Conference in Canada on Peace, Order and Good Governance
Written by UPF-Canada
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Ottawa, Canada—UPF-Canada and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) co-organized a joint district conference from November 13 to 14, 2015. The conference theme was “Peace, Order and Good Governance: The Quest for True Canadian Values,” and featured three panel discussions on “Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?,” “Challenges and Policing in the 21st Century” and “Could an Interreligious Council at the UN Oversee Jerusalem as an International City?.” The event was co-emceed by Mr. Robert Duffy and Ms. Eveline Stewart, both veterans of peace efforts in several continents.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Moonshik Kim, chair of UPF-Canada, said the issues raised by the conference theme are indeed urgent.
After UPF-Canada secretary general, Mr. Franco Famularo, introduced UPF, and WFWP-Canada president, Ms. Lily Tadin, introduced WFWP, and a video about both organizations’ international work was shown.
The first panel discussion, “A Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?,” was moderated by Dr. Peter Stockdale, and featured four panelists. The first two speakers, Ms. Lina Tuzet, a social worker, who has participated in service projects in the Pacific island of Vanuatu and in Paraguay, and Ms. Baraa Arar, a high school student, who has been actively involved in youth activities in Ottawa’s Muslim community, impressed the audience with their articulate presentations.
Mr. Andrew Cardozo, executive director of the Pearson Centre, a public policy think-tank, and former Commissioner of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, offered a public policy view of the topic of the discussion, and underscored the need to strengthen peace-oriented youth activities. Ms. Desire Kilolwa, a program officer with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, shared his perspective as a Congolese living in Canada and his efforts to effect change in the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond.
The topic of the second panel discussion was on the “Challenges of Policing in the 21st Century,” and featured five speakers.
The moderator, Dr. Michael Balcomb, a U.S. citizen and president of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA, shared an array of recent statistics on the state of affairs in the United States. The statistics, in his view, indicate relations between police and citizens are far worse in the U.S. than it is in most other countries, including in Canada.
Retired chief of police of the regional municipality of York in southern Ontario, Mr. Armand La Barge, spoke about the history of policing in Canada and the world, and gave numbers on the state of police resources (both human and material) in Canada, which was eye-opening for many of the participants. Ms. Gabrielle Fayant, an indigenous activist, then shared about the pain and suffering in her community due to continuing tension and misunderstanding with police.
The panel discussion concluded with Mr. Daniel Stringer, chair of the National Capital Peace Council in Ottawa, speaking about community-building, and Dr. Vern Redekop, a specialist in conflict studies at St. Paul University and author of From Violence to Blessing, relating how he came from a small Mennonite community in Saskatchewan, a prairie province in the middle of Canada, to now addressing domestic and global policing issues.
Afterwards, classical violinist, Ms. Ralitsa Tcholakova, performed a musical piece, as participants gathered for the conference’s luncheon. The main speaker for the luncheon, Ambassador for Peace Rev. Darryl Gray, special assistant to the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), spoke about the vision of the UPF and WFWP founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. He urged each participant to emerge from the shadows and share the founders’ message of goodness. Rev. Gray also said that even though a lot has happened since Martin Luther King Jr. founded the SCLC in the United States, recent violence due to racial tensions in the country demonstrates there is still a lot more work to do.
The afternoon program included the appointment of four new Ambassadors for Peace and a final panel discussion on the need for an Interreligious Council at the United Nations entitled, “Could an Interreligious Council oversee Jerusalem as an International City?,” moderated by Mr. Jacques Kabangu.
Mr. Ricardo de Sena, UPF-USA secretary general, began the discussion with a presentation on Rev. Moon’s proposal in August 2000 to create an interreligious council at the UN. Dr. Karen Mock, an international human rights consultant and educator, then spoke on topic of the discussion from a Jewish viewpoint, followed by Mrs. Alexa Ward, deputy director of the UN Office of WFWP International, and Ms. Shaheen Junaid Ashraf, a representative of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, who provided a Muslim perspective. Mr. Michael McIntyre, former president of the Capital Region Interfaith Council in Ottawa, concluded the discussion.
Each of the three discussions was followed by a lively question and answer session.
The conference concluded with Hon. Anita Vandenbeld, who was recently elected to the Federal Parliament of Canada, sharing “How Women of the World Empowered Her to Become a Member of Parliament.”
On November 14, with all the participants’ thoughts on the tragic events of the previous day in Paris, France, UPF and WFWP held a seminar on “Exploring the Peace Philosophy of the Founders of UPF and WFWP.” Speakers included Dr. Balcomb, Rev. Gray, Mrs. Ward, and Mr. Alan Wilding.
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