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Peace and Security

Conference at the UN Headquarters in Vienna on Europe-Russia Partnership

An International Leadership conference on the topic "Europe and Russia - Partners in a Globalized World," was held in Vienna on October 12 and 13 organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in cooperation with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and the Women's Federation for World Peace.

The conference was part of a series of European events held at the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna, UNESCO in Paris, National Parliaments in the United Kingdom and Norway, and the Presidential Palace in Malta. It was also the second in a series of  "Russia – Europe Dialogue" conferences which began in Moscow in April 2012.

The first day was held at the Vienna International Centre (a UN building) and was attended by over 250 participants coming from several European countries and the Russian Federation. International and local guests were welcomed by Peter Haider, Secretary General of UPF-Austria, who explained Austria’s special potential and responsibility as a small country with a delicate role between Eastern and Western Europe after World War II leading to the fall of the Iron Curtain and developments afterwards.

Session 1: Europe and Russia - Partners in a Globalized World

Chair: Peter Haider, Secretary General of UPF-Austria

  • Mag. Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian Parliament (video message)
  • H.E. Sergey Nechaev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Austria
  • Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defense of Austria (1990-2000), President of AIES
  • H.E. Dr. Anwar Azimov, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International
  • Mr. Jacques Marion, Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia

The President of the Austrian Parliament, Mag. Barbara Prammer, in a video message commended the conference organizers for their initiative. She stressed her belief in the importance of the perspectives of youth for the future of Euro-Russian relationships, and as a female politician she expressed her conviction that a focus on the role of women in Europe and Russia would contribute to advancing the common goal of a peaceful and just world.

Then the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Austria, H.E. Sergey Nechaev, spoke about the importance of building relationships between the European Union and Russia on equal terms and the need for a speedy resolution of the issue of visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union, which would have a positive impact both on the economic development of both partners as well as tourism and cultural exchange. Ambassador Nechaev also noted that there are good opportunities to develop economic cooperation in the context of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to promote the implementation of joint projects in the framework of the "Partnership for Modernization." He raised sensitive human rights issues and called for “a dialogue among equal partners who are willing to listen and hear the arguments of each other.” He further stated, “We aren't interested in teacher-pupil role playing. The realities of the modern world, due to global challenges and the emergence of strong new centers of power, demand a new type of relationship between Russia and the European Union.”

Dr. Werner FasslabendMinister of Defense of Austria from 1990 to 2000, in his words of welcome to the participants reviewed the history of the relationship between Russia and Europe, which started more than 1000 years ago. Five hundred years ago, after the end of the Mongol dominance, Russia linked herself to Europe and especially Austria as it was the seat of the Habsburg Empire in those days. He mentioned the intensive opening of Russia towards Western Europe through Czar Peter the Great. Russia became a major factor in European history. Czar Alexander together with Metternich dominated the Congress of Vienna after the Napoleonic period, which set up a balance between five major powers for the stability of Europe. The conflicting interests in the Balkans ended the balance between the major European powers, and finally the two World Wars were tragic for all. The liberation from the Nazis by Russian soldiers in 1945 and the Austrian Independence Treaty of 1955 were milestones in recent Austrian history. He urged the participants not to remain in a mindset of the Cold War but to understand that this era is over once and for all. We should return, he suggested, to an axis connecting Paris, Berlin, and Moscow that would bring peace and stability for Europe.

Dr. Anwar Azimov, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, stated that Russia has firm intentions to successfully advance towards establishing visa-free travel to the European Union countries: “During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was resisting the principle of freedom of movement, but now we have changed places. Russia is ready to abolish all visa restrictions.” It would be now the turn of the European Union to demonstrate its political will by canceling visa requirements and confirming the strategic character of their partner relationship. The key foundation for visa-free travel should be mutual trust. It is not clear to Russians why the EU, which already allows visa-free travel with 40 countries, is in no hurry to do the same in respect to Russia, one of its closest and most reliable neighbors. It is the major trade and economic partner of Russia, accounting for more than half of the foreign trade; investments from European Union nations will amount to US$300 billion. The number of Russian tourists visiting European Union countries in 2012 will be almost 6 million.

