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Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
|Day of Peace Observed in Auckland|
Auckland, New Zealand - The year’s UN International Day of Peace banner in Auckland included many religious symbols showing the focus for this year's event on September 22. Representatives of diverse faith groups were included, because they have a great part to play in achieving sustainable peace, which was the theme for this year’s observance.
Many conflicts, both historically and currently, have religious underpinnings. However, it is becoming more evident that the time is right and that the environment has become such that all people of good conscience and faith should work together to achieve the lasting peace that all people desire and that the UPF founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon spent his illustrious life advocating.
So to this end and to encourage such a coming together, the Universal Peace Federation and the Women's Federation for World Peace in New Zealand hosted this timely event.
National Party MP Dr. Jain Yang, former Senior Lecturer in Political Studies at Auckland University, spoke on many of the issues that spark conflict, from food security to land rights and global warming. His speech was followed by one from the Human Rights Director Robert Hesketh, a former District Court Judge and accredited mediator. He concluded his talk with former British Prime Minister Gladstone’s famous quote: ”We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”
Unification Movement leader Julius Gicole encouraged the audience to make peacemaking their calling, and he read the UPF’s 2012 Statement for the International Day of Peace. Father Moon’s passing was acknowledged with a video showing many of the founder’s inspired activities.
A peace ceremony was conducted, entitled the “water of harmony ceremony,” whereby the speakers and community leaders were asked to simultaneously pour water from individual containers into a common bowl, symbolizing the coming together of people from diverse origins to merge as one, without barriers, as water does.
Ambassador for Peace appointments were presented to two grassroots peacemakers, Morrin Cooper MBE and Mr. Gurga Reddy.
Several faith groups offered musical presentations, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Catholics, and Baha'i.
The program ended with an abundance of refreshments provided by the Women's Federation for World Peace. Guests stayed long after the program ended to chat. The spirit was very warm, and many faith leaders committed to partner up for future events to speak about their common ideals.
Reported by G. Fyers
For more reports about International Day of Peace 2012 programs click here.