Peace and Security

Consultations take place among scholars, diplomats, government officials, civil society representatives and religious leaders.


Saint Louis, Senegal - UPF-Senegal Secretary General Mbaye DIOP traveled to Saint Louis to meet the Prefect, the Vice Governor, and the Regional Chief Inspector of Customs.

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The monthly meeting of Ambassadors for Peace in Liberia was held at the Peace House in Monrovia on February 21 to discuss matters of mutual concern. Collective support is needed to make an impact in the rebuilding of our fragile democracy into a strong, sustainable and peaceful democracy.

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The World Summit on Peace addressed critical issues facing Africa, issues such as poverty, family breakdown, corruption, interfaith and intertribal conflict, and the role of the African Union. The following excerpts were from a Summit session that explored hopeful signs of emerging democracies and prospects for an economic revival.

The Challenges of Leadership
By Hon. Gen. Malimba N. Masheke, Former Prime Minister of Zambia

Poverty is a scourge or a curse that has engulfed the entire continent of Africa. The majority of our people wallow in abject poverty and are craving for help. Chaos and confusion reign supreme on the African continent. The levels poverty has assumed have reached alarming proportions and dimensions.

There is no country with sufficient infrastructure, such as roads, schools, hospitals. The education system left by the colonial masters was not designed to prepare the recipients of independence and freedom with the management and technical skills or the controls required for the tasks ahead.

While our leaders have been unprepared for leadership, the time has come for us to look at their performance and ask them to account for some of their failures. Some of our leaders have allowed manipulation, corruption, tribalism, and nepotism to accompany their leadership. Some have stolen public funds to place in overseas banks and/or build mansions. Some leaders are still exploiting tribal or regional politics.

We must demand a better deal from the leadership if we are to attend to the poverty levels of our people. A new leadership must emerge to protect Africa from further devastation of our people’s resources.

The Beauty of Diversity
By Mrs. Ida Odinga, Chief Executive Officer, Spectra East Africa, Kenya

Across Africa and other parts of the world, nations are at war because citizens and leaders have failed to accept diversity either in leadership or in the ethnic compositions of their nations. In politics, citizens just want their tribesmen and women in leadership. Leaders just want to hang onto power or hand it over to either family members or those who share similar views. It has only led to chaos.

Yet, before we are a member of one nation or tribe or political faction, we are first and foremost children of God. Common sense dictates that membership in the human family makes us brothers and sisters. Discrimination of all forms is not part of nature. It is not part of God’s plan for mankind and His entire creation.

Just look at our game parks. No tourist would go to the famous Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya more than once if all there is in the park is one type of animal. We tour the parks because we know that in this corner we will see the lion, the king of the jungle. We move on to another part hoping to meet the rhino, the antelope, and then the buffalo. We stare ahead knowing that somewhere in the park stands the giraffe. We stay in parks because of the variety.

We love our gardens more when they have a variety of flowers. We want to see the roses blossoming, but we are also happy to see that the rose is letting other plants flower in the garden. We enjoy our world better when we accept that the Christian, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Jew, and the unbelieving are part of this planet.

In my part of Africa, we stand to have a happier nation when we accept that the Luo, the Kikuyu, the Kalenjin, the Hutu, the Tutsi, the Acholi, and the Baganda exist in one territory not by mistake but as part of our Great God’s grand plan to make the world a diverse place to live in. In that diversity lies the beauty that God intended the earth to manifest.

Rebuilding Liberia
By Hon. Jenekai Alex Tyler, Speaker, House of Representatives, Liberia

Every civilized nation on earth, Liberia being no exception, preserves its coherent national character by the rule of law. However, recent history is replete with records of government officials and private individuals flaunting the rule of law, giving rise to the culture of impunity, which is not healthy for national unity.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest independent republic, has been plagued with a myriad of political, economic, social, and religious problems that conspired over the years to subject its citizens to numerous obstacles to sustainable growth and viable national progress.

Tribal disputes were common in the past and were sometimes caused by land border claims and disenfranchisement. In this age, disputes are the result of enmity cultivated by war and after the war. Certain tribes are now agitating to reclaim land that was sold to citizens of other tribes who peacefully settled in during times of peace. This is a potential source of national upheaval. The government has set up commissions to investigate these disputes.

