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Archive for the ‘Evironmental Awareness’ Category

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.

For More link

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Waste Management for Sustainable Communities June 4th, 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2010

Presentation to be made by David Fairbank at the UPF-UK Commemoration of  World Environment Day 2010.


World Environment Day 2010

6:30 pm Refreshments,  7:00 pm Programme Begins,  4th June 2010*  43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Lawrence Bloom: “The most elegant challenge the universe could throw at humankind”

United Nations Environment Programme Chair of Green Economy Initiative

Murad Qureshi AM:  Former Chair of Environment Committee for Greater London Authority

*World Environment Day is on 5th June each year – for scheduling reasons we will have the commemoration on the 4th of June.

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Universal Peace Federation – UK 2009 Activities

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 4, 2010

Posted in British Academy for World Peace, Community Cohesion, Cultural Programme, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Best Wishes for 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 1, 2010


Best Wishes for 2010

Universal Peace Federation – UK

Thank you for everything we could do together in 2009.

Our year, 2009, in pictures Our year, 2009, in videos

Become a Member of UPF

Best Wishes From All of Us

UPF-UK Secretariat

Robin Marsh: Secretary General, Mobile 07956 210 768

Cllr. Margaret Ali: Director, Tel 0208-395-6788 / / 07723024750

Joyce Suda: Director, Tel 02084673035

Universal Peace Federation – UK www.uk.upf.org

Email: pa@uk.upf.org Tel: 44 (0) 207 262 0985

UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations


Posted in British Academy for World Peace, Community Cohesion, Cultural Programme, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Universal Peace Federation: Peace Council Dec 5th, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on December 6, 2009

Universal Peace Federation Peace Council

Universal Peace Federation – UK: Peace Council

5th December 2009

Photo Link

The bi-annual Peace Council is an opportunity to understand the development of Universal Peace Federation in the UK and around the world and to strategise about activities for the coming year.

UPF – UK Activities in 2009 Powerpoint UPF UK Report Dec 5th 2009

Lord King of West Bromwich, a Patron of UPF, welcomed everyone saying  ‘Good to see so many Ambassadors for Peace and activists who have worked tirelessly to make this world a better place to live in.’ Lord King explained that the Peace Council enabled a review of UPF’s impact on world peace and to promote good practices that have been successful.

Lord King UPF

Lord King

Jonathan Fryer - international perspective - 'one family under God'

Jonathan Fryer

Seja Majeed - Volunteering

Jack Corley - Character Education

Jack Corley

Robert Williamson, the Director of UPF in the Balkan region, described the position of UPF in Albania. People in Albanian Government see the UPF as an attractive NGO as a lobby providing moral direction.

The UPF has about 1000 members and branches in eight cities where they do local projects. They have a presiding council to which 20 members are elected every two years. The Presiding Council members are responsible for the committees of the UPF in Albania. Robert shared one example in which the experience of a student who was expected to bribe a teacher before being allowed to graduate and therefore was being held back even though she had passed her exams, was brought to the highest level and dealt with through UPF’s access.

The UPF has a neutral position and therefore can speak for the nation. National media covers the elections and meetings of the national presiding council. There is a track record established that has built up over many years.

There are eight branches in Albania’s major cities. These do local level projects and service activity. These are complemented by continuous education programmes in the vision of the UPF. This work is supported by a former President of Albania and former and current Parliamentarians.

Jack Corley, the UPF Director for Ireland and the UK, presented an inspiring framework for the development of strong marriages and families. He explained that the Unification Movement Founder had been so involved in big marriage blessings in order to build a network of inter-racial, international marriage that draw together nations in conflict.

Dr David Earle is the Vice President of UPF and his wife is Vice President of Women’s Federation for World Peace so they cooperate closely in their activities. He explained the depth and range of the work in Birmingham. The Earle’s held joint meetings in the Birmingham Council chamber to discuss community cohesion in Birmingham in February and a series of meetings in their house where they have extended their living room and garage to be able to hold meetings for up to 100 people.

Seja Majeed spoke of her commitment to volunteering particularly when she was finding it difficult to find a job. She said by going out and doing volunteer activities she was able to meet the people and learning the skills that were assisting her to develop her career. She advised young people to believe in themselves and to be determined. ”The determined person is never powerless!’ she emphasised. She volunteered to work for a counter-terrorism group that then led to an internship with the three faiths forum and then to making a documentary in Iraq. The documentary then has opened doors that enabled her to meet Jon Snow and to a part time work with Amnesty International. Her advice was not just to dream about peace and the ideal but to be involved in making it a reality. (You Tube Video of Seja’s speech). She was later presented with an Ambassador for Peace award (see below).

