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October 2019
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United Nations Relations

UPF-Argentina Celebrates UN International Day of Friendship

Argentina-2019-09-11-UPF-Argentina Celebrates UN International Day of Friendship

Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

Buenos Aires, Argentina—On September 11, UPF-Argentina commemorated the UN International Day of Friendship (1) by recognizing 17 new Ambassadors for Peace in the theater of the Catholic Workers Circle Federation. Representatives of various fields, organizations, provinces, and religions, they are Cristina Andrés de Mirabelli, Milton Julián Ayala, Daniela Milca Caceres Gonzalez (Inderveer Kaur), Mario Marcelo Cáceres - Wuille Carolina Sueldo, Luis Carlos Carmona (Lito Carmona), Verónica Susana Laura Cornejo, Stella Maris Coronel Ocampo, Esteban María Chalá, Allaéviton Julio Galdino - Elsa Sofía Visser, Lucía Dominga Molina, Irene Silvia Opeka, Marta Olga Palacio - Claudio Francisco Pase, Norma Mirta Pompilio, and Pedro Segura.

“End Violence, Spread Kindness” was the theme of the 2019 International Day of Friendship, a date proclaimed in 2011 by the UN with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities, promoting cultural diversity.”

The new Ambassadors for Peace gave moving testimonies, and they came on stage with their godmother/godfather, colleagues who nominated them. The last diploma was for Esteban Chalá, which was received by his wife Sandra Caso. Esteban, president and founder of CEPA Argentina (Evacuation and First Aid Department), with more than 36 international missions in war zones and disaster areas, had to travel in August to Bangladesh to coordinate a refugee camp convened by the United Nations. A connection via internet allowed us to listen to his testimony and give him an ovation (2). It was a good opportunity to raise awareness of world tragedies that displace millions of people of different regions due to persecution, war, or other conflicts. These tragedies mean we need to renew and strengthen commitments and efforts for peaceful coexistence.

Speeches were given by Carlos Varga, director of UPF-Argentina. Ambassador for Peace Irene Giurlani, volunteer and collaborator of various organizations that promote a peace culture, recited a poem to the new Ambassadors for Peace (3). At the beginning, we shared an UPF introductory video (4) and a video on the global initiative of Peace Road (5). Welcoming words were given by Ambassadors for Peace Adrián De Angelis and Liliana Hernández, the emcees, who read the greetings, introduced every new Ambassador for Peace and guided the program professionally (6).

At the end, young Ambassadors for Peace from Japan, Wonhwa, Sumi, Rie, Mami, and Keina, sang a couple of songs. They performed “Hey wa” (Peace), in Japanese and the “Peace Anthem” in Spanish. Then, Miguel Werner, secretary general of UPF-Argentina, invited the guests to raise their glasses for a toast, to reaffirm our commitment “for Peace and Friendship: among ourselves, in Argentina and around the world.” In the closing, we took a photo with all Ambassadors for Peace with the banner “Connecting the World Through Peace,” one of the themes of Peace Road in anticipation of the 2019 Peace Road in Argentina.

All new Ambassadors for Peace received various gifts, among them a tree to support the global campaign “Let’s Plant Trees: Let’s Sow Peace,” which promotes the literary-ecological program “Y volverán a ser árboles” along with UPF-Argentina (7). The trees were donated by Elizabeth Fogwill, Director of ECO’S Recreación Ambiental (“Tree Week” Campaign) and given by the Ambassador for Peace Constanza Sena, elected governor 2020–2021 of District 4905 of Rotary Club International (8).

During the meeting, we also launched the 2019 Solidarity Contest “Volunteering and Common Good,” which seeks to recognize and highlight the work of volunteers and entities for their good practices. The awards will have 10 categories and will be given at the celebration of the 2019 International Volunteer Day (9).

It is worth noting that every September 11, we celebrate Teachers’ Day in Argentina, the same day of the 9/11 terrorist attack. This anniversary reminds us that we need a new leadership paradigm, rooted in universal values, good efforts, and peace-centered governance. The following day marks the anniversary of UPF’s founding on September 12, 2005, in a ceremony at Lincoln Center, New York (10).

QUOTES:

1) On April 27, 2011, the UN proclaimed every July 30 as the International Day of Friendship, with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities, promoting cultural diversity.” We can cite different records from entities and individuals who promoted friendship, such as the World Friendship Crusade, created by Dr. Ramón Bracho (Paraguay) in 1958; and the celebration of the Friendship Day, expanded worldwide by Dr. Enrique Febbraro (Argentina), inspired by the 1969 moon landing.

2) Brief testimonies of Esteban Chalá from Bangladesh, here and here.

3) Poem “Fiesta en UPF”

Celebrando el Día Internacional de la Amistad

Celebrando el Día Internacional de la Amistad

la Gran Familia se engrandece.

Nuevos miembros llegan a UPF

¡Bienvenidos Embajadores para la Paz!

Trabajaremos juntos trascendiendo barreras

de raza, religión… o nación,

con la Esperanza de todas las eras

y el Amor encendido en el corazón.

Ofrendando palabras mansas, que el mundo merece,

fomentando respeto y Unidad en la diversidad,

y con acciones blancas, tenderemos celestiales puentes

unidos para la armoniosa convivencia terrenal-universal.

Multiplicaremos las más bellas estrellas

cultivando semillas de paz en cooperación

y la fraternidad brillará en la amistosa gesta

con gratitud a la Fuente de toda la Creación.

¡Viva la Amistad! ¡Viva la Fiesta en UPF!

Con radiante armonía material-espiritual

la Humanidad y el Bien Común crecen.

¡Viva el alto vuelo de la Libertad! ¡Viva la Paz!

Ambassador for Peace María Irene Giurlani

4) UPF introductory video.

5) Peace Road.

6) Greetings: “Voces de mi Tierra” – Cultural and social outreach program / Argentinian School of Yoga and Ayurveda / Argentinian Writers Society – Branch of Southern Buenos Aires / Mas de cien poetas por la Paz / Abrace – Cultural Performances Córdoba / RealIZAR LA PAZ, International and Universal Literary-Philosophical Academic Movement / Escuela Literaria Resplandeciente / SIPEA Argentina / Cercle Universel des Ambassadeurs de la Paix / AVES Foundation – Environment, Life, Education, Sustainability / Dr. Alberto Asseff – MERCOSUR Parliamentarian.

7) All new Ambassadors for Peacereceived a diploma, the autobiography of UPF’s Founder, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, and a booklet that reviews the vision, mission, lines of action, and statements of UPF-Argentina, along with the opening address of the Universal Peace Federation. We also gave them a UPF pin and a tree to join the global campaign “Let’s Plant Trees: Let’s Sow Peace,” promoted by the literary-ecological program “Y volverán a ser árboles” along with UPF-Argentina.

8) Campaign “Let’s Plant Trees: Let’s Sow Peace”: Blog/Terms

9) Candidates may be presented until October 31. One can receive an application form to present candidates to the 2019 “Volunteering and Common Good” Campaign at: upfarg@gmail.com

10) Information on UPF’s opening ceremony

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