The current government has formulated a strategy aimed at reducing poverty. It has disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated ex-combatants into the society. It canceled or renegotiated concession agreements with multi-national corporations to ensure that the country gets her fair share of the resources. Roads are being rehabilitated, educational institutions are being renovated, and new ones are being built. Health facilities are also being improved. Efforts are on the way to restore pipe-borne water and electricity.

Signs of Hope
Hon. David Kilgour, Director, Council of Democracies, Canada

The full effects of the present economic crisis on the world are yet unknown. While the rest of the world focuses on themselves, what investment was available for African countries is likely to drop sharply. The developed economies this time must not reduce their official development assistance to Africa.

While working as Canada's Secretary of State for Africa and Latin America between 1997 and 2002 and ever since, I have followed the progress of the African Union. Multiparty democracy has now swept through much of the continent. Botswana and Mauritius have experienced long-term growth rates while enjoying the longest period of democratic governance. Positive growth has returned to Benin, Ghana, Mozambique, and South Africa, where the resurgence of democracy has been strong. Other reasons for optimism include:

1. Africa's talented people. The continent has had seven Nobel Prize winners. If conditions allow, many daughters and sons of Africa in the diaspora are ready to return to the continent.
2. If talent and enterprise is unleashed among Africans regardless of regional or ethnic origin, it will attract attention at home and abroad.
3. Africans can demand much more of authoritarian or incompetent governments without resorting to bloodshed. Peaceful civic resistance can lead to durable democracy.
4. Friends of Africans abroad can champion independent media, emphasize improved primary education, and fight HIV/AIDS.
5. The approximately 40 percent of the African continent's savings held abroad is potentially available for investment in countries that have good governance and the rule of law.
6. The continent continues to enjoy the good will of many governments, NGOs and charities.

Taipei, Taiwan - “Taiwan will be a peace maker,” pledged Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China. He was speaking at the Universal Peace Federation conference held in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, January 16-19, 2009.

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New Delhi, India – An International Leadership Conference in New Delhi on Dec. 27, 2008 reviewed the recommendations of the leadership conferences held throughout India during 2008.

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Honiara, Solomon Islands - “Under the motto of One Family under God, everyone can learn to live in harmony,” according to the chair of the Global Peace Festival-Solomon Islands, Hon. Augustine Taneko, a Member of Parliament. This message has been warmly received and is helping to unite the diverse peoples of the islands.

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Macau, China - A forum on peace in East Timor was held at the Macau Inter-University Institute on October 25, organized by the Institute, the Universal Peace Federation, the Macau-Timor Friendship Association, and the International Educational Foundation.

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Macau, China - A forum on peace in East Timor was held at the Macau Inter-University Institute on October 25, organized by the Institute, the Universal Peace Federation, the Macau-Timor Friendship Association, and the International Educational Foundation.

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London, England - An October 6 meeting in London on ‘Perspectives on Iraq’ featured presentations by a Member of the UK Parliament and people from Iraq who are living in the United Kingdom.

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Ottawa, Canada - The idea of being part of a larger global community of peace is obviously particularly attractive in nations that are still developing, or that are coping with recent challenges of violence and conflict. But what about nations of the First World that are perhaps more settled, perhaps even satisfied with the way things are? These are among the issues to be debated at the Canadian Leadership Conference on the theme “Educating for Peace” October 2-5 in Ottawa.

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Mindanao, Philippines - Amidst the ceaseless struggle between the government and the radical Islamic groups in the Philippine island of Mindanao, a new hope for peace and unity dawned September 19 to 21 with a series of conferences, service projects, and other initiatives that culminated the Global Peace Festival.

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Cagayan De Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines: At the conclusion of the Global Peace Festival (GPF) in Mindanao September 21, on a stage constructed on the provincial capital grounds, former Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia, Jr. called on the Philippine government to renew the peace talks, earmark USD 2.1 billion (Pesos 100 billion), and bring the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) into the peace process as a neutral partner in the negotiations.

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