The Institute for Peace and Justice Education in the School of Arts and Sciences in Byblos has its beginning in the early 1990s, when the first conference on conflict resolution and reconciliation was organized in Byblos. A steering group composed of faculty and administrators formulated the vision and a mission statement for an institute dedicated to the advancement of peace and justice in the region.
The University committed itself formally to the cause by establishing the Institute for Peace and Justice Education with the approval of the Board of Overseers in 1997.
The Institute has been active in collaborating with various University departments and faculty to forward its mission by organizing conferences and teacher education workshops, and by developing courses. The Institutes goals have also been furthered by many activities of the various University Institutes sharing similar concerns.
A joint project with Villanova University has resulted in a series of courses on Social Justice, some with a community service learning component, and a community outreach program.
In 2001 LAUs Institute for Peace and Justice Education became part of a consortium of international university-based peace education institutes with partners in New York, Japan, the Philippines and Argentina. The Consortium is an initiative of the Global Campaign for Peace Education launched by the Hague Appeal for Peace. The Institute endorses the GCPE aiming at institutionalizing peace education.
A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems; have the skills to resolve conflict constructively; know and live by international standards of human rights, gender and racial equality; appreciate cultural diversity; and respect the integrity of the Earth. Such learning cannot be achieved without intentional, sustained and systematic education for peace.
(Excerpt from the Campaign Statement of the Hague Appeal for Peace, Global Campaign for Peace Education)