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UN International Day of Families 2014

International Day of Families Observed at a Forum in Oslo

Oslo, Norway - The UN International Day of Families was celebrated in the Diakonhjemmet University College in Oslo on May 20. In cooperation with staff from the college, a great venue was prepared for the event.

Under the topic "Relevant Perspectives on the Family in 2014," various presentations were given.

Steinar Murud, leader of UPF-Norway, welcomed the audience with some words about the meaning of the day.

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Maria Sammut from the Catholic church spoke about their initiative "The Year of the Family 2014." Even though their program was meant as an internal program for their church, she talked about challenges that everybody could relate to. Everyone belongs to at least one family; that means that family matters concern everyone, regardless of religion or culture.

Turid Noack, senior researcher from Statistics Norway, is an expert family research. Her numbers and statistics gave a realistic picture of the situation of families in 2014. She spoke about the divorce rate, compared marriage and cohabitation, and commented on the increasing number of single people.

After the coffee break the therapist Frode Thuen, who is a regular columnist in the main Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, gave his presentation. Professor Thuen emphasized that a good relationship in a couple has clear health benefits. A longer life, better health, less chances for depression or psychic problems are among the benefits. The statistics are clear about this.

But there are always challenges, and the way people communicate will often determine how they come through these challenges. For couples who experience challenges in their relationship, there are many ways to find help. Professor Thuen showed how therapy or seminars or other programs are very beneficial and can guide struggling couples through their difficulties into a lasting and good marriage.

Professor Thuen stressed the value of making efforts an early stage rather than repairs later. He said that the Norwegian government had invited him to the give a similar presentation a couple of days later, as a step in developing a good national family policy.

International Day of Families 2014 from Universal Peace Federation International

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