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Ambassadors for Peace

Ambassadors for Peace at Work

Around 25 Ambassadors for Peace attended a brainstorming session organized by UPF-France on January 26, 2008 in Paris. The main purpose was to launch working committees to prepare for the Global Peace Festival to be held in Paris in September.

Among the participants were Mrs. Yao-Yao, Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to UNESCO; Mrs. Khadija Khali, President of the Union of Muslim Women of France; Mr. Kenneth Johnson, president of the Europe-Africa Committee; Pastor Joseph Binguimale, vice-president of the French-speaking African churches in France; and several prominent NGO leaders.

Mr. Jean-François Moulinet, Secretary General of UPF-France, opened the session with a brief overview of the festivals held in 2007. He highlighted the Global Peace Festival in Manila, the Philippines, in December 2007 as a model. The Ambassadors for Peace recognized the high quality of people who attended the Manila event, the media coverage, the large gathering at the main venue, and the impact on the nation. Mr. Moulinet urged the Ambassadors for Peace in France to work in committees and network in preparation for the September festival in Paris.

Each committee was asked to make substantial proposals in their outreach to governments, international agencies, media, and NGOs. New ideas are being sought about how to apply the universal principles of UPF to specific local problems and propose innovative approaches to bringing good results.

Women’s Dignity and a Culture of Peace

Mrs. Hanna Lotterie moderated the first committee on Women’s Dignity and a Culture of Peace. Committee members are making proposals that relate to the Millennium Development Goals. One promising idea is to open a blog to which anyone and everyone is invited contribute their ideas by sending short articles and suggestions. These will become the foundation for future conferences and publications.

Mrs. Brigitte Wada, president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace in France, gave a 25-minute PowerPoint presentation on the topic of women’s dignity, based on research done by Mrs. Ingrid Lindeman of Germany and Mrs. Carolyn Handschin of Switzerland. Both researchers point out that we are now in a new era where great emphasis is given to human security.

Even though human beings enjoy some sort of external security and are given rights, it does not mean that they have gained the self confidence, dignity, and position that would enable them to take responsibilities to ensure peace. Many women still cannot offer their full potential to peacebuilding. Women themselves must strive to build self confidence and to understand their roles as women more deeply; on the other hand, society has to welcome feminine values more substantially and ban discriminating attitudes.

The PowerPoint presentation made a strong impression and generated a lively debate and has already resulted in many proposals.

Partnership between Europe and Africa for Development and Peace

Mr. Patrick Jouan moderated the committee on the topic of forming a Partnership between Europe and Africa for Development and Peace. He stressed that this committee should offer innovative ideas for attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Mr. Laurent Ladouce then gave a PowerPoint presentation on “The African Dream.” Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, the founder of the Global Peace Festival, says that the slogan "One family under God" is God’s original dream for all mankind. The PowerPoint focused on how Africans can feel welcomed in the big family and part of the dream.

A main problem facing Africa today is Afro-pessimism. This committee will support the aspiration of the African continent for a seat on the UN Security Council and highlight African values and the unique contributions that Africans can make to universal values. This committee shall enhance African excellence in three areas: personal achievement, creating successful families who live for the sake of others, and African creativity and mastery, whether in sports, culture, business, or other fields.

In talking about the African dream, the focus is on how Africans are becoming role models, embodying the dream in their community, and spreading it to the nation, their continent, and the world.”

A discussion followed, and many ideas were offered in support of the topic of the African dream. Practical guidelines were given to participants at the end of the session, including suggestions for ongoing contributions and plans for follow-up meetings.

 

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