Then Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International, as an American tried to bring the view of an outsider: “The US relationship with Russia has been a difficult one; and, in some respects, on the geopolitical level, over issues such as Syria, Kosovo, Georgia, and missile defense systems, the Cold War continues. At the same time, Russians and Americans have many similarities and are fond of one another.” Referring to the host city of the conference, he added, “Being here in Vienna I am especially reminded of what was in many ways a major transformational moment not only in European history, but world history, the legacy of which remains with us today. I am speaking of the legacy of Austrian Prince and Foreign Minister Metternich and the forming of the Concert of Europe in 1815 following the horrendous Napoleonic Wars. For, despite its limitations, the Concert of Europe was arguably the first major example of international partnership and cooperation for the purpose of preventing future wars. The Concert of Europe set an important precedent, even for its critics, for the rise of internationalist ideas and movements, including eventually both the League of Nations and the United Nations.”

Dr. Walsh quoted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly: “It is my conviction that the global problems we face today are simply too complex to be solved by governments alone. They require collective and coordinated action by government, by the private sector, by civil society, by academia, and by international organizations and multilateral development banks. Over the next year, I will develop a comprehensive proposal which seeks to harness the power of partnership.” Dr. Walsh concluded by proposing three kinds of UPF programs that could enhance the partnership between Europe and Russia: interfaith cooperation, peace and security consultations, and youth service projects. 

As the final speaker of the first session Mr. Jacques Marion, Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, reminded the audience that the founder of UPF, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, emphasized that Russia should link Europe not only with Asia but also with the North American continent by building a tunnel under the Bering Strait. This is part of the greater vision of an international highway for peace that would connect the world from Capetown, South Africa to Santiago, Chile, running of course through Europe. It would be like a modern, global version of the “Silk Road,” aimed at stimulating not only trade and regional development but also the exchange of peoples and cultures. This dream to connect Eurasia and North America by a road link at the Bering Strait is gradually taking shape through active discussion and planning, at least on the Russian side.

Session 2: The European Dream and Multiethnic Russia

Chair: Prof. Dr.  Thomas Kruessmann, University of Graz, Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Dr. Thomas Kruessmann, a professor at the University of Graz, as chair of the second session stated that Vienna seems to be a good place for cross-cultural debates. Political developments are keenly observed by the universities, and there is always the challenge to find the right responses. He saw it as a central task to train young students to deal with Central Asia. “In comparison, Russia is so close to us and we have been familiar with its culture and literature for centuries; this is an enormous capital to work with.”

As the first speaker Dr. Walter Schwimmer, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, stated that there would be no European dream if Russia was not included. He reminded the audience that Russia made a strategic choice for Europe when applying for membership to the Council of Europe in 1992 and joining the oldest and most comprehensive European organization in 1996. "Today, after the tragic experiences of the 20th century, we have the chance for the first time to create a peaceful Europe without dividing lines. Regarding Russia, this is of course not a one-way street. Both sides have to deliver. But while Russia has to complete its transition to becoming a member of the European family of democracies, the other part of Europe has to accept the new Russia as a partner with equal rights and equal opportunities. The Russians have the right to the European dream like everybody else from the Azores Islands to the Caspian Sea, from Iceland to Cyprus, thereby extending the European dream to the Pacific Ocean.”