The author and journalist, Jonathan Fryer, posed the question, ‘How can people in a diverse and crowded world live together constructively and harmoniously?’  He emphasised that we need to face each issue from a moral perspective. He considered that Britain was not a broken society but a nation that has lost its aims and goals. He added that he faces severe differences of wealth and poverty where he lives in Tower Hamlets. He concluded that while the British political scene is confrontational the solution of these issues required dialogue and cooperation drawing on our common desire for peace, prosperity and love. (You tube link)

Dr Salwant Singh Multani expressed his desire to establish a UPF Branch in Sterling. He is the Chair of Central Scotland Interfaith and has been acknowledged as the most prominent Sikh in Scotland this year. He has also been awarded the Hind Rattan award by the Indian Government.  He has a passion to establish an Interfaith Youth Hostel in the highlands of Scotland.

Interfaith Youth Hostel

Robert Williamson - Albania UPF

Posted in British Academy for World Peace, Community Cohesion, Cultural Programme, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UPF Peace Council Ambassador for Peace Awards

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on December 5, 2009

Mr Haribivor Karki

Mr Hari Bivor Karki was nominated for the Ambassador for Peace award for his contribution to society. He is the first ex gurkha soldier to have settled in this country. He has served the Nepalese community for 25 years and has been instrumental in bridging relationships with different communities. He is a well known and respected member of the Nepalese community in Rushmoor.

He is also the first gurkha nepalese to start a nepalese restaurant business in UK and was a role model for nepalese restaurateurs for many years. He is the founder member of the Non Resident Nepalese organisation in UK which is now an established forum for Nepalese to link with other groups in UK. He has been a committee member of the Britain Nepal Society which has helped to build good relationships between Nepal and UK. He has organised many interfaith events and this has build community cohesion in Rushmoor and Surrey.

He is a founder member of the Britain Chamber of Commerce which has helped improve commerce between Nepal and UK. He is also a member to a couple of charitable organisations and is a well respected member of the community. Currently he is engaged in freelancing in linguistic and interpretation for Home Office in nepalese immigration matters. I believe that Mr Karki has served the community well with a selfless commitment to everything he does.

Mr Malik Ghazansar Ali

Mr Ghazanfer Ali is one of the founding members and present Chairman of Ilford Islamic Centre, previously known as the Muslim Welfare Association, that was established in the late 60’s. It was the very first Islamic organisation in the borough of Redbridge. The aims and objectives from the outset were to establish a centre which would fulfil the spiritual, religious, social and welfare needs of the local community.

The vision was to create an organisation which would reflect the true essence of Islam – a belief based on the tenants of Peace, Harmony, Respect, Care, Tolerance, Community Cohesion, the development of relationships with other faiths and communities and the basic Love of Humanity.

Starting from very humble beginnings, the Centre has now developed into one of the largest such organisations in East London and Essex. It is well known for it’s Community, Interfaith and Three Faiths Forum activities. It serves as a focal point for most Islamic activities within the borough for Muslims and non Muslims. We have numerous visits from a variety of organisations on a regular basis. Most schools in Redbridge send their children to the Centre for visitations and we have had visits from many foreign delegations. Only last week, we held a very successful Inter Faith Walk. We had a workshop at our centre organised by the Charity Commission, themed ‘Good Governance’ and two local primary school visits!

Mr Ghazanfer Ali has also been involved in many other community initiatives, most notably as Chairman of the Redbridge Racial Equality Council.

Ms. Seja Majeed

Seja Majeed is a twenty-three year old British Iraqi living in North London. She is a Law graduate from Brunel University and also has a diploma in screenwriting from the London Academy of Radio, Film and TV. She is currently undertaking her Legal Practice Course and Masters in International Law at City University.

In 2007, Seja collaborated with the Rainbow Collective Film Company and journeyed to Iraq with the intention to deliver humanitarian supplies and record her accounts. Over the four weeks of her trip, Seja visited dangerous provinces and gathered relaxed and informal interviews with those trying to lead a normal life in the aftermath of a war.

The film, “Baghdad Holiday” is currently within postproduction and has attracted attention from prominent broadcasters, such as More4, Guardian Films and Al-Arabia Network. The film has also been praised and supported by T.V. presenter Jon Snow, foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller from Channel Four News, and the Secretary General of Amnesty International. It will be screened by Amnesty International in January 2010.

Seja also worked as an intern for Amnesty International in January 2009 on the Anti-Death Penalty programme, where she was based at the International Secretariat in London.

She has recently won an award by V-inspired the National Volunteer’s Service, for being the most inspirational volunteer for Greater London. Seja is one of the first young Muslim women to be chosen in a national advertising campaign for V-inspired, the leading volunteer charity for young people.  She ran make-up artist workshops taught by industry professionals to 16 -25 years olds interested in media or fashion through a Cosmetic Hive project she set up.

Seja has also been working alongside an Iraqi Minister of Parliament and has written social initiatives on his behalf. Her initiatives have been presented to the Iraqi Parliament for consideration. As an aspiring legal commentator she has recently had three of her articles published in the Journal of Islamic State Practices of International law.

Mr. Dhinesh Golam

Dhinesh Golam has been very active over the last 15 years to support elderly people and those living with learning difficulties. He spent many hours in fundraising activities to ensure that those living with learning difficulties could have a holiday. He took those in his care to the seaside in his own time on weekends. He led a campaign to save the local Post Office that was used by many elderly people to save them the discomfort of a longer journey. He has also volunteered his time as a political activist.

