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Peace Education

Toronto Ambassadors for Peace Reflect on World Summit

Toronto, Canada - The monthly meeting of Ambassadors for Peace in Toronto featured reflections on memorable moments during UPF's World Summit in Seoul, Korea, February 22-25.

Mr. Franco Famularo, Secretary General of UPF-Canada, reported that participants included dignitaries from all walks of life from from 91 nations. He highlighted news of improved relations between Kosovo and Serbia. Hon. Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of Kosovo, announced that he had just returned from Brussels, where he had met with Serbian Prime Minister Dacic: "He was my former adversary, but today, under the leadership of the European Union and with the support of the US, we have met five times to ensure that they recognize the reality on the ground." Prime Minister Thaci described a gradual process of recognition of Europe's newest state, adding that "It is a difficult process, especially because we are still lacking a formal apology for the past horrible crimes." He closed by saying that, "For the sake of the future of our children, I will meet with whomever and wherever to ensure that our peoples can focus on development and growth, growth of families, growth of the economy and the growth of values."

Mrs. Lilly Tadin, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Canada and a native of Serbia, reported being deeply touched by Prime Minister Thaci's speech.

For former Chief of Police of York, Ontario, Dr. Armand Paul La Barge, a highlight was Israeli Knesset member Hon. Ron Cohen's report that a majority of the people in Israel and Palestine want to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the decades-old dispute. Hon. Cohen, from West Jerusalem, became friends with a counterpart from East Jerusalem during the summit, and expressed regret that they could not visit each other's homes because of political and administrative bottlenecks in the Israeli and Palestinians relations. The two men hugged and talked emotionally about the peace prospects. Dr. La Barge expressed hope that UPF’s strategic initiatives could help unfreeze the stalemate.

Dr. La Barge mentioned the speeches at the Summit by Hon. Dr. Donald Meredith, Canadian Senator, and Dr. David Kilgour, former Canadian Cabinet minister and peace activist. While being a lifelong Christian, Dr. Kilgour has worked on issues of interfaith dialogue, personal freedoms, and democratic government throughout his career. Dr. La Barge envisions networks among such people helping to make peace a reality within and among nations of the world.

It was announced that Ambassador for Peace Willy Nabus, a leader of the Philippine community in Toronto, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which honors significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

For links to speeches given at the Summit, click here.

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