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K. Marende: Solidarity and Partnership in Pursuit of World Peace

Address to the Universal Peace Federation Assembly
Nairobi, Kenya, February 27, 2011

World peace is a matter of great magnitude more so after realizing that are are all connected part of a great whole in the universe. Being in your midst today reminds me of the saying that a small and committed people can change the world. Each of you are demonstrating that you are making a difference by standing up for the ideal of peace that transcends race and religion — universal peace. This is the key to our coexistence and development. It goes to show how small acts when multiplied across the world by millions of people can transform it.

In the recent past you have worked hard to bring the ideal that Rev. Sun Myung Moon brought to life and have taken peacebuilding to a new level. Examples of this are far and wide. You have brought warring nations together in dialogue, for example, Georgia and Russia. You have created a global network of UPF Ambassadors for Peace who come together and share views from different and practical perspectives. You are promoting and recognizing peacebuilding efforts by individuals and nations. UPF professionals around the world are using their skills to improve lives through humanitarian efforts in a bid to foster peace. You are hosting high-level peace conferences that bring together key policymakers, such as the peace conference held in Nairobi in November last year. You are advocating for an interreligious council at the UN and helping to alleviate the effects of disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti. In collaboration with the UN you are promoting the International Day of Peace and International Day of Families.

Solidarity and partnership in pursuit of world peace is of immense significance as we are becoming more and more interdependent as a community of nations. For those of you who have been following the news you will understand that we have had both a very trying and inspirational period in our nation, particularly in the area of governance. And as we emerge and re-establish ourselves, we acknowledge the assistance of the international community. As you may recall, the last general elections in Kenya, held in the year 2007, were not a representative example of an ideal democratic election. The aftermath plunged the country into the international limelight with calls for immediate intervention to prevent the situation from sliding into disorder. The African Union through its mediation committee led by former UN Secretary-General Dr. Kofi Annan saved the day. The same resulted in a coalition government of convenience, but this calmed the situation. Many of you have stood with our country during and after that period and we are grateful for that.

The Kenya National Assembly will continue to encourage, support, and contribute towards solidarity and cooperation in the area of peacebuilding. Our members are well placed to reconcile communities and nations. At the Kenya National Assembly we have a few associations which UPF can partner with to foster peace in the nation. These include the National Assembly Prayer Breakfast Group that seeks unity of all communities by emphasizing core religious values in leadership. The Bunge Football Club has initiatives that seek to promote peace through sports. These are a few groups that you may consider partnering with. The Speaker is willing to work with you to bring to fruition your aspirations within the confines of the Law.

Finally I thank you for choosing Kenya for this important forum. I also thank you for the contribution to development and governance attributable to a number of UPF Ambassadors and advocates, some of whom I see in this room.

I will restate the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which I find relevant to you. He said; "We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” Again, I emphasize and encourage you to always speak out against acts that can be a threat to peace in our world. Thank you, and God bless you and your work.