Peace Education

Seminar on Leadership in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Kingston, St. Vincent and the Grenadines - The UPF chapter of St. Vincent and the Grenadines held a conference on Sept. 13, 2014, at the Sunset Shores Hotel in Kingston under the theme "World Peace and I: The Value of a True Leader."

It focused primarily on the values, responsibilities and qualities a true leader must possess to effect change. Invitations to join in a discussion of these qualities were sent to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, opposition leader Hon. Arnhim Eustace, church leaders and youth leaders. The conference aimed to assemble a small group of leaders who have the ability to impact change in the nation; beginning with harmony within our self and then with others, regardless of their political persuasions, religious beliefs or other differences.

It was interesting to note that the prime minister, who had been invited to previous UPF conferences locally and in Korea, called to apologize for his inability to attend this conference; however, he sent a representative, Hon. Frederick Stephenson, to attend the conference.

Hon. Arnhim Eustace was out of state; however, the deputy leader of the opposition, Senator St. Claire Leacock, was the first to arrive. Mrs. Jennifer Eustace, former first lady and wife of Hon. Arnhim Eustace, also attended, as well as Mrs. Anella Roban, who has a master's degree in education and works with teachers; Mrs. Joy Cato, former principal of Bishop High School; and Ms. Patrice Reddock, a business woman. Mr. Chester Connell, a prominent journalist and radio personality, came at a very short notice.

The conference opened with a prayer by the master of ceremonies, Mr. Junior Bacchus, an Ambassador for Peace, followed by congratulatory remarks on the ninth anniversary of the Universal Peace Federation’s founding on Sept. 12, 2005.

This was followed by an introduction to the teachings about leadership by UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, presented by Mrs. Kay Bacchus Browne, attorney-at-law and director UPF in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A short video presentation of the UPF celebration held in Korea in February 2014 and the international work of UPF was shown.

PowerPoint presentations prepared and presented by Dr. Dawn Bacchus-Horan explained the principle of creation, the purpose of creation and the process of creation. The second presentation was about humankind deviated from God's ideal, causing a breakdown standards and ethics. The conclusion of this presentation described how to return to God's ideal and become exemplary leaders of character, heart and harmonious relationships.

This was followed by a stimulation discussion about the breakdown of values and how the original ideal could be restored. Emphasis was placed on fulfilling responsibility and leading with heart and character. A presentation about the life of Jesus stimulated much interest. 

The government representative had been invited make a presentation on leadership in politics, but he had to leave early.

The discussions continued during lunch, where some stories were shared about conflicts between members of different political associations. Comments by Senator Leacock and Mr. Connell referred to some quotes from the presentation how to resolve conflicts.

The afternoon session continued with the final PowerPoint presentation entitled "The Responsibilities of a True Leader" This was based on excerpts from Rev. Moon's books on Philosophy of Peace and Philosophy of Education as well as Unification thought, prepared and presented by Dr. Bacchus-Horan. Emphasis was also placed on how religions have lost their persuasive power to maintain absolute standards of values, morality and ethics, giving rise to other systems of thoughts.

Ms. Roban commented: "These principles should be taught in schools to students and to teachers." Mr. Connell encouraged presenters to prepare an article on the material from the conference for his radio show. The general response was very uplifting and hopeful.

At the conclusion, Ambassador for Peace certificates were presented to six participants by Mrs. Bacchus-Browne and Dr. Horan. A request for a follow up meeting was made.

On Sept. 15, an Ambassadors for Peace meeting was held at Mrs. Bacchus-Browne’s home. Discussion focused on how to promote these insights about leadership on a national forum in the form of a rally, especially since the elections are upcoming. It is hoped sensitize the public on the selection of leaders based on heartistic values and unity, and the ability to communicate these values; rather than choosing a leader based on charisma, the power of persuasion or rhetoric. The discussions were on the ability of a leader to reach across party lines and work in harmony even though there may be disagreements on some policies. Furthermore, leaders should have a parental heart and promote the equality of all people. It is hoped to encourage leaders to use these talking points. Educating the public on universal values based on the original faculties of emotion, intellect and will can help people raise up true leaders and make positive change.

In a later meeting, Senator Leacock reported that his thesis for his master's degree was on leadership, and that the university did not address leadership from a spiritual standpoint. He stated that he enjoyed the presentations and would like to study further.

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