By the end of the Second World War international peace and security has become among the major concerns of many actors; including the UN. However by the closing years of the cold war, the climate for conflict resolution changed radically, as factors fueling inter-state disputes faded away. Nevertheless a new wave of intra-state conflicts arose mostly associated with nation –building processes in the developing countries.
The transformation of the O.A.U into the newly established A.U signified a strong trend towards facilitating resolution and prevention of conflict within African States. No structure speaks more of that approach than the creation of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, bringing to the forefront of the A.U. agenda the search for peace and stability in Africa, and clear recognition of the that without peace chances for development are hardly possible.
It is becoming clear for the UN and other academic and non-academic circles that; for mankind to enjoy fruits of sustainable peace, there is need to develop and entrench a culture of peace through preparation of future generations through their education. Therefore the UN established in 1980 the University for Peace (Upeace) as an institution authorized to grant academic degrees in the field of peace and conflict studies. Upeace is intended to support regional and state efforts in the endavour to prepare peace makers.
In compliance with these trends the University of Bahri declares an intention to contribute to build peace in Africa and the Sudan, by establishing a centre for Peace and Development studies.
Not only that but University of Bahri, strongly believes that Peace as a value lies deep in the socio-cultural make-up of the Sudanese society, to whom the Arabic word for” Peace”, “ Assalam” corresponds one of the holy names of “Allah” . Moreover in a rare phenomenon, Islam promotes that value by making the word “Assalam” to be the most acceptable way of greeting between human beings.
The Centre for Peace and Development Studies (C.P.D.S) is a post-graduate institution of research in the University of Bahri with the aim of preparing future generations, through education, training and research, to help African and the Sudanese students, better understand the causes of conflicts, and develop the culture of peace.
The UNESCO Chair for Peace
The Centre for peace and Development Studies is hosting the UNESCO Chair for Peace in the Sudan since 1996, aiming to help disseminate the culture of peace in the Sudan, after this long record of conflict in post-independence era. The Centre and the Chair also offer short course programs for local N.G.O.s in areas of peace-making , conflict mitigation, social reconciliation, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapon, apart from other awareness-raising programs for the general public on early-warning and conflict-prevention arrangements and skills. Research projects are also in the agenda, relying on the professors of the Centre who propose policy-oriented research projects of high priority addressing Sudan – south Sudan border issues, pastoralist-farmer relations, resource-based conflict….etc.