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IAPP-Argentina Plants an Olive Tree in Front of National Congress

Lea en español aquí

Buenos Aires, Argentina—Legislators, along with Ambassadors for Peace (1) and civil society, faith and media representatives (2), participated in an olive tree planting ceremony that took place in Mariano Moreno Plaza, a public park a few meters from the Argentine National Congress, on April 25, 2018. The event was hosted by the local chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and supported by organizations led by Ambassadors for Peace (3).  

Among the participants were Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur) members Hon. Cecilia Britto and Hon. Humberto Benedetto; councilors Mrs. Adriana Boccalandro, (who represents San Vicente, Buenos Aires province), Mrs. Mónica Lannutti (who represents Río Cuarto, Córdoba province), and Mrs. Marianela López (who represents Hurlingham, Buenos Aires province); and former Buenos Aires city legislator, Mr. Octavio Calderón.

Commitment to Peace

The ceremony was emceed by Ambassador for Peace, Mr. Jorge Alcaraz, who gave the welcoming remarks. Mr. Miguel Werner, secretary general of UPF-Argentina, explained the purpose of the ceremony. While UPF-Argentina has held olive tree planting ceremonies in various venues and provinces in Argentina, this is the first ceremony that was organized by the IAPP and attended mostly by government officials.

Before the planting of the olive tree, the six legislators shared a few words.

“Love will manifest in the softness of our hands, in the tenderness of our faces, and in our hearts. This is why we are here today; we wish to change the world together,” said Mrs. Boccalandro. “There can be no peace without values. It does not matter what our religion is. Children can only find peace and become great men and women if they are educated with values,” Mrs. Lannutti emphasized. Mrs. López said: “Mutual respect is the only way [we can] grow as a society, and politics is the field from which we shape realities. We need to help others and change negative situations, and we need to do it in a peaceful, respectful way.”

Mr. Calderón expressed: “I just want to remember that this park suffered a lot of damage last December….Today, this olive tree will make the park more beautiful. Our country needs a cultural change in which we do things well and improve constantly.” Mr. Benedetto said: “Those of us who still believe dialogue and democracy promotes peace maintain that, in a republican system of government, discussion should occur in the Congress…and that public spaces belong to all Argentines. This is why we chose this place, [because of its meaning] to democracy. Peace can be built every day.” Mrs. Britto affirmed, “I hope this olive tree becomes a symbol of peace and unity. It will be more than a symbol; [it] will witness our commitment to and actions for peace.”

Afterwards, the olive tree was planted and each participant shoveled soil onto the tree.

Also during the program, messages from Hon. Alberto Asseff, a member of the Mercosur Parliament, and Hon. Silvina Frana, a member of the National Congress of Argentina, representing Sante Fe, were read. 

The event concluded with the emcee reading the poem, “El Olivo de la Paz,” written by Prof. Irene Aguirre (4).

To view a video summary of the event, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewwNj2SDBaI.

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(1) Ambassadors for Peace

Mrs. Patricia Pitaluga, president of the NGO Acercando Naciones; Mr. Christian Oreb, general coordinator of the civil society network, Red Cooperar; Mr. Horacio Daboul, president of the Asociación Liga Árabe Cultural y Social; Mrs. Andrea Vega, director of Fundación Chacras de Buenos Aires; Mrs. Irene Ortíz Teixeira, president of the Africa House in Argentina; Mr. Abdoulaye Gothe Mboup, ad honorem contributor to the Africa House; Mrs. Laura Navarro,  pastor of the Cristiano Apostólico y Profético por un Mundo Mejor; Mrs. Susana Segovia, public affairs, Church of Scientology of Argentina; Mrs. Faiza Yahia, representative of the Muslim community; Mrs. Lucrecia Potenza, director of Fundación Artes, Educación y Salud para la recuperación de los valores (FUND.ART.E.S); Mrs. Olga Noman, director of Cruzada Jujeña de Solidaridad; Mrs. Irene Giurlani, president of Naciones Unidas de las Letras, Uniletras & Semillas de Juventud Siglo XXI.

(2) Civil Society, Faith, and Media Representatives

Mr. Gabriel Mouriño, secretary of Commune 1; Mr. David Calvo, pastor of Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Unida (Lutheran Church); Mrs. Mabel Padilla, representative of the Fundación Ambiente, Vida, Educación y Sustentabilidad (AVES)-Jujuy; Mr. Arístides Acevedo, director of Programa Odisea de la Mente en Argentina; Mr. Miguel Lanzillotte Falcón, a journalist with Proyecto 15 (Radio Conexión Abierta).

(3) Supporting Organizations

The NGO, CILSA—Mrs. Silvia Carranza, president; Hogar San José–Mensajeros de la Paz Argentina—Mr. Hugo Cattoni, director; Naciones Unidas de las Letra–Uniletras & Semillas de Juventud Siglo XXI—Mrs. María Irene Giurlani, president

(4) Poem

El Olivo de la Paz

Allí donde volcamos la esperanza,

es sitio de la paz y la concordia,

la marcha positiva de la historia,

la fuerza de justicia y de la alianza.

Lugar de los encuentros y memoria,

olivo que se planta en la confianza

del brote amanecido, ¡que se engarza

en pos de una actitud conciliatoria!

A diestra y a siniestra, siempre avanza

el sueño de forjar la trayectoria

que obtenga nobles frutos de alabanza,

¡Los corazones juntos! ¡Divisoria

donde dejar atrás la intolerancia,

bajo el fulgor de su convocatoria!

Prof. Irene Mercedes Aguirre

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