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Peace and Security

Delhi Conference Focuses on India's Strengths and Potential

The Universal Peace Federation of India  organized an International Leadership Conference in New Delhi on December 27 to review the recommendations of the leadership conferences held throughout India during 2008. During this culminating event for the year, participants examined the specific challenges and opportunities facing India and the relevance of UPF to India’s aspirations.

Held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in partnership with the IILM India Forum of the Centre for Policy Development and Management in New Delhi, the conference theme was “A New Paradigm of Leadership and Good Governance.” The Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session was the constitutional Head of the State of Delhi, H.E. Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna. Participants included top leaders from the fields of government, education, culture, faith, and NGOs.

Among the issues that were discussed in depth were the following:

•    Good governance can only be achieved through a combination of a transparent, accountable, and conscientious political leadership and bureaucracy on the one hand and alert and empowered civil society on the other. The innovative approach of Delhi under the leadership of the Lt. Governor and Chief Minister was noted and appreciated.

•    India’s great strength and potential lie in its spiritual traditions, human talent, and unity in diversity. By being true to its traditions, India can hope to achieve its full potential. The Lt. Governor quoted extensively from different faith traditions to underline the essential harmony of religions, which make it clear that the purpose of life for a human being is to strive for individual perfection in the cause of the family in its widest sense, One Family Under God or Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

•    In this context, in the words of the spiritual leader Dr. Shrivatsa Goswami, UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s life and message offer "an inspiring vision of good governance as enjoined in Indian scriptures and articulated by Lord Krishna as well as Mahatma Gandhi." This calls for a spirit of service and sacrifice and living for the sake of others.

•    The importance of culture as a binding force for peace and unity was underlined by Dr. J. Veera Raghavan, Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi. He praised the UPF vision and its research into the common themes of all the world’s religions as brought out in the book World Scripture: An Anthology of Sacred Texts.

•    The need for revisiting the system of education so as to impart an abiding sense of values in addition to knowledge and technological skills was discussed in detail. In this respect, the Permanent Secretary of Education, Sports and Culture, Ms. Rina Ray, emphasized the importance of training and motivating teachers as well as making "moral education" as interesting and attractive as possible for children, by drawing on relevant and recognizable teaching tools. The UPF text books on Character Education had also been compiled in the same spirit, and it was agreed that the Delhi Administration and UPF would work together in developing character education modules, including those aimed at children from poor and marginalized families in municipal schools.

The Conference discussed government-civil society partnerships to make New Delhi a model of peace and sustainable development on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Delhi in 2010.

Read reports from the leadership conferences held throughout India earlier in 2008:

 

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