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UN International Day of Families 2010

Day of Families Celebrated in the Finland Parliament

Helsinki, Finland - UPF-Finland held a conference at the Parliament in connection with the UN International Day of Family on May 12. A Member of Parliament, Mr. Lauri Oinonen arranged the conference to be held at the Parliament building. The topic of the conference was the Impact of Migration on Families.

The UN Association of Finland sent a letter of greetings to the conference, which was read at the beginning of the program. The letter stated: “The family is a basic unit and a building block of any society and a source of happiness, binding people together with ties of heart. In April 2010 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that dialog among cultures, civilizations, and religions is crucial in fulfilling the central objectives of the UN Charter, upholding human rights, and advancing development. All people around the world must unite as a global family in order to tackle the many challenges facing us.”

Next Mr. Risto Rautava, Chairman of the Helsinki City Council, expressed his gratitude for holding the conference and mentioned that family values are important and can never be stressed too much. From the viewpoint of city, the well being of families correlates with the well being of the whole city. Therefore, he encouraged UPF to develop programs to support families.

Then, there were five presentations on family issues as well as the impact of migration on families. Rev. Oinonen talked about family values from the viewpoint of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Emil Anton presented the view of the Catholic Church. Mrs. Mariam Varjonen, General Secretary of Islamic Heritage House, explained the challenges that Muslim children face in Finnish schools. Mrs. Jornna Roos from Edupoli educational institution presented facts and statistics about multicultural families because of international marriages. Mr. Hannu Hassinen gave a presentation as a representative of UPF.

After those presentations, a specialist on migration, Mrs. Anita Novitsky of the Väestöliitto family association commented on the presentations. Also members of the audience had a chance to ask questions and offer comments. The lively sharing continued as the program moved on to the cafeteria for coffee and sweet rolls.

At the end of the program, Mrs. Varjonen received an Ambassador for Peace certificate.

Many participants express their appreciation to UPF for holding such a conference, and Mr. Rautava invited the UPF to hold a program connected with the 2012 World Design Capital event in Helsinki.


UN Day of Families: Finland

For more information about UPF chapters' celebrations of the International Day of Families, click

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