Posted in British Academy for World Peace, Community Cohesion, Cultural Programme, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrating Spirituality: South London UPF

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 21, 2009

Celebrating Spirituality

November 21st, 2009

An inspirational idea put forward by one of our Ambassadors for Peace, Mayura Patel, brought together representatives from Islam (Ms Saleha Jaffer), Sikh (Mrs Rawinder Kalsi) and Hindu (Mr Ganesh Lall) faiths, Buddhism (Mr Les Kemp), Christianity (Rev. Elizabeth Jatto) and Unificationism (Mr Nigel Barrett) to expound on their respective major ‘Holy Days’ or celebrations through brief presentations which also introduced the basic religious tenets of each of the faiths. Whilst each of the very simple but profound explanations portrayed the unique historic and cultural underpinnings of their celebrations, it was striking how a deep truth became very apparent, namely the underlying human striving for goodness and higher ideals, culminating in the discovery of God, and his Holy Men/Prophets on earth, leading to the ultimate experience of inner and worldly peace. This ‘sameness’ was further highlighted through the stimulating panel discussion after the presentations.

The conference was very ably chaired by Dr. Lance Gardiner. Mr Franklin Fortune showed a brief video about the recent 10.14 Marriage Rededication Blessing in Korea depicting the experiences of people from all over the world who were present at the event. This resonated beautifully with the existing mood among the participants. The conference was relatively small in scale but had a very intimate atmosphere. It was brought to a close by the traditional round of songs presented by Russell Gough as well as the usual buffet refreshments and networking among all.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Time for Vision – The Path Ahead

May 30th 2009, South London – UPF

Nigel Barrett, Susan Beresford and Cllr Faizullah Khan

Nigel Barrett, Susan Beresford and Cllr Faizullah Khan

Councillor Faizullah Khan urged peace activists to arm themselves intellectually with a higher level of understanding and tolerance with which to analyse conflicts and contribute effectively to the peace building process. Speaking on 30th May 2009 at the Peace Embassy in Thornton Heath, South London, on the occasion of the third in a series of conferences held under the title “Time for Vision – The Path Ahead”, he opined: “Desiring peace will never deliver peace, it is activism in peace which will deliver peace.”

The conference was attended by about 40 Ambassadors for Peace, UPF supporters and their guests. The series has focussed on the need for a positive vision to address the challenges we face in this era of economic, political, environmental and moral crisis. The proceedings opened with a thought-provoking presentation by Mr Nigel Barrett on the role of conscience in personal development. Drawing on the philosopher Plato’s discussion of the mythical “Ring of Gyges”, he asked if we would still live a moral life if we could be freed from being held accountable for our actions by others – a pertinent question in light of the recent scandalous revelations of political and financial improprieties. He introduced the challenging concept of a cosmic level of conscience inspired by Divine spiritual laws and principles.

Susan Beresford then presented the ongoing work of Undercroydon, a non-profit organisation, which has successfully brought communities together through innovative artistic, fashion and food-based projects. She described how projects such as the art mural in the Whitgift Centre in Croydon, in which several schools participated, have released individuals’ creative and cooperative talents.

CIMG3008 SL UPF event croppedA lively panel Q&A session followed the speaker presentations, and the proceedings concluded with the generous donation of a large cheque by the Sabrang Ladies Group to UPF for improvement of the furnishings in the Peace Embassy.

Lance Gardiner

CIMG3024 SL UPF event cropped panel

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Upcoming Universal Peace Federation – UK Programmes Nov – Dec 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 20, 2009

UPF - logos 2-0 cm

Upcoming Universal Peace Federation – UK Programmes

Click on the links for further information.

November 18th – 5:00 pm Commemorating Dr LM Singhvi’s Interfaith Contribution and Joint Celebration of Religious Holy Days:
Hosted by Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh in Committee Room 4A, House of Lords. We have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate National Interfaith Week and to commemorate the late Dr L.M. Singhvi’s contribution to interfaith work. Dr Singhvi, as a distinguished seven year Indian High Commissioner to the UK, left a deep impression particularly in his encouragement of good interfaith relations. The UPF Interfaith Committee’s series of Joint Celebrations of Holy Days seeks to provide opportunities for younger and older faith representatives to express their faith and to both learn about and celebrate other religious traditions.

November 24th – 5:00 pm‘Immigrants Contribution to British Society’
Committee Room 12, House of Commons:  Lord Bikhu Parekh, Chair of ‘Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain’ Report in 2000, Ms Yasmin Alibhai- Brown – distinguished Journalist and Commentator, Mr Tom Brake MP – Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Home Affairs and Mr Keith Best – Chief Executive, Immigration Advisory Service.

November 26th – 6:30 pm: UPF-UK Environment Chapter: 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA “London Initiative ahead of Copenhagen 2009 – ‘Think globally – act locally’ “ Emma Burnell, Vice Chair of SERA and Lawrence Bloom, the chair of the UN Environment Programme, Green Economy Initiative.

