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UN International Day of Families 2015

Forum at UN Discusses Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence

New York, USA—On May 28, UPF International co-sponsored with the Permanent Mission of Grenada to the UN and the UN NGO Committee on the Family a forum on "Our Cities in Crisis: A Time for Reflection on Crime, Poverty and the Family” at the UN headquarters in New York. This event, although not held on the actual "International Day of Families" of May 15, commemorated the International Day with a focus on the causes and possible prevention of youth violence in inner cities around the world.

The program was opened by Mrs. Florence Denmark, co-chair of the UN NGO Committee on the Family. Mrs. Lola Velarde, president of the Institute for Family Policies, moderated the event.

H.E. Mr. Denis G. Antoine, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN, stressed the important role of the family for instilling values and teaching self-control.  Mr. Kwame Fosu of the Rebecca Project for Justice addressed the serious and intertwined challenges of racism, including poverty, joblessness, crime, criminal records, and family breakdown. Mrs. Susan Roylance of the World Congress of Families spoke about two successful preventative programs. The first was the creation of a thriving Boy Scout troop of immigrant inner city youth who had been heading for gang involvement. The second program worked with poor families in rural Kenya, helping them develop sustainable economic means and family cohesion. The final speaker, Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, UN Focal Point on the Family, gave a summary of the excellent expert panel presentations made during the UN International Day of Families on May 15.  

A stimulating discussion followed the speakers.

Closing remarks were made by Lynn Walsh, director of Marriage and Family Education at UPF International and co-chair of the NGO Committee on the Family.

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