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Ambassadors for Peace Meet in Montréal

Montréal, Canada—On a blustery Saturday, April 22, 2023, over 50 Ambassadors for Peace and friends of UPF gathered in Montréal, Canada for our first in-person meeting in three years since the pandemic hit in 2020. The event, held in a mid-town hotel from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. over a light lunch, and ably moderated by Ms. Eveline Stewart, emcee, saw old friends and new colleagues participate in several signature UPF rituals:

  • the water ceremony signifying the collaborative unity of religious and spiritual communities, including leaders from the evangelical Christian, Roman Catholic, Muslim, First Nations and Unificationist communities;

  • the presentation of UPF’s core values by Franco Famularo, president of UPF Canada;

  • a testimony from a long-time Ambassador for Peace, Daniel J. Picot, former professor at the Université du Québec à Rimouski in the Science of Education department;

  • a keynote speaker, Paule Robitaille, member of the Quebec National Assembly from 2018 to 2022 and a well-known Quebec journalist, who shared her experiences as a young reporter in Russia in the 1990s up to her recent visits to Ukraine, and highlighted the important interpretive as well as informational role journalism plays in peacebuilding;

  • a UPF video presentation;

  • a presentation on the eight international pillars of UPF and local activities by Robert Duffy, secretary-general of UPF Canada;

  • and the presentation of seven new Ambassadors for Peace: the mayor of a borough of Montréal, the head of the official opposition at Montréal city council, a member of the National Assembly of Quebec, the past president of the Filipino Nurses Association of Quebec, an elderly Turkish Canadian scholar whose translation of the Qur’an into Turkish is considered the foremost, the first Filipina councillor for the City of Montréal, and an evangelical pastor who is president of the Religious Leaders Council of Montréal-Nord.

The mayor of one of the boroughs spoke about the ethnic mix in his borough, most diverse in all of Canada, making it uniquely challenging to achieve and maintain social peace and harmony. He has, for many years, been a consistent supporter of our activities.

After the program officially closed, many took the opportunity to interact and network with each other. All in all, a very unifying experience among a very diverse audience, with all delighted to meet in person again after such a long hiatus.

By Robert Duffy, Secretary General, UPF-Canada
Saturday, April 22, 2023


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