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Peace Education

Ukrainians Discuss Building a Culture of Peace

Ukraine-2016-10-21-Ukrainians Discuss Building a Culture of Peace

Kyiv, Ukraine—The former president of Ukraine was the main speaker at the UPF conference “Fundamental Principles of Sustainable Peace.”

UPF-Ukraine held the conference on October 21, 2016, in cooperation with the Ukrainian Peace Council, an NGO led by H.E. Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine (1991 to 1994). Among the 280 participants were prominent members of Parliament, NGO leaders and educators.

To open the conference a beautiful musical greeting was performed by Natalia Shelepnytska, a People’s Artist of Ukraine and an Ambassador for Peace. The opening speech was given by H.E. Leonid Kravchuk.

“Together we can build a culture of peace, since its formation is not possible without the joint efforts of all components of society: government and international organizations, public and educational institutions, religious and interfaith institutions and leaders in all spheres of people’s lives,” the former president said in his speech.

Member of Parliament Victor Yelenskyy, the deputy head of the Parliament committee on culture and spirituality, spoke on the topic of interreligious harmony as a way to build sustainable peace. Former Minister of Education Mykhailo Zgurovsky, the head of the Kyiv National Polytechnic University, explained about science and technology as components of sustainable peace. From the UPF side, speeches were given by UPF-Eurasia Regional Chair Dr. Katsumi Otsuka and UPF-Austria Secretary General Peter Haider.

In his speech Dr. Otsuka described three steps in solving the world’s problems. “In order to fulfill it, we need to invest our life for the sake of others. People who put their family ahead of themselves, their nation ahead of their family, the world ahead of their nation—they will stand as the standard and the example of goodness,” Dr. Otsuka said.

Nine new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed during the conference. Among them were the head of the Women’s Council of Ukraine, Ludmila Porkhniak-Ganovs’ka; former Minister of Education Mykhailo Zgurovsky; and Member of Parliament Victor Yelenskyy.

Many participants said that they were very inspired by the elevated atmosphere of the conference. They said that in the presentations of the conference speakers they saw many good ideas and solutions, and they expressed the desire to participate in future UPF activities.

At the end of the conference all the participants proclaimed the Conference Resolution, which emphasizes the importance of establishing a culture of peace in Ukraine and in the world.

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