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April 2019
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Day of Peace in Peru

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UPF-Peru embraced the International Day of Peace with ceremonies in the Peruvian Congress, the coastal city of Trujillo and the Andean mountain city of Puno.

Ambassadors for Peace in Peru, working together with congressmen, mayors, religious leaders, members of the Lions Club International, and other institutions for peace had been preparing for this anniversary for many weeks and finally, the fruits of their efforts were realized with a series of important meetings across the country on September 21.


As in previous years, the main event in the capital city of Lima took place inside the Congress of Peru, in the Miguel Grau Hall, a historic meeting room where many notable people have assembled in the past. On this occasion two members of Congress, Dr. Jhony Lescano and Dr. Margarita Sucari, together with the past Minister of Defense Dr. Antero Flores Araoz offered their thoughts about this important day. They were joined on this occasion by Anglican Bishop William Godfrey, Sheik Kalil Mohammed (imam for Peru), Methodist Bishop Jorge Bravo, and Dr. Nelson Vidal la Torre (past president of the Lions Club in Peru). Supportive messages were received from the director general of the Ministry for Women and Social Development.

The UN secretary-general’s words for this day were shared with the overflow audience, and the UPF peace declaration was read by the current UPF President, Engineer Jorge Chavez Lanfranchi. The traditional interfaith ceremony of lighting peace candles and the appointment of new Ambassadors for Peace concluded the program.

The whole event was broadcast by the Congress on their cable TV channel and was also mentioned in the national TV news bulletins.

Trujillo


Trujillo was one of the first cities founded by Spanish conquerors in America; it is the third most populous city of Peru, with a population of over 800,000. Today asparagus, rice, and shoes are the area's main products, and tourism is also a major industry here due to the city's proximity to important sites where the Moche and Chimu civilizations evolved.

The UN International Day of Peace event took place in the City Hall of Trujillo's La Esperanza District. The guest speakers on this occasion included five religious leaders representing the Catholic, 7th Day Adventist, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal churches. Civic leaders, including the mayor of la Esperanza, Engineer Daniel Marcelo Jacinto, and the regional president of La Libertad, Engineer José Murgia Zannier, also spoke and were appointed Ambassadors for Peace during the program.

This was the first time the event had been held in Trujillo, and all who attended were very inspired by the meeting. The representative of the mayor of Trujillo offered to host the event next year, promising to mobilize many more people, including youth leaders, for this important occasion.

Puno


Puno is a region in south-eastern Peru, in the geographical area known as the Altiplano or high sierra. Its capital is the city of Puno, which is located on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Situated on the border of Peru and Bolivia, the lake sits 3,812 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world. In ancient times, the plateau was inhabited by Aymara groups; the Quechuas arrived later. According to the chronicler Inca Garcilasco de la Vega, these ancient times coincide with the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire.

The UN International Day of Peace in Puno started off with a March for Peace which drew together various organizations, including the Ministry for Women and Social Development.

The march passed through the main streets of the city and ended in the main square (Plaza de Armas). The people then moved on to the nearby Lawyers College, where the main event was held. As in the other cities, civic leaders and religious leaders gathered to hear the speeches for peace.

Representatives from the Catholic church, the Mormons, and Hare Krishna took part in the candle-lighting ceremony and were appointed Ambassadors for Peace. Ambassador for Peace certificates were also presented to the regional vice-president, Lic. Mauro Justo Vilc; the mayor of Puno, Engineer Luis Butrón Castillo; the rector of the Altiplano University, Martha Tapia; and other leading representatives of the city of Puno. The event was covered by the local press.

Peru is a country that has seen many problems in the past, including terrorism in the 1980s, so the people have a real desire to see peace established. There are still many wounds to be healed, and the feeling of the Ambassadors for Peace on this day was that we have each made a small contribution to this goal. Friends both old and new pledged to work together in the year ahead to spread the peace message.

To read UPF's Declaration on the International Day of Peace 2009, click here.

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