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UN International Day of Families 2019

UN International Day of Families Commemorated in New Zealand

New Zealand-2019-05-18-UN International Day of Families Commemorated in New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand—UPF-New Zealand commemorated the 2019 UN International Day of Families on Saturday, May 18, at the Polynesian Centre in Mangere. A total of 80 participants from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds gathered for the event. Under the theme “The Family Ideal, Our Common Heritage,” the event was co-sponsored by the Women’s Federation for World Peace-New Zealand.

The event, which was hosted and emceed by Mr. Geoffrey Fyers, secretary general of UPF-New Zealand, was then opened in prayer by Rev. Elder Suamalie NT Iosefa Naisali of the Reformed Christian Church in Auckland. With his youth choir, Reverend Iosefa gave a great start to the event with a soulful song accompanied with a guitar and a mandolin.

Keynote Address

Mr. Adel Jamati, UPF-New Zealand director, gave the keynote address “The Family Ideal and World Peace.” “Our responsibility towards love is paramount,” he said, because humanity is at a crossroads between selfish love or true love. The world can be healed by the power of love in the family, where we can experience conjugal love, parental love, filial love and sibling love. A great revival of the family ideal is needed at this critical time of human history, he concluded.

Panel Discussion: “Social Trends Affecting Youth and Families Today”

Mrs. Janne Sawada, parenting program facilitator, began by saying that the growing influence of government policies is creating a need for parents to become more aware of their impact on the family. Time together is a very necessary component in creating connection and family culture, she emphasized. When parents are too busy, many children miss being nurtured.

Ms. Violet Noel, social work team leader from Shakti, New Zealand, spoke from her professional experience supporting victims.

Unfortunately, the social system has to confront the rising incidence of violence against women; in 98% of domestic abuse cases, men have attacked women. Motherhood is not an easy task, so men need to be respectful and understanding.

Mr. Elliot Ikilei, youth resilience and leadership trainer, has been a youth worker for many years. Mr. Ikilei has seen the weaknesses of broken families and the lack of support for youths. The results, he said, are increases in crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and gambling.

The panel discussion was then followed by questions and comments from the audience, which gave a challenging overview as to what we are facing as a nation. Mrs. Felicity Cairns, president of the New Zealand chapter of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, gave the closing remarks, summarizing the contents given by all the speakers and giving thanks to everyone who made the event possible.


The importance of family and its ideals should not be underestimated, especially in this value-confused world. As we gather to celebrate the UN International Day of Families, we are united to protect what is most fundamental and dearest to world peace and human happiness.

Together We Stand; Together We Make A Difference!

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