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July 2020
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Peace Education

Conference in Ottawa on Canadian Leadership in the Quest for Peace

Ottawa, Canada - As in the past, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in cooperation with National Capital Peace Council hosted a confrence at St. Paul University in Ottawa on "Religions Cooperating for Peace" on Thursday, May 7, 2009. The event had been organized and chaired by UPF Secretary General in Canada, Mr. Franco Famularo, to narrow the gap between different religions and regions which are still separated by barriers such as prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, injustice, and insularity when it comes to existing and letting others exist with dignity. Such a seminar is a necessity of the time in order to help people become more knowledgeable about the wonders of peace in order to become active Ambassadors for Peace.

The program was organized into three different sessions, with the quest for peace in holy land belonging to Muslims, Christians, and Jews topping the agenda. The three Abrahamic faith communities have a joint responsibility to forge an alliance for peace in order to live and let others live in peace as one family under Almighty God. Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, Imam Salam Elmenyawi, and Rev. Darryl Gray magnificently contributed their efforts with Mrs. Daniele de Lorimier as moderator.

Dr. Ian Prattis of Carlton University moderated the second session on "Renewing the Spirit of the United Nations through a Permanent Council of the World’s Religions: Considering the Proposal." Mr. Daniel Stringer, Chair of the National Capital Peace Council, beautifully introduced the proposal, and Imam Dr. Zijad Delic, Dr. Safwat Ayoub, Dr. Hans-Martin Jaegar, and Prof. Joanne St. Lewis enriched the proposal with their reasonings and orientations.

The delegation from UPF Central District (Toronto), which was comprised of about 30 delegates, played an important role not only by their attendance but also by their conviction and passion to develop peace. Dr. Hoossen Auckbaraullee, Dr. Chae Hee Lee, and Rev. Mitch Dixon were the leading delegates they have always been magnificent role models for new Ambassadors for Peace.The delegates from other Canadian chapters of UPF — Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa — contributed with equal enthusiasm to the success of the event.

Amid many speakers contributing their knowledge, principles, and wisdom, Mrs. Lilly Tadin, President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace from the Central District, moderated the third session, entitled "A Summative Reflection and a Canadian Strategy for the Inter-religious Council at the UN." Similarly, Rev. Darryl Gray, Mr. Alan Wilding, and Fr. Ariel Dumaran eloquently offered their wisdom about developing a Canadian strategy to promote an inter-religious council at the United Nations.

Willie Nabus, a prominent Filipino leader and Ambassador for Peace, led a delegation of 16 Filipino Torontonians to the conference. He was also honored to be as a panelist at the conference. The Philippine Ambassador to Canada, Hon. Jose Brilliantes, was an invitee to the conference and spoke to the gathering. Asuncion M. Ramos, who hails from the Philippines, thanked UPF for organizing such an educational seminar, and Mr. Jojo Taduran considered it to be highly educational and informative.

Almost all of the delegates from the Central District were so enthusiastic about the seminar that they wanted to register their statements in support of peace process and be part of the quest for peace. Among the recorded statements are the following:

  • Rev. Dr. R. Thillairajan considered the seminar to be an excellent presentation with the potential to play a healing role in his native Sri Lanka, a country that has suffered more than two decades of war and destruction.
  • Prof. Sayyar Al Jamil, a professor of history and a writer from war-torn Iraq, saw this as an inspiring opportunity from which Iraqi leadership could benefit in their quest for a lasting peace in Iraq.
  • Mr. Bahnam Tilo, who is also from Iraq and belongs to a minority religious community in Iraq, expressed confidence in the peace process and offered his prayers for the success of such sincere efforts.
  • Mr. Karim Shalan expressed his satisfaction with the program and a desire to become a peace maker.
  • Mr. Abdul R. Qureshi and Mrs. Qureshi considered the seminar highly informative and well organized, with different speakers giving moving talks about future courses of action.
  • Ms. Esther Tamale described it as a wonderful event with very well-prepared speakers who seem to be committed to pursue the road to peace. She looks forward to participating in more such events in the near future.

For a report of the discussions at the seminar, click here.
See the presentation by Dr. Hans-Martin Jaeger.

Qamrul A. Khanson is a freelance writer and author of several books on spirituality and interfaith studies.

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