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Data notizia
Testo notizia

On the 18th June 2024, the Academic Senate of the University of Trieste heard the Rector’s report.  A boycott motion, received on 11th June 2024, was included in the agenda and presented on the day of the meeting by 5 students. After extensive and thorough discussion, the Senate unanimously rejected the motion and deemed it appropriate to reiterate the University's position. 

First of all, the Senate points to a number of principles underpinning the University's actions which are relevant to the definition of specific peace initiatives. UniTS acts with respect for constitutional principles, with specific reference to Article 11 of the Constitution, which states that "Italy repudiates war as an instrument of offence against the freedom of other peoples and as a means of settling international disputes" and to Article 33 of the Constitution, which states that "art and science are free and the teaching of them is free", thus strongly affirming the value of freedom of research. These values are enshrined in its Statute and Code of Ethics. 

With these principles in mind, the Academic Senate embraces and takes on board the apprehension and distress of the entire university community with respect to all the wars taking place in the world, expressing its sorrow for the enormous suffering that the numerous conflicts in progress are causing to the civilian populations involved. 

The University is committed to supporting the diplomatic resolution of international disputes and cease-fires in all conflict situations. The University equally supports the Rector in his constant active participation in the CRUI (Conference of Italian University Rectors) debate on peace.

With specific reference to the tragic situation in the Gaza Strip, the Senate strongly and urgently calls, also in the light of the UN resolution of 25th March 2024, for "an immediate ceasefire [....] and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages," endorsing CRUI’s statement of 23rd May 2024 which was immediately published on the UniTS institutional website.

This statement reiterated "... how the entire university system is united in the demand, now received from many quarters, for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the release of the hostages seized during the inhuman attack of 7th October. The massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip since that date and the simultaneous destruction of all infrastructures, not least the universities, have now exceeded all acceptable limits. 

With this in mind, together with President Mattarella, the universities reiterate how urgent it is to "put a halt to the chain of actions and reactions, and allow a process to begin that will put an end to the massacres and finally lead to a stable peace."

With regard to the role of university institutions in these contexts, the Academic Senate recalls and fully and wholeheartedly endorses the words of President Mattarella, pronounced in our Aula Magna on 12th April 2024 on the occasion of the conferral of an honorary degree: "Universities have always been (...) a place of free debate, criticism and even dissent of power. Debate, criticism and dissent link universities in all countries, above borders and above differences between states. If you sever this connection, this precious exchange of reflection, of collaboration, of experience, you do not help rights, you do not help freedom or peace, but you weaken the power of debate, criticism, dissent. You help power, the worst kind, which has always tried to keep the universities in its own country isolated, to prevent them from connecting with those beyond its borders.”

UniTS promotes the development of institutional relations and the creation of spaces for dialogue and debate, internally, nationally and with international universities and research centres, reaffirming the importance of respect for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful demonstration, and repudiating incitement to hatred and the use of violence. UniTS does not adhere to any boycott initiatives because it is contrary to its mission of promoting dialogue and building bridges between different cultures. UniTS acts with the aim of opposing discrimination, of guaranteeing students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development through respect for human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace, non-violence and the enhancement of cultural diversity.

UniTS condemns the brutal attack of 7th October 2023 and the violence committed by Hamas terrorists against the Israeli population, just as it strongly condemns the actions carried out by the Israeli government that led to the unacceptable massacre of civilians. 

UniTS pledges to promote and support peace at every level and to intensify its presence within the UNIMED consortium, to continue its support for the Scholars at Risk network and the Network of Italian Universities for Peace (RUniPace). In this way, UniTS demonstrates its continued willingness to welcome students and scholars, all the more so those arriving from war zones. 

UniTS undertakes to maintain and increase, if possible, scientific collaborations with universities in all foreign countries, with the aim of fostering debate, and, if necessary, dissent. Equally, UniTS will not be part of any initiatives connected to war-related activities when negotiating agreements. 

UniTS continues to collaborate and support all companies that are compatible with its code of ethics in order to offer our students the best employment opportunities. 

UniTS will continue to keep the list of research collaborations updated, already available here

Finally, the UniTS Academic Senate strongly stigmatises the behaviour of some of the demonstrators who committed violent actions against and made false statements about students, senators and governance itself.