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United Nations Relations

Combatting HIV/AIDS on UN Day in Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Georgia - UPF organized two events in collaboration with the United Nations office in Tbilisi to commemorate UN Day: educational activities for school students and a conference on combating HIV/AIDS.

Conference on Empowering Youth Leaders to Combat HIV/AIDS

An October 25 conference on Empowering Youth Leaders to Combat HIV/AIDS related to the UN's Millennium Development Goal №. 6 “Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases.” Some 40 civic leaders, representatives of NGOs, and youth activists gathered at the United Nations office in Tbilisi to discuss ways to halt the spread of HIV. The conference was timely since many people still lack the knowledge to protect themselves against HIV.

The first presentation about UN efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV infection was given by UNAIDS HIV/AIDS social mobilization adviser Ms. Lia Tavadze. According to official data there are more than 3,500 HIV-infected people in Georgia. She explained that HIV lives in body fluids of the infected person and can be spread through unprotected sexual contact, use of contaminated needles by drug users, through untested blood products, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding when the mother is HIV-positive.

The second speaker was the Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, Jacques Marion, who shared about “A Life Goals Approach to HIV/AIDS Prevention.” In his speech he noted that there are two approaches to sex education. The key difference between them is that one approach is based on the theory of "safe sex" and the other on family education, with an emphasis on abstinence before marriage ("purity of love") and fidelity in marriage. All preventive activities are closely linked, and none of the approaches can be considered universal, since the methods of working with at-risk groups differ from that of the general population. However, it is important to understand that the spread of HIV among young people is one of the negative factors affecting the demographic, economic, and social situation in the country. The development of ethical culture and implementation of awareness programs will help to reduce the rate of HIV transmission. UPF conducts programs on moral education among young people, aimed at teaching moral and ethical values and education of heart, which lays the foundation for happiness, stability in marriage and family life and for social cohesion.

At the end of the program participants asked questions about the work and activities of UNAIDS and the Universal Peace Federation.

School No. 136

Ninth and tenth grade students at school No. 136 learned about the history of the UN and the value of its activities and answered quiz questions for prizes in a program on October 23. They also participated in a role-playing game called "The Five Principles of Peace" developed by a specialist in the Ural branch of the UPF, Evgeny Skvortsov. Participants discussed issues of peace and learned to find compromise solutions.

Participants worked in three chambers - the "politicians," "religions people," and "public figures." They developed short messages to send to citizens of all countries based on the principles of peacebuilding by answering five fundamental questions: What idea can unite all people? What is the value of human beings? What is the model of relationships? What is the best educational environment? How can peace be established among the nations? Each question was discussed first by each chamber, and then together they shaped a joint proposal.

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As a result of discussions, the following messages were adopted:

  1. Humanity is one family that strives for universal well-being and prosperity.
  2. People are children of God who want to live freely and happily in peace and love.
  3. The standard of human relationships is love, treating others as we would like them to treat us.
  4. The family, based on spiritual and moral values, is the school of love.
  5. Peace comes through cooperation among political, religious, and public figures, based on spiritual and moral principles.

Finally, the results of analogous programs held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, as well as the five peace principles of the Universal Peace Federation were announced. It’s significant that people of different ages and social experiences, at different times and in different circumstances respond to these five questions in similar ways. It provides a basis for their application in peacebuilding activities and youth education.

Conference on Empowering Youth Leaders to Combat HIV/AIDS

An October 25 conference on Empowering Youth Leaders to Combat HIV/AIDS on October 25 related to the UN's Millennium Development Goal №. 6 “Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases.” Some 40 civic leaders, representatives of NGOs, and youth activists gathered at the United Nations office in Tbilisi to discuss ways to halt the spread of HIV. The conference was timely since many people still lack the knowledge to protect themselves against HIV.

The first presentation about UN efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV infection was given by UNAIDS HIV/AIDS social mobilization adviser Ms. Lia Tavadze. According to official data there are more than 3,500 HIV-infected people in Georgia. She explained that HIV lives in body fluids of the infected person and can be spread through unprotected sexual contact, use of contaminated needles by drug users, through untested blood products, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding when the mother is HIV-positive.

The second speaker was the Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, Jacques Marion, who shared about “A Life Goals Approach to HIV/AIDS Prevention.” In his speech he noted that there are two approaches to sex education. The key difference between them is that one approach is based on the theory of "safe sex" and the other on family education, with an emphasis on abstinence before marriage ("purity of love") and fidelity in marriage. All preventive activities are closely linked, and none of the approaches can be considered universal, since the methods of working with at-risk groups differ from that of the general population. However, it is important to understand that the spread of HIV among young people is one of the negative factors affecting the demographic, economic, and social situation in the country. The development of ethical culture and implementation of awareness programs will help to reduce the rate of HIV transmission. UPF conducts programs on moral education among young people, aimed at teaching moral and ethical values and education of heart, which lays the foundation for happiness, stability in marriage and family life and for social cohesion.

At the end of the program participants asked questions about the work and activities of UNAIDS and the Universal Peace Federation.

Reported by Vitaly Maksimov, Secretary General, UPF-Georgia

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