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 International Day of Peace Celebrated in Ecuador

Ecuador-2017-09-30- International Day of Peace Celebrated in Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador—UPF-Ecuador held events in the cities of Guayaquil and Quito to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace 2017.

Guayaquil

The Guayaquil chapter of UPF-Ecuador held a celebration of the International Day of Peace in the coastal city on September 22, 2017. Forty guests, including young leaders and Ambassadors for Peace from Guayaquil, attended the event. Many of these young leaders are involved in or have organized campaigns promoting human rights at their universities or in Guayaquil. The program included the appointment of three new Ambassadors for Peace: Prof. Susana Cedeño, Prof. Gissera Rodrigues Ycasa and Mr. Consuelo Hurtado de Sala, all of whom are educators who teach at local universities. The Guayaquil chapter will celebrate the International Day of Human Rights with a Peace Road rally with young leaders on November 16, 2017.

Quito

A second celebration of the International Day of Peace, a forum on “How Do We Achieve Peace in Our Society?,” took place in Quito, the capital, on September 30, 2017. Fifty guests, including Ambassadors for Peace and religious, government, civil society and academic leaders participated in the event.

The forum, which was moderated by UPF-Ecuador president, Dr. Eduardo Villareal, featured four panelists, who discussed their experiences in relation to the theme.

Dr. Jose Chavez, an Ambassador for Peace, explained the role of Ecuador’s judicial system and its efforts in promoting peace in society, based on the constitution of Ecuador.

Dr. Susana Cedeño, a professor at the University of Guayaquil (Universidad de Guayaquil), talked about an assignment she gave to her students which entailed having a conversation with ten neighbors. The purpose of it was to help the students broaden their relationships and learn how to respect other people. Respecting others is the first step toward peace, and knowing one another is an important step to loving people. Some students shared that they never got to know their neighbors.

Mr. Lenin Morares, a former assemblyman, spoke about various problems our world faces—from armed conflict to poverty, to inequality and exclusion. He said government must act to protect people and help them live their lives. Therefore, it is necessary an equilibrium be reached among nations, markets and civil society for prosperity to grow; knowledge and technology to further develop; and for peace, freedom and democracy to advance. He also said we should reconsider the meaning of sovereignty, which has been misunderstood and misused. In addition, he referred to gender equity in the field of politics. In 1996, 5 percent of women in the political field were in decision-making positions. By 2010, that percentage increased to only 16 percent. The recipients of the 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize, Gino Strada and Sakena Yaccobi, have shown that “all of us were born with equal rights” and that we must give more power to women, Mr. Morares also said.

Cástulo Leiton, a pastor of an evangelical church, said that the mission of religion is to encourage human beings to keep away from materialism and seek spiritual value. God created religion as a repair plant for human beings. And God and the world do not exist for the good of each religion, but religions must serve for the good of God’s will and the world, based on universal principles. Religions that despise other religions are obstacles to the realization of world peace and God’s will. Reconciliation among religions is urgently needed, he added.

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