European Leadership Conference, December 2009
Written by Timothy J Miller, Vice-Chairman, UPF-Europe
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Bergen aan Zee, Netherlands - Glory House and our Dutch UPF staff were very welcoming to the 50 Ambassadors for Peace and staff from UK (11), Germany (1), Switzerland (9), Malta (2), Norway (2), Denmark (1), Bosnia (1), Greece (3), and Netherlands (20) who attended the European Leadership Conference December 11-13.
European UPF Vice-Chair, Tim Miller, delivered an overview of UPF’s principles rooted in Father Moon’s thought and with a particular emphasis on preparing Ambassadors for Peace for the up-coming European marriage blessing events.
There was a great mix of participation from Christian pastors to a Buddhist monk, former Government Ministers to current Members of Parliament, newspaper publishers to women activists in social care and senior military officers to founders of peace NGOs.
Friday evening and Saturday afternoon saw presentations from Dr. Yong Cheol Song (Chair of UPF-Europe), Dr, van Eekelen (former Dutch Defence Minister), Vijay Mehta (Chair of Action for Renewal), Dr. Stefan Buontempo (Shadow Minister of Local Government in Malta’s Parliament), Ricardo Lumengo (first Swiss national MP from an African background), Diana Murungu (diversity social worker and expert on end of life care), and Major-General Homan (former Director of the Netherlands Defence College).
The Conference created a real experience of One Family under God which reached its highlight with the Saturday Cultural Evening including an electric performance from Milly Scott (now retired, but at her peak known as ‘Holland’s answer to Shirley Bassey’).
Participants were deeply touched by Sunday morning’s account of Father Moon’s life and work for world peace springing from his encounter with Jesus at age 15 and the promises he made at that time, which continue to drive him forward 75 years later in his quest to liberate God through liberating humankind.
Some participants' reflections:
I was able to pick up lots of ideas towards building bridges of peace. I am hoping to talk to the team members at my work place as well as with my family around how we can link this message with our work and life. (Romi Arora – Social care team manager, Birmingham, UK)
Such a meeting helps us to make big steps in the direction of promoting peace and striving for fundamental rights and principles. (Ricardo Lumengo – Swiss MP)
The concept that peace has to be cultivated within one’s family first and then emanate to the national and international levels is very important. We were called to reflect on our own relationship as husband and wife and how we can bring these principles into our work in Malta. (Stefan and Natasha Buontempo – Shadow Minister and lawyer in Malta)
I have had a wonderful and refreshing weekend. Thank you explaining the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon. I will use some of the teaching to set right some of the myths about his work. One of the greatest things was to listen to Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus praying together. (Diana Murungu – diversity social worker, Birmingham, UK)
Thank you for a fine important and interesting programme. I appreciated very much the concentration on the family – because this is most important. (Major Nils Egelien – President, Korean War Veterans and Vice-President, Norwegian Guardsmen’s Association)
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Bangkok, Thailand—Thirty participants and staff from five nations attended a four-day Asian Leadership Conference in Bangkok in February.
New Delhi, India—The International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was launched in India at a conference UPF co-organized with the North East MPs Forum.