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International Day of Peace Observed in Peru

Lima, Peru—On September 21, 2015, UPF-Peru celebrated the UN International Day of Peace in three cities across the nation, the culmination of weeks of work by Ambassadors for Peace. Congressmen, mayors and other dignitaries; social groups and NGOs; and schools and colleges joined UPF for the events.

In March this year, UPF-Peru’s Peace Council, formed in 2014, organized its first forum as well as four committees focused on different areas of UPF’s work: Marriage and Family, Interfaith Peace-building, Peace and Security, Peace Education and Human Development.

In the weeks following, the Council discussed organizing International Day of Peace events and thereafter initiated plans to involve different cities and regions in Peru—through forums, marches for peace and other activities—in the celebration of this day. UPF-Peru appointed several Ambassadors for Peace to serve as representatives of the organization in the cities where events would be organized: Puno, Ayacucho, Trujillo, and Comas.

The first International Day of Peace event in Peru, a march for peace, took place in Puno, a city located in the southeastern part of the country, on September 19 in collaboration with a local Catholic church. On September 21, a meeting was held in the main square, and a forum organized in the town hall.

On September 20, Ayacucho, a city located in the south-central Andes, began its three-day celebration of the International Day of Peace with meetings with the mayor of the city and speeches, followed by a march. On September 21, the day started with a raising of the Peruvian flag and the UPF flag in the city’s main square. Afterwards, hundreds of people marched for peace. In the afternoon, a forum took place, where new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed. Mr. Juan Alvarez Vita, former Ambassador of Peru to Indonesia, who recently attended UPF’s World Summit in Korea, gave the keynote address. Congressman Mr. Yonhy Lescano and his wife Patricia also spoke, sharing their belief in the value of UPF’s work. For video coverage of the event in Ayacucho, click here.

Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches, which each represent one year of Jesus' life, and has large religious celebrations, especially during the Holy Week of Easter In 1980, the terrorist organization known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) used the city as its base for its campaign against the Peruvian government. An Ambassador for Peace has worked in Ayacucho for many years promoting peace and supported a local mayor to form a peace office in his town hall.

In Trujillo, UPF, in cooperation with the local mayors of the districts Esperanza (Hope) and Victor Larco (Buenas Aires), held several events on September 21. Representatives of local NGOs and schools participated in the march for peace.

At all these meetings, people spoke about Rev. Moon and his work for peace. In Puno, UPF showed “Man of Peace,” a video about the life of Rev. Moon. In other places, a video about UPF’s work was shown, and Rev. Moon’s words shared.

Local media, including newspapers and radio stations, reported on the activities in each city.

The final International Day of Peace event took place on September 27 in Comas, a city in the district of Lima. Local groups mobilized by the mayor of the city participated in a march for peace, which culminated with a large public gathering in the main square, where the mayor and UPF representatives spoke.

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