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UN International Day of Families 2015

New York Celebrates the International Day of Families

USA-2015-05-15-New York Celebrates the International Day of Families

New York, USA—On May 15, UPF-USA and the Sun International Peace Federation co-organized the “Celebration of the Family” seminar in New York to commemorate the UN International Day of Families 2015.

The International Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237, and is observed on May 15 every year.  The day reflects the importance the international community attaches to families and provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families.

The seminar featured a panel on “The Role and Necessity of the Family for Sustainable Development.”  The panel was moderated by a producer at Film on A Roll Productions, a Greek-based film company that is currently producing a documentary on sex trafficking.

Panelists included the director of UPF International’s Office of Marriage and Family Education; the president of Filial Projects; a senior gender advisor at the United Nations; and founder of We, The World.

The panelists spoke about the role of the family as the central pillar of society and challenges facing the global family.  The senior gender advisor at the UN gave alarming statistics on violence against women, which is often under reported and needs more advocacy to address it.

Dr. Ricardo de Sena, president of UPF-USA, presented on the principles of the family and emphasized that:

  • The family is the most important human institution. Without it, we would not exist. Through it, we transmit language and culture.
  • The family—marriage and parenthood—is regarded as sacred by the world’s religions.
  • The family has the potential to manifest, most fully, God’s ideal of true love, which includes:
    • Children’s love
    • Brotherly and sisterly love
    • Marital love
    • Parental love

He then read passages from sacred texts that highlight the significance of the family:

There are five relations of utmost importance under Heaven…between
prince and minister; between father and son; between husband and
wife; between elder and younger brothers; and between friends.

Confucianism, Doctrine of the Mean

It is by the proper regulation of each family that the whole world is stabilized.

I Ching 37

When a man honours his father and mother, God says, “I regard it as though I had dwelt among them and they had honored me.”

Judaism, Talmud 

When the family declines, ancient traditions are destroyed. With them are lost
the spiritual foundation for life, and the family loses its sense of unity.

Hinduism, Bhagavad-Gita 1.40

Ms. Maria L. Vargas, executive director of UPF-USA’s Latin Affairs Office, expounded on the family as the cornerstone for world peace and UPF co-founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s principles of the family: 

  • The family is the school of love.
  • If there is peace in the family, there will be peace in the world.
  • If problems in the family are resolved, all problems in the world will be resolved.
  • God’s providential work has been to restore the family.

Participants included Ambassadors for Peace, community leaders, representatives of UN-affiliated NGOs, faith-based leaders, and peace activists.

The program featured a “One-Global Family–Water of Life Ceremony,” in which representatives from the families of the world (a representative of white families, black families, Asian families; and a representative of Christian families, Jewish families, Muslim families, and Hindu families) read a passage from their cultural or sacred traditions, and poured water into a golden glass bowl.  As the waters blended into one, it symbolized the world’s peoples uniting into one—one in heart and mind, centered upon the heart and mind of the Creator.

After the program had long ended, the participants shared with one another, as new-found friends and partners in peace.

To visit the official United Nations International Day Families website, please click here.

To read the proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly for the International Day of Families, please click here.

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