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First Central America-Caribbean Regional Conference Held in Costa Rica

San José, Costa Rica—UPF held its first conference for Central America and the Caribbean region, “Building bridges of peace,” in San José on June 25, 2015.

UPF’s Central America and Caribbean regional office and UPF-Costa Rica co-organized the event in partnership with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)- Costa Rica, CARP (Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles)-Costa Rica, Women's Federation for World Peace-Costa Rica, and Telepaz Channel 52. FFWPU International sponsored the conference.

More than 100 delegates, including UPF presidents, and religious and civic leaders, participated in the one-day event. Among them were Mr. Alvaro Jimenez Cruz, mayor of the municipality of Montes de Oro in Costa Rica; Mrs. Lidieth Ramirez Lobo, vice mayor of Montes de Oro; and Mr. José Roberto Rodriguez Quesada, former deputy of Costa Rica’s legislative assembly. 

Speakers shared the vision of UPF co-founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and UPF’s work around the world.

Chairman of the Washington Time Foundation, Dr. Charles S. Yang, said, “I want to share with you today an overview of the vision of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for the Americas. The world is shifting from a Eurocentric world to an Asia-Pacific era. We see the rise of China, Japan [and] Korea as major economic powers, [as well as] India; however Rev. and Mrs. Moon believe that the Americas play a central role in any vision of building a world of universal peace.”

UPF International president, Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, spoke about UPF’s mission: “UPF is a network of leadership providing global peace and prosperity, and teaches that a culture of peace must take root in the family…from an early age….We must help leaders and ordinary people to…work for peace and a safe environment.”

UPF Central America and the Caribbean regional office president, Rev. Kim Sang Suek, shared with the participants his desire to work together in the region to lift and strengthen a regional network of UPF leaders. “UPF is a bridge to open the pathway, starting from today,” he said.

Mr. Cesar Regalado, president of UPF-Dominican Republic; Mr. Gerardo Brenes, president of UPF-Costa Rica; Mr. Quesada and Mr. Cruz also spoke, as well as Mr. Ricardo De Sena, president of UPF-USA, who gave a presentation on UPF’s principles of peace.

UPF also celebrated the appointment of four new Ambassadors for Peace, the largest and most diverse network of peace leaders in the world, at the conference: Mrs. Lobo, Dr. Quesada, Mr. Cruz, and Pastor Abner Flores Espinoza, who said “[Ambassadors for Peace is a] good opportunity to make peace [and] promote interfaith and cultural harmony through our social activities.”

Speaking about his experience participating in the conference, Mr. Cruz said, “The…conference was incredible; [it] taught me how to love people, how [we can all] make and work for peace.” 

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