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Archive for June, 2010

U.N. Day for Africa – Birmingham

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 23, 2010

Birmingham UN Africa Day meeting June 2010We held a local WFWP/UPF event in Birmingham to recognize the United Nations Day for Africa. Over 100 people came together, with representatives from 12 different African countries present.

Our first speaker was Rev Charles Ilunga, currently training for the Methodist ministry. He graphically described the horrors which he witnessed and experienced in Congo, and from which he and his family had to flee at barely a moments’ notice. They were split apart, his wife and daughter spending more than 4 dangerous months in the African jungle, surviving on any edible roots and leaves they could find, before being reunited and finding refuge in a UN refugee camp in Zambia. He expressed his gratitude to God, and the many friends in the UK who have helped him to continue in ministry.

Phillip Crombie, Governor of Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH), then gave an inspiring report about a twinning

Philip Crombie Vice Chair Board of Governors of Birmingham Children's Hospital

Philip Crombie - Birmingham Children's Hospital

project which has linked the hospital to a similar hospital in Malawi’s second city, Blantyre. For the past 6 years, there has been an exchange of personnel and donations of equipment and supplies, with nurses, doctors and consultants travelling out to Malawi for varying periods of time up to 1 year. Although the latter have given of their time and expertise voluntarily, Phillip was at pains to point out how much the staff from Birmingham have gained personally through the experience, and that it is not just a one-way aid type of project. He then spoke about a similar project which, it is hoped, will link BCH with Caritas Baby Hospital in the West Bank in Bethlehem.

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Vijay Mehta Discussion Paper: ‘We Can End Poverty’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 17, 2010

Annual Erskine Childers Lecture 2010

Discussion paper by Vijay Mehta

President, VM Centre for Peace Chair, Uniting for Peace   Video: http://www.tv786.net/vijay7

Incorporating Action for UN Renewal and  World Disarmament Campaign
vijay@vmpeace.org    http://www.vmpeace.org

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Recommendations and solutions for reduction of poverty.
  1. Pillars of cooperation for completion of MDGs.
  2. Conclusion.
  1. Poverty and development quotations.
  1. MDG indicators – successes and challenges.

ì Introduction

What is the world’s greatest challenge in the new millennium? Without little doubt, that the greatest challenge we face is the growing chasm between the rich and the poor people on earth. There is not only a great disparity between the two, but the gap is steadily widening. At the beginning of the last century, the ten richest countries were nine times wealthier than the ten poorest ones. In 1960, the ratio was 30:1. At the beginning of this century, average income per person in the twenty richest nations was $27,591 and in the poorest nations only $211, a ratio of 131:1. To plug the widening gap between rich-poor divide, the billions who live on dollar a day need the assistance of international community to fulfil the promise of the completion of Millennium Development Goals* for a better world.

In 2000, world leaders agreed by 2015 goals for slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths, and for improving the environment, education and gender equality.

Lack of political will and unmet commitments, inadequate finance (staggering shortfall of billions of dollars) and soaring food prices have become major hurdles in the progress of the MDGs. In fact an estimated 90 million more people are living in extreme poverty today than anticipated before financial crisis. Millions of people who were not part of the financial collapse and did nothing wrong are suffering extreme hardship.

The ten-year mark at 2010 presents an important opportunity to re-energize the global Millennium Development Goals (MDG) effort and help the poverty reduction become a reality.

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Legacy of Peace Photos

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

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Photos of the Legacy of Peace event on June 6th 2010.

The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK held a unique and special ‘Legacy of Peace’ event to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of notable Ambassadors for Peace within a one day conference examining ‘Forgiveness and Reconciliation’. In attendance in the Columbia Hotel, Lancaster Gate, London were people from all faith backgrounds and leaders and pioneers in interfaith. That itself spoke for the idea that no one religion has a monopoly on God or goodness and that this event was truly a collective offering and one that undoubtedly brought joy to our Creator.

