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UPF Statement: 52nd Session of the UN Commission on Social Development

Written by UPF International

Friday, February 21, 2014

Statement made by Universal Peace Federation on the occasion of the 52nd Session of the Commission on Social Development, held 11 to 21 February, 2014

In the immense problems we face today, there is a breakdown in essential human relationship - a fundamental void in moral principle and absence of human empathy.

As the saying goes, “the heart of the human problem is the human heart.” If people are perpetuating conflict, don’t we need to ask if we can become “more whole” as human beings and if so, then what facilitates this? Now, during the 20th Anniversary of the Year of the Family, perhaps it is time to look at improving human potential as a core concern and the family as a critical piece of the solution.

The family provides a base of attachment and belonging not only for children, but also for adults and through every stage of life. Poverty, ill-health and lack of employment all need to be addressed. Alongside these problems is the equally serious problem that stems from a lack of valuing others and understanding how to handle the natural occurrence of conflict in relationships. Not having the skills of managing one’s negative emotions can lead to abusive behavior, distancing or violence. Understanding and accepting how different another’s perception is from yours can make negotiating conflicts possible. The world needs this. Where do we learn how to deal with the conflicts in relationships? It is ideally from watching our parents’ relationship, later asserting our perspective into the negotiations with our parents and siblings, and then in our own committed relationships as adults.

Parents shape the human capital of each community and nation, negatively or positively. No government program or social policy has this ability. Instead, the role of the government is to support parents and afford the family every necessary protection it needs to raise conscientious citizens. This is in the best interest of governments, as they will bear the burden of poor parenting.

The family has a key and unique purpose and therefore deserves protection and support. The family benefits from a social recognition of the essential human need and purpose it is meant to fulfill. Families thrive in cultures that uphold the value of parents and affirm the virtues that enhance family relationships such as commitment, personal responsibility, respect, fidelity, filial piety and empathy. It is only when we take the family seriously as the unique resource of love, guidance, principles, compassion and human connection that we may start to address a root cause of human weakness. The family must be recognized as key for global and human well-being.


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