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UN International Day of Families 2009

Day of Families Celebrated in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - UPF-Cambodia celebrated the International Day of Families together with Malaysian and Cambodian students at the Cambodian Mekong University campus in Phnom Penh on May 15-16 in conjunction with the International Youth Leadership Conference on the theme of “Creating One Global Family.”

The distinguished guests were H.E. Chay Chap (Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports), H.E. Nhek Buntha (Director of the Cambodian Buddhist Association), H.E. HO Naun (Member of Parliament), H.E. ICH Seng (Chancellor of Cambodian Mekong University), Mr. Ban Thero (Vice Chancellor of Cambodian Mekong University), Ms. Prok Vanny (National Coordinator, UNIFEM), Mrs. Houy Socheat (Executive Director of AAR), and Ms. Ouk Sothira (Local Gender Expert, Paz y Desarrollo). There were approximately 130 participants.

A song opened the first day of the program at 5:30 PM, followed by a warm welcome speech by H.E. ICH Seng. Ms. Prok Vanny gave a briefing about the International Day of Families and emphasized the important role of mothers not only in the family and but in society. H.E. Chay Chap gave congratulatory remarks on this day. He expressed gratitude that UPF-Cambodia organized the much-needed conference to recognize the importance and effectiveness of the family in Cambodian society, which is also in danger of a breakdown in traditional family ethics. After the ceremony, everyone was invited to join a dinner banquet at the campus.

On the second day, lecturers from Japan, Malaysia, and Cambodia gave inspiring lectures to the students. Mr. James Poon, Secretary General of Youth Federation for World Peace-Malaysia, gave a presentation on “Building a Nation of Prosperity, One Family at a Time” with dynamic words and actions, which captivated the participants’ hearts and generated excitement.

Mrs. Masumi F. Schmittat stressed in her presentation on “Character Education in the Age of AIDS” that the key solution of AIDS is not medicine but each person's moral understanding. She gave concrete ideas especially to girls about how they should protect themselves from boys' temptations and encouraged youth to keep their purity.

The initiative of Malaysian student volunteer organization ”South East Asia Children's Charity Community” and UPF-Malaysia’s project of “Power of 10 Sen” motivated Cambodian students and Vice Chancellor of Mekong University to do the same for their community. All participants agreed to support it and donated. Their project is called “Power of 100 Riel.”

As a result of the conference, the Phnom Penh Proclamation was adopted by all participants to promote peace by applying the universal principle and creating One Global Family. H.E. Mrs. HO Naun encouraged students to be a good leader and a good father or mother in the own family and also in society.

She delivered Ambassadors for Peace and Collegiate Ambassadors for Peace certificates to the representatives and the Chancellor of the Cambodian Mekong University. Certificates were given to all participants in the conference.

To read UPF's Declaration on Families, click here.


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