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June 2017
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European Ambassadors for Peace Commit to Collective Action

Co-sponsored by the Mission of Burundi to the United Nations in Geneva and the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues, the Universal Peace Federation held a conference on November 1 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The event was a regional follow-up to a civil society convention that paralleled the September 2005 World Summit in New York.

Participants committed themselves to:

  • collaborate in the identification and amelioration of the root causes of conflicts and the violation of human rights,
  • promote understanding of the nexus between human dignity, rights and responsibilities and humanitarian problems
  • strengthen existing United Nations structures and programs through preventive actions
  • support and promote inter-religious dialogue and cooperation for peace.

Participants noted that the 2005 World Summit in New York resulted in agreements to take action on a range of global challenges but lacked commitment to concrete actions that could accomplish the “radical changes” called for by the UN Secretary-General months earlier.

Expressing concern that world leaders continue to advocate for coexistence rather than unity of nations, a number of speakers called for the nations to focus on peace-building capacities and objectives rather than military ones.

Several encouraging practices were noted. The new President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Hon. Pierre Nkurunziza, underscored the role of interreligious support for his nation's first democratic election. Dr. Bineta Diop described efforts to promote women’s rights through their participation in issues of peace and security. Women are the victims of conflict, she said, and they are significant but under-utilized contributors to peace.

The vision and plan of action of the Universal Peace Federation’s alliance of individuals and NGOs was presented an example of the civil society support needed by the proposed UN Peacebuilding Commission.

This event was inspired in part by the global peace tour of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. The Tribune de Geneve described his visit as "most significant" and referred to him as the “Peace Messiah.”

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