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Peace Education

Ambassadors for Peace Attend National Conference in Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada - More than 50 UPF Ambassadors for Peace gathered at Les Suites Hotel in Ottawa for a national conference on June 7. Participants came from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. Interest in the conference exceeded the expectations of the organizers.

 


After opening remarks by UPF-Canada Secretary General Franco Famularo, Dr. Andrew Wilson gave a presentation on the religious and philosophical aspects of building a culture of peace, emphasizing the value of “soft power” (strong families, interfaith cooperation, culture of service, reconciliation, partnerships, and affirmation of spiritual principles). He noted that beyond external solutions people need inner qualities of heart and character to realize peace substantially. He proposed three pillars of a peaceful society: universally shared values, politics that emphasizes public service instead of partisanship, and economic interdependence. Dr. Wilson’s presentation set the tone for the day’s discussions and provided an excellent intellectual framework for the participants.

Following his presentation, a panel consisting of Dr. Wilson, Dr. Golam Dastagir, and Rev. Darryl Gray spoke briefly about peacemaking from Islamic and Christian perspectives, and fielded several questions.

After a light lunch, Daniel Stringer, chair of the National Capital Peace Council of UPF, reported on plans for a festival and Canadian Leadership Conference in Ottawa in October and requested the participation of the attendees as organizational partners. The program will feature a conference, a soccer tournament, and an awards ceremony. Particular challenges include integrating the French and English cultures and languages, and understanding the role played by women in creating a culture of peace.

Gathering Ambassadors for Peace together in Ottawa is a major step toward establishing stronger bonds among partners and allies as they seek ways to establish ongoing cooperation for the sake of peace. Participants expressed a strong desire for this effort to continue on a regular basis.

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