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UN International Day of Families 2014

International Day of Families Observed in Buenos Aires

Spanish

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Couples who have been married between 25 and 61 years were recognized by UPF-Argentina during the May 15, 2014 celebration of the International Day of Families. This year is the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Families,which was established by the UN (Resolution 44/82, December 9th, 1989) “with the objective of promoting awareness of issues relating to families and improving the institutional ability of the nations to deal with the family issues through a broad use of policies.” The program included a reading of the “Declaration of the International Day of Families 2014,” which reaffirms the value and significance of this basic core for child nurture and growth, instilling of values and standards of coexistence, social development and world peace.

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“We are born like a rough stone. This is a task we cannot do on our own. Our spouse is the one that helps us sculpt our personality, smooth things over, and arrive to this process of expressing together God’s ideal,” expressed Carlos Varga, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Argentina. In some way, this is what was reflected in the experiences and anecdotes shared by each one of the honorees during the event: Eduardo Corales-Kessinee Vorawatnachai (25 years of marriage), Héctor Omar Sabini-María Concepción Ramírez Cardena (25 years), Gerardo Beltramino-Olga Juárez (25 years), Raúl Morales-Mabel Fabeiro (29 years), Fabián Orlando Vilches-Liliana Mabel Pellegrino (32 years), José Battista-Haydee Nelly Giliberti (52 years), and Pedro Pablo Pacheco-María Mercedes Calcagno (61 years).

“Your work brings happiness to everybody. Let’s make this indestructible,” said Pedro Pacheco, who was thrilled to be one of the distinguished couples. “We do not have a recipe,” Fabián Vilches admitted when asked about their formula for being together so many years. However, he mentioned three “ingredients”: “our love for each other, the coincidences and our mistakes (…). We have used the first two to get rid of the third one.” There were three couples who were matched by the founder of the Family Federation and the UPF, and they talked about the significance of the matching between people from different nationalities, cultures and religions for the sake of peace. “There is no recipe. We have to learn every day,” said María Ramírez. “We thank Rev. Moon, our spiritual father,” she added. “Love is forever (…). There is still much to do”, recognized Olga Juárez, who admired the 61 of marriage from one of the couples, saying, “they fulfilled what they promised up to the altar”.

“By providing economic and emotional sustenance to their members, families can raise productive, caring citizens committed to the common good”, claimed Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, in his message for this significant date (UN Resolution 47/237, September 20th, 1993), whose extract was read in this event by Donato Perrone, member of the Peace Council of UPF-Argentina. Rosetta Conti de Castellón, President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace in Argentina, read the “Declaration of the International Day of Families 2014” which was released by the UPF Argentina (see text at the end). After the beautiful songs performed by the young people from the Family Federation, the honored couples came on stage to share the symbolic cake cutting during the end of the event.

“Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals” was the motto chosen by the UN for this year, an “opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions of all families to the mission of the United Nations.” This was shared once more during this sixth annual recognition of couples married 25 or more years that UPF Argentina holds, with life testimonies about overcoming difficulties and all the valuable experiences about harmony. Over snacks and the cake, the couples showed their joy and gratitude, renewing their commitment of love (previous celebrations: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 y 2009).

DECLARATION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES 2014

The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) honors the UN Resolution (*) about the International Day of Families and shares the following Declaration on this significant day:

FIRST: The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) recognizes that families are the microcosms of the global community. If the world finally has to come to an era which can enjoy everlasting peace and harmony among civilizations, this coexistence has to be founded on this intimate and basic unity of humanity. In other words, a functional family becomes essential in the building of a society and it is a significant element for reconciliation and peace.

SECOND: Regardless of any conditions of race, ethnicity, nationality, and religious belief, we are all members of a certain family. Family is universal. Even more important, the family is the school of love and ethics. Through experiences in our families, we learn how to value all the other relationships in our society, which is our bigger human family, and with friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues, and strangers.

THIRD: A faithful marriage between men and women, and a harmonious family, form the foundation for human development and social progress. It becomes essential for the growth and protection of children, character education, social relationships, and civic duties. Solid, healthy, and loving families help protect society from moral decline in young people, increase in crime, drugs, and corruption; as well as the spread of infections such as HIV/AIDS. Moreover, it helps dissolve the old resentments that became the fuel that feed social, tribal, and religious conflicts.  

FOURTH: The family has successfully adapted to changes throughout history. It has survived revolutions and empires, and it has prevailed despite economic and social turbulence in many societies. This is called adaptability; nonetheless, nowadays it is being threatened by a range of social, economic, cultural, political, and ideological situations. This is the time to strengthen the family. To restore the family is a way of addressing the spread of social and civil problems that desolates this world.

FIFTH: Everlasting peace will not be settled just with the establishment of laws supported by the State and with the cooperation of social organizations. All of this has to be ensured as a basic human right, promoting awareness of human solidarity as a family, as brothers and sisters that share a moral and spiritual heritage. In short, as one universal family under the same God.

For this reason, UPF-Argentina celebrates the International Day of Families, this year being the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994, “in order to refocus on the importance of families.”

(*) In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly decided than every May 15th will be celebrated the International Day of Families (Resolution 47/237, September 20th). In 1989, by Resolution 44/82, the Assembly proclaimed year 1994 as the International Year of Families, “with the objective of promoting awareness of issues related to families and improving the institutional ability of the nations to deal with the family issues through a broad use of policies”.

Translation: Yamila Gómez

Photos: Rita Corales

 

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