Nonprofit or community organization
Last modified: May 9, 2012, 7:27 AM
The Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, ASPR, is situated in the medival town of Stadtschlaining/Austria.
It was founded in 1982 as an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization. It aims to contribute to the promotion of peace and peaceful conflict transformation and to the dissemination of practical ideas for peace. For its efforts, the ASPR was awarded UN "Peace Messenger" Status in 1987. In 1995, it was awarded the UNESCO "Prize for Peace Education" and, in 2002, the UNESCO UniTwin Award.
Since 1992, the ASPR has become active in various peace-building training programmes and projects. IPT – the "International Civilian Peace-keeping and Peace-building Training Program" – was born out of a response UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali´s "Agenda for Peace" in 1992. Then, training centres and programs for the development of civilian experts to work in crisis regions did hardly exist. IPT was the first of its kind in Europe and can nowadays look back to a trained pool of nearly 1,500 civilian experts from all over the world. The courses which the ASPR has developed in the framework of IPT also helped to develop the OSCE training standards and to develop and standardise curricula within the European Group on Training (EGT) and Europe's New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi).
Since 1997, the ASPR organises the annual two-week "Summer Academy on OSCE" and since October the "Mission Preparation Training for the OSCE". Both programmes are conducted under the patronage of the OSCE.
The ASPR also publishes several periodicals dealing with peace issues. Several major conferences are organised each year, including a summer academy and an annual international meeting of peace researchers on "The State of Peace." ASPR was the founder of the European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU), which has been renamed as European Peace University (EPU - Private University. A European Peace Museum in Schlaining Castle has been established. In order to help to facilitate ASPR activities, ASPR set up an unique infrastructure including the Peace Library in a former synagogue, a Conference Center in Schlaining Castle, the Hotel Burg Schlaining, and Haus International, which is a student hostel.