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UPF-Peru Holds First “Peace Talks” Webinar

Lima, Peru—On July 16, 2020, UPF-Peru held a "Peace Talks" webinar titled "Looking Beyond the Pandemic: How Can We Build a Better World?" This web conference was the first live webinar in Peru's "Peace Talks" series. The web conference attracted 100 participants who connected live from various cities in Peru, as well as international participants from the United States, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, and more than 200 other guests who also saw it live on YouTube.

Dr. Trevor Edward Jones (President, UPF Peru) gave the opening remarks. He began by saying that in light of the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 virus, UPF International and UPF chapters around the world have been holding Peace Talks webinar programs almost daily, involving political leaders and leaders with global influence. This period of the virus has brought to light many inequalities in society across the whole spectrum of human life—health, wealth, welfare, education, racial discrimination, and so forth. It is time to take a serious look at what is wrong with our society and consider how we can contribute to change it, thinking of the essential elements that we expressed in the World Summit: interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values

Mr. Jaime Fernandez (Secretary General, UPF-Peru) was the emcee for the webinar and introduced the speakers.

Dr. Antero Florez-Aráoz (President of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, 2004–2005; Minister of Defense of Peru, 2007–2009; President of the International Association of Parliamentarians-Peru) spoke first. He congratulated UPF for its hard work in providing help to the most vulnerable people around the world. The pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, affecting health, economy, and the subsistence of many families. The lockdown period invites us to think about the current situation of Peru and the world, confronting hedonism by promoting values and cultivating an altruistic attitude in younger generations to ensure a better future. He emphasized that the recent change in the Council of Ministers of Peru should be understood as an opportunity to set aside differences and find unity, solidarity, and fraternity, as well as to establish common goals for a better Peru.

Dr. Orestes Sánchez (Congressman, 2020 –2021, Peru; Ambassador for Peace) followed with his remarks. He emphasized the importance of the authorities taking instant and preventive actions against Covid-19. He highlighted the increase of social differences as a result of the pandemic, as well as the increase of informal work and the economic crisis. He urged the Ambassadors for Peace to assume the role of being spokespersons for peace in different areas, having the love of God in our hearts, with human sensitivity towards our neighbor, promoting actions of peace and solidarity. He also pressed for the resumption of Peace Communities activities in many parts of Peru, fostering teachings and values, and promoting soup kitchens to help those most in need.

Dr. Luis Benavente (General Manager, Vox Populi, Ambassador for Peace) spoke next. He argued that in order to achieve a better world, actions must be adopted at three levels: (a) at the political level, relying on authorities with values, with good government practices for the betterment of the country; (b) at the organizational level, with leaders of organizations that promote best management practices, labour relations, social responsibility and commitment to the quality and price of their products; and (c) at the individual level, promoting good practices in our everyday life, protectiing the environment, and acting to serve others. As long as the awareness of seeking a better world increases, and as it becomes part of the discourse of the government, organizations and people, it will be possible to influence others in a positive way.

Dr. Felicita García (President of the Private Association of Obstetricians of North Lima, Ambassador for Peace) was the final panelist. In her presentation, Dr. García discussed the role of women in creating a better world. Currently, women are in the front line in combatting the pandemic, from our authorities to professionals and leaders, providing care and offering attention with a human quality to the most disadvantaged.  She introduced the project "I am a pregnant woman with values" to empower pregnant women as the most important people to make a difference on the world because they can promoting to their children the value of life, respect and being in solidarity with others.

A Q&A session and closing statements followed:

Dr. Luis Benavente called for the government and leaders of organizations to take steps to safeguard health and reactivate the economy. Dr. Antero Florez-Aráoz urged educating the populace to be disciplined and follow the recommendations given by the government. Dr. Orestes Sanchez encouraged public and private sector authorities to take coordinated actions for the benefit of the country. Dr. Felicita García asked for the population to organize themselves responsibly through institutions such as UPF to make decisions in favor of society.

The meeting concluded with a ceremony appointing 15 new Ambassadors for Peace and awarding certificates of recognition to 16 current Ambassadors for Peace for their valuable work during the pandemic.

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