Launch of Wales’ ‘Academi Heddwch’ from World Peace Day 2020

September 21, 2020, World Peace Day: All universities in Wales sign up to establish Academi Heddwch Cymru – by Mererid Hopwood and Jill Evans

On World Peace Day 2020, it’s a pleasure to announce that every university in Wales has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, along with the Learned Society of Wales, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, leading to the establishment of Academi Heddwch Cymru.

Marking World #PeaceDay2020, a flock of ‘Peace Cranes’ – inspired by the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima last month (August 2020) and the ‘story of Sadako‘, as well as the colours of 1960s Peace flags – emerge from Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health – spiritual home for the emerging Academi Heddwch.

Academi Heddwch Cymru’s aim is to extend Wales’ strong tradition of peace-making and peace-promotion. By developing and coordinating an independent community of researchers in related fields, Academi Heddwch Cymru will work to place peace firmly on the national agenda. On the international stage, it will become part of a global network of peace institutes.

The overall aims of Academi Heddwch are to ensure that:

  • Wales makes an internationally recognised contribution to peace research and practice.
  • a focus on peace is seen in relevant Welsh Government strategies and policies.
  • there is strong public engagement with peace research and practice in Wales

Background

The concept of an Academi Heddwch for Wales was supported in principle by the Senedd / National Assembly in 2014, which recognised that it could “add value to both the Assembly’s work and wider civic society”. This led to establishing the Wales Peace Institute Initiative (a small charity formed in 2015).

Jill Evans

Jill Evans MEP, who chaired the Wales Peace Institute Initiative said: “After months of discussions, it’s excellent news to see that the Academi Heddwch is ready to start work from its home in the Temple of Peace and Health, Cardiff. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to promote peace and justice in Wales and beyond.

Why is it needed?

At a time of unprecedented national and global challenges, Wales must play its role in shaping a peaceful future. In Wales, there is already some inspiring work on peace, but it is not well coordinated or acknowledged. The flagship ‘Wales for Peace’ project through WCIA and partners made significant progress in addressing these omissions, and as this project comes to an end, the Academi Heddwch can ensure that its important legacy continues.

Eluned Morgan AM

Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, can see the benefits of the Academi Heddwch: “The Academi Heddwch is a timely initiative well placed to contribute to Wales’ international peace ambitions as set out in the Welsh Government International Strategy. Both at home and on the international stage the Academi Heddwch is uniquely placed to offer advice on how we develop a peace agenda as we work to restore society in the shadow of the pandemic.

MereridHopwood
Professor Mererid Hopwood

For more details please contact:

  • Susie Ventris-Field at WCIA, Temple of Peace: SusieVentrisField@wcia.org.uk; 07495522387.
  • Prof Mererid Hopwood at UWTSD, Carmarthen: m.hopwood@pcydds.ac.uk 07855868077

UN ‘Peace Gun’ Sculpture, New York – Wikimedia Commons

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