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UN Global Day of Parents 2020

UN Global Day of Parents Upheld in UPF’s Webinar on the Role of Parents

USA-2020-06-02-UN Global Day of Parents Upheld in UPF’s Webinar on the Role of Parents

UPF-USA, United States—On the evening of June 2, 2020, in commemoration of the UN Global Day of Parents, UPF-USA held a web conference titled “Role of Parents for Sustainable Development and World Peace.” To see a recording of it, click here.

Dr. Thomas Ward (President, Unification Theological Seminary and Professor of Peace and Development Studies) served as the panel moderator. He gave an introduction to the UN Global Day of Parents, mentioning that the valuing of the family and family interaction is a universal language that binds people across cultures and that therefore the family can have a central role in international dialogue.


Dr. Michael Jenkins (Chairman, UPF USA; President, UPF International) spoke first, beginning by recalling the 1994 inauguration of Parents Day in the United States. One bond that members of all religions share is that all view families and parents as central, and most recognize love as the most powerful force in the universe, he said. The most essential love is unconditional love, love that is willing to give up anything. Happiness comes from harmony; the world cannot tolerate a lack of love. The UN has increased its partnership with faith communities over the last few decades, which Dr. Jenkins recognized as a key step towards world harmony.

Mrs. Marcia Barlow (Vice President, International Programs, United Families International) gave a presentation emphasizing the importance of cohesive family structures. Referring to multiple data, Barlow stated that married, biological parents are the ideal arrangement for social and economic stability. Further, when marriages and families break down, societies suffer, and the most disadvantaged, especially women and children, suffer the most. Marriage rates have fallen since 1970, whereas rates of the less stable coupling and cohabitation, have risen. Stable marriage is associated with lower rates of child poverty, academic problems, drug use, and other crimes.

Mrs. Lynn R. Walsh (Director, Office of the Family, UPF International) followed Mrs. Barlow. Mothers and fathers tend to parent differently, for reasons that Mrs. Walsh contended are at least partly due to neurological and hormonal differences. The most effective parenting style is “authoritative,” she said, characterized by a high level of both responsiveness and demandingness. Authoritative parents facilitate good communication with their children while encouraging responsible decision making and a high standard of achievement. Mrs. Walsh further analogized this parenting style to governance, calling for authoritativeness (as opposed to permissiveness or authoritarianism) in government for greater social participation and cohesion.

Q&A Followed, moderated by Dr. Ward. On the issue of how to raise the focus on the centrality of the family, Dr. Jenkins suggested that the Washington Times hold a forum on the family. Regarding family structure in different parts of the world, Mrs. Barlow pointed to the unsustainable future presented by low fertility rates in Asia. On the relationship between parenting styles and governance, Mrs. Walsh elaborated that there is a correlation between family structures and government structures within a nation, as the micro and macro levels influence each other.

Ambassador for Peace Rosa Carmina Blanco (President, Lions Club International, Queens Chapter) spoke to conclude the webinar, thanking the attendees and panelists for a highly productive program. She thanked Ms. Maria Vargas, director of UPF-USA Northeastern Region, for organizing the informative event.

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