Universities Call on G7 Leaders to Prioritize and Advance Peace and Security

More than seventy-five university leaders from sixteen countries convened at Keio University in Japan last week in advance of the G7 summit

As the G7 prepares to convene in Hiroshima, the world faces significant challenges to peace and security. Armed conflict or threats of conflict in many regions have resulted in violations of human rights and, for the first time in a generation, the open threat of nuclear warfare. Within this context, more than seventy-five university leaders from sixteen countries convened at Keio University in Japan last week and called on G7 leaders to invest in peace and security education at all levels, incorporate the latest research into policy on peace and security, diversify the set of stakeholders involved in high-level policy discussions on peace and security, lower barriers to student exchanges that foster cross-cultural understanding, and defend academic freedom.

"The world has seen significant innovation in warfare; it is now time for innovation in peace and security," a statement from the U7+ Alliance reads. It calls for "comprehensive, long-term and complex understandings of the patterns and processes that lead to sustainable peace, including strong institutions, economic stability, and social inclusion."

The presidents of the U7+ universities formally committed to take action to support the G7 agenda and contribute to fostering a more peaceful and secure world through research, education, and public engagement and outlined these commitments in the U7+ Tokyo Statement: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security . The Statement was unanimously adopted by the presidents and delivered to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on March 15 in his capacity as 2023 host to the Group of Seven (G7).

Professor Verena Blechinger-Talcott, Executive Vice President of Freie Universität Berlin responsible for International Affairs, attended the meeting in Tokyo. She praised the U7+ Presidential Summit as an important forum. "It is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with university leaders from all over the world. Together we can send much stronger signals to policy makers at the political level."

Please find the complete press release here.