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Ambassadors for Peace

Congratulatory Address upon the Appointment of Ambassadors for Peace

Your Excellency, GIRMA WOLDE-GIORGIS, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Your Excellency, OMOT OBANG OLOM, President of the GAMBELLA People’s National Regional State; TADELE DERSEH GIRMA, Executive Director of VISION ETHIOPIA FOR CONGRESS AND DEMOCRACY and Ambassador for Peace; ADDIS ESTIFANOS, Director of board members of VECOD; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen:

Rev. Dr. Hee Sun Ji, Continental Director of UPF-Africa, and Rev. Sue Eun Ryoo, Northeast Africa Director of UPF, would have been greatly honored and pleased to attend this special ceremony but  due to their commitments at the International Leadership Conference in Seoul, Korea, they could not come. They express their regret. Hence, I am truly grateful that you have granted me the opportunity to speak to you today.

Please, allow me first to introduce to you the Universal Peace Federation and its Founders. The Universal Peace Federation is an international organization founded by Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon on September 12, 2005. Rev. Moon is determined to bring lasting peace on earth, to save our world and its inhabitants from disasters caused by humans. Rev. Moon has only one vision, which is to bring all human beings into one family under God, whatever their religion, race, and nationality. The Universal Peace Federation is guided by this vision of one human family under God called to live in accordance with core, universal principles.

The Universal Peace Federation is a global alliance of religious, academic, political and civic leaders, and organizations joined together to promote peace, that is, a unified world in which all people live together in harmony and cooperation for the well-being of everyone. Guided by universal, absolute values of faith, true love and obedience to the divine will and one’s conscience, the Universal Peace Federation works to realize the ideal of a “Peace Kingdom,” a realm in which humankind, centered on God and true love, lives together in harmony as a global family without boundaries.

UPF is built on the foundation established over decades through a wide range of organizations and programs founded by Dr. Sun Myung Moon to develop new models of governance, guided by representatives of religions and governments in a respectful, cooperative partnership for the sake of peace.

The core objectives of UPF are the promotion of:

  • A culture of peace through education, sports, arts, media and service
  • Strong, loving family life
  • Interreligious and international cooperation
  • Human and economic development
  • Humanitarian relief

Today, UPF is acknowledged by the United Nations and has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. The Presiding Council of UPF is composed of high dignitaries including former and current heads of state or heads of government.

UPF is also a global network of Ambassadors for Peace whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others and who dedicate themselves to promoting universal moral values, strong family life, interreligious cooperation, international harmony.

The Ambassador for Peace Initiative was inaugurated in New York City in January 2001. On this foundation, the Ambassador for Peace movement was launched and the first commissions were presented. Ambassadors for Peace have been appointed in over 185 nations. In nations around the world, Ambassadors for Peace have organized, supported, and participated in service and relief projects such as building schools, digging wells or renovating communities in conflict-torn areas. They participate in and provide leadership in the area of interreligious dialogue. All Ambassadors for Peace are committed to the mandate to live for the sake of others.

In Ethiopia, Ambassadors for Peace include Former President H.E Dr. NEGASSO GIDADA, Former speaker of the House of Federation Hon. DEGEFE BULA, Honorary Dr. ABEBECH GOBENA, late Pr. KINFE ABRAHAM, Dr. HAILE W/MICHAEL, and many other public figures committed in various domains. This proves that Ethiopians in general are peace-Loving citizens.

Today, two dignitaries are going to be appointed World Ambassadors for Peace:

First is H.E. GIRMA WOLDE-GIORGIS, our President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Your Excellency, you have devoted your entire life to the well being of Ethiopians and for the benefit of our Motherland.

  • You have always fought for the righteousness and equality of all Ethiopians whatever their religion, race and nationality. That is the reason why during the period of 1961-1967, Ethiopians elected you three times as the President of the House of Federation.
  • During the same period, as member of the Parliament, you enabled the Ethiopian Parliament to be member of the International Parliament. You were elected as Vice-President of the 52nd International Parliament Assembly which took place in Belgrade.
  • In 1976, you were chosen as the first Vice-Commissioner of the Peace Commission established by the military government to solve the Eritrean crisis peacefully and representative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for the Northern region.
  • In 1992, you founded LEM ETHIOPIA, which is an environmental institution and for which you became Vice-president and still serving as such.
  • You were also President of the Red Cross Society and President of the Cheshire Home, Eritrea.
  • You were Director of the management of Leprosy Prevention Organization.
  • You were Board member of National Ethiopian Red Cross and Head of International Logistics for the ICRC for demobilized military.

Viewing your life course, we can deduce you have not only considered Ethiopians as citizens but mostly as your own family. As we all know, parents are to live for the sake of their family. That’s what you have been doing all your life. You have been living for the sake of Ethiopia, your motherland, your family. Hence, Your Excellency, you are not only our President but most of all our Father.

Second, H.E. OMOT OBANG OLOM, PRESIDENT OF GAMBELLA NATIONAL REGIONAL STATE.

You have had always one desire in your mind: that is to see the national regional state of Gambella be developed. You have well understood that the starting point of development is education. Education is indeed the domain where we can bequeath to the coming generations not only knowledge but mostly principles of life.

  • You began your career with the profession of teacher in PUCHELA and PUKADI schools. Afterwards, you served in the same profession in GOG and JOER and ABOBO weredas, respectively.
  • In 1994, you joined the Ethiopian Civil Service College, where you studied law and graduated with LLB degree.
  • In 1998, you were appointed as Police Commissioner of the regional government.
  • In 2002, you were elected in the leadership committee of the ANYWAA People’s Democratic Organization. In parallel, you also served as vice-chairman of the Gambella People's Democratic Movement, which is a political alliance of three ethnic-based political organizations in the region.
  • Since 2008, you have been the chairman of the Gambella People’s Unity Democratic Movement.
  • In 2005, the people of Gambella chose you as President of Gambella People's National Regional State and re-elected in 2010.
  • You have been involved in our state’s efforts to end the conflict in the region and came up with initiatives accommodating the interests of all stake holders.

Your Excellency, we can deduce that you have been serving your region with devotion, integrity and patriotism. These are characteristics of the principle of living for the sake of others, which you made your own.

Your Excellencies, on behalf of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, founders of UPF, and as a representative of UPF in Ethiopia, it is my great honor to present you with certificates as World Ambassadors for Peace. I sincerely thank God that you and I can meet as we face this era of great historical change.

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