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April 2019
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Balkans Peace Initiative

Peace Council Established in Presheva, South Serbia

Presheva, Serbia - Members of the Albanian Peace Council established by UPF-Albania and Kosovo in November 2013 visited Serbia April 26-27, 2014, to organize a peace council in the city of Presheva, the cultural center of Albanians living in South Serbia.

A delegation of more than 20 Ambassadors for Peace and dignitaries from Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and the Chameria area, headed by the president of Albania from 2002 to 2007, Alfred Moisiu, and the senior advisor to UPF in Albania and Kosovo, Rev. Gi Young Shin, traveled long hours to attend the conference on the theme: “Ambassadors for Peace: Living for the Sake of Others.”

On the evening of April 26, the delegation was welcomed by the mayor of Presheva Commune, Dr. Sc. Ragmi Mustafa, an Ambassador for Peace since 2012.

Early the following morning, the whole delegation traveled to the nearby city of Bujanoc, which has a majority population of ethnic Albanians. The delegation was welcomed with appreciation at the mayor’s office.

At 10:00 AM a program began at the TV station conference hall in Presheva with an attendance of around 100 local government officials, academics, teachers, and leaders from civil society. The moderator of the first session was Mr. Bajram Ibraj, chairman of the Presiding Council of UPF-Albania, who had invested much effort to make this event a success.

The keynote message of the first session was given by former President Moisiu. He expressed his joy and happiness at being able for the first time to be among the Albanian people of Presheva Valley, giving him the opportunity to see and understand better their situation and also give some advice about how to deal with the challenges they face. He expressed appreciation to UPF and its Ambassadors for Peace for their initiative to establish a UPF Peace Council in that area.

Then the mayor of Presheva gave an overview of the Presheva Valley situation and the challenges they have experienced during the last 100 years. He emphasized that people of the valley have always been open to peace and face challenges with peaceful means based on universal principles.

The next speaker was the mayor of Bujanoc, who greeted the conference and gave a message of equality, tolerance and harmony. He concluded with the motto: “Live with honor, don’t hurt anybody, and take what’s yours.”

Rev. Shin gave a profound talk, pointing out the sad reality of humanity today as it faces so many challenges and emphasized the need for peace and reconciliation by putting God at the center of one’s life, giving examples from the life of UPF founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. He also described the vision for a Balkan Peace Council to bring reconciliation and peace between the Balkan nations, who have suffered so much.

After a ten-minute video presentation about UPF International activities and goals, Mr. Gani Rroshi, national leader of UPF-Albania, gave a presentation about the five UPF’s fundamental principles of peace.

The second session was moderated by the Coordinator of the Albania Peace Council, Mr. Ali Lacej, one of the founders of UPF in Albania and members of the visiting UPF delegation from government, academia, the arts and the media.

Mr. Rroshi, and the secretary general of UPF-Albania, Mr. Sokol Rexhepi, gave heartfelt talks and conveyed messages of peace, love, reconciliation, encouragement and faith based on the examples of the UPF founders, whose key message is that humanity will be able to live in peace only when people understand that they are all part of one family under God.

At the end of the conference, seven dignitaries were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace. They established the Peace Council of Presheva and elected Mr. Shukri Ymeri from Presheva as chairman, Mrs. Adelina Hasani from Bujanoci as vice chairman, and Mr. Baftjar Krasniqi from Medvedja as secretary.

The four-hour conference was broadcast live to enable all the people of Presheva Valley to see it.

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