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South East Asian Leaders Celebrate International Day of Peace

Bangkok, Thailand - A brief, special observance of the International Day of Peace was celebrated in Thailand on September 18, as part of the Southeast Asia International Leadership Conference. The Leadership Conference, organized by the Universal Peace Federation in collaboration with the Thailand Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, was held at the Emerald Hotel in Bangkok from September 15 – 18, 2008, and it was attended by 126 participants from 18 countries in Asia.

The Commemoration of the International Day of Peace, attended by more than 300 participants, began with beautiful songs of peace sung by the Jeremiah Singers of Ruamrudee International School. Following this, the Opening Ceremony highlighted welcome speeches given by Emeritus Prof. Pradit Charoenthaitawee, President of UPF-Thailand, and Dr. Chung Sik Yong, the Regional Chair of UPF-Asia. Dr. Yong’s statement emphasized that all of us together can contribute to a lasting world peace by cherishing and implementing the simple notion that “Peace begins with me.”

Next, a video of the International Day of Peace Declaration by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was shown in which he also launched a text-messaging campaign for peace encouraging U.S. cell-phone users to send 160-character text messages starting with the word “PEACE” to phone number 69866. (The text messages were collected by the UN and posted on a special website at www.peaceday2008.org.) Ban Ki-moon himself later sent the message: “I call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger, and for all human rights for all.” The video presentation was then followed by a Minute of Silence.

Finally, the Keynote Address, a heartfelt discourse on peace, was given by H. E. Dr. Paiboon Wattanasiritham, the distinguished Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.

To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.

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