European Union Policy Studies

Pursuit of Peace


 

Masters Summer School

Every year the JMU M.A. in Political Science program offers a fully funded scholarship (round-trip transportation, on the ground transportation and fees) to one graduate student to attend the INU Student Seminar on Global Citizenship & Peace at Hiroshima University in Japan. Claudia Salvador, who was selected for the 2014-2015 school year, tells us about her experience.

Tucked into the lush green hills just outside of Hiroshima, Japan lies Hiroshima University (HU). In that setting, I attended the 2015 Master’s Summer School of Global Citizenship and Peace, one of various seminars organized annually by the International Network of Universities (INU). JMU is the only American member of the international consortium and currently holds the INU presidency.

Thirteen graduate students from eight INU member institutions participated in the week-long master’s seminar held this past August. In preparation for the summer school, each student had to complete various readings and write a paper connected to one of four themes: 1) Global Governance; 2) Responsibility and Justice in Global Politics; 3) Strategic Decision Making; and 4) Human Rights in the Context of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The intensive course featured a series of seminars and lectures led by professors from INU member universities; furthermore, it gave its students the opportunity to engage in deep discussions of human rights, international policy, gender, and globalization in the context of peace and global citizenship. These discussions were particularly interesting, given the the variety of academic and national backgrounds of course participants. 

The summer school also required students to simulate a special session of the United Nations General Assembly. Held during the last day of the seminar, the simulation featured strategic and passionate debates about whether to press the UN Security Council to revise Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Throughout the course of the simulation, all participants had the chance to hone their leadership, diplomacy, and communication skills.

This summer’s session held particular significance because it commemorated the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. We were able to attend the poignant memorial ceremony that was held in the city’s Peace Memorial Park. Among those present at the ceremony were US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and Japan’s controversial Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. A lantern ceremony was held at the end of the day, during which attendees wrote messages of peace and remembrance on paper lanterns holding candles that were then lit and set afloat down the Motoyasu River, passing by the infamous Atomic Bomb Dome. The summer school also provided us the opportunity to listen to the testimony of a hibakusha, an atomic bomb survivor, who had bravely decided to share his stories with younger generations in an effort to aid in the movement for achieving peace and a nuclear-free world.

Hiroshima

Friendship, a desire for peace, and an eagerness to learn have united not only the students and professors of the INU Master’s Summer School on Global Citizenship and Peace but the city of Hiroshima as a whole. As a participant of the seminar I was challenged, not only to reflect, but also to continue to learn and act in order to create a more humane and sustainable world.

Immediately following the bombing in Hiroshima it was said that neither trees nor vegetation would grow in the city for 70 years. However, the city has risen from the destruction to become a flourishing symbol of hope and peace, a true phoenix from the ashes. The passion and quiet dignity I discovered in Hiroshima will continue to inspire me wherever my professional career may take me.

Written by Claudia E. Salvador

Published: Sunday, November 1, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018

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