Dr. Henri Malosse, President of the EESC Employers' Group, announced that the European Union was chosen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 that day. That Russia belongs to Europe is without dispute. He mentioned that when French people were asked to choose the top ten writers, they named Russians such as Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Still the Iron Curtain remains in our brains, he said. The “Western” media and politicians immediately take the anti-Russian side in conflicts such as in Georgia. "We have to abolish this Iron-Curtain mindset." Also Russian civil society has a right to question things happening in their country in a frank and direct dialogue. He urged concrete actions to bring the European Union and Russia closer. Concerning the visa issue, he said that reconciliation between people is fundamental. “The opposition in our committee came from Poland and the Baltic countries, because we have not had a reconciliation process involving the people of these countries. Unless we do this work we will continue to have such problems. Also French-German reconciliation was aided by pairing schools and cities. Unless we do this also in places such as Poland, we will go nowhere.” He reported on a question by Mr. Putin to Mr. Prodi, former president of the European Commission, about how he would respond if Russia asked to join the European Union. After some hesitation, Mr. Prodi said, “Look at the map. Why not! Let’s start to talk!” Dr. Malosse ended with a plea to work together for the common destiny of Europe and Russia.

Dr. Yong Cheon Song, Chairman of UPF-Europe, explained that this conference should be seen as the direct expression of the deep concern that the UPF founder Dr. Moon expressed almost one year ago in an early morning telephone call to organizers of a similar event at the UN headquarters in Geneva. In that phone call he expressed his heartfelt concern that Europe and Russia should work more closely together - for their mutual benefit but, even more importantly, for the peace and well being of neighboring nations and of the entire world.

“Father Moon also passionately advocated European unity combined with forging a strong sense of common European identity. He felt that European unity was invaluable for its own sake and for the benefits that it would bring to all Europeans, but even more so for how a unified Europe, guided by its highest and most civilizing values and empowered by its material wealth and scientific and technological know how, could help to foster peace in other, less fortunate and less well endowed parts of the world. His key point was that we stand on the threshold of a new world order. That world order will be shaped not so much by individual nations as by blocs of nations acting for the good of humanity as a whole.”

Dr. Sergey Kuchinsky, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia, spoke on the role of NGOs and civil society in peacebuilding. He noted that NGOs are gradually taking the coordinating role in the social movement to regulate interethnic and international relations in conjunction with government executive and legislative bodies. After the collapse of the USSR, he said, ethnic problems based on the rapid growth of national self-consciousness in Russia were aggravated significantly. Therefore, the most important strategic priority for public authorities and civil society is to strengthen interethnic understanding, form an all-Russia national identity, and preserve the diversity of cultures and languages in Russian society. In so doing the cultural and humanitarian component is very significant.

Session 3: Towards a Culture of Peace - Europe and Russia in the 21st Century

Chair: Dr. Michael Platzer, Director of ACUNS Vienna

  • Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defense of Austria (1990-2000)
  • Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992)
  • Dr. Svetlana Karepova, Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Marcel de Haas, Senior Research Associate, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’

Dr. Werner Fasslabend, former Minister of Defense of Austria, in his second speech of the day, gave his analysis of the causes of enduring skepticism on both sides of the Russia – Europe partnership, despite the progress made since the Cold War. He pointed out that losing the Soviet Union’s territorial integrity had been more traumatic to Russians than the loss of their colonies had been to the British or the French. He suggested that modern Russia still needed to go beyond the historical “three pillars” of autocratic rule, orthodoxy and nation, and the traditional “ruling class-serving class” system. He emphasized the compelling economic interdependence between the European Union and Russia, noting that “both must accept that we are no longer #1 or #2 in the world, but at best #3 together.” He concluded that, just as Austria benefits most from trade with its four smaller neighbors, Russia would benefit greatly by letting its neighbor countries integrate into the European market rather than keeping them as satellites. “Ukraine’s integration into Europe could bring great development to a huge region from Smolensk to Saratov.”

Dr. Svetlana Karepova, Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave an academic presentation on “Scientific knowledge as a necessary foundation for social development.” She emphasized that “it is proper that the question about including social and humanitarian sciences into the lawmaking activity and the system of scientific management of society arises. It is necessary to legislate scientific knowledge in the legal field; there are some steps in this direction on the level of current legislation."

Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992), said that instead of “Toward a Culture of Peace,' the session would better be called “Toward an Understanding of Peace.”  He reminded the audience that Russia was historically invaded by both East and West, and that while Eastern invaders demanded money and territory, Western invaders demanded a change of religion, which was never accepted by Russians. Today’s demands by the West that Russians adopt their view of human rights is likewise not  acceptable to them. Europe is Russia’s destiny, he said. But we should listen to the Orthodox people’s opinion before making up our minds about the “Pussy Riots,” and we cannot tell Russians that pointing a missile at them entails no danger if they say it does. Without mutual understanding, he concluded, Russia will move toward Asia rather than Europe.

Dr. Marcel de Haas, a war analyst and Senior Research Associate at the Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in the Netherlands, spoke on the theme of “Europe and Russia – Security Partners in a Globalized World.” He first reviewed obstacles in aspects of the security cooperation between Europe and Russia, such as the question of energy security, the Georgia – Russia conflict in 2008, and Russia’s disapproval of European security architecture and Europe’s Eastern partnership. He then reviewed opportunities for security cooperation on civil protection, the fight against terrorism, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to conclude that while Europe should not treat Russia as a junior partner and should balance demands about values with practical cooperation, Russia should not consider the Eastern partnership as a way to broaden Europe’s influence and need not consider Europe as a real threat in terms of weapons and terrorism, due to its lack of capabilities and unity.

Session 4: Values, Visions, Identity and Cultural Plurality

Chair: Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General of UPF-Europe

  • Dr. Willem Van Eekelen, former West European Union Secretary General and Defense Minister of the Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Irina Orlova, Head of the Department of Sociology and Comparative Research, Institute of Socio-Political Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Mr. Christian Rathner, Austrian National TV, Religion department
  • Dr. Erhard Busek, Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria (1991-1995)

Dr. Willem Van Eekelen, former Western European Union Secretary General and Defense Minister of the Netherlands, expressed his concern about a growing lack of ethics among Europeans, noting that what made the European model remarkable in his eyes is its motto of "Unity in Diversity“ practiced by 27 nations that share  the same views on human rights, market economy, and especially respect for differences. He defined three crucial questions to be raised regarding partnership with Russia: the way Russia relates to its neighbors, the problem of corruption, and Russia's willingness – or unwillingness - to join an international framework for action, such as in relation to Syria. The essence of European politics, he concluded, could be summarized in the four freedoms that US President Franklin Roosevelt considered essential: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.

Dr. Irina Orlova,  Head of the Department of Sociology and Comparative Studies at the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave a presentation on “Multiculturalism in Europe and Russia: Theory and Practice.” She mentioned how, despite its apparently sound theory, the multicultural approach came to be rejected as inconsistent after decades of practice by some major European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because it resulted in “potential instability and national insecurity.” Yet, she said that while in Europe the concept of multiculturalism has proved to be unrealistic and utopian, in Russia it still remains part of current liberal reforms. Based on research, she concluded, “we should focus on the fact that both in European States and Russia there is a basic culture that unites different parts of society, and formulate the idea of a protected identity, a common language, and taking care of the majority that will consolidate the community.”

Mr. Christian Rathner, a journalist on religious affairs in the Austrian National TV (ORF), shared his experience as a student in the Soviet Union and took  the discussion to the realm of culture. He focused on the ambiguous relationship between political leaders and artists in Russia, such as Pushkin and Nikolai I or Shostakovich and Stalin, but concluded that in the end the poet is the one who remains to tell the story. He advised Europeans to listen more to Russian artists – they are the ones who take European art most seriously.  “This is what I learnt from Russia: read your poets, acknowledge your artists, listen to your musicians, keep the dialogue with traditional heritage alive - and in this sense become more European!“

Dr. Erhard Busek, former Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria (1991-1995) and current EU coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, said that the crucial question for Europe and Russia was, “What is the content of Europe?” He endorsed the idea that “We cannot love a common market; we need to give Europe a soul.” He especially lamented that education had been ignored by the fathers of European integration. Taking the example of how history books in Europe differ, reflecting conflicting views of the past, he emphasized that Europeans, including Russians, need to learn more about each other. The Nobel Peace Prize to Europe, he said, will be justified only after Europe contributes to a peaceful world in the future.

