A deep cultural bond between human beings leads us to focus on the universalities of humanity and connections between the identity of the individual and the collective, and the collective to the social and natural environment. The integrity of these multi-dimensional relationships is often threatened by lack of understanding, anger, inequality, injustice, and violence. Empathy and common understanding enable us to overcome these challenges and make progress toward peace and reconciliation.
Reconciliation seeks to create future-oriented relationships between nations, groups, social organizations, and individuals who have been affected by contemporary power interests as well as past memories of violence, enslavement, colonialism, and Apartheid. These relationships developed through reconciliation are meant to contribute to the prevention of wars, genocide, atrocities, forced displacement, dictatorship, oppression, and other grave human rights violations and injustices.
The IARS, which was established on August 10th, 2020, has united members from all five continents. Our mission is to convene activists, academics, and politicians from all segments of society regardless of ethnicity, nationality, region, race, or gender and to support the advancement of peace and reconciliation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the traditional conceptions of boundaries between nations that prevailed in 20th century. The global pandemic joins and amplifies other transnational issues, such as politics and the economy, public health, ideals of democracy, justice, and even human emotions themselves, facing the world in the 21st century. While physical proximity makes these issues relevant within nations, we must increasingly work internationally to address them.
We hope that our collective approach to reconciliation studies will provide a basis for cooperative cultural and educational policy and global citizenship, which will, in turn, increase our ability to address global issues facing all of us today, such as poverty, the environment, infectious disease and the clash of ethnic and national identities.
The IARS is open to academics and practitioners in various fields of reconciliation and peace research, including activists, media reporters, politicians, and artists. We kindly invite you to attend our conference and join our efforts to promote values of peace and reconciliation around the world.