Peace and Security
Working Together to Build Peace
Written by John D.S. Samura, Secretary General, UPF-Sierra Leone
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The world views Sierra Leone as one of the most peaceful states in Africa, a state that successfully transferred power from one civilian government to another in the sub-region. It is gratifying to note that most Sierra Leoneans are now ready to embrace peace.
This was clearly manifested when the Universal Peace Federation organized the second International Leadership Conference on the theme: “Towards a New Paradigm of Leadership and Good Governance for Peace and Development” on April 23, 2008. The level of participation was very encouraging, with 99 members of Parliament present.
Former president Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in his keynote address encouraged participants to take the UPF presentations very seriously because peace is the will of God.
Next to address partiapants was UPF-Africa Chairman Rev. Eiji Tokuno, speaking on the core values of UPF and its recent activities. The videos about the events of UPF kindled the interest of the participants in the day’s program.
The UPF representative from Nigeria, Professor Placid Njoku, talked about the significance of being an Ambassador for Peace and building a world of peace guided by the vision of humanity being one family from God and overcoming barriers and divisions. He invited people to become active in the worldwide network of people committed to building a world of peace.
Rev. Adama Doumbia, the UPF-West Africa Director, spoke on character education. He described what true leadership should be, with an emphasis on being peace-loving and God-fearing.
The Vice President of UPF's Global Peace Council, Mr. Taj Hamad, spoke on “The family as the school of love.” It stimulated a lot of interaction between him and the participants as it dealt with very key points such as
- Children depending on their parents and vice versa
- Giving and receiving in a peaceful family
- Reconciliation with others being necessary since one has to live for the sake of others
“You must love others more than yourself,” he said, “be it in the family, society, or nation.”
The participants commended the organizers for a well thought-out program and for the peaceful and friendly atmosphere in which it was conducted. The food, which comprised of three good meals, was lauded.
During the lunch period both international and local staff were invited by the President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, to an audience in his State House office, through the effort of our National Chair, Hon. Afsatu Kabba, the Minister of Energy and Power. This is the first time UPF staff had an audience with President Koroma, There was a fruitful discussion, especially on a potential partnership between the government of Sierra Leone and UPF International.
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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.
Bangkok, Thailand—Thirty participants and staff from five nations attended a four-day Asian Leadership Conference in Bangkok in February.
New Delhi, India—The International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was launched in India at a conference UPF co-organized with the North East MPs Forum.