 Session 5: Women in Leadership Roles in the 21st Century

Chair: Mrs. Yoshiko Pammer, Youth UPF-Austria

  • Mrs. Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia (2005-2006)
  • Dr. Anna Gudyma, research associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists, President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations
  • Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Europe

Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, began the day with a reflection on women’s leadership. What do women bring to public life? They bring life experience, tenderness, and a force for morality against immorality. Women are brought up differently. We understand differently the mechanism of communication. However, in the media, women are excluded from decision making levels in leading newspapers. Women also lack a foundation to support female leaders across borders. In Slovakia, the female Prime Minister [Iveta Radièová] was criticized for not being able to hold a coalition together and was in her position for only a year and a half.

Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists and President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations. Women tend to focus on process, resources, and maintaining what has been achieved, while men tend to focus on expanding, bringing in new clients and new resources. The models for women political leaders have been masculine, based initially on their fathers and grandfathers; however, women in high public positions should not use just a masculine approach. The 20th century saw a breakthrough in women’s rights, although this was less true in the East, unless the women were part of a ruling clan, as in the case of Indira Gandhi in India and Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. In Russia, six of the Romanov czars were women. Soviet ideology allowed for women’s presence in power; for example in trade and banking, but in the capitalist era only two women have been in charge of government ministries. For Russian women, public service has not been a priority, and when a woman has a government position, her family may suffer from her lack of focus on childbearing and mothering. The key to motivating women to enter the public sphere may be to help them understand that power is a tool for social reform. In contrast, men tend to see power as a game. A woman head of the city of St. Petersburg [Valentina Matvienko] did much to raise the image of our city.

Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Europe, began by describing the emerging global attention to human security as a shift from military and geopolitical issues to a more feminine concern for protection, empowerment, consensus-building, and institutional goodness. People talk about rights to peace, prosperity, happiness, and justice. However, are there not corresponding duties? Isn’t a culture of peace more than just not infringing on the rights of others? There is a big gap between cultivating inner peace and achieving global peace. “Familyarchy” can be a model for bridging this gap; the family unit can be the nexus for addressing social problems and a resource for building the capacity to resolve them. In the family, people can build the “muscles” to do what needs to be done in the larger society. Men and women can be equal partners, critiquing each other, discussing situations, and implementing strategies. The values instilled in the family create a framework for lifelong attitudes and behaviors, empowering both men and women to contribute to the greater good.

Session 6: The Future of Europe and Russia - A Youth Perspective

Chair: Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director, UPF-Europe

  • Ms. Claire Laurent, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office
  • Dr. Philipp Depisch, President of the Middle European Initiative
  • Ms. Evgeniya Beginina, Head of the Analytical Department of the Youth Commonwealth Institution at the Moscow City Government
  • Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, Moscow Academy of Economics and Law

The panel was preceded the day before by a round-table discussion among young conference participants. [For notes from that discussion, click here.] The young delegates from Russia and Europe used this preparatory event to get to know each other and explore issues important to them. The youth panel was chaired by Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director of UPF-Europe.

Ms. Claire Laurent, representing the ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office, summarized the main topics of the discussions: (1) the question of mobility and visa-free travel between Schengen Treaty countries and the Russian Federation and (2) promoting a culture of volunteering, especially in the Russian Federation. Many were surprised to learn that the Russian government is taking an active role in promoting volunteerism in Russia.

Ms. Evgeniya Beginina explored the connecting elements of youth and volunteering in her remarks. As Head of the Analytical Department of the Youth Commonwealth Institution at the Moscow City Government, she gave an overview over the city's efforts to promote volunteering among its young citizens. She highlighted her institution's interest in learning from the best practices of volunteer organizations in European countries and the structure of the volunteering activities there. Ms. Beginina proposed to collaborate with UPF-Europe's Youth Committee in setting up exchange programs between volunteers in Moscow and other European cities.

