UPEACE University is created and mandated to offer academic programmes through a UN resolution, the institution’s Africa regional director Samuel Kale Ewusu has said noting any other institution claiming UN affiliation must show a resolution backing its creation.
Ewusu exclusively told Goobjoog News this week UPEACE is the only UN mandated university challenging institutions claiming to be affiliated to the UN to prove their case.
“I do not understand why a private organisation which is not part if UN should be questioning the legitimacy of UPEACE in Somalia,” Ewusu said reacting to statements made by former Prime Minister Ali Gedi questioning UPEACE’s legitimacy.
Gedi whose controversial UN Academy in Somalia (UNAS) has come under the spotlight for claiming UN affiliation has said UPEACE is only a Costa Rican university. “UPEACE is only for Costa Rica so those taking their programmes in Somalia will not get certificates,” Gedi said.
But in his response, Ewusu said though UPEACE is headquartered in Costa Rica it operates in various countries including Somalia.
“I don’t think UN Academy in Somalia can show you any resolution that created it, how its linked to UN and what is the role of UN in that academy,” Ewusu posed. Gedi had earlier in the week taken issue with UPEACE following a statement from the UN in Somalia distancing itself from UNAS.
NO UN CONNECTION
UNAS which is owned by Gedi has claimed it is affiliated to the UN and even went ahead to use UN logos. UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) told Goobjoog News UNAS was in no way related to the UN noting investigations were underway regarding the matter.
“The UN has no connection to the United Nations Academy of Somalia (UNAoS),” UNSOM spokesman Ari Gaitanis said. The UN official said there was already a probe to establish how the supposed institution could brand itself as a UN affiliate.
“Here, at UNSOM, we were recently made aware of its existence and we are following up with it regarding their use of the UN logo and name as there is a strict process for the use of such things for official purposes – in essence, it requires a written authorization from the UN to use.”
Ewusu said UPEACE was committed to building the capacity of Somalis adding at the moment the institution was offering four masters and two PhD programmes. UPEACE in Somalia is currently hosted by the NGO SIDRA but Ewusu said plans were underway for independent operations since the UN is already present in the country.
The masters programmes are Governance and Development, Environmental Development and Peace, International Law and Human Rights and Disaster Resilience and Humanitarian Action. Peace in Government and Development is the only PhD programme offered by UPEACE In Somalia.
We want to accompany the people of Somalia in their post development agenda, said Ewusu adding, “In my report to the Council, I have indicated that our programmes in Somalia are going to be the most consequences in the whole of Africa.”
Ewusu challenged the students currently pursuing PhD programmes to work hard so that ‘we can absorb them in the UPEACE system.’