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November 2018
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United Nations Relations

NGO Week of Spirituality Honors the "Spirit of the UN"

New York, USA - The magnificent qualities of the human heart, expressed through service to the United Nations, was celebrated during the 2012 Week of Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, October 22-25, a project of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (CSVGC-NY) at the United Nations in New York, under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Sharon Hamilton-Getz. Universal Peace Federation is a member of the Executive Council of this Committee, represented by Genie Kagawa as its Vice Chair.

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Several UN NGOs and Committees came together to co-sponsor the week-long activities from October 22 to 26. Co-sponsors for the week included the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, NGO Committee on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, NGO Committee on Human Rights, NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, CoNGO, UN Social and Recreational Council, Feng-Shui Group, Enlightenment Society, UN Women’s Guild, Values Caucus, The Spiritual Caucus, and United Religions Initiative.

Through the lens of "Riding the Waves of Change, Energy for All," the programs explored the challenges and successes in making the principles contained in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come alive today and in the future. The CSVGC-NY Opening and “Spirit of the UN” Award Ceremony took place on October 22, during which the following five 2012 awardees were honored:

  • H.E. Ambassador Lhatu Wangchuk, Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations
  • Mr. James Sniffen, UN Environment Programme
  • Mr. Peter Stewart, Thanks-Giving Foundation
  • Ms. Pamela Kraft, Tribal Link
  • Ms. Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will.

Ms. Kraft commented that the ceremony was “unique and beyond special” and a thoroughly inspirational expression of heart. Tears were shed as stories were shared about the sacrifice and selfless investment of time and resources given in service to the disadvantaged sectors of our global society.

The program of events coincided with the 67th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, with events ranging from a series of focused meditations, workshops, panel discussions, and group interactions. Events were anchored throughout the week by the “Keepers of the Sacred,” who guided the daily meditation sessions which touched upon various important topics at the UN: the "spirit of the UN"; women’s rights, human trafficking and children of war; 67th anniversary of the United Nations; environmental sustainability; human rights; eliminating extreme hunger and poverty; and promoting gender equality and empowering women.

The finale of the week on October 25 included two programs, ending in a heartfelt Closing Ceremony. The first program, co-sponsored by CSVGC-NY Sacred and Transcendental Arts, Values and Business and Environment Collective Working Groups, focused on “Revealing the Divine Feminine: Unifying Oneness and Energy for All.” Moderated by Sharon Hamilton-Getz, panelists included Myra Godfrey of Hridaya Healing, Monika Mitchell of Good Business International, “Queen Mother” Dr. Delois Blakely, Harry Uvegi AspiralLink, and Ms. Pamela Kraft, each speaking on the essence of the “Divine Feminine” from a different perspective.

The Healing, Transformation and Spirituality Working Group, chaired by Dr. Ani Kalayjian, UN Representative for Trauma Outreach and Prevention, touched on the theme “Achieving Energy for All Through Forgiveness and Gratitude.” Expert panelists Leysa Cerswell, Dr. Ani Kalayjian, and Cheryl Lazarus expounded on the healing methods and practices of forgiveness, as well as best practices for resolving conflict and pain.

During the Closing Ceremony, through sharing and heart-to-heart-communication, participants explored the essence of peace and harmony with the Creator, with nature, and with each other. Participants gained greater insight on how the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals were impacted by the various cultural, political, economic decisions and ways of living of humanity.

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