The University for Peace was established in 1980 in San Jose, Costa Rica, to promote postgraduate studies and research on peace. A General Assembly resolution called on member states, NGOs, and intergovernmental bodies, as well as interested individuals and organizations, to contribute to the university's Trust Fund.
In 2000, the University for Peace (nicknamed UPAZ) was in the process of major change and transition in which its programs, priorities, and administrative practices were being reviewed and a new strategy and program was being developed. At the time, its programs included Culture for Peace and Democracy in Central America; Natural Resources and Peace; Communications for Peace; Human Rights and Education for Peace; International World Center of Research and Information for Peace (in Montevideo, Uruguay); Gandhi Television Center for Communication and Peace; Radio for Peace International; and CEDIPAZ, a center for documentation and information for peace as well as the UPAZ library.
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN (INSTRAW) The United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) was established by the Economic and Social Council in conformity with an earlier decision of the General Assembly, which was based on a recommendation made by the World Conference of the International Women's Year held in Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July 1975. In 1984, INSTRAW's statute, submitted by INSTRAW's Board of Trustees, its governing body, was approved by Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/124 and then by General Assembly resolution No. 39/249. INSTRAW is the only autonomous research and training vehicle at the international level in order to contribute to the advancement and mobilization of women in development, to raise awareness of women's issues worldwide, and to better assist women to meet new challenges and directions. INSTRAW has been based in Santo Domingo since 1983, at the invitation of the Government of the Dominican Republic.
INSTRAW and its work are governed by the Board of Trustees, which is composed of eleven members nominated by Member States and appointed by the Economic and Social Council, based on their personal capacity and the principle of equitable geographical distribution. A representative of the Secretary-General, the Director of the Institute, a representative of each of the Regional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council, and a representative of the Host Country are ex officio members of the Board of Trustees. The Institute and its work are funded by voluntary contributions received from States, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private sources. The main responsibilities and tasks of the Board of Trustees are: to formulate principles, policies, and guidelines for the activities of the Institute; to consider and approve the work program and budget proposals of the Institute on the basis of recommendations submitted by the Director of the Institute; to make necessary or desirable recommendations for the operation of the Institute; and to report periodically to the Economic and Social Council and to the General Assembly.
INSTRAW's research and training programs are aimed at placing issues relevant to the advancement of women into the economic and political decision-making process. It does this by holding national training workshops and conducting joint research and training programs and projects in collaboration with specialized United Nations agencies, the Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations Focal Points for Women, and especially, regarding data and statistics, with the Statistical Division of the United States Secretariat. INSTRAW's training program, supported by data and its research findings, aims at developing training materials that will include women in the development process, especially in developing countries.
Two billion people in remote rural areas and urban slums of the developing world—half of whom are women—lack safe drinking water and even rudimentary sanitation facilities. Because of the critical need to address the question of water for human survival, INSTRAW produced in 1986, and updated in 1991, a training package on "Women, Water Supply and Sanitation," which has been the focus of ten national, regional, and international training seminars organized by the Institute from 1987 to 1994 in some African, Asian, and Latin American countries. The package illustrates the importance of women's participation on all aspects of water resources, including agriculture, human resources development and water resources management. INSTRAW's modular training program is crucial due to negative effects that water and sanitation problems have on a large number of the world's population.
Considering the importance of waste disposal for reasons of health and environmental sanitation, INSTRAW prepared an additional module to include in the "Women, Water Supply and Sanitation" package, aimed at sensitizing the decision makers on the needs and ways of including women in waste management schemes. Produced in 1994, the new training module of "Women and Waste Management" has been used in Namibia (first ever training seminar ever conducted in Namibia), Guyana, and Ecuador (where five national follow-up seminars were conducted with a total of 159 participants), with an average of 40 participants in each country. This training module presents an integrated approach to environmental sanitation and provides practical guidelines and checklists for integrating women at the designing, implementation, operation and maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation phases. The module provides numerous examples of successful community waste management and other initiatives in the area of environmental sanitation around the world.
The multimedia training package, "Women and New and Renewable Sources of Energy" (NRSE), was first developed by INSTRAW in 1989 (and updated in 1995). The main objective is to contribute with a new approach in the organization of NRSE systems by including women's needs as well as their participation in the planning, technical operations, maintenance, assessment, and implementation of environmentally sound NRSE programs and projects.
INSTRAW produced in 1995 a modular training package in "Women, Environmental Management and Sustainable Development." It was developed for senior officials of Ministries of Environment, Natural Resources, Planning, Women's Affairs, Education, Health; development planners and provincial or local authorities in charge of environmental programs and projects; engineers in charge of designing new technologies; university professors, trainers and managers of national training institutes and educational institutions training staff on various aspects of women, environmental management, and sustainable development, and representatives of nongovernmental and women's organizations involved in environmental projects.
In 1995, INSTRAW produced a training package on "Gender Statistics and Policy." The most important feature of this training package is that it is designed to provide statisticians and development planners with hands-on exercises on the actual use of existing data in policy designs. This package contains a pre-workshop module, which is designed to familiarize the users with gender issues and their relevance to National policy goals, better preparing them for the actual training; illustration of how gender-specific statistics and indicators affect policy goals/targets; computerized statistical policy models which visually describe direct impact of certain variables on target policy indicators. This module includes statistical models that can be adapted at the national level.
During 1993, INSTRAW adapted existing computer models in order to assist policy makers in understanding the relationship between certain sectoral policies and the advancement of women. This was completed in collaboration with the Population Division of the former Department of Economic and Social Development. The two models, entitled "Urban Women in Development Model" and "Rural Women in Development Model" are designed as teaching tools and conceptual framework that can serve as a basis for recognizing the multisectoral approach needed to ensure equitable participation of women and men in development. The models come with an instruction manual, sample exercises, and a computer diskette containing the program information.
The United Nations leadership in recognizing women's equal rights as prerequisite for their full participation in sustainable development is not as well known as it deserves to be. INSTRAW attempted to address this situation in the first module of the "Gender Training Portfolio," published in 1993. This Portfolio is designed to describe and disseminate information on women/gender and development for use in a variety of situations. As the world works toward the goal of sustainable development, people become more aware of the interaction of gender relations in development planning and its effect on the status of women worldwide. INSTRAW's aim is to promote the sharing and effective utilization of such knowledge to positively influence development policies nd help make them more responsive to the needs of both women and men.