A motion on the conflict in the Gaza Strip


The Academic Senate of the University of Padua has approved today, Tuesday 14 May, the following motion:

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East, exacerbated by the terrorist action of Hamas on 7 October 2023, has for months now taken on dramatic proportions , leading to very serious humanitarian emergencies and numerous victims within the Palestinian civilian population, including thousands of children. The actions of the Israeli army have affected the Palestinian universities in the Gaza Strip, all of which have been effectively destroyed, with serious losses among students and faculty.
Article 11 of the Italian Constitution, states that “Italy rejects war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means for the settlement of international disputes. Italy agrees, on conditions of equality with other States, to the limitations of sovereignty that may be necessary to a world order ensuring peace and justice among Nations. Italy promotes and encourages international organisations furthering such ends.”
Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the University of Padua states that “... the University promotes the development of a culture based on universal values such as human rights, peace, environmental protection and international solidarity...”. The University of Padua has always courageously promoted a culture based on these values and, in an international context characterized by numerous conflicts, the Academic Senate in the session of 7 November 2023 unanimously approved the Motion for the Peace in Palestine.
Article 15 of the Research Integrity Code, issued by the University on 17 September 2021, states that, “a researcher cannot accept funding or assignments for research activities whose aims are in conflict with the founding principles of the University of Padua, as expressed in the Statute, the University Codes, and within the guidelines formulated by the university’s governing bodies.”

Strengthened by these values, the University of Padua has undertaken numerous initiatives aimed at promoting inclusion, respect for human rights and peace. In fact, the University is part of the Network of Italian Universities for Peace (RUniPace) created by the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI),which aims, as stated in the project description, to “Ensure that all students are able to acquire knowledge and the skills needed to promote sustainable development through human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the valorization of cultural diversity, promoting a series of initiatives such as the General Course "Nonviolent Conflict Transformation and Peace." 

The continually unfolding dramatic events, which affect the entire academic community, make it important to reiterate the University's firm condemnation of any form of armed dispute resolution and violation of human rights, while expressing the hope that, in the framework of international law and dialogue, peaceful solutions based on internationally recognized will be identified and implemented, beginning with an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages.

For the reasons set out above, the Academic Senate of the University of Padua:

  • in light of the ongoing dramatic news from the Gaza Strip and what has recently been stated by the UN, International Court of Justice, Amnesty International, Save the Children, WHO, and many other international bodies, the University of Padua expresses dismay and deep concern at the further development of the conflict which has been conducted with unjustifiable fury by the Israeli army against the Palestinian people, to whom the University extends its solidarity.
  • commits the University to strengthening existing initiatives such as "Scholars at Risk" and "Students at Risk", by allocating resources for scholarships aimed at welcoming faculty and students from Palestinian universities.
  • commits the University to including an explicit reference to Article 15 of the Research Integrity Code of the University of Padua in all research agreements, thereby drawing the researchers’ attention to the need to respect the ethical principles underlying the work of our university.