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Peace Education

UPF-Australia Holds Peacebuilding Leadership Seminar

Melbourne, Australia—The Australia chapters of UPF and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an affiliated organization, held their final peacebuilding leadership seminar for 2017 on October 7. Among the 30 participants were leaders, Ambassadors for Peace and members of WFWP-Australia.

The series of seminars, whose theme was “Peacebuilding Principles for Sustainable Peace,” sought to open a conversation on universally shared values and principles that can underpin peacebuilding in Australia. The moral, spiritual and methodological principles that foster peacebuilding based on the teachings of UPF co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon were explored. In addition, these seminars sought to find solutions to moral and social problems facing Australian society.

UPF-Australia vice president, Mr. John Bellavance, spoke about the principle of reciprocity as the basis for all relationships and happiness. The main points discussed were: a person does not experience love and joy on his or her own; they are experienced when relating to one another. Second, the family is the building block for world peace. Third, war can arise when conflict within the individual expands to the tribe, nation and world. In conclusion, it was suggested that a revolution of character is needed before a revolution of politics is carried out.

The president of WFWP-Australia, Mrs. Anne Bellavance, spoke about the principles that underpin reconciliation and the restoration of peace. She gave an overview of history through the biblical lens and explained how biblical history was repeated over and over again due to the actions of key figures in history. The stories in history show the methodology of peacebuilding, Mrs. Bellavance also explained, and emphasized that this methodology of serving and “loving your enemy,” as outlined by Rev. Moon, is applicable to us today.

Four people who have exemplified “living for the sake of others” were presented with an Ambassador for Peace award during the closing of the seminar. The honorees were Mrs. Maryam Shahryar and Mrs. Fereshteh Zamini, two Iranian women who stood up for human rights and have lived lives of service to others; Mr. Gamini Fonseka, a community broadcaster and leader who has been a recipient of many Australian community awards for excellence in multiculturalism; and Mr. Joseph Jock Luak, a South Sudanese leader.

Mr. Victor Jessop and Ms. Negin Mansouri gave the closing remarks. Mr. Jessop suggested that if we have the mindset that we are one family under God, this would change how we view one another and hasten the peacebuilding process. Ms. Mansouri highlighted the importance of addressing all the facets of peace, starting with the individual.

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