The German-Colombian Peace Institute (Instituto CAPAZ) wants to contribute to stabilizing the situation in Colombia with a communication concept. The project “Frieden_Kolumbien – Wissenschaftsdiplomatie zur Stärkung wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse im kolumbianischen Friedensprozess” (Peace_Colombia – Science Diplomacy to strengthen scientific knowledge in the Colombian peace process) was awarded the Science Diplomacy Award (“Preis für Bildungs- und Wissenschaftsdiplomatie”, BWD) by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on June 1; the prize is endowed with 75,000 euros.
The diplomatic efforts of the Instituto CAPAZ continue to be of great importance in light of the current situation: the peace process in Colombia is still not complete in the fifth year after the signing of the government’s peace treaty with the FARC. Currently, moreover, the Organization of American States’ Commission on Human Rights is also investigating the handling of the recent protests in which numerous people have been killed since April. The protests were sparked by plans for a tax reform that would burden poorer people in particular.
The project of the Instituto CAPAZ focuses on the transfer of research results and scientifically based arguments on the peace process to Colombian society and can thus make an important contribution to Colombia’s future development. The results from peace research will subsequently be introduced into broad social debates. The central target group is a young audience, which is to be motivated to engage with the scientific findings on the peace process by means of innovative formats.
Questions of transitional justice, politics of the past, culture of remembrance and reconciliation are to be addressed within the framework of the project. The reform of rural development, the solution to the problem of the illegal drug economy, the rule of law and democracy will also be addressed. The further development of eco-tourism and the role of the international community will also play a role.
In order to support Colombia’s peace process in the areas of research, teaching, and counseling, since 2016 PRIF has been involved in the establishment and work of the German-Colombian Peace Institute (Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la paz, CAPAZ) in Bogotá, together with German and Colombian universities. The institute is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds of the German Federal Foreign Office. The Institute has since become the nucleus of a broad academic network within Colombia and between Colombia and Germany in which the central themes of the peace process are dealt with. In particular, universities from regions of Colombia that are most affected by the conflict are involved.
Science Diplomacy Award
With the Science Diplomacy Award, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) recognizes successful education and science diplomacy initiatives.