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Day of Peace in Washington, DC, USA

Washington, DC, USA - The UPF-Washington DC chapter celebrated the UN International Day of Peace with a program at the Embassy of Ghana on September 23. The Ghana Embassy, co-sponsor of the program, provided the spacious setting of their auditorium.

Ambassador of Ghana H.E. Daniel Ohene Agyekum and his wife, Mrs. Rose Agyekum, along with their daughters, Dr. Irene Agyekum and Dr. Linda Osei Agyekum, welcomed to the embassy distinguished guests, including the Ambassador of Gambia, H.E. Alieu M. Ngum and his wife, Mrs. Ngum. Also present were representatives from the embassies of Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Libyia, Namibia, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, and the League of Arab States. Ambassadors for Peace and friends of the UPF were in attendance.

Before the evening program began, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner prepared by the Embassy chef that included Ghanaian specialties kelewele (plantains), kose (black-eyed beans), jollof (a rice dish), spicy chicken, and goat meat.

The program began at 7:00 pm with Tomiko Duggan, Director of UPF-DC Chapter, providing greetings and introductions to speakers and entertainers.

Ambassador Agyekum warmly welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of the UN International Day of Peace and the commitment to the family as the key for achieving the ideals of peace in societies and nations. He emphasized the necessity for each person to commit to building a world of peace.

His remarks were followed by a brief introduction by Dr. Irene Agyekum, a medical doctor, to the UPF-DC’s new initiative on breast cancer education and prevention, “Ambassadors for Peace Taking Action."

Mr. Taj Hamad, Secretary General of UPF International, made a special effort to be a part of the DC program while also involved with the UN Day of Peace schedules and the annual convening of the UN General Assembly in New York. Mr. Hamad reported on the recent advancements towards UN Millennium Development Goals of preventing poverty and disease and promoting education for women and children.

Ambassadors for Peace certificates were presented to Ambassador and Mrs. Agyekum; Dr. John Kwagyan, a medical doctor at Howard University Hospital; and Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Overlander, long-time supporters of the work of the Universal Peace Federation.

The program finale was a moving concert by soprano Seiko Lee, who was singing at the DC program prior to her departure for Japan. Ms. Lee will participate as a Pink Ribbon Ambassador in the “Light the Town Pink” program at the Kumano shrines and pilgrimage routes in Japan that are on a UNESCO World Heritage list. Many pink-ribbon events are held around the world each year in October to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Ms. Lee's angelic and healing voice resulted in multiple standing ovations for her performance of songs from the Broadway musical "Madame Butterfly," the Japanese film "Princess Mononoke," her original song “Sakura Yamato,” and "Song of Peace."

The evening concluded with joyous taking of photos. Thanks to all friends of the Universal Peace Federation and the Ambassadors for Peace who made the program successful.

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