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International Day of Friendship Celebrated in Argentina

Argentina-2015-08-17-International Day of Friendship

Buenos Aires, Argentina—UPF-Argentina celebrated the UN International Day of Friendship (1) with events in two cities: Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. Recognizing the importance of friendship in generating greater understanding in our world, UPF-Argentina commemorated the Day by appointing 18 new Ambassadors for Peace, leaders who are committed to promoting reconciliation and building peace.

At both events, a video introducing UPF’s work and the video, “The World at a Turning Point,” (2) were shown to provide background on the Ambassadors for Peace initiative. Mr. Carlos Varga, president of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification-Argentina and Mr. Miguel Werner, secretary general of UPF-Argentina spoke at the celebrations, where the UN Secretary-General’s message for the Day, as well as poems and passages about friendship, were also read.

Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, the Day was celebrated on July 30 at the Embassy for Peace. The event began with a reading of the UN Secretary-General’s message by Ms. Orfa Pérez, a member of UPF-Argentina’s Peace Council.

New Ambassadors for Peace were then appointed; among them were three couples who have contributed to the areas of environment, spirituality and the arts in Argentina. Mrs. Elsa Ortiz-Marcos Daverio, Mrs. María Estrada-Luis Acuña and Mrs. Andrea Vega-Román Alegre each represented their couple.

Ms. Stella Maris Arzuaga and Ms. Antonia Silva, both teachers; Ms. Graciela Almada, a journalist; Mr. Hugo López Pénelas, a poet; Mr. César Sanabria; and Ms. Elena Paniagua, president of the association Ciudad Hermana San Clemente Argentina-San Clemente California; and Mr. Pablo Meza of the Chaco Foundation, were also appointed.

Journalist and Ambassador for Peace, Mr. Jorge Pereyra, read the content of the Ambassadors for Peace certificate, which highlights values expected by Ambassadors for Peace (3)--which can be summarized as living for the sake of others. When each appointee was awarded a certificate, he/she poured a glass of water into a clear bowl to symbolize his/her commitment to peace.

Universal Peace Flag was given to two international guests, Xriss García Andino and Mr. Francisco Lora of the International Faucla Foundation in the Dominican Republic, who were in Argentina for an event at the national senate that was organized by Ambassador for Peace Mr. Alejandro D'Alessandro.

The event closed with a reading of a poem by pastor and Ambassador for Peace, Alba Rosa Contardo and a singing of a song by Mrs. Rosa Barcellos, who was accompanied by Mr. Alejandro Peralta, who played the piano.

Mar del Plata

In Mar del Plata, the International Day of Friendship was celebrated on August 17 at the Family Institute. Among the new Ambassadors for Peace appointed were Mr. Silvio Fiora-Valeria Suárez; Mr. Daniel Fernández; Ms. Graciela López Iguiñez; and Ms. Mirta Correa, who co-hosted the event. They each lit a candle to symbolize their commitment.

The emcee was Mr. Jorge Moisano, who organized the event with his wife, Mirta Zangaro; Mr. Ricardo Gómez; and Ms. Elsa Correa. Mr. Zangaro Moisano read quotes and passages about friendship (4), while Ms. Yamila Gómez read the UN Secretary-General’s message. Afterwards, Ambassador for Peace, Ms. Graciela López Iguiñez, read the poem, “Desiderata de la unidad,” (5) which was written by poet and Ambassador for Peace, Hugo López Pénelas, for the celebration.



  1. The UN established the International Day of Friendship on April 27, 2011 (Resolution A/65/L.72) with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and presents an opportunity to build bridges between communities, honoring cultural diversity,” and is celebrated each year on July 30.

  2. The millennium brought a new hope for global peace, but new crises arose: the September 11 attacks and the deepening of the “clash of civilizations.” Despite the efforts of the United Nations, which was created to contribute to peace, conflicts and crises have persisted. It is essential leaders of different nationalities, cultures, and religions come together to overcome these challenges and promote reconciliation and build peace. Ambassadors for Peace was launched in 2001 to promote a leadership paradigm based on principles of peace and universal values.

  3. “The Universal Peace Federation acknowledges as Ambassadors for Peace those individuals whose lives represent the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who devote themselves to actions which promote universal moral values, a solid family life, interreligious cooperation, international harmony, renewal of the United Nations, responsible public media, and establishment of a culture of peace. Overcoming racial, national, and religious barriers, Ambassadors for Peace contribute to the hope of all ages, a unified world of peace in which the spiritual and physical realms of life are in harmony.” This is signed by Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han, founders of UPF and the Ambassadors for Peace initiative.

  4. Passages:
    “God has not created barriers. My objective is being friends with the entire world.” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian Politician and thinker

    “Friendship can only take place through the development of mutual respect and within a spirit of sincerity.” Dalai Lama (1935), spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism

    “He was nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes, but I made him my friend and now it is unique in all entire world.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944), French writer

    “Actually, the only moment in life I feel like being myself is when I am with my friends.” Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), Colombian writer

    “True friendship cannot be disturbed.” Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), Spanish writer

    “Who seeks for a flawless friend will not have any friends.” Turkish proverb

    “Friends are like blood, they come out when there is a wound.” Anonymous

    “We are born to meet each other (life is the art of encounter), and we meet in order to confirm that humanity is one family and that we live in a country called Earth. We are sons of love, for which we are born for happiness (outside happiness there are only excuses), and we should also be happy for our children, since there is nothing better than remembering happy parents.” Facundo Cabral (1937-2011),  Argentinean singer-songwriter, poet, writer, and philosopher

    “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus, John 15:13 (Bible)

    “I believe the world develops better societies when people have overcome race, nationality, and religion; and, under a big variety of opinions, they meet and discuss honestly about world peace.” Sun Myung Moon: “As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen” (autobiography)

  5. "Desiderata de la unidad"

    Sobre el espacio llano
    Que construirá tus pasos,
    Aceptar y perdonar
    A la Luz, del Santo Espíritu,
    Que nos guía,
    En el apostolado de la UNIDAD…
    Hacia lo alto,
    Será un camino de encuentro,
    Que multiplique a los hermanos,
    Todos seremos uno con el PADRE,
    En un amanecer
    De pájaros y cantos,
    Pondremos los miedos
    A un costado,
    Y al elevar nuestros ojos
    A la cumbre,
    Veremos a Jesús resucitado…
    Caminaremos sobre el camino llano
    Que fuimos construyendo,
    Paso a paso, día a día,

    A mis hermanos de TODOS LOS CREDOS…

    Hugo López Pénelas
    Poet, Ambassador for Peace 


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