Empowerment of Women
First Women for Peace Summit Held in Seoul
Written by UPF International
Friday, April 7, 2006
Seoul, Korea - At what could be the shortest notice yet, 70 women from at least 37 nations convened in Seoul, Korea March 28-31 for the first Women for Peace Summit. This gathering was living proof of the capacity of women to respond, even under challenging circumstances, to bringing the strengths of women in peacemaking and peacebuilding to the fore.
Focused on the topic “Building a Culture of Heart and a World of Lasting Peace” the Summit produced a commitment to addressing root causes and to supplementing and enhancing existing approaches with practical, doable steps that help solve critical global problems at the family and community levels.
The “Seoul Commitment” came out of the discussions of the women Ambassadors for Peace as they considered the implications of UPF’s approach to peacemaking and peacebuilding. Because of the strong affiliation of the internationally recognized women’s organization, the Womens’ Federation for World Peace (WFWP) with UPF, and the personal involvement of a number of the delegates themselves with WFWP, it was highlighted as a significant partner in the work ahead.
The Summit’s visit to the international peace center in Cheongpyeong on March 29th provided a clear conceptual framework for the discussions that followed. At the Cheongpyeong international peace center, the women joined about 5,000 Korean nationals to commemorate “Parents' Day,” the principal vehicle through which the UPF and its affiliates stimulate awareness and deeper understanding of the significant role of parents in the practical work of developing the human capacity for peace. It also provided an opportunity to enhance greater attention, understandiong and action related to this often overlooked and underestimated root of peace.
Many delegates remarked that in the course of the Parents' Day presentations and ceremonies, they acquired new insights and understanding of the relevance and value to global peace of parents, family and especially the unique strengths and responsibilities of women.
Further, it became clear that the strategy of focusing on strengthening the capacities of families to provide a “legacy of peace,” the “barriers” of religion, ethnicity or nationality dissolved and instead became sources of additional insight. After all, family issues and concerns for children, family relationships and healthy environments (physical and social) are of common concern to all no matter the religion, continent, economic status, ethnicity or age.
Therefore the Summit resulted in a common commitment to mobilizing women in peacemaking and peacebuilding, and to expanding awareness of the significance of women’s strategic and far-reaching contribution to peace through our families and communities. This commitment is documented as the “Seoul Commitment.”
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Peoples Republic of China
Hong Kong, China—Forty government, academic and civil society leaders from the greater China region attended UPF’s Cross-Strait Peace Consultation at the Open University of Hong Kong.
Bangkok, Thailand—At an Asian Leadership Conference in December, educators, lawmakers and military leaders committed to promoting family values in their nations.
Bangkok, Thailand—The latest Asian Leadership Conference on “Providing Vision and Leadership for Nation-building and Peace” took place in Bangkok with 23 participants from six nations.