November 28th – World Culture Association: 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA

December 5th – 10:30 amUniversal Peace Council: 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA

The UPF Bi-annual Peace Council Meeting is a gathering of Ambassadors for Peace and friends to review activities and strategise how to utilise the cooperative influence of UPF’s growing national and international network. The Universal Peace Federation and its slogans of ‘one family under God’ and ‘living for the sake of others’ has incredible significance in this time of unsettling changes. The UPF Peace Council will begin at 10:30a.m. On Saturday 5th of December, with sessions up to lunch of reports and keynote speakers who have been supporting UPF events during the year.

Recently Held Events:

Rev. Dr Marcus Braybrooke: Book launch, ‘Beacons of the Light‘  October 16th

Green Economy Initiative with speakers Lawrence Bloom and Murad Qureshi September 3rd. For the report please click here.

September 6th 6:30 pm –   Pilgrimage:  A discussion of the role of pilgrimages in different faiths. For photos click here.

Robin Marsh
Secretary General, UPF – UK

Mobile: 44 (0) 7956 210 768     Twitter: RTMarsh

Cllr. Margaret Ali

Director, UPF – UK

Mobile: 44 (0) 7723024750

Universal Peace Federation – UK

Tel: 44 (0) 207 262 0985

Peace and Development Network:  https://peacedevelopmentnetwork.wordpress.com

http://uk.youtube.com/PeaceDevelopmntNetwk

UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Posted in Community Cohesion, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lawence Bloom and Murad Qureshi AM ‘Green Economy Initiative’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 4, 2009

Lawrence Bloom and Murad Qureshi AM Green Economy Initiative

September 3rd, 2009

Universal Peace Federation-UK HQ, 43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Lawrence Bloom, Marios Gerogiokas and Murad Qureshi

Lawrence Bloom, Marios Gerogiokas and Murad Qureshi

Murad Qureshi AM

Murad Qureshi AM

IMG_8290 IMG_8315Dr Zena Daysh and Nicky Gavron AM

Lawrence Bloom and Murad Qureshi AM discussed the alternatives facing London as a city and the world as a whole due to climate change. Lawrence Bloom, is the Chair of the United Nations Environment Programme and the former chairman, current Council Member, of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Urban Development, Davos. Murad Qureshi AM is the Chair of the Environment Committee of the Greater London Authority’s London Assembly.

There were a number of notable contributions from the audience including Nicky Gavron AM who, as the former Deputy Mayor, was leading the climate change response on behalf of London during the Ken Livingston Mayoral administration.

Murad Qureshi began by emphasising the role of big cities like London in working with environmental issues because 50 % of humanity lives in cities and towns. Nation states will meet in Copenhagen but there is a lot of capacity for cities to collaborate and make their own impetus. He acknowledged Nicky Gavron’s work with the C40 Cities. London made a goal of 60 % reduction from 1990 levels by 2025. There is a localised green economy initiative possible through city level leadership. Transport and housing sectors can be handled locally. He added that a Plan B could be a city level agreement if the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit fails.

Lawrence Bloom said,  ‘At first the Universal Peace Federation seems a strange convenor for this discussion but when I thought about the crisis facing us I felt this is an ideal venue for climate change discussion. Climate change is a subset of an unsustainable energy system. There is also a lack of sustainability in food, water and the economy. This is not a crisis of climate but of vision based on a lack of values. We in the west find esteem based on buying the newest car and happiness is based on Gross National Product. Correcting the climate will affect all levels. Hence the Universal Peace Federation is an ideal convenor for this discussion.’ (Please see statement below, Reclaiming Tomorrow).

For more photos click here. Follow the link for more about Environment Awareness activities.

Posted in Evironmental Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Green Economy Initiative by Lawrence Bloom September 3rd 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 3, 2009


Green Economy Initiative

UPF - logos 2-0 cm

Universal Peace Federation

UPF-UK Environment Chapter

Understanding Copenhagen 2009: Community Leaders Awareness & Debate

Lawrence Bloom

Chairman, UNEP, Green Economy Initiative
Green Cities, Buildings and Transport.

6:30 pm 3rd September 2009, 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA

Lawrence Bloom

Lawrence Bloom

and

Murad Qureshi, Assembly Member

Chair of the Environment Committee

London Assembly, Greater London Authority

You are cordially welcome to a consideration and discussion of the issues surrounding climate change from 6:30 pm on September 3rd at 43 Lancaster Gate. There are major negotiations ongoing that may affect our lives substantially from December 2009

UPF is organising a series of conferences to answer questions, promote discussion and bring awareness to the grass roots through community and interfaith leaders. UPF has been active in the area of community coherence, multi-cultural and interfaith and we want to mobilize our network of leaders in understanding environmental, renewable issues in view of the upcoming “Copenhagen 2009 Climate Change Conference” in December.

Lawrence Bloom is a chairman of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Urban Development, Davos, and Chairman UNEP, Green Economy Initiative, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport.

