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Central American Scholars Advocate Principled Education

Managua, Nicaragua – Recognizing the power of education as an instrument of peace advocacy, UPF-Central America and the Caribbean (CAC) hosted a webinar to commemorate the U.N. International Day of Education on January 25, 2024, under the auspices of the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP).

Participants included Dr. Edy Baltodano, president of the University of Commercial Sciences (UCC) in Nicaragua; Dr. Julio Raudales, president of the Jose Cecilio del Valle University (UJCV) in Honduras; and Dr. Ajani LeBourne, board member of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia, as well as deans and professors from universities in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

U.N. Resident Coordinator for Honduras Dr. Alice Harding Shackelford addressed the meeting: “I want to congratulate you for the work you are doing because peace, as you know, is one of the pillars of the United Nations. Any conflict in the world directly affects all human rights, that we all are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Concerning education she said, “The first concept is that education must be seen as connected to poverty, hunger, health, human rights and environmental sustainability. The second concept is that nobody is left behind. We need to question, who is being left behind in education, water or food provision? (Everyone has) the right to receive education in their native language and culture. Third is inclusive and equitable education.” She pointed out that the U.N. secretary general is proposing the Summit for the Future in September this year, and expressed the hope that UPF would join other organizations in preparing for this summit.

Ambassador for Peace Dr. Oscar Alvarez from Costa Rica said, “It is time we academicians must leave the classrooms, schools and universities and project ourselves towards the community…contributing to the dissemination and promotion of universal values and principles such as the dignity of the human person, the common good, freedom, justice and peace. Let us follow the example of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who throughout his earthly life was a global citizen who loved and promoted peace and promoted the good of each of our people and countries while promoting the universal good that can only be achieved in a world of peace and mutual prosperity.”

Ambassador for Peace Dr. Edy Baltodano from Nicaragua shared his comments on the panelists’ presentations: “I think the participation of the U.N. representative was very valuable. Also, the panelists covered the philosophical view and the affirmation of human rights as well. And of course, the vision of UPF as organizer was excellent. I strongly recommend to keep promoting this kind of event with active participation of representatives of different countries. It is all so enriching.”


By Maria Luisa Solsol, Regional Coordinator, IAPP-CAC January 25, 2024


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