Those whose lives were honoured in a moving ceremony were leading “Ambassadors for Peace” who passed away in recent years including Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi, Prof. Ninian Smart, Mr OP Sharma OBE, Prof Anthony Flew and Mr. Maurice Geoghegan and several prominent international figures who had been close friends of the UPF and Father and Mother Moon including Pres. Abdurrahman Wahid, a former president of Indonesia, Shaykh Hassan Cissé of Senegal and Dr. Laxmi Mall Singhvi. Mr. Hédi Annabi, a Tunisian diplomat and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, who died in the 2010 Haitian earthquake and the one hundred UN workers who died alongside Mr. Annabi were also remembered.

(For more link)

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Stages of Life

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

This was presented during the Legacy of Peace event on June 6th, 2010.

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World Oceans Day

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

Our oceans: opportunities and challenges

8 June 2010, World Oceans Day – Billions of dollars and thousands of lives can be saved if we address the loss of marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services through improved governance. This is a key theme of World Oceans Day, celebrated on 8 June 2010 for the second year running.

In his message for World Oceans Day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “If we are to safeguard the capacity of the oceans to service society’s many and varied needs, we need to do much more. On this second annual commemoration of World Oceans Day, I urge Governments and citizens everywhere to acknowledge the enormous value of the world’s oceans – and do their part in ensuring their health and vitality.”

Ocean ecosystems are under great stress from multiple challenges including exposure to land and marine based pollution, habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, unsustainable harvests and the introduction of exotic invasive species.

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Forgiveness by Karen Szulakowska

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 6, 2010

Forgiveness

Where does it come from? And where does it go?

How do we manage it and how do we know?

What helps people from the edge of despair?

And how do they begin to rebuild, love and care?

There are some who have much to forgive,

They have lost loved ones – and often too, their reason to live…

They have been tortured until there is nothing more to give.

Yet, still they are able to forgive…

Some of us are fortunate to have less to forgive

Yet however severe our suffering, we all need to learn and remember to forgive.

Forgive those who have held us back,

Forgive those with the will to attack

The parents and friends who didn’t know Read the rest of this entry »

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WED2010 Interconnectedness of Humanity and Environment

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 5, 2010

As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen   (WED2010 UPF-UK Report)

Spending time in the forest cleanses the mind. The sound of leaves rustling in the wind, the sound of the wind blowing through the reeds, the sound of frogs croaking in the ponds: All you can hear are the sounds of nature; no extraneous thoughts enter the mind. If you empty your mind and receive nature into your entire being, there is no separation between you and nature. Nature comes into you, and you become completely one with nature. In the moment that the boundary between you and nature disappears, you feel a profound sense of joy.

Then nature becomes you, and you become nature. I have always treasured such experiences in my life. Even now, I close my eyes and enter a state in which I am one with nature. Some refer to this as anātman, or “not-self,” but to me it is more than that, because nature enters and settles into the place that has been made empty. While in that state, I listen to the sounds that nature hands to me—the sounds of the pine trees, the sounds of the bugs—and we become friends. I could go to a village and know, without meeting anyone, the disposition of the minds of the people living there. I would go into the meadow of the village and spend the night there, then listen to what the crops in the fields would tell me. I could see whether the crops were sad or happy and that would tell me the kind of people who lived there.

Even the smallest grain of sand contains the principles of the world, and even a speck of dust floating in the air contains the harmony of the universe. Everything around us was given birth through a combination of forces so complex we cannot even imagine it. These forces are closely related to each other. Nothing in the universe was conceived outside the heart of God. The movement of just one leaf holds within it the breathing of the universe. From childhood, I have had a gift of being able to resonate with the sounds of nature as I roam around the hills and meadows. Nature creates a single harmony and produces a sound that is magnificent and beautiful. No one tries to show off and no one is ignored; there is just a supreme harmony. Whenever I found myself in difficulty, nature comforted me; whenever I collapsed in despair, it raised me back up.

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World Environment Day June 4th 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 4, 2010

Video Link – http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7469355

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