AESI FORUM ROME JERUSALEM - "The Vision of the Youth on the roots of the crisis in the Middle East" (By Invitation)

It is not easy to “make” this evangelical peace, which excludes no one but embraces even those who are a bit odd, troublesome or difficult, demanding, different, beaten down by life or simply uninterested. It is hard work; it calls for great openness of mind and heart, since it is not about creating “a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority”, or a project “by a few for the few”. Nor can it attempt to ignore or disregard conflict; instead, it must “face conflict head on, resolve it and make it a link in the chain of a new process”. We need to be artisans of peace, for building peace is a craft that demands serenity, creativity, sensitivity and skill” (Pope Francis – Apostoloc Exhortation “Gaudete et Exultate”n.9)

  “The University Cooperation has an important tool to help and promote peace and reconciliation between young people divided by conflicts (such as in the Middle East and in the Balkans). This cooperation is also be viewed as an essential means of contributing to intercultural and interfaith dialogue. We must consider its great commitment to fostering reciprocal  knowledge and respect, both on a national and on an international level. Therefore to analyze the roles of education and Academic Institutions as crucial tools of public diplomacy in action for young people. Tools which,  from each country’s domestic perspective, are also vehicles of integration for an effective management of cultural and religious”(Intervention of Prof. Massimo Maria Caneva PhD MD - St. Johns College - University of Oxford 2013)

 "The traditional “academic collaboration”  is distinct from the “university cooperation for peace and development” understood as a strategy of action aimed to build a more developed and peaceful society. In fact, university cooperation needs to manage and deal with a double problem of independence in order to face the challenges to which it is called: from one side, it has to tackle the problem of research, didactics and operational services naturally built into the academic structure; from the other, it has to deal with the necessity of reconciling technical-scientific interventions, that must be tailored to the real demands of the local populations whose needs become are gradually discovered as the project proceeds.

  When we speak about university cooperation  we don’t refer only to the exchange of lecturers and researchers - which is usually the objective of traditional forms of academic collaboration - although this kind of activity may be very useful. University cooperation implies  a more general strategy based on both analysis and action, of training and research in the field, of cooperation among the academy and civil institutions, diplomats and international organizations, volunteers and peace forces, in order to provide support in both the prevention and solution of crisis promoting future development.”