‘’As world leaders search for creative solutions to restore global equilibrium, the opportunity for recognising the importance of both human and environmental capital has perhaps never been so possible or achievable’’ www.lawrencebloom.com.c

Murad Qureshi AM was an Executive Committee member of SERA (1994-2000) campaigning on green issues throughout the 1990s. He is especially keen on promoting the use of renewables as an alternative energy source and on promoting energy efficiency initiatives to deal with fuel poverty.

Kindly RVSP to reserve your place. There will be a small charge for refreshments. Click here for travel information.

Kind regards,

Dr Marios Gerogiokas
UPF-UK Environment Chapter
075 0789 3739

Mr. Muftah Benomran

Noble Cities Plc
www.noblecities.com


Reclaiming tomorrow…

‘We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the future is not ours to erase.’

David Suzuki Foundation

‘I have seen the future, and it won’t work’

Paul Krugman, New York Times[1]

T

he chilling accuracy of Paul Krugman’s observation was recently confirmed in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) review of more than 10 different future scenarios, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Royal Dutch Shell.

Of those, the MIT study concluded that Shell’s ‘Blueprints’ scenario resulted in the lowest realistically achievable CO2 emissions levels, because it was based on the rapid implementation of advanced technologies and energy efficiency initiatives, and involved a highly effective collaboration between government, industry, international institutions, NGOs and academia.

Even then CO2 levels would stabilize at around 650ppm…yet 450ppm is currently accepted as the viable maximum.

We now understand that at this level various serious trigger points and feedback loops start operating. Not least of these is the acidification of the oceans, causing them to become a net emitter of CO2 rather than a sink. These increasing CO2 levels then feed back into higher temperatures, accelerating both ice melt at the poles and the melting of tundra ice with its consequent release of methane.

So the evidence indicates that we cannot rely on technology alone to ensure our survival. ‘Business as usual’ is not an option – much more needs to be done to raise awareness and change our behaviour. The Blueprints scenario gives us a five-year window. We must act now!

Arguably the biggest obstacle to this critical change is the absence of public engagement toward the urgency of our predicament, resulting in a lack of any real commitment to carbon reduction.

In line with Einstein’s observation that ‘No problem can be resolved at the same level of thinking that created it’, I believe that only a world-class lifestyle behaviour change programme could take us through this next challenging period with a realistic prospect of minimizing its impacts on human survival and well-being.

Such a lifestyle change delivery programme will, in essence:

  • Be a community-based ‘bottom up’ process;
  • Local authorities and corporations will become an effective delivery mechanism for empowering and resourcing their communities and employees to create eco-neighbourhood community groups;
  • These groups will be imbued with the vision, role models, tools, implementation procedures, skill sets, and underpinning supportive structures to enable both visible and tangible success; and
  • Each individual will feel that their contribution has value and their drop is helping to ‘fill the bucket’.

Galvanizing communities around the world to work for their future in this way creates a dynamic shift, and with it real hope of significant change from our present trajectory.
Without such a change, the research demonstrates that technology alone will not save us.

Charles Darwin warned: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

So if we are to survive, evolution demands we each recognise that:

  • We were mistaken in thinking we could go on exploiting the planet’s resources and ‘fouling our own nest’ with impunity; and
  • The time has come to take our next evolutionary step as a species.

This step is to respond to the present crisis by releasing from within ourselves a deeper understanding of our relationship with each other and the planet that gives us life.

As a society we are in the process of moving from the adolescent stage of ‘in reaction to’ to the more adult stage of ‘in relationship with’. The economic models of the adolescent stage no longer serve us. In the same way that the skill in a space shot is to know when to blow the explosive bolts, releasing the booster rockets and allowing them to fall away, so we must blow the symbolic bolts connecting us to outmoded thinking. The boosters have a specific function, to enable the craft to escape the earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Our current systems have enabled us to enrich and empower two billion of our species, but they can take us no further.

We must now change course from a fiercely competitive win/lose system to a collaborative win/win scenario, where humanity shares all its knowledge of what is and what is not working for the benefit of the whole, at both local and global levels.

Each human being, simply by virtue of their human birth, has the right to clean water, nutritious food, proper shelter, access to education, to healthcare, to justice and financial resources. These priorities are only sustainable in a healthy, natural environment, supported by a viable economic system and an environmental Bill of Rights.

While these universal values are not prioritised by our present economic system, they appear unattainable. However, once we prioritise them, we can build a new resilience within the current economic model, supporting it by authorising and encouraging the widespread use of community and other complementary currencies.

We will need to evolve a critical mass of people from all sectors of society, our private and public institutions, communities and individuals, coalescing around this recognition of the need for a dramatic change in our values. It should, however, be possible when we realise that it is only people that make up our institutions, and people have the capacity to change

Humanity is the result of five billion years of earth’s evolution. We will discover, within the next five years, whether we are still a viable species. If we cannot engage behaviour change at this scale, we will have failed the ‘intelligence test’ that evolution requires us to answer. The rewards for success are beyond our wildest dreams – but the penalties for failure surpass our worst nightmares.

Now is the moment for us to ‘be the change’[2] we wish to see in the world.

Lawrence Bloom
Chairman
World Economic Forum
Global Agenda Council on Urban Development,
Davos, Switzerland.

