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IAPP Launched in Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados—The Barbados chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was launched at the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados.

The event, whose theme was “Let’s Make Peace Our Responsibility as Leaders in Establishing a Lasting Peace” took place the morning of September 23, 2017 in the Committee Room on the second floor of the Parliament, and was attended by parliamentarians, civil society leaders and Ambassadors for Peace. As the Parliament is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, it was significant to launch the IAPP there. 

The inauguration ceremony began with a presentation by UPF-Latin America regional chair, Dr. Sang Seuk Kim, on UPF’s and IAPP’s activities in the region. Afterwards, a video about the IAPP was shown, which was followed by a presentation, given by UPF-Central America and Caribbean president, Dr. Charles Yang, on the work IAPP has done around the world thus far.

Then, UPF-Barbados secretary general, Mrs. Gail Veith, gave the opening remarks.  

Keynote speeches were given by Hon. Michael Carrington, speaker of the House of Assembly (the lower house of the Parliament), and Hon. Denis Kellman, a member of parliament and Barbados’s minister of housing, lands and rural development

In his speech, Hon. Carrington affirmed his “positive belief in the movement of peace and its power to find a solution to all of the world’s problems.”      

Hon. Kellman, in his remarks, said: “I am confident that this chapter will provide Barbados with the added vigor, support and focus to strengthen the peace, democracy, the sustainable community practices in this country.”

Afterwards, the parliamentarians in attendance signed the declaration launching the IAPP chapter, and new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.

In the afternoon, UPF-Barbados hosted a Peace Road event, a walk for peace, to commemorate the UN International Day of Peace. Joining the walk were representatives from the Lions Club of Barbados, churches, football organizations and the Barbados Defence Force (BDF). While everyone walked from Jubilee Gardens to Independence Square in Bridgetown, some members of the BDF played the drums.

Both events were covered by local media. One newspaper reported that Hon. Carrington and Hon. Kellman both endorsed the IAPP and that Hon. Carrington lauded the move to engage the legislature.

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