Maturity and Youth a Potent Mix for Peace
Written by UPF-Europe
Sunday, June 29, 2008
“Young people bring life and hope into such a seminar,” commented an Ambassador for Peace at the European Leadership Conference in Bad Homburg, Germany June 27-29, 2008. He appreciated the explanation of youth service projects in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans shared by Collegiate Ambassadors for Peace Juan Pique and Matthew Huish.
It was great to have such an extraordinary mix of the generations, areas of expertise, nationality and religious background - Belgian nobility to Israeli social psychologist; the student winner of the Mr. Hungary title to a retired Dutch Ambassador; a professor of philosophy in France to a sports trainer and youth leader from Finland.
On Saturday afternoon, the min-conference on the theme, “The family as the key factor for social stability,” attracted the premier speaker on family values in Germany, Jurgen Liminski, author and journalist. His information-packed presentation on the family as the key to social stability was followed by lively discussion that also drew out his experience as successful husband and father of ten.
Dr Volker Pitz of the German Family Party followed with an insight into the need for greater governmental support for the family, and the conference was rounded off by Baron Edouard Prisse’s call to Europe to strengthen its capacity to take up greater global responsibility for peacebuilding.
Final reflections from all participants were extremely appreciative of UPF’s capacity to draw together a diverse group of people of goodwill and to allow them to have a substantial experience of harmony beyond difference. The mixture of deep insight, cultural sharing, time to network and encouragement to continue caused all to want to increase cooperation into the future.
Some Participant Reflections
I want to be recognized as the Romanian Ambassador to UPF so that I can provide more information and support from Romania. In this global era we must think more of our neighbors and help through advice and peace plans. Peace in our families should be our first concern. We should work harder for principles such as faith in God, love and friendship and unity and diversity. It is not utopia, it is an idea for which we have to invest more.
Laura Albani – Councillor, Bucharest, Hungary; Editor in chief of ‘Tourism Club’
Thank you for this wonderful three days, which were amazing for me. This was my first UPF conference and I received a lot of useful information. My brain and heart are so full!! My favorite topic was the family as the school of peace and love. That has inspired me to change my life and reach true harmony and peace.
Anett Karacs – law student, Miss Friendship 2008 Hungary
The program was perfect for new members of UPF like me. I wanted to do something for peace but was not organized on the level of UPF. I am now convinced and committed to work with UPF.
Anwar S. Choudhhary – businessman and founder of peace NGO, ASRA Norway
A very interesting conference teaching truths I always believed in! I appreciate the good organization and the feeling that we are all one family, as if we already knew each other. God must have been very glad these last three days!
Sabine Bourgeat – Professor of Philosophy, International School of Business, Paris
I enjoyed getting the overall view of UPF. Tim Miller’s professional background certainly helped a lot to give a realistic and practical insight into family problems. I also appreciated the presentations of Juan Pique and Matthew Huish as it brought a practical expression to the ideals. Young people bring life and hope into such a seminar.
I feel part of this UPF family and confirmed in myself that my life has followed the right course. I feel proud to have been at this event! This has been a once in a lifetime experience for me and helped me in building my inner self.
Biljana Dukovska – Spokesperson for the Social-Democratic Party of Macedonia and NGO activist
After attending this weekend with its wonderfully diverse participants I realized that UPF transcends religion, ethnicities, regions, color and every other boundary that we have created to divide humanity. I learned key lessons about holding high values and continuing to work through difficult times which test our integrity and beliefs. If you hang onto your values you will achieve success!
Hamdullah Mohib – President, Afghan Students Association in the UK (ASAUK); Graduate in Computer Science from Brunel University, London
Because of my busy schedule and many other responsibilities I was not enthusiastic to attend, but decided to keep to my previous commitment. Looking back now I am very grateful that I decided to attend. What inspired me the most were the presentations on the UPF Principles. I felt drawn into a journey of self-reflection and evaluation. It has been a fantastic opportunity to clear my mind and strengthened my desire to become a truly inter-religious person.
Juan S. Pique – Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Youth Department, UK
The content was presented in a very universal way but did not dilute the message. I would happily invite many of my friends to this format. I met incredible people of all ages and nations. Every evening we young people went out to the town together and bonded very well – sharing about life, our projects and ambitions. I think many more young people should attend this seminar in order to open their eyes to our amazing UPF community of hope!
Matthew Huish – Director of the Collegiate Association for Research of Principles, UK
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Bangkok, Thailand—The latest Asian Leadership Conference on “Providing Vision and Leadership for Nation-building and Peace” took place in Bangkok with 23 participants from six nations.