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Peace Education

A Warm Welcome to New Zealand Ambassadors for Peace

Auckland, New Zealand - UPF-New Zealand held an informal meeting on Aug. 24, 2014 to welcome back its delegates from the recent World Summit 2014 in South Korea and to promote cohesion among its members. It was held in the Parnell Peace Embassy, a place that can hopefully serve as a home base where all Ambassadors for Peace can freely come and invite others as part of an international community that promotes lasting relationships between people of different backgrounds, under the ideals of peace and harmony.

The Open Day was held on a bright Sunday afternoon; it was a casual but enriching event that would hopefully instill a warm, positive spirit of togetherness and inspire those who were present. It opened with simple greetings and interactions among the people in a place that was well prepared. Photos of the organization in action were displayed for all to see and feel a part of.

There was a warm welcome for newly appointed Ambassador for Peace Mr Whatumoana Paki, the eldest son of the current Maori king, who was appointed an Ambassador for Peace during the World Summit in Korea.

After that, the event proceeded to a short reporting session by the delegates: Mr. Oscar Brad Totowera and Rev. Julius Gicole, director of UPF-New Zealand. Rev Bob Mckay, Ambassador for Peace and an Anglican priest, hosted the proceeding, after which Mr. Totowera was invited to open the sharing session. He said that his presentation represented what he and Mr. Paki feel about UPF-New Zealand, whose identity and values are similar to the ones they believe in, and the World Summit. Representing the Maori people, he described the prophecy made by the first Maori king, Potatau Te Wherowhero, which states that “There is only one eye to the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass.” In other words, people of all races are connected to one another through God, the eye of the needle. This message on unity was clearly conveyed and became a prediction and a vision that Maori people follow and endeavor to accomplish.

He said he was also impressed by the story of David and Goliath presented in the Summit: while many people saw Goliath as a target too big to hit, David saw him as a target too big to miss. This emphasized his next point: a proposal that the Kiingitanga had submitted to the international headquarters of UPF in South Korea: to host a regional summit for the Pacific nations. With such a positive development, participants were enthused and look forward to an event that could represent a giant step towards peace and harmony.

The center stage was then passed on to Rev. Gicole, who shared his experiences at the World Summit. He started by showing an overview of the Summit. He also shared guidance by Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon during a luncheon that she hosted on Aug. 12. Her message to leaders was for them to keep themselves healthy as they fulfill their roles in leading the people of the world. Rev. Gicole concluded by highlighting the upcoming events and activities for the month of September and encouraged everyone to participate in the UN International Peace Day event on Sept. 14.

Finally, Mr. Gerald Trass, UPF-New Zealand program director, invited everyone to make themselves comfortable at the Peace Embassy, pointing out Rev. Moon’s hospitable nature, and expressed a wish for everyone to feel at home. He reminded everyone about Rev. Moon’s vision of world peace and encouraged everyone present to work together for it.

The program continued with a light supper where people had the chance to catch up with one another. It was inspiring to listen as people shared with each other over cups of tea and coffee.

As new relationships were born, it is hoped that greater cooperation across many boundaries and differences can emerge, bringing about a culture of change that would progressively counteract the many conflicts around the world today. Ambassadors for Peace were encouraged not to be intimidated by the scope of the ideals but rather be like David and see these challenges as opportunities too big to miss and endeavor to work towards them together.

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