Deputy Chairman, Noble Cities Plc, UK

Chairman, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport Panel, Green Economy Initiative, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Switzerland

www.lawrencebloom.com


[1] Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, was awarded the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
[2] You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mohandas K. Gandhi

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‘Reclaiming tomorrow’ by Lawrence Bloom

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 2, 2009

Reclaiming tomorrow…

‘We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the future is not ours to erase.’

David Suzuki Foundation

‘I have seen the future, and it won’t work’

Paul Krugman, New York Times[1]

T

he chilling accuracy of Paul Krugman’s observation was recently confirmed in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) review of more than 10 different future scenarios, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Royal Dutch Shell.

Of those, the MIT study concluded that Shell’s ‘Blueprints’ scenario resulted in the lowest realistically achievable CO2 emissions levels, because it was based on the rapid implementation of advanced technologies and energy efficiency initiatives, and involved a highly effective collaboration between government, industry, international institutions, NGOs and academia.

Even then CO2 levels would stabilize at around 650ppm…yet 450ppm is currently accepted as the viable maximum.

We now understand that at this level various serious trigger points and feedback loops start operating. Not least of these is the acidification of the oceans, causing them to become a net emitter of CO2 rather than a sink. These increasing CO2 levels then feed back into higher temperatures, accelerating both ice melt at the poles and the melting of tundra ice with its consequent release of methane.

So the evidence indicates that we cannot rely on technology alone to ensure our survival. ‘Business as usual’ is not an option – much more needs to be done to raise awareness and change our behaviour. The Blueprints scenario gives us a five-year window. We must act now!

Arguably the biggest obstacle to this critical change is the absence of public engagement toward the urgency of our predicament, resulting in a lack of any real commitment to carbon reduction.

In line with Einstein’s observation that ‘No problem can be resolved at the same level of thinking that created it’, I believe that only a world-class lifestyle behaviour change programme could take us through this next challenging period with a realistic prospect of minimizing its impacts on human survival and well-being.

Such a lifestyle change delivery programme will, in essence:

  • Be a community-based ‘bottom up’ process;
  • Local authorities and corporations will become an effective delivery mechanism for empowering and resourcing their communities and employees to create eco-neighbourhood community groups;
  • These groups will be imbued with the vision, role models, tools, implementation procedures, skill sets, and underpinning supportive structures to enable both visible and tangible success; and
  • Each individual will feel that their contribution has value and their drop is helping to ‘fill the bucket’.

Galvanizing communities around the world to work for their future in this way creates a dynamic shift, and with it real hope of significant change from our present trajectory.
Without such a change, the research demonstrates that technology alone will not save us.

Charles Darwin warned: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

So if we are to survive, evolution demands we each recognise that:

  • We were mistaken in thinking we could go on exploiting the planet’s resources and ‘fouling our own nest’ with impunity; and
  • The time has come to take our next evolutionary step as a species.

This step is to respond to the present crisis by releasing from within ourselves a deeper understanding of our relationship with each other and the planet that gives us life.

As a society we are in the process of moving from the adolescent stage of ‘in reaction to’ to the more adult stage of ‘in relationship with’. The economic models of the adolescent stage no longer serve us. In the same way that the skill in a space shot is to know when to blow the explosive bolts, releasing the booster rockets and allowing them to fall away, so we must blow the symbolic bolts connecting us to outmoded thinking. The boosters have a specific function, to enable the craft to escape the earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Our current systems have enabled us to enrich and empower two billion of our species, but they can take us no further.

We must now change course from a fiercely competitive win/lose system to a collaborative win/win scenario, where humanity shares all its knowledge of what is and what is not working for the benefit of the whole, at both local and global levels.

Each human being, simply by virtue of their human birth, has the right to clean water, nutritious food, proper shelter, access to education, to healthcare, to justice and financial resources. These priorities are only sustainable in a healthy, natural environment, supported by a viable economic system and an environmental Bill of Rights.

While these universal values are not prioritised by our present economic system, they appear unattainable. However, once we prioritise them, we can build a new resilience within the current economic model, supporting it by authorising and encouraging the widespread use of community and other complementary currencies.

We will need to evolve a critical mass of people from all sectors of society, our private and public institutions, communities and individuals, coalescing around this recognition of the need for a dramatic change in our values. It should, however, be possible when we realise that it is only people that make up our institutions, and people have the capacity to change

Humanity is the result of five billion years of earth’s evolution. We will discover, within the next five years, whether we are still a viable species. If we cannot engage behaviour change at this scale, we will have failed the ‘intelligence test’ that evolution requires us to answer. The rewards for success are beyond our wildest dreams – but the penalties for failure surpass our worst nightmares.

Now is the moment for us to ‘be the change’[2] we wish to see in the world.

Lawrence Bloom
Former Chairman, Current Council Member
World Economic Forum
Global Agenda Council on Urban Development,
Davos, Switzerland.

