XXXIII CICA (Colloquia on the brain and aggression) International Conference "The Seville Statement on Violence: twenty-five years later"
An international conference on violence, with the participation of a multidisciplinary group of scholars from five continents, was held in Rome between 22nd and 25th September 2011 (XXXIII CICA conference). It was organized by Dr. Camilla Pagani (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council – ISTC, CNR) and by Prof. Martin Ramirez (Universidad Complutense Madrid). The sessions took place at the CNR headquarters and at the ISTC.
The conference, entitled “The Seville Statement on Violence: twenty-five years later”, was the thirty-third of the international workshops that CICA (Coloquios Internacionales sobre Cerebro y Agresión), an international group of experts coming from various disciplines, holds regularly twice a year. The international, interdisciplinary, comprehensive approach characteristic of these meetings provides a useful biosocial focus by bringing together a number of disciplines to more effectively analyse the complex relationships among brain, aggression, and society.
This year the conference was held in concomitance with the 25th anniversary of the Seville Statement on Violence, a multidisciplinary document elaborated by scientists (including Prof. Ramirez himself) from all the continents in 1986 at the University of Seville and adopted by UNESCO. This document provides scientific information contradicting the myth that the human capacity for aggression makes war and violence inevitable and identifies in socio-cultural factors the main causes of violence. Most importantly, it also highlights the role of education in preventing, diminishing and eliminating violence. The document was also endorsed by a number of well-known significant scientific organizations, among which the American Psychological Association, the American Anthropological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the International Society for Research on Aggression - Commission on Violence. UNESCO created an international network for its dissemination, whose Italian representative has been Prof. Francesco Robustelli (ISTC).
During the round table, at the end of the conference, participants discussed the opportunity of re-examining and, in case, of improving the “Seville Statement”. In the end they agreed on the opportunity of writing a new scientific document. Indeed, though the fundamental thesis enunciated in the Seville Statement, whereby human violence is not unavoidable, as it is not biologically determined but is basically related to socio-cultural factors, is still valid, nevertheless it is useful to further develop this thesis also in the light of the new research findings that have been obtained in these last twenty-five years.
The multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary group of experts who will be involved in this complex and delicate task is now being set up. Members of this group will be, among others, Martin Ramirez (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Piero Giorgi (National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand), David Adams (Fundación Cultura de Paz), Roberto Mercadillo (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Douglas Fry (Åbo Akademi University, Finland & University of Arizona), Sadek A. Abdelaal (PeaceDiatrics Foundation, Egypt), and Camilla Pagani (ISTC-CNR). Though the new document will be strictly scientific, its style and form will be such as to make it perfectly comprehensible for the general public, so that its impact on social reality will be even stronger.