00pm)

Members of the Global Campaign for Peace Education will share practical and theoretical considerations and approaches to disarmament education from the local to the global. Panelists from Argentina, Colombia and the United States will illuminate aspects of non-formal, community based disarmament education that foster civic engagement oriented toward personal, social and political change and transformation. Such learning strategies overlap with current UN and UNESCO efforts on Global Citizenship Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Democratic Education.

Speakers include:

  • Tony Jenkins, moderator (USA)
  • Alicia Cabezudo (Argentina)
  • Cora Weiss (USA)
  • Amada Benavides de Pérez (Colombia)
Introductory workshop: “Disarmament Education: Imperative for Peace”  (Sunday, Oct 2: 10:45am – 12pm)

This workshop will focus on the issue of nuclear disarmament framed in the terms of the following question: Is the existence of nuclear weapons justifiable? This guiding inquiry will be used to delve into the arguments used both to justify the existence or the abolition of nuclear weapons. The question of the justifiability will be analyzed within three interrelated and interpenetrating types of discourse: moral, ethical-political, and pragmatic. These discourses are based on Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action, the public sphere, deliberative democracy, and law.

Moral discourse refers to reflective inquiry and argumentation that seek to both justify and apply moral principles and norms to particular issues. Ethical-political discourse refers to inquiry into the coherence between public policies and the values that define collective self-understanding and identity of the social group (cultural, national, international, global) for the issue is of concern. This type of discourse employs interpretive and hermeneutic methods of inquiry. Pragmatic discourse refers to inquiry into the feasibility of the proposed change, the means to its achievement, and the negotiation strategies needed to achieve the end sought. This type of discourse is instrumental. Agreement across all three types of discourses provides the strongest of the justification for nuclear abolition.

Participants will engage in these three types of discourse, and they will share substantive learnings from the Congress as part of the content for these discourses pertaining to both sides of the question. Furthermore, this process will model a pedagogy of discursive reflective inquiry that can be replicated in a number of different educational contexts. The aim is to open fresh avenues of communicative power and renewed approaches to promote abolition and challenge nuclear proponents. These findings will be used in the Disarmament Education Session on Monday, October 3.

Workshop facilitated by:

  • Dale Snauwaert (USA)
  • Janet Gerson (USA)
  • and IIPE colleagues


IIPE organized side events on Monday, October 3

½ day Workshop: “Disarmament Education: Imperative for Peace” (Monday, Oct. 3: 9am – 1pm *times are approximate)

Given that (a) the 1980 UNESCO World Congress conception of the basic Aim of Disarmament Education is “… how to think about disarmament rather than what to think about it. It should therefore be problem-centered so as to develop the analytical and critical capacity to examine and evaluate practical steps towards the reduction of arms and the elimination of war as an acceptable international practice (“World Congress on Disarmament Education: Report and Final Document,” Section II.A.8.); and (b) that human beings interpret and understand experience, including values and moral and political choices, through frames of reference, which include employing methodologies of discursive reflective inquiry, (c) in order for future citizens to learn how to think, they need to be exposed to various frameworks and methodologies of thinking within particular domains of reflective understanding.

Therefore, this workshop will build on the discursive processes outlined in Workshop #1. It will model a pedagogy of discursive reflective inquiry that can be replicated in a number of different educational contexts. From the perspective of peace and disarmament educators, we will elaborate the principles and justifications and challenges from within and across each of the three discourses — moral, ethical-political, and pragmatic. Based upon the findings of our discursive reflective inquiry, the workshop will culminate in the drafting of a collective peace and disarmament education statement of principles regarding both the justification of and educating for nuclear abolition.

Workshop facilitated by:

  • Dale Snauwaert (USA)
  • Janet Gerson (USA)
  • and IIPE colleagues
Working Group on Peace Education: Building a Platform for Strategic Disarmament Education and Action (Monday, Oct. 3: 2:00 – 6:00pm *times are approximate)
  • Location: Technical University – Room H 3005 (Straße des 17. Juni 135 / main building of the university)

In this culminating session of workshops and experiences conducted by the IIPE in partnership with the Global Campaign for Peace Education, participants will build upon the guiding principles and ethics designated in previous workshop toward formulating a declaration and statement of guiding principles, pedagogies and strategies for disarmament education for the 21st century to be used as a practical and political tool for policy, practice and program development.

Taking cues from the Final Document of UNESCO’s World Congress on Disarmament Education (1980), subsequent reports of the Secretary General on Disarmament and Non-proliferation education, and the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, this declaration/statement will constitute a much needed revision and update reflecting current concerns and emergent frameworks for peace and global security such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO’s efforts on Global Citizenship Education.

Rooted in participants’ contextual knowledge and practical experiences the declaration will identify:

  • strategies and pedagogies for bringing urgent attention to disarmament to the larger public (through formal and non-formal channels including programs in schools, community settings, work with policy makers / political decision makers; media engagement, sports, etc)
  • avenues for integrating disarmament education back into the centrality of comprehensive peace education;
  • approaches for active education, research and learning across peace fields in order to generate diverse yet interconnected channels of cooperative action to transform normative acceptance of arms proliferation;
  • political pathways for making disarmament the norm on global-local, social-political, and institutional political levels through formal and non-formal education.

A final declaration will be issued by the Global Campaign for Peace Education upon conclusion of the Congress.

Working group session facilitated by:

  • Tony Jenkins (USA)
  • and IIPE and Global Campaign for Peace Education colleagues

Recommended Background Materials / References / Resources for all Sessions

Reference related to Disarmament Education / General Frameworks:

Nuclear Disarmament References:

Futures Workshop References:



Step 1: Register for the IPB World Congress

To participate in IIPE’s events you must register to join the IPB World Congress.  Click here to register on the IPB 2016 Congress website.

Step 2: Register to Participate in IIPE sponsored sessions

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