Special Unit for Peace Intervention in Conflict and Support to United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) – Interuniversity Institute for Social Development and Peace (IUDESP) – Jaume I University



The Special Unit for Peace Intervention in Conflict and Support to United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was created with the aim of contributing to bridge the gaps between academy and theory in the area of peace and Human Rights studies, and to support the efforts of UNAOC to promote intercultural understanding and the idea of Alliance of Civilizations in front of the political and academic trends that defend de idea of Clash of Civilizations. The general objective of the unit is to combine the academic work and the action-practice in the field to promote positive peace, conflict transformation, development and intercultural understanding with a Human Rights goal oriented approach.

In order to pursue this general objective, the unit UPIC-UNAOC proposes the following specific objectives:

1-Promoting action research on peace studies analyzing models and proposals of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at different levels, evaluating the results and lessons learned in the field by previous experiences and developing or supporting actions for peacebuilding in the field with a double purpose: contributing directly to peacebuilding and to the promotion of culture of peace and, at the same time, creating high quality analysis and academic research based on the lessons learned in the field.

2- Evaluating and designing possible models and tools for peacebulding in the field taking into account the main approaches and models used by different actors involved in the peace work, such as United Nations agencies, International and local NGOs, universities and citizens associations, among others.

3-Supporting new approaches using a technological base, such as the geospatial technologies, in order to improve the results and the quality of the goal oriented action research.

The unit was created in 2011 and is currently coordinated by Dr. José Ignacio Martín Galán. Since then, the UPIC-UNAOC signed three memorandums of understanding to establish a collaboration with:


2-The Technological and Scientific Park at Jaume I University (Espaitec).

3-The Palestinian NGO Yante (West Bank)

4-UPIC-UNAOC (IUDESP) is starting also an initial collaboration with the international organization Peace Revolution in order to explore the promotion of inner peace and meditation as a tool to reinforce the work of peace researchers and practitioners.

1-In the first case, UPIC-UNAOC supports actions to promote intercultural dialogue and peace pursuing the same goals than UNAOC, and as a result published a book in collaboration with UNAOC (Communication for Peace in Action; Journalisms, conflicts, media literacy). UPIC-UNAOC is as well partner of the UNAOC Plural + International Youth Video Festival about social inclusion, intercultural understanding and migration.

2-The collaboration with Espaitec seeks to share knowledge and to explore the application of technological tools for research in the peacebuilding area. Espaitec gives advisory and logistical support to UPIC-UNAOC in order to use facilities and resources.

3-In collaboration with Yante, a team of 5 researches from UPIC-UNAOC (Keving Brenneman (EEUU), Celia Demoor (France), Jeanne Barrie (France), Neus Gimeno (Spain) and José Ignacio Martín (Spain) has conducted a field action research in the West Bank (Palestine) to support and analyze the potential of a contemporary and community dance program to promote peace, conflict transformation and empowerment for youth and street children affected by the conflict and occupation. The team is currently in the process to elaborate a publication with the results.

4-UPIC-UNAOC has continued the work of the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace (UJI) to promote peacebuilding and human rights advocacy in the Western Sahara Refugee Camps due to a Communication for Peace School and the empowerment of Saharawi refugees on Communication, Nonviolence and Human Rights Advocacy.

Currently, UPIC-UNAOC has open several lines of research focused on specific geographical areas or research areas such as Communication for Peace and Nonviolence for Peacebuilding, Palestine-Israel, Afghanistan, Western Sahara, Women Rights, Creativity Tools for Elicitive Conflict Transformation, Geospatial Technologies for Peacebuilding, Historic Memory as a tool for peace studies in Colombia.


Who we are?



Dr. José Ignacio Martín Galán- Coordinator


Dra. Fatuma Ahmed Alí, vice-coordinator.

Nantisara Pippatanananti- Headquarters based Researcher (Specialist on Women Rights, Development and Afghanistan)

Thuguri Wachira- Researcher

Kevin Brenneman-Researcher (Specialist on creativity for Elicitive Conflict Transformation)

Celia Demoor- Researcher

Jeanne Barrié-Researcher

Gabriela Velarde- Researcher (Specialist on Inner Peace Empowerment for conflict transformation)

Érika Rojas- Researcher (Specialist on Historic Memory for Peacebuilding in Colombia)