Dr. Philipp Depisch is President of the Middle European Initiative, an organization working with young leaders in several central European nations. He shared his personal and professional experiences in European-Russian exchange programs and cooperation. Dr. Depisch closed his statement with a strong plea to his fellow Europeans to “approach Russia with an open mind and cooperate with Russians on an equal level.”

Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, from the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law, highlighted the extensive work of UPF's Young Ambassadors for Peace throughout Russia. She stressed the value of volunteering for the development of one's personality and said that “the future of our nations is built on the character of our next generation.”

These inputs initiated a fruitful discussion with questions, ideas, and contributions from the floor centered on how to promote a culture of volunteering and young people's participation as active citizens.

 

Session 7: Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Peace  

Chair: Mr. Peter Zöhrer, President of the Unification Movement in Austria

  • Dr. Walther Lichem, Former Head of the Department for International Organizations, Austrian Foreign Ministry
  • Dr. E. Krasinets, Head of the Laboratory for Migration Studies of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population of the Russian Academy of Sciences 
  • Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association
  • Mr. Timothy  Miller, Vice-Chair of UPF-Europe

As the first speaker Dr. Walther Lichem focused on people’s capacity for cross identification. According to Dr. Lichem, societal development depends on our capacity to learn how to tackle “otherness” and accept that a person cannot be defined just by his or her ethnic background, nationality, or language. One should understand that Identities are neither objective nor static and permanent. They are relative, subjective, and subject to change. Civil society is an important contributor to democracy and the implementation of human rights. Even some states cannot reach the same level of action and networking as civil society actors. Thus, the human rights agenda cannot be addressed without a value-based, motivated civil society.

   Dr. Evgeny S. Krasinets spoke from a migration perspective. His institute is focusing on monitoring migration processes in the Russian Federation, international labor migration in the Russian Federation under the conditions of globalization, and illegal migration and latent employment of migrants as well as problems of female migration and trafficking. Migration processes bring people together, and national laws influence the relationship between migrants and nationals. For example, there are still visa issues between the European Union and Russia. The economic crisis has pushed people to look for jobs abroad. However, since many nationals lost their job because of job cuts, labor migrants are not always welcomed in a host country. Therefore there is a need for migration management.

 Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association, explained how his association mobilizes adults and youth alike, connecting sports, peace, and friendship. Created by UPF Ambassador for Peace Eduard Yakovlev, who passed away while “running for peace” in Georgia right after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, the Super Marathon Association has organized ”marathons for peace” on all continents and between many countries. Mr. Suprunyuk announced plans for a Moscow – Paris super marathon in 2013. Participants will run in relay teams with vehicles accompanying them, enabling one group to be always running. These marathons can cover thousands of miles and offer an opportunity to create friendships in every city and nation they pass through. They also organize yearly marathons on the theme of “youth against drugs” around the Golden Ring in Moscow and promote a healthy lifestyle among young people. 

Mr. Timothy  Miller, Vice-Chair of UPF-Europe, concluded the session by presenting a moving review of the life of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon, based on his autobiography. Dr. Moon passed away on September 3, 2012 in Korea at the age of 92. His life-long dedication to building a world of peace, which he called “One Family under God,” led him from his childhood in a small village in Japan-dominated Korea to create a movement active all over the world. His profound teaching has provided the motivation and guidance for peacebuilding activities worldwide. As he was the one who gave the incentive for this series of Europe-Russia conferences, it was fitting to introduce his life and legacy as a global citizen of peace.

 

Session 8: Closing Session - Updates and Overview 

  • Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser,  President of WFWP-Europe
  • Mr. Peter Haider,  President of UPF-Austria
  • Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International

Reflections and presentation of Ambassador for Peace Certificates

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