FOLLOW US

FacebookYoutubeLinkedin

See our Click here to view or listen to our new Webinar Program, UPF Peace Talks!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

August 2020
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5

Honoring a Legacy of Peace in Minsk

Minsk, Belarus - The Universal Peace Federation held a seminar on June 25 in the capital city of Minsk attended by ten Ambassadors for Peace and honored guests. Most participants were invited at the initiative of Dr. Marat Egorov, UPF Peace Council representative in Belarus.

A much-respected Belarus World War II Veteran, Dr. Marat Egorov is Chairman of the Belorussian Peace Fund, a 50-year-old organization with chapters in every major city of Belarus. The Belarus Peace Foundation is among the biggest NGOs in Belarus and is active in many aspects of peace in partnership with many international organizations. It has a special interest in promoting interreligious dialogue.

In 1991, when Belarus was still part of the Soviet Union, Dr. Egorov was among the Soviet leaders invited to the United States following Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s meeting with President Gorbachev. He has often testified that “my meeting with Reverend Moon changed my life” and that he gained a vision for peace based on respect for religious values.

At 87 years old, Marat Egorov is leading the organization with uncommon and amazing energy. He had invited to the seminar seven of his core leaders from the cities of Gomel, Vitebsk, Brest, and Minsk. He underlined the importance of moral and patriotic education among young people and the general populationl.

After Dr. Egorov’s speech on his Peace Fund activities, and presentations on the UPF philosophy, which I gave together with Mr. Konstantin Krylov (Secretary General of UPF-Russia), lively discussions continued over a delicious closing dinner.

Legacy of Peace ceremony

On June 27, at the Unification Movement’s Headquarters in Minsk, we held a "Legacy of Peace" ceremony following the model set up by Dr. and Mrs. Moon at the United Nations in March and already held in many nations around the world.

Along with about 50 UPF volunteers and their families, a few long-time Ambassadors for Peace also attended the event: Dr. Marat Egorov, Professor Anatoliy Trushkevich (Belorussian National Technical University), Professor Zoya Yuk (Minsk Institute of Management), and Professor Vera Sen'ko (Belorussian State Culture University).

After my explanation of the meaning of the ceremony, the UPF representative in Belarus, Igor Valiuk, cited information about the eight honorees. Four were international figures honored by Dr. Moon in the UN ceremony: UN diplomat Hédi Annabi, President Kim Dae-Jung of South Korea, President Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia, and President Rodrigo Carazo of Costa Rica. Four were Eurasian Ambassadors for Peace: Hon. Galina Starovaitova (Russian congresswoman), Mr. Rolan Bykov (Russian writer), Dr. Vasiliy Nesterenko (member of the Belarus Academy of Sciences), and Ibragim Kanapatskiy (a Muslim public figure).

After floral bouquets were laid in front of the photos by UPF volunteers, Dr. Egorov offered a heartfelt testimony about Dr. Nesterenko, with whom he had often collaborated. The ceremony closed with reading excerpts of Dr. Moon’s speech given at the ceremony in the United States.

A nice Sunday lunch with Ambassadors for Peace concluded the day on the top floor of the headquarters building, overlooking the beautiful Belarus countryside.

The previous day, I had the opportunity to meet with former Belarus President Stanislav Shushkevich and his wife, who had just returned from a trip abroad. President Shushkevich introduced me with delight to his beloved hometown of Minsk and its wonderful architecture.

Belarus is unfortunately renowned for its tight political control that severely limits the work of foreign NGOs, including UPF. But Belorussian hospitality is very warmhearted, and one cannot but be impressed with the charm and cleanliness of the capital city with its parks, broad streets, and ancient buildings, and with the peaceful beauty of the surrounding countryside. For all its political isolation, you feel that Belarus really wants you to come back!