On April 10, 2013, the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution presented its 13th annual International Advocate for Peace (IAP) Award to Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States. In a packed Moot Court Room of 250 students, faculty, and alumni, President Carter delivered an address entitled “America as Global Mediator.” He discussed his career mediating international conflict, beginning with his time in the Oval Office and extending to his current work at the Carter Center.
Each year, the Journal gives the IAP Award to an individual with a lifetime commitment to peacemaking. That person is generally someone who embodies the principles of creative, tenacious problem-solving that Cardozo’s Program for Conflict Resolution teaches its young lawyers. The Symposium Editors and Symposium Assistants are charged with the selection of the IAP speaker, in consultation with the Executive Board (the Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editor, Senior Articles Editor and Senior Notes Editor). In recognizing the controversial nature of some of President Carter’s views on international issues and the unique sensitivity that those views pose to our University community, the Journal would like to note that the decision to invite President Carter does not reflect the views of every member of the Journal, nor of the University itself. Like all IAP awardees, President Carter was honored for his lifetime of achievements in and dedication to conflict resolution, not his opinions on any single issue.
During his time in office, President Carter oversaw significant foreign policy accomplishments, including the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
After leaving office, President Carter and his Carter Center have engaged in conflict mediation in countless regions, including Ethiopia and Eritrea (1989), Bosnia (1994), the Great Lakes region of Africa (1995-96), Sudan and Uganda (1999), Venezuela (2002-2003), Nepal (2004-2008), and Ecuador and Colombia (2008). The Carter Center also works to ensure consistency and reliability of democratic decision-making through its election monitoring programs. Those programs have overseen 94 elections in 37 countries. His other humanitarian achievements include pioneering new public health approaches to controlling devastating diseases in Africa and Latin America; leading a coalition that has reduced incidence of Guinea worm disease from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to fewer than 1,100 today; and shining light on human rights abuses in countries around the world.
President Carter’s post-presidential peace-building efforts were recognized in 2002 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” He is the only American president to receive the Nobel Prize for work done primarily after his time in office.
Previous winners of the Journal of Conflict Resolution’s IAP Award have included President Bill Clinton, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Senator George Mitchell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ambassador Dennis Ross, economist Jeffrey Sachs, General Amira Dotan, and playwright Eve Ensler.