31 January 2005

UN-Affiliated University for Peace Appoints New Rector

NEW YORK, 27 January (University for Peace) -- Maurice Strong, Chair of the Council of the University for Peace (UPEACE), who is also Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, announced today the appointment of Julia Marton-Lefèvre to the position of Rector of UPEACE.

Ms. Marton-Lefèvre, is currently Executive Director of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International, a United Kingdom-based global network of individuals and non-governmental organizations established on the initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation and committed to fostering leadership for environment and development through training, dialogue and research.

The new Rector will be taking up her duties on 1 May 2005.  She will be replacing Rector Martin Lees who, after five years of highly successful efforts at revitalizing and developing the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace, informed the Council of the University, at its last session in June 2004, of his wish to be relieved of his duties as Rector.

“Ms. Marton-Lefèvre”, said Mr. Strong “is bringing more than 30 years of experience in fields closely related to the purposes of UPEACE.  Her experience with the United Nations, with professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations, as well as Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU), will enable her to provide the necessary leadership to build on and consolidate the progress already achieved by the UPEACE team.”

Mr. Strong also noted with great satisfaction that Mr. Lees has agreed to continue to serve the University on a part-time basis as Rector Emeritus and Special Adviser.  “In his new capacity, Mr. Lees will not only support the new Rector in ensuring a smooth transition, but will also play a key continuing role in contributing to the further expansion and strengthening of UPEACE, particularly in relations with its growing network of strategic partners, financial supporters and the development of new initiatives”, said Mr. Strong.

UPEACE was established in 1980 as a treaty organization pursuant to a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly to serve the peace and security goals of the United Nations through education, training and research.  Under the strong leadership of Mr. Lees, it has engaged, over the last four years, in a remarkable expansion programme.

UPEACE, the only institution empowered by the United Nations to grant university degrees at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, currently offers six Master’s Degree Programmes to students coming from 37 countries at its campus located in Costa Rica, as well as short courses in various locations.  It has also established regional programmes and is developing a major programme of dissemination of teaching materials and distance education in partnership with other leading universities and institutions in the field, using state-of-the-art technologies.

For further information contact:  Georges Tsaï, Vice-Rector University for Peace, San José, Costa Rica, tel.:  (506) 205-9000, e-mail:

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