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Peace Education

Congratulatory Messages on Reconciliation Conference

Congratulatory messages on UPF's April 8 conference on reconciliation were received from the Prime Minister of Austria, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and the Governor of the County of Styria.

From Prime Minister Werner Faymann

In this world I would like to see people live together in peace. Social balance – not hatred and prejudice – is most important, because a peaceful co-existence is only possible where there is balanced justice, in the family, in our own country, in Europe and in the whole world.

It is up to us, the way we live our everyday life that decides if we can live together peacefully or not. Whenever we listen to each other, being ready for dialogue, whenever we practice tolerance and openness towards other views on life, other cultures and other religions, we will find a common ground. This can be observed in the arts and sports, but also in science, economics as well as in social matters, and it is very true for politics.

Austria and its political leaders are greatly concerned about these matters and seek to  contribute and cooperate in attaining and maintaining peace: social peace in our own country, International peace through cooperation with developing nations and through being part of peace missions. As a neutral country which wants to be taken seriously by the world we have taken the role of mediators in the past and we will not refuse to take responsibility in future conflicts.

All people of this world have a right to live in peace, and we have to be ready to take responsibility for that. We can’t simply accept a negative situation as our destiny, much more we have to work for a better world without violence and injustice.

Our world has become a fast changing world, and as we are facing the massive crisis of our economical system we may be tempted to react impulsively instead of actively working for solutions. Only  joint efforts and solidarity will enable us to create new workplaces, to secure them and to provide social security and  the possibility to live in dignity for all.  

In order to make all of this possible we need people who are concerned about these matters, share the burdens and are ready to work together. Specially such an event like yours creates a platform for all who are ready to do this. Therefore this “Global Peace Tour” is an important step in our endeavours for overall peace and enables us to have hope for the future.

From Josef Graisy, Secretariat of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn:

Thank you for your kind invitation to H.E. Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schönborn for your Conference  on April 8th, 2009 in the Board Room of the UN/UNIDO in Vienna. The Cardinal appreciates your efforts for International reconciliation and peace in many parts of the world, which suffer from war and turbulence. Due to his tight schedule His Eminence is not able to accept your invitation, but he is sending his best wishes and greetings for a successful conference.


From the Office of the Governor of Styria, Mag. Franz Voves

Every incidence of violence, every human life which has become a victim of a violent action is one too much. We have to make joint efforts to fight war and violence, not only physical, but also verbal violence, and we have to make sure that the ideas of tolerance, solidarity and  friendship between nations and peoples can spread and prosper.

In this sense I wish you much success for the Global Peace Tour and I wish for us all to be able to live together peacefully.

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