Day of Friendship Celebrated in Buenos Aires


Buenos Aires, Argentina - The International Day of Friendship 2013 was an appropriate opportunity to continue with one of the initiatives of UPF, appointing 15 new Ambassadors for Peace at the Peace Embassy in Buenos Aires on July 30.

People were overcoming with emotion and expressed words of gratitude and recommitment to service when they were honored for their work in diverse areas, including spiritual, cultural, educational, advocacy, civic, artistic, humanitarian, scientific, and ecological. The video “The World at a Turning Point” showed the context for recognizing “Ambassador for Peace.”

People recognized as “bridges of peace” included the tireless social leaders and businessmen Constanza Sena and Hernán Provot; Jaime Fischer and his wife María Noemí Romero, who have had a long career promoting coexistence; and pastors Juan Climenti and Susana Riverol, pioneers of evangelistic campaigns, who quoted the Biblical injunction to be “ambassadors” (II Corinthians 5:20), called to the “ministry of reconciliation.”

From the cultural and artistic area, people who were recognized included Beatriz Signoretta and her husband Rubén Herebia; the Italian-Argentinean singer Lila Ramini; Dr. Sergio Auger, who with his wife, María Cristina Molina, assists the Toba communities from Chaco with admirable dedication; Faiza Yahia, for her advocacy work; and Marcela Baialardo and Sebastián González, who raise awareness of environmental issues and network with spiritual organizations.

Before receiving the certificate each lit a candle as a symbol of light and warmth, truth and love, distinctive qualities of the heart of a leader committed to building bridges between people of different sectors, organizations, nationalities, and religions.

Revolution of the heart

At the beginning, Marcela Baialardo and Sebastián González, directors of Espacio Azul (Blue Space), who came from Santa Fe for the recognition, gave a “Mini concert of peace,” in which they invited everyone to “dive into the wave of the sounds of nature to vibrate in inner harmony and elevate to achieve the expansion of a conscience of peace, love, and unity.” The stilling of the spirit and emotions was the opportunity to remember Pastor Carlos Córdoba, an Ambassador for Peace who ascended to the spiritual world on July 28 after a fruitful life of service until the last moment, despite the serious illness that afflicted him during the last years.

“We cannot build peace if it does not come from within,” Carlos Varga, Director of the Unification Movement in Argentina, said when referring to the “heart” of leadership in this new era. It is “someone who prioritizes the good of others instead than their own,” who is “like a star that can make others shine” and is “a true reconciler, peacemaker, and unifier.” He quoted Pope Francis and particularly the prayer of the saint whose name the new spiritual leader of Catholicism took, a supplication imbued with all values that are expected from a leader: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” “Let’s be the conductors of a new culture of the heart. Let’s make a true revolution, but a revolution of the heart,” concluded.

It is important to remember that the Ambassadors for Peace initiative originated at the beginning of the new millennium by inspiration of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, when there was a new air of hope of a world of peace.

Bonds of affection

In 2011, UN (Resolution A/65/L.72) established July 30 as the International Day of Friendship, with the understanding that “friendship between towns, countries, cultures and people can inspire initiatives of peace and presents an opportunity to build bridges between communities, honoring cultural diversity.” The Global Crusade of Friendship was created by Dr. Ramón Bracho of Paraguay in 1958, and the celebration of Friendship Day, which was expanded globally by Dr. Enrique Febbraro of Argentina, inspired by the arrival of man to the moon in 1969.

During this year’s celebration, the poet Donato Perrone, a member of UPF-Argentina’s Peace Council, read the brief but moving message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who reaffirmed that this date is “an important opportunity to address the misunderstandings and distrust that underlie most of the tensions and conflicts of the world” and “that human solidarity is essential to promoting an everlasting peace and sustainable development.” He also urged people to cultivate “bonds of affection that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family.” At the end, the well-known tenor soloist Ángel Cerricchio masterfully sang “Ave María,” “América,” and “O sole mío.”

Translation: Ricardo Gómez

Reported by Lic. Miguel Werner, Secretary General, UPF-Argentina

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