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Peace Education

Parliamentarians for Peace Launched in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia—The Minister of Civil Service of and dignitaries from Cambodia attended the UPF Cambodia Leadership Conference (CLC) at the Royal School of Administration (RSA). Among the 540 government officers were 56 high-ranking civil servants, 378 middle-ranking civil servants, 38 government lawyers, 32 senior officers and 26 Ambassadors for Peace.

During the two-day conference, Cambodia’s chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was launched. At the IAPP program there were a total of 46 current members of Parliament (MPs), senators, cabinet ministers and secretaries of states from various ministries; specifically, these included: 9 MPs, 23 senators, 2 ministers and 12 secretaries of state.

The CLC took place from November 2 to 3, 2016, under the title, “Providing a Vision of Peace and Security for Cambodia.” The Ministry of Civil Service of Cambodia and UPF co-hosted the conference. The Opening Session and launching of the IAPP were broadcast live by two television stations: the National Television of Kampuchea and Bayon Television.

At the Opening Session, the Welcome Address was given by Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, vice-chair of UPF-Asia. Mr. Suon Rany, board director of the RSA, gave remarks and said, “The way to realize peace is to be willing to give up our own desires. Cambodia experienced the ‘Killing Field’ and everything was destroyed. The educational process for rebuilding the nation is the education of living for the sake of others. When we insist on our own desire or purpose, it repeats the same problem of the past. It is really necessary for all of us to learn proper and systematic moral education.”

Mr. Hajime Saito, secretary general of UPF-Indochina, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Chung Sik Yong, chair of UPF-Asia. Mr. Yong read a speech on behalf of UPF founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

The main presentations were given by Dr. Robert. S. Kittel, education director of UPF-Asia, and Mrs. Ursula McLackland, secretary general of UPF-Asia. Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, a former cabinet minister of Nepal and chair of UPF-Nepal, introduced the South Asia Peace Initiative (SAPI).

The final session of the conference was the launch of the IAPP. Hon. Dhakal explained the vision of the IAPP, which has already been launched in several countries in Asia—including in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. IAPP programs have also been held in Africa, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean and South America.

The launching of the IAPP began with a performance, by a local Cambodian folk group, of the Apsara Dance (Apsara in Cambodian means “angels”). Several women wearing traditional dresses played Apsara. Their graceful, sinuous gestures were codified to narrate classical myth. This launching of IAPP-Cambodia was co-hosted by the Ministry of Civil Service and the Ministry of the Royal Palace of Cambodia.  The staging, musical performances and entertainment were prepared by the Ministry of the Royal Palace.

At the end of the program, the MPs, senators, ministers, other VIPs, international guests and participants showed their support for the Parliamentarians for Peace initiative by signing a proposal for launching the IAPP-Cambodia. Throughout the remainder of this year, UPF will be holding a series of conferences to launch IAPP globally. A global debut of this worldwide parliamentarian’s association will be held in Washington D.C. at the beginning of December in the United States.

Reflections:

H.E. Prom Sou, Ministry of Education: “I liked the topic, “Attributes of True Love” the most. I think every motivation should begin from true love. It connected ‘life’ and ‘lineage’ together. There was the topic from Dr. Kittel to explain about ‘Freedom.’ I think ‘True Love’ sets us free.” 

Mr. Phoeuk Chanty, Ministry of Health: “I was inspired by the presentation on the “Importance of Marriage and Family for Society.” It really made sense to me; that is, in order to realize true peace in the world, [peace] should begin from the family. Family is the School of Love, Family Building is the Nation Building.”

Ms. Seang Dana, Ministry of Justice: “The lives of human beings depend on nature or environment. Everything around us is spiritual and all people have to be aware of this. It means everything around us is alive or connected to everything in the world. For example, many countries in Asia (such as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, etc.) believe in spirit. These countries always use joss sticks (incense sticks) to pray to God… Therefore, the principle of peace is to love the nature and all human beings as whole.”

H.E. Man Ratanak, Kampot Province: “Peaceful and meaningful living with respect for others is living for the sake of others… The world is experiencing war and political issues because of selfishness and because there is no true love from hearts. True love will clearly be revealed when a person dies; how many people will cry for her/him at the funeral?”

Ms. Hak Mounhout, Battambang Province: “The lectures, ‘Human Responsibility and Existence of Spirit World’ and the ‘Root Cause of Human Conflict and Suffering’ impressed me the most because these teachings are connected to our living with a religious life. We should have the wider and wiser view of family. I absolutely agreed that we have to protect the young generations to keep purity before marriage and to keep ourselves as a model family as the principle of one man and one woman.”

H.E. Ouk Damary, MP: “To live in a peaceful world, the Principle of Peace must be applied or adopted everywhere in the world. We cannot change our religion for peace: however, we need to first change our behavior or habit. If somebody does a negative habit repeatedly, she/he will have a negative culture. As a result, a negative culture is not easy to change. In this case, the concept of goodness in the Principle of Peace must be first promoted in the hearts and bodies of men and women. By living the principle of true love, people in the world will have no conflict if they have the same behavior, habit and understanding by doing goodness, i.e. sacrificing without reward.”

H.E. Momkhlem Khlemchan, MP: “Forming a family, community, nation as well as the world, a married couple, between man and woman, cannot be lacked for continuous generations as Yin (respect woman) and Yang (respect man) in Chinese word. Moreover, the importance of marriage is to reduce poverty, divorce, crime and pregnancy outside of marriage. Family quality is based on husband and wife relationship, so true love is a must – true love is not a principle but it is from the bottom of our heart.”

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