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Peace Education

UPF organizes seminars and conferences that present core values and universal principles of peacebuilding.

European Leadership Conferences, subtitled "Leadership and Good Governance - Innovative Approaches to World Peace," are held most months, to give a substantial introduction to the principles and activities of UPF.

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The “Way of Tea” encourages us to reach the highest ideals of internal character and is meant to also be a guide in human affairs. What we learn in the Way of Tea is how to respect others, live in harmony and peace, and obtain a tranquility of heart. It also teaches beautiful societal manners and the etiquette of serving others.

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TOKYO, JAPAN:  A legacy of Takeo Fukuda, the late father of current Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, is being revived through dialogue between former politicians and religious leaders, says a veteran diplomat.

Nagao Hyodo, former Japanese ambassador to Poland and Belgium, said Thursday there is resurgent momentum toward the United Nations' adoption of a "Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities," proposed by a group of statesmen in 1998. The draft declaration was submitted to the U.N. General Assembly in that year to mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The document was the brainchild of the "Old Boys' Summit," formally known as the InterAction Council, an annual forum of former heads of state and government that had been meeting since 1983. It was originally proposed by the late Fukuda.

Hyodo, a seasoned expert on Russian affairs, was the keynote speaker at a forum of diplomats, intellectuals and peace activists organized by the Japanese Chapter of the Universal Peace Federation in Tokyo. He explained to the audience, including nine ambassadors resident in Tokyo, how the declaration of responsibilities was formulated by renowned world statesmen and submitted by major nations, including India and China, to the United Nations, but killed by the major Western democracies.

While the human rights declaration has been enshrined as a solemn watchdog over potential abusers, the world continues to observe grave violations of the rights it seeks to protect. Something more must be injected into public policy, the old boy politicians say. Through yearly deliberations, they have ended up discussing universal concepts of ethics, hence coming up with the need for human responsibilities to balance human rights. Hyodo calls it an "invisible, broader concept of human security."

After the senior Fukuda passed away in 1995, Helmut Schmit, former German chancellor and one of the active members of the OB Summit, took over the initiative and eventually compiled the 19-article draft on responsibilities.

The preamble says the declaration "builds on the wisdom of religious leaders and sages down the ages who have warned that freedom without acceptance of responsibility can destroy the freedom itself, whereas when rights and responsibilities are balanced, then freedom is enhanced and a better world can be created."

When the document was made public, however, human rights activists vehemently opposed it, fearing that it would undermine their achievements. Reflecting on their anxiety, Hyodo said, "Major democracies such as the USA and Europe killed the draft."

But he is again upbeat about its prospect, as efforts by UNESCO, begun in 1997, and the Davos Conference in 2007, are directed toward formulating some sort of universal ethics.

In Hyodo's opinion, the interfaith movement is an important paradigm in establishing a universally acceptable ethical code of conduct. He recalled that the late Fukuda was especially concerned about the religious factors behind many conflicts. Thus he took the initiative in 1987 to hold a special assembly in Rome, Italy, among world religious leaders and OB Summit members.

This sacred-secular formula has been repeated, judged even more important after 9/11, leading to a conference dubbed "Bridging the Divide" in 2003 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Based on Thursday's conference, Hyodo commended some of the UPF's propositions, including the setting up of a permanent interfaith institution and promotion of interfaith education. "UPF is doing its work in exactly the same direction (as the OB Summit)," he remarked.

An African ambassador urged the forum to deepen the debate into more real issues, such as dealing with poverty. Another ambassador questioned the usefulness of a code of conduct in governing the ongoing war on resources, which he said is behind many conflicts in Africa these days.

The UPF is a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council. According to Katsumi Ohtsuka, chairman of the Japan chapter, the group is "committed to peace-building, human development and good governance through dialogue, education and service."

 

Reposted courtesy of the UPI Asia Online
Original article from UPI Asia Online

 

Bergen aan Zee, The Netherlands - A conference on the importance of Security and Development and Economy as Conditions for Peace took place on March 8, 2008 at Huize Glory, Bergen aan Zee, North Holland.

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From February 29 to March 2, 2008, 130 people from around the United States gathered in the nation’s capital for the latest in the American Leadership Conference series, entitled “Fulfilling the American Ideal: Visionary Leadership in the 21st Century.”

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Asunción, Paraguay - Calling people to become “transformers of their societies,” Neil Bush, brother of US President George W. Bush, joined distinguished leaders at an International Leadership Conference February 27-29, 2008, in Asunción, Paraguay.

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A seminar for leaders was held on February 21, 2008 in Bingerville, a suburb of Abidjan. The seminar came at the right time; since the political situation is noxious, it will help reinforce the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire.

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On February 9-12, 2008 UPF held a World Peace Summit in Seoul, Korea. The Eurasian delegation was represented by 25 participants from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Peoples Republic of China, Russia and Ukraine.

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Leaders of several denominations and religions in Kenya called for unity and trust among all communities at a prayer rally organized by UPF-Kenya in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi on February 6, 2008.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - An International Leadership Conference under the theme “Toward a New Paradigm of Leadership and Governance – Latin America and the World,” took place in Montevideo Jan. 27-29, 2008.

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The complex interactions between Europe and Islam sparked vigorous discussion during a UPF-Europe conference on leadership and good governance Jan. 18-20, 2008, in Bergen aan Zee, Netherlands.

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On January 12, 2008, around 20 people, including 15 guests, gathered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about UPF and to get to know each other better, since time is always short at the monthly breakfast meetings.

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