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Day of Peace in Moscow

Moscow, Russia - A variety of activities connected to the International Day of Peace took place in the Moscow region, including a festival. a round-table discussion, a Play Football Make Peace Tournament, and a ceremony honoring UN Peacekeepers.

Round-Table Discussion

At the Moscow House of Nationalities, a round-table discussion on "The Meaning of Peacemaking Initiatives in the Modern Stage of Social Development" took place on September 21. The event was organized in commemoration of the UN International Day of Peace that was celebrated on September 21 in all nations of the world. The co-sponsors were the Moscow House of Nationalities, the Leo Tolstoy Foreign Languages and Cultures Institute, and the Russian National Peace Council.

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In their reports, participants presented the factors for the development of the peacemaking ideas in modern society. The round table was attended by members of the city public organizations, scientists, university professors, and students at universities and schools. In conclusion, an activity signifying that “we will preserve the globe” took place, symbolically connecting all the participants of the round table by a thread of friendship, goodness, and hope.

Year of Reconciliation

On September 21 the Youth Ambassadors for Peace of UPF-Moscow sponsored a meeting about 2009 as the UN Year of Reconciliation.The event was attended by leaders from the Latin American students association, the Peruvian students association, Chuvash Youth expatriates' community, the Armenians in Russia association, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, the Youth Association of Russia, and other organizations.

The participants commemorated those who died for their country by a “Minute of Peace.” Then they watched the video-address of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a video report about activities of Youth Ambassadors for Peace in Russia.

Alexander Zhigalov spoke about the importance of supporting marriage and family ethics. He stressed the importance of relations between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and husband and wife as the basis of social harmony and well-being.

E. Kukushkina, manager of the “Mister and Miss University” Pageant, described the new approach of “values-oriented volunteerism” and the volunteer activities that are part of the pageant. UPF-Moscow Secretary General Dmitry Samko shared with the audience the prospects of football diplomacy development in the “Play Football Make Peace” Project Gulnur Gabdrakhmanova told about her activity in the "Peacemaker" summer camp for youth in the Crimea, Ukraine. Student of MGIMO Edenbaatar Amaraa read the Address of the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Association in Support of the UN, head of the department UNESCO, MGIMO (Ministry of foreign affairs) – Borisova A.N.

Gulnur Gabdrakhmanova, Kristina Valaishaite, and Khayat Kutuyeva were appointed Youth Ambassadors for Peace. Gulnur said: "World peace is not a utopia! The sooner people comprehend it, the sooner it’ll become a reality."

Youth Ambassadors for Peace seek to build peace through joint projects in three areas: service, dialogue, and education. They plan to involve into the project media, authorities, civil society, scientists, cultural and art workers, business partners.

Play Football Make Peace

On September 20, Youth Ambassadors for Peace together the UPF, “Volunteer,” “Friends in the Street,” and the municipality of Lefortovo District held an indoor Play Football Make Peace tournament. The project promotes peace, friendship, mutual understanding, and respect through good sportsmanship. Four teams participated in the tournament: Moscow State University team, “Friends in the street” club team, “Youth Ambassadors for Peace” team, and a team from Ivanovo city.

Especially inspiring was the arrival of the team from Ivanovo. The team members had participated in the summer football tournament during the All-Russia “Seligher 2009” Forum. They came guided by the vision that a football game can become an instrument of peacemaking.

Matches were held in an atmosphere of friendship and pure joy. In the first match guests from Ivanovo defeated “Friends in the Street” with a score of 7:2; the second semi-final was much tenser because teams were equally strong. Finally the State University team members became exhausted and Ambassadors for Peace remained full of strength. The latter won with a score of 11 to 4. The third place was won by “Friends in the Street.” They played for the sake of peace and friendship. In such a tournament, there were no losers. The players and their fans parted as good friends.

The purpose of such tournaments is to expand a culture of peace, tolerance, and healthy life-style through organizing football tournaments and involving football players in socially important projects. We hope that as the result of such projects to see an increased number of young people engaged in sports, leading healthy lifestyle, and understanding that through sports and social projects it is possible to promote the ideas of goodness and friendship. Such tournaments are usually not showcased by the media; nevertheless, they leave positive traces in the hearts of participants and the fascinated audiences will surely grow in numbers.

Wreath-laying ceremony on Poklonnaya Hill in memory of UN Peacemakers

Youth Ambassadors for Peace participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of UN Peacemakers. The event was organized by the Moscow UN Information Centre and the movement of young peacemakers from the Schools of Peace. Among the participants were Ambassador for Peace Oleg Orestovich Mironov, former Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation; UN representatives; and the most active educational institutions and organizations connected to the of Schools of Peace. Schoolchildren expressed their commitment to the UN principles and received badges as young peacemakers.

Festival in a college

On September 23, a festival took place at the Construction College № 38. It was linked to the International Day of Peace and organized by the efforts of UPF volunteers and teachers at the college for first-year students. Before the event, a literary competition was held on the theme “Make the World a Better Place.” The winner read her work to the audience. It was followed by a quiz game entitled: “Everything I know about the International Day of Peace.” Children were given an opportunity to express their ideas on the topic “Peace begins with me, with peace in my soul.” The leader of the Martial Arts Federation, Alexei Pavlov, explained the goals of the program “Martial Arts for Peace.”

To read UPF's Declaration on the International Day of Peace 2009, click here.

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