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UN International Day of Families 2009

Day of Families Celebrated in Oslo

Oslo, Norway - In partnership with the largest mosque in Norway, UPF celebrated the UN International Day of Families on May 14. The MC introduced the UN program for the day as a wonderful opportunity to organize more activities based on the theme of the family. The family certainly has not received the attention that it deserves.

After a minute of silence, remembering all the suffering families in the world, the secretary general of the mosque wished everybody welcome.

Lutheran bishop Per Lönning spoke on the theme of "The Parental Role: The Greatest Resource of Our Society?" He described how trends in contemporary politics clash with traditional family values. He concluded that parents play the most important role in their child’s life as mediators of God’s love and care.

After reading UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech for the day, MP Karin Woldseth, from the Progressive Party and a member of the Family Committee in the Parliament, spoke passionately on "Challenges for Mothers in Our Society." She emphasized the importance of a close bond between mother and child in its early years and how that relationship is under pressure in today’s society with its modern lifestyle. She suggested that this bond instills peace and security in the hearts of young children.  

Professor Sigurd Skirbekk, whose latest book The Dysfunctional Culture was quoted on Al Jazeera, spoke on the title "Gauging Various Kinds of Families by Their Functionality/Dysfunctionality." He discussed norms of marriage and elaborated on how previous civilizations perished due to the collapse of the institution of the family. He related this to our present society.

UPF chairman Knut Holdhus gave a presentation titled "The Family: The Significance of Its Universal Values in Today’s Society."

The presentations were followed by many questions and comments. Several participants expressed their desire to do more to promote the evening’s theme and even volunteered to work together for next year’s event.

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


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