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IAPD Inaugurated in India

New Delhi, India—The India chapter of the  Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and Youth and Students for Peace (YSP), an affiliated initiative, were inaugurated on November 3, 2018 at the Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi. The events were organized by UPF-India, the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)-India and the North East MP’s Forum.

More than 250 people, including prominent religious leaders; members of parliament and state legislatures; and representatives from academia, civil society and media outlets, as well as youth and student leaders, attended the events.

Inauguration of the IAPD-India

The inauguration of the IAPD, whose theme was “Toward Interdependence and Mutual Prosperity: Role of Religious Leaders and Parliamentarians,” was attended by Hon. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, union minister of minority affairs of India, who was the chief guest.

The secretary general of UPF-Asia, Mrs. Ursula McLackland introduced the IAPD, and Dr. Chung Sik Yong, chairman of UPF-Asia, gave the keynote address.

Among the religious leaders who spoke at the conference were Imam Dr. Umar Ahmed Iliyasi, chief imam of the All India Imam Organizations, representing the Muslim faith; Ven. Lama Lobzang, executive vice president of the International Buddhist Confederation; and Rev. R. R. Bhaskar, representing the Christian faith.

Hon. Naqvi and Hon. Bhubaneswar Kalita, a member of the Parliament of India and chairman of the North East MP’s Forum and IAPP-India also addressed the conference. Hon. Kalita gave the closing remarks in which he expressed his full support and commitment toward peacebuilding through expanding the network of the IAPP and IAPD in India.

Appointed as the chairman of the IAPD-India was Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, a Hindi scholar and chief priest of the Radha Ramana Temple in Vrindavan. Also four new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed: Hon. Naqvi; Hon. Wansuk Siyem, a member of the Parliament of India – Rajya Sabha (upper house, also known as the Council of States); Dr. Anjali Syal, a Hindu faith leader; and Hon. Praveen Kumar, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi.

The program concluded with the signing of the resolution launching the IAPD in India.

Inauguration of the YSP-India

Also on November 3, the inaugural conference of the YSP-India, “The Role of Youth in Creating Culture of Peace,” took place.

The president of YSP International, Dr. Robert S. Kittel, spoke about the vision and mission of the YSP.

Other speakers included the chief guest of the conference, Hon.  Kiren Rijiju, minister of states for home affairs of India; Dr. Anupan Hazra, a member of the Parliament of India – Lok Saba (lower house, also known as the House of People); and Hon. Kalita, who expressed his full support of expanding the network and activities of the YSP in India.

Appointed as the president of the YSP-India was Mr. Jihosuya Jena, president and board member of the Y’s Men International and founding president of New Life Society, and appointed as the executive vice president was Mr. Birednra Shrestha.

Hon. Rijiju, Dr. Hazra and Mr. Robin Hibu of the Indian Police Services (IPS) were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace, and youth from various fields were appointed as Youth Ambassadors for Peace.

The event concluded with the signing of the declaration launching the YSP in India.

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