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Peace Education

Conference in Bangkok on Peace, Development, and Transformational Leadership

Bangkok, Thailand - The third Asian Leadership Conference, organized jointly by the Asian branches of the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), was held from Sept. 12 to 16, 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand. “Peace, Development and Transformational Leadership for Building Nations of Peace” was the theme of the conference, which took place at the Windsor Suites Hotel and was attended by 120 participants from 16 nations.

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The theme of the opening session, which was organized by WFWP of Thailand and held in the prestigious conference center of the United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), was “Women Leaders for Building Nations of Peace.” The event marked the 20th anniversary of WFWP in Thailand as well as the launch of the Global Women’s Peace Network (GWPN) of Thailand.

In her keynote address, Pavena Hongsakula, Thailand’s minister of social development and human security, expressed her wholehearted support for WFWP and GWPN-Thailand. “The launch of the Global Women’s Peace Network today is really a great opportunity for cooperation and the creation of a women’s network,” she said, “by joining hands and working together among women leaders in Thailand and Asia to protect and solve all problems, especially the use of violence against women and girls, human trafficking, etc.” A video about the minister’s exemplary work to help women and children who suffer from domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, disease and poverty brought tears to the eyes of many.

Anna-Karin Jatfors, campaign manager in the Asia-Pacific region for the UN secretary-general’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, spoke on “New Research Findings on Men’s Use of Violence Against Women and Girls.” This was followed by a panel discussion on “The Role of Family in Ending Violence against Women -- Our Shared Responsibility.”

Dr. Sreerupa M. Chaudhary, chair of India’s National Policy for Empowerment of Women, spoke about her government’s efforts to improve the situation of its women. She praised the vision for peace of the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the founders of both UPF and WFWP, as well as the tremendous work done by WFWP in Asia and around the world.

After this thought-provoking opening session, the international participants studied Rev. Moon’s philosophy of peace as the guiding principles for UPF’s activities and practical projects.

A special feature of this third Asian Leadership Conference was the participation of 14 national coordinators of the Religious Youth Service, a project of UPF, representing 10 nations. On the evening of Sept. 13, the coordinators had the opportunity to meet, share experiences and plan for the future.

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