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Peace Education

Having Faith and the Will to Act

Argentina-2008-08-29-Having Faith and the Will to Act


"Towards a New Paradigm of Leadership and Good Governance: Dialogue, Cooperation and Service for Peace" was the title of the International Leadership Conference (ILC) that was held on August 28 and 29, 2008, in the Auditorium Hall of the Nations at the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Argentina, and was directed to representatives of all areas of society, who were positively impressed by the content of the lectures, the peace initiatives of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), and the quality of the panelists' presentations, who gave lectures under the title: “Values and Actions for Social Development.” The program was complemented with videos, music, and the reading of selected writings of national legislators, public educators, diplomats, and NGO leaders; read by Alejandro D’Alessandro, Ambassador for Peace.

“Peace is not only possible, but it is our unrestrainable destiny,” expressed one of the new Ambassadors for Peace, a representative and educator at the College Institute of the Mediterranean Province of Cordoba. This was the conviction and commitment which every one of the distinguished participants expressed at the end of two days of an intense program. Among them were a well-known Argentine writer, Juana Alcira Arancibia, who lives in the United States, where she has been teaching at the Foreign Language Department of California State University, Domínguez Hills, since 1979; she is the founder of the Literary and Hispanic Culture Institute, the literary magazine Alba de America, and organizer of 40 high-level international literature symposiums on the Continent and in Spain. “To promote culture is to work for peace,” reflected Berta Bilbao Richter, who received an award on behalf of another eminent Latin America writer, the Paraguayan Ester de Izaguirre, who at the last moment could not participate due to health problems.

“Humanity has tried to establish an ideal world of peace on earth since the beginning of history. Nevertheless, conflict and division keep growing every day. As you know, in this XXI century we live in a materialistic and individualistic world, filled with countries who only pursue their own benefit. This way, the world suffers injustice and difficulties. But God doesn’t ignore humanity’s suffering and is looking for leaders of character and conscience, in order to reach the ideal and vision He had at the creation,” stated Mr. In Don Kang, Co-Director of UPF in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the opening of the conference. This was followed by an invocation by Sohrab and Yazdani, members of the Baha'i Community. Lectures presenting the vision, principles, and peace initiatives of the UPF were given by Jesús González, Ricardo de Sena, Gustavo Giuliano, Andrés Melgarejo, and Carlos Varga. The presentations were greatly appreciated and followed attentively by the participants.

The other component of the ILC program were the panelists, who made excellent contributions not only on account of their lucidity and conceptual clarity, but also their deeds and the interest that they awakened in the audience, who at the end asked the most varied questions about the presentations. In each section, the representatives of the different areas described their work for the integrated development of the individual and society under five axes: profile of new leadership, dialogue, cooperation, service, and peace. Serving on the panel on Thursday, which was moderated by Rubén Macchiavello, were Raúl Peloni (Integrated Being Association), Laura Navarro de Contreras (Theological and Humanistic Study Center), Mirta von Sädemann (“Radial Cycle of Values,” Radio Del Pueblo, AM 750), Ernesto González (Argentine Center for the Prevention of Addiction at Work) and César Saavedra (Men and Women of Values Ministry). On the Friday panel, moderated by Horacio Daboul, were Lucrecia Potenza (Civil Association for the Recovery of Moral and Ethical Values), Federico Altarrui (Argentine Association of Elder Adults in Collectives and Community NGOs), Amalia Britos (Spiritual World University Brahma Kumaris), Fernando Petroni (Mar del Plata School of Neuro-Linguistic Programming), and Nelson Fonseca (Meeting Team of New Directives of the Episcopal Argentine Conference).

In the seventh and penultimate session on Friday, which had a totally full auditorium, Gustavo Giuliano presented the vision of the Global Peace Festival, focusing on its success in Asunción, from July 2 to 5, which has launched events continuing through the end 2008 at a global level. He announced the change of venue for the last session and culmination of these intense days: the appointment of Ambassadors for Peace, which was held in a nearby building. In the more familial and celebratory environment, which extended beyond 10:00 pm, with music and the enthusiastic contributions of Ismael Rossi, who with Luis D´Angelo was a Master of Ceremonies for the conference. Participants came not only from Buenos Aires, but also various provinces. The closing ceremony was previewed at 7:00 pm.

“In my interior I’m experiencing the joy of this wonderful moment, where the UPF gave me the possibility to participate in this project of working for peace in a very agitated world, where the most important point is not the eradication of poverty, preservation of the environment, or elimination of epidemics or destructive illnesses, but to have faith and the will to act, because I believe that we can do almost anything. We have this ability, but we have to look deep inside of our souls in order to find the will, so when the ability and will find each other, results will occur,” was the reflection of Gustavo Martínez, one of the new Ambassadors for Peace. They were welcomed by José Bilbao Richter, who coordinated one of the commissions of the ILC organizing committee.

Translation by Roswitha Giuliano

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