Deputy Chairman, Noble Cities Plc, UK

Chairman, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport Panel, Green Economy Initiative, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Switzerland

www.lawrencebloom.com


[1] Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, was awarded the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
[2] You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mohandas K. Gandhi

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Understanding Food, Water and the Energy Crisis

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 19, 2009

Understanding Food, Water and the Energy Crisis – July 16th, 2009

UPF-UK Environment Chapter organized its first environmental conference on 16 July 2009. This is the first in a series of conferences aiming to answer questions, promote discussion and bring awareness to the grass roots through community and interfaith leaders. UPF has been active in the area of community cohesion, multi-cultural and interfaith activities for many years. UPF wants to mobilize their network of leaders in understanding environmental, renewable issues in view of the upcoming “Copenhagen 2009 Climate Change Conference” in December.

Dr Yacob Mulugetta, Deputy Director, Centre for Environment Strategy Surrey University

Dr. Yacob Mulugetta

perfect storm by 2030 copy

Dr. Yacob Mulugetta, Deputy Director of the Centre for Environment Strategy of Surrey University presented a thorough analysis on issues of food, water and energy crises that humankind is facing today. He concluded his analysis quoting Martin Luther King’s call for change of values.

He used the FAO definition for ‘food security’ that exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active healthy life.

World food production must rise by 50% by 2030 to cope with population increases. Currently wheat and corn prices are rising as oil prices and fertilizer rises. There is also a rising demand for high value meat and other products in the developing countries. One kg of meat requires 20.9 square meters of land versus 1.2 square meters for 1 kg of milk and 0.3 square meters for 1 kg of vegetables.

Today 1.1 billion people lack access to water. By 2025 more than 3 billion people could be living in water-stress countries – and 14 countries will slip from water stress to water scarcity.

We are at the peak of oil supply reserves while we have passed the alarming state where the planet cannot any longer absorb the man-made pollution generated. Dr Mulugetta illustrated how solar energy from the Sahara desert could be used to supply energy for Europe.

In the meantime the following metrics show the cause of crisis for water consumption as our diet has changed over the years:

  1. Beef needs 15,500 litres per kg
  2. Cheese needs 5,000 litres per kg
  3. One apple needs 70 litres of water
  4. One slice of bread 40 litres of water.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has grown steadily in rich countries but people’s happiness and satisfaction doesn’t follow this growth rate. “It took Britain half the resources of this planet to achieve its prosperity. How many planets will India require for development?” Mahatma Gandhi.

The economy is a subsystem of the environment.  Resources feed the economy and all of the wastes produced by it return to the environment. Since we live on a finite planet with limited resources, it’s not possible for the economy to grow forever.

Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy

‘The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.’ – Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

‘Revolution of values: I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of world revolution, we

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. – We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. – A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies… – A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. – Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.’ – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Riverside Church speech 1967

“Making a shift from Vision to Action’’ by Bianca Madison-Vuleta, Complementary Therapist and environmental campaigner.

Bianca Madison-Vuletta

Bianca Madison-Vuleta

Ms. Bianca Madison-Vuleta’s message was complementary to the analysis given by Dr. Yacob Mulugetta. She emphasized the internal causes of the problem that have resulted in humankind been driven by their materialistic passions. Bianca stressed the importance of changing our lifestyles as a means to resolve the multi-level crises we are facing today. Waste and overconsumption lead to a lifestyle that cannot be sustained any longer because of the scarcity of food, water and energy supplies. Overconsumption has led to obesity and results in unhealthy and unhappy individuals.

Vegetarian and balanced diets will both improve people’s health and reduce demand for meat and dairy products that have increased the competition for energy and water resources with other forms of human consumption.

Interestingly enough both speakers came to the same conclusion. ‘’How much, are we prepared to sacrifice?’’

Please find photographs on the conference by following this link:

Through the discussion it was pointed out that there is a waste of 30%- 40% and over consumption in protein food alone in the west. There is room to compensate in the coming crisis on resources by changing our behavior alone. We have to face problems with a holistic approach. There were good contributions from the audience from Steve Podmore, Founder of Global Sustainability Challenge, Moeen Yaseen, the Managing Director of Global Vision 2000 and Dr Raffaella Bellanca  who is a consultant in sustainable energy with Eco.

UPF Environment Chapter Future Conference: Lawrence C. Bloom, UNEP Chairman, will be the main speaker from 6:30 pm, September 3rd, at 43 Lancaster Gate, speaking on the topic  ‘Green Economy Initiative’. Lawrence Bloom is also the Chairman of the World Economic Forum and the Global Agenda Council on Urban Development, Davos.   www.lawrencebloom.com

Participants pointed out interesting websites and activities as shown below:

www.desertec.org,

Adapted from www.desertec.org, with thanks. How much solar energy is available for Europe?.The larger red square on the left shows an area of 114,090 km2 from the Sahara desert (about 338 km × 338 km) that, if covered with concentrating solar power plants, would provide as much electricity as the world is now using. The ‘EU’ square (19,200 km2or about 139 × 139 km), is the second red square, shows a corresponding area for the European Union (when it included 25 countries).

