Created by UN General Assembly Resolution 35/55, the University for Peace has been training leaders for peace for the past 37 years. It is the world's leading educational institution in the field of peace and conflict resolution in its pursuit of the mandate given to it by the UN General Assembly in 1980, namely "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations".
The University continues its pursuit of academic excellence through the systematic and critical study, understanding, and analysis of the causes of multiple problems affecting human and global well-being. Through its rich Faculty body, consisting of both Resident and Visiting Professors - most of them field practitioners in the fields of expertise covered by UPEACE academic programmes - UPEACE trains future leaders for peace to explore and formulate strategies and practices in various contexts to address such problems and contribute to the processes of peacebuilding and peace formation. The UPEACE Experience is experiential and unique, empowering, transformative and cultivates critical thinking in its students.
The University for Peace has been a member of the National System of Accreditation of Higher Education of Costa Rica (SINAES) since 2013. The degrees granted by the University for Peace have also been verified by the International Association of Universities/UNESCO (IAU/UNESCO), for their academic credentials, as having been obtained from an educational institution that is recognized or sanctioned by a competent national authority. The inclusion of UPEACE in the IAU/UNESCO list can be verified through their official database (under its official name in English – University for Peace).
UPEACE's Rodrigo Carazo Campus, located in Costa Rica, is named after its founder, a former Costa Rican President whose vision and passion for training future leaders for peace materialized with the creation of the University for Peace in 1980. It consists of 300 hectares located within a secondary forest reserve, home to mammals such as monkeys and deer, over 300 species of birds, and more than 100 species of trees. It is truly an example of Costa Rica's biodiversity, and can be enjoyed by both members of the UPEACE community and outside visitors, as it includes hiking and mountain biking trails, three lakes, a lookout point, playground areas, a soccer field, and a restaurant.