IAPP Launched in Brazil

Brasilia, Brazil—The inauguration of the Brazil chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) took place on November 23, 2017 in the Nereu Ramos Auditorium of the Chamber Deputies, the lower house of the Congress of Brazil. 

Around 230 guests and dignitaries, including 32 parliamentarians; four ambassadors (the ambassador of Nigeria, the ambassador of India, the ambassador of Greece and the ambassador of Sweden to Brazil); university rectors; teachers; NGO leaders; and Ambassadors for Peace attended the launch.

The program, which was emceed by Inowan Almedia, began with a panel discussion featuring six speakers. Among them was Brazilian congressman Hon. Nelson Marquezelli, who supported the event through the leadership of his political party; Brazilian congressman Hon. Celso Russomano; head delegate of the Women’s Defense Police Station, Mrs. Rosemary Correa; UPF-Latin America regional chair, Rev. Sang Seuk Kim; UPF-South America president, Rev. Dong Mo Shin; and UPF-Brazil president and UPF-South America secretary general, Dr. Simão Ferabolli.

Hon. Marquezelli, a senior member of the National Congress of Brazil who has been elected seven times since 1991, and an Ambassador for Peace, gave the opening remarks:

“I am honored to preside over this session and to be a part of this moment and thank UPF for the confidence they have placed in me for this noble task.

UPF seeks [to advance the] well-being of humanity as an intercultural, interreligious organization working beyond political parties and affirming family values as a basic principle.

The main topics discussed at UPF’s conferences [launching the IAPP] are the role of governments, civil society and faith-based organizations [in addressing the critical challenges of our time]. I had the privilege of participating in several UPF conferences, including [the International Leadership Conference held] in Washington, D.C. last year.

As parliamentarians we use laws to implement a culture of justice and peace for our society. In various parts of the world, especially in North Korea, there is the development of nuclear weapons—and the lack of dialogue among global authorities hampers progress towards ending conflicts and stability.

We need to believe and keep investing to contribute to a better world. After all, peace is one of the most important legacies we can leave to future generations. That is why we need to be positive and continue to invest in the culture of peace.

Once again, I thank UPF for inviting me to be a part of the launch of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace in Brazil, and I congratulate this important initiative for peace."

After the panel discussion, 13 members of the National Congress of Brazil were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace: Hon. Alex Canziani Silveira; Hon. Russomano; Hon. Diego Garcia; Hon. Prof. Dorinha Seabra Rezende; Hon. Eros Biondini; Hon. Givaldo Carimbão; Hon. Josué Bengtson; Hon. Jovair de Oliveira Arantes; Hon. Leopoldo Meyer; and Hon. Fausto Pinato. Representatives of Hon. Marcos Feliciano; Hon. Mrs. Rosinha da Adefal; and Hon. Wellington Roberto received the honor on their behalf.

Upon receiving the Ambassador for Peace award, each honoree had the opportunity to share a few words. Hon. Eros Miondini, a devout catholic, said: “I have been praying for the last three days to know how to contribute to the culture of peace, and right now I got the answer participating in this important event and listening to all the profound messages. Now I understand how to do it.”

Also appointed as Ambassadors of Peace were Mrs. Maria da Penha Fernandes, whose name “Maria da Penha” became a law in Brazil to protect women against domestic violence; Mrs. Célia Paixão, pastor and author of the book, “The Influence of Women in the World;” Mrs. Vânia Lúcia Ferreira Leite, president of the Pastoral of the Child, a charity of the Catholic Church in Brazil; and Mrs. Maria Elizabeth Rocha, minister of the Superior Military Court (a representative received the award on her behalf).

A delegation of 14 women from the São Paulo chapter of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an affiliated organization, working in partnership with UPF, contributed the success of the launching of the IAPP in Brazil.

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