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November 2018
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Day of Peace Honored in Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia—The Melbourne branches of UPF-Australia and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) hold an annual one-day conference every year in Melbourne to commemorate the UN International Day of Peace and to support and foster peacebuilding within our diverse multicultural city. The UN International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on September 21. The day was established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution, after which the UN General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

This year our conference was held at the Church of Christ Convention Centre. Titled “The Right to Peace—Legacy of Peace Builders,” the event attracted 58 participants, many of whom are Ambassadors for Peace and members of WFWP. The organizing committee comprised members of the Victorian Peace Council: UPF, WFWP and I Declare Peace. The program included a Bridge of Peace ceremony, a keynote address six workshops conducted during two afternoon breakout sections, and an Ambassador for Peace award ceremony. The conference was followed the next day by a “Hands for Peace” demonstration in downtown Melbourne organized by an Ambassador for Peace.

The goals of the September 22 conference were the following:

  • Support the realization of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals through implementing Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
  • Foster reconciliation to heal hatred and prejudice between people through the Bridge of Peace Ceremony.
  • Showcase workshop presenters who speak about acquiring and understanding the right values, and how to implement these values in how we live our lives and manage human affairs.
  • Honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela and Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon: Both encourage us to live for the sake of others.
  • Share insight that will enrich the life of participants.

Participants could share tea and coffee in the foyer gallery showcasing the life and work of Nelson Mandela and Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. While viewing the displays, guests enjoyed the soulful music of the handpan played by Sandy Dickinson and the classical guitar played by Oliver Jones.

WFWP officers Anne Bellavance and Veronica Hassett conducted the Bridge of Peace Ceremony. The motto of the ceremony, coined by the founder of UPF and WFWP International Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is: "If the women of the world can be sisters, the men of the world won’t go war." The leading ladies for the ceremony were: Charlotte Mukamuberwa from Rwanda and Jody Dontje from Australia. Both women provided a personal perspective on the powerful role played by women in peace building.

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