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Day of Families Observed in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand - UPF-Thailand and the Family Federation for World Peace-Thailand joined hands with family-related government representatives to celebrate the International Day of Families in Bangkok on May 15.

In the main hall of the Peace Embassy of UPF-Thailand, 400 participants, including Ambassadors for Peace, NGO and community leaders, youth leaders, and students, participated in a seminar on the theme of  “Confronting Family Poverty and Social Exclusion” to raise awareness of the importance of families for the happiness, prosperity, well-being, and peace of Thai society.

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The speakers from the National Institute for Child and Family Development and the Center for Research and Development of Thai Families brought to the four-hour event inspiration, new insights, encouragement, and suggestions for new ways to integrate and cooperate to bring peace to society through families, children, and young people.

The event started with a special song for families from the Pure Love Club of Thailand. Then, Mr. Pasit Sirimalai, Vice President of the Family Federation for World Peace-Thailand, gave welcoming remarks and read the message of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the International Day of Families this year. Next, Gen. Terdsak Marome, the newly appointed president of UPF-Thailand, gave opening remarks.

The highlight of the day was the seminar. The moderator was Ms. Kedsara Ruenpirom, advisor of the committee for Parliament Affairs of the Thai Parliament and a specialist on how to solve conflict by peaceful methods. The speakers were Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, Secretary General of UPF-Thailand; Dr. Suriyadeo Tripathi, MD, Director of the National Institute for Child and Family Development; and Prof. Dr. Jittinant Dechagupta, Director of the Center for Research and Development of Thai Families.

Dr. Lek emphasized the importance of the husband-wife relationship as the key for the security and peace of the family, society, and nation; he talked about purity before marriage and fidelity in conjugal love after marriage.

Dr. Suriyadeo explained in terms of "life capital" what children and teenagers need to develop in order to be well behaved and able to create sustainable families. The family is the most important foundation for children to develop this life capital and form families which can increase social capital. He emphasized that a nation's Gross Domestic Product is not the parameter for evaluating the happiness and well being of a people and nation but rather its life capital. He explained how his institute works with government organizations and NGOs to create policies and information that will help enrich the life capital of Thai youth, families, and societies.

Prof. Dr. Jittinant explained 15 ideas for promoting a strong family and a happy life. She emphasized that the right way of thinking can bring true peace and happiness in life, family, and society. Poverty and wealth are not the main factors that decide the happiness in life and family well being. In addition, she gave many examples of teenagers who experienced family breakdown and suffered from the immorality in Thai society but still succeeded in life and had happy families when they had right ideas and determination.

At the end, during question- and answer-sessions, the audience shared with speakers many ideas, hopes, insights, and inspirations for improving life and cultivating a peaceful society. Finally, Prof. Kirti Booncheu, Vice President of UPF-Thailand, gave closing remarks.

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