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UPF-Uruguay Celebrates the UN International Day of Peace 2023

UPF-Uruguay—Universal Peace Federation Uruguay commemorated the International Day of Peace on Friday, September 22, 2023 with the motto: “The challenge of establishing Peace in a Globalized World.” This event was held in the Acuña de Figueroa Room of the José Artigas building of the Legislative Palace.

This commemoration was made up of a panel of three speakers, representing different social areas: political, academic and cultural.

Prominent social leaders and representatives of different non-governmental organizations participated:

Dr. Sergio Abreu Bonilla, secretary general of the ALADI (Latin American Integration Association), the largest Latin American integration group. Its thirteen member countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, together representing 20 million square kilometers and more than 510 million inhabitants.

Dr. Bonilla highlighted the challenge of establishing Peace in a world in which weapons of mass destruction proliferate. This complex reality can only be addressed from the diplomatic and conciliatory field. He also reflected on the transition of the world order, the challenges to compliance with international law, especially on the values that support them, and the need to defend these principles such as the peaceful solution of disputes or the principle of non-intervention.

Magister Virginia Rial, anthropologist and president of the 21st Century Oriental Ladies Association. Mag. Rial outlined her vision of Peace from the viewpoint of anthropology, saying Peace implies many things, in which all human beings have influence from where we live, from home and family, as long as we are aware of what this means. Peace depends on us and our attitudes towards ourselves, the people around us and the environment in which we live.

Mr. Cono Rossi, president of the District Public Image Committee of Rotary Uruguay. Mr. Rossi highlighted that Rotary is a humanitarian organization and peace is a cornerstone of its mission. When people work to build peace in their communities, that change can have a global effect. By carrying out service projects and supporting Rotary Peace Center scholarships and programs, each member takes steps to address the underlying causes of conflict such as poverty, discrimination, ethnic tensions, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources. Rotary creates spaces where peace can happen.

Mrs. Marisa Machado, president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) Uruguay. Mrs. Machado noted that WFWP is an organization whose main mission is to empower women as builders of peace and leaders in the family to transform the community, the nation and the world, through education, advocacy, reconciliation and humanitarian service. It stimulates a vision of Universal Values where women discover their qualities and each is a “woman of peace,” cultivating a character of generosity and service to others, not only towards their biological family but also towards the men, women and children of the world.

Mrs. Mae Susana Andrade de Oxun, founder of the Uruguay Atabaque Group (Africanist religious music group). Mrs. Andrade de Oxun said that religion must be a way of living that binds us in peace as a society. It is an axis of action that drives us, beyond religious norms and precepts, to a moral life leading to a more just and equitable society, accepting that there are invisible laws that govern human behavior in the universe created by a single God.

Dr. Sima Baher, Bahá’ì Community of Uruguay. Dr. Baher stated that the Bahá’í Faith has as its fundamental principle the abolition of all forms of prejudice. The Bahá’í Faith promotes the harmony that must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings with which the bird of humanity can soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world court for the resolution of disputes between nations; and the confirmation of justice as a governing principle in human affairs. Bahá’ís do not regard these principles as mere statements of vague aspiration. They are understood as matters of immediate and practical concern to individuals, communities and institutions alike.

Imam Mr. Yousaf Khan, missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Imam Khan recalled and reaffirmed the peaceful and noble nature of Islam. He stated that the objective of Islam is to encourage humanity to mature morally and achieve happiness and peace both in the world and in heaven. Islam educates people to use their intelligence, their desires and their conscience, so that they live their life with the awareness of the responsibility to have a peaceful coexistence with other beings, God and nature.

Mr. Adolfo Ferrari, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr. Ferrari asked: “Are you looking for peace? Begin by connecting with Christ in prayer and caring for others.” Christ remains the antidote to the prevalent ailments of fear, adversity and anxiety. The teachings of Jesus Christ bring personal respite from fear and adversity. Peace begins by loving God, seeking the fruits of the Spirit, exercising agency to choose righteousness, and building love in hearts and homes. “Letting go of pride and control and choosing the Savior allows us to have the light of him and the peace of him,” he concluded.

Rev. Kazuhiro Tsusaka, president of Family Federation for World Peace Uruguay. Rev. Tsusaka highlighted the importance of reconciliation and unification in all areas of life and society. Seoul and Pyongyang, representing a single country divided after the civil conflict promoted by two great powers, a confrontation that lasted three years (1950-1953) at the beginning of the Cold War, are a reflection of the divisions that our world is experiencing. But God is a Father of all; we are all his children, we are brothers. But due to the fall of our ancestors, we have inherited the false concept that we are separated. As long as we do not overcome this nature, we will not have Peace. That is why our founder, Rev. Moon, emphasized in all the organizations he has founded, the concept of World Peace as the unifying mission based on Love.

As a prayer and final blessing, he sang the hymn “Urie Sowonun Tongil,” thus moving the entire audience present.

By Raúl Rey Banegas, President, UPF-Uruguay
Friday, September 22, 2023


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