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All works of love are works of peace.
|Special Consultation in Seoul on Building a World of Lasting Peace|
|By Genie Kagawa, UPF Office of UN Relations|
|Sunday, March 25, 2012|
Seoul, Korea - The Universal Peace Federation convened a Special Consultation on “The Role of Intergovernmental, Non-governmental and Faith-based Organizations in Building a World of Lasting Peace” in Seoul, Korea, from March 22 to 25.
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, President of UPF, described the mission of UPF, its core values and four main areas of work: interfaith cooperation, marriage and family, education, and renewal of the United Nations. He underscored the ideal of humanity as “one family under God” united together beyond race, religion, nationality, and culture.
Mr. Taj Hamad, Secretary General of UPF, spoke about the role of NGOs at the United Nations and the significance of the landmark observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN General Assembly this past February. There is a need for renewal of the United Nations, emphasized Mr. Hamad: however, the spiritual aspect should be included as an asset to bringing world peace. Ms. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, Deputy Director of the Office of UN Relations, UPF-Geneva, talked about the best practices of her office, including its “Model UN Interreligious Council” programs for youth along with programs on family, disarmament, interreligious peacebuilding, multiculturalism, and women’s issues.
Consultation participants included H.E. Dr. Hasan Muratovic, former Prime Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina; H.E. Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, former Prime Minister of Barbados and Ambassador to China; Rt. Hon. Gen. Malimba Nathaniel Masheke, former Prime Minister of Zambia, and his wife, Mrs. Namatama Mwitumwa-Masheke; H.E. Mr. Asda Jayanama, former Ambassador of Thailand to the UN and former Vice Chairman of the UN Security Council; Dr. Hamdi Mohammad Murad, Co-founder of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center; Professor Masahisa Hayashi, President of the Institute for Peace Policies, Japan, Dr.Chula Bahadur Shrestha, Editor-in-Chief of the Universal Times National Weekly of Nepal; Mr. Takahiro Ninomiya, Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the Diet Members' Council for the Comprehensive Security of Japan; and Dr. Vladimir Evgenievich Petrovsky, Deputy Chief Representative in China of the RIA Novosti, Beijing Office.
A wide range of perspectives were voiced, offering various recommendations for the development of UPF, the renewal of the UN, and the establishment of an Asia-Pacific Association for Peace and Development.
On March 25, the participants attended the 2012 UPF Leadership and Good Governance Award Ceremony Banquet held in honor of awardee Prof. Ibrahim A. Gambari, Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur, for the extraordinary work that he is carrying out to bring peace and reconciliation to Darfur. For a report, click here.
Delegates also attended a special intefaith celebration of marriage and family, known as the World Peace Blessing.