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Universal Peace Federation – Peace Council

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 6, 2009

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – Peace Council

43 Lancaster Gate

July 4th, 2009

Link for Photos:

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

The UPF Peace Council was held last Saturday on July 4th in order to gather together branches and committees of UPF across the UK. It was useful to promote the work of committees to those activists in parts of the UK where is less activity. It was also useful to identify new areas in which there is interest to develop UPF activities.

Reports from UPF Committee Chairs or active representatives.

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative-UK

Gene Alcantara spoke about the Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK that involves supporting youth service activities, a Hip Hop convention and a number of other initiatives to bring young and old from different communities together in this Philippine area of Christian-Mulsim conflict. (For more information please see comment below. Click links  MinPI Also the link to various activities. Further Explanation By Gene Alcantara)

Cllr. Margaret Ali, Saleha Jaffer and Cllr. Janet Baddeley: UPF Community Cohesion Group

Cllr. Margaret Ali, Saleha Jaffer and Cllr. Janet Baddeley: UPF Community Cohesion Group

The Community Cohesion Group announced events such as a Forgiveness and Reconciliation Festival on October 4th, an event to commemorate ‘Black History Month’ in September and a Holocaust Day event in late January 2010.

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

Dr Marios Gerogiokas announced a series of conferences and discussions with experts to consider the issues surrounding Climate Change negotiations culminating in Copenhagen in December 2009. These include a talk by Dr. Yacob Mulugetta from Surrey University on Understanding Food, Water and the Energy Crisis on July 16th and a talk by Lawrence Bloom on September 3rd evening both at 43 Lancaster Gate.

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

Marriage and Family Committee Chair, Eddie Hartley, highlighted the upcoming conference on the 18th of July,Commitment in Marriage: What the Faith Traditions Offer Modern-Day Britain held together with the Women’s Federation for World Peace.He also reported on the UN International Day of the Family event held on May 15th.

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

Birmingham UPF – Dr David Earle explained the progress being made in Birmingham with the local Council in partnership with Women’s Federation for World Peace run locally by his wife, Patricia.

Dr Satwant Multani - Interfaith Youth Hostel Project Inspired by Paul Currie's 1000 Mile Walk

Dr Satwant Multani - Interfaith Youth Hostel Project Inspired by Paul Currie's 1000 Mile Walk

Dr Satwant Multani, the Chair of Central Scotland Interfaith, spoke of the Interfaith Youth Hostel project and the inspiration he had received from Paul Curries 1000 mile walk. He had raised £1000 for the Interfaith Youth Hostel among the members of his Gurdwara. A quick collection from the audience raised a further £180 for the project.

Ambassador for Peace Awards

Ms. Hadia Saad

Ms. Hadia Saad

Mr Mohammed Khokhar

Mr Mohammed Khokhar: Community Liaison Officer / UK Funds Distribution Manager for International Charity Muslim Aid

Karen Szulakowska

Karen Szulakowska

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

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New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 3, 2009

New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

House of Commons Committee Room 14

2:30 – 5:30pm Thursday 2nd April 2009

_dsc0890-reduced Nick Dearden Jubilee Debt Campaign

Nick Dearden: Jubilee Debt Campaign

While the G20 Summit was meeting in the Excel Centre and violent demonstrations were disturbing the City of London’s banking sector, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) was holding a conference with civil society and faith-based groups in the House of Parliament’s largest committee room, entitled, ‘New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis’. This contrasted the moral vision promoted by civil society and faith based groups with the pragmatic approach of the G20 Nations’ Summit. Many in the session echoed the ‘Put People First’ demonstration theme that this was a time for a new perspective and not just a return to ‘business as usual’. In the lead up to the G20 UPF had issued a Statement emphasising the need for ethical change:

‘If there is to be lasting change, the G-20 must acknowledge that the current financial crisis did not happen by accident, and it was by no means inevitable. The root cause of the problem has as much to do with moral, indeed spiritual failure, as governmental or financial mismanagement. For this reason, improved fiscal, economic and trade policies alone are not enough. The attitudes and behaviour of people, institutions and even entire nations must change.’

Ruth Tanner: War on Want

Ruth Tanner: War on Want

Lord King, a Patron of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK, warmly welcomed the conference to the Houses of Parliament. He acknowledged that there were two sections, the perception of faith groups and the analysis of the economic crisis by activist organisations.

Civil society groups representatives, such as Nick Dearden, the President of Jubilee Debt Campaign, saw this crisis as an opportunity to rethink the fairness of our economic system rather than going back to business as usual after the crisis is over. There is a $3 trillion debt owed by the poorest parts of the world to the richest parts of the world. For every £1 we give in aid, poor nations pay £5 in debt payments.

Ruth Tanner, the Campaign and Policy Officer for War on Want, saw the crisis as a result of the failure an economic system that has left 2.2 billion people live in poverty including 1.4 billion who live in extreme poverty. She added, ‘What inspires me is how people on the ground are standing up to the system and the local partners of War on Want are setting up unions for the workers to campaign for a living wage.’

Moeen Yaseen, the founding member of Global Vision 2000, said the he root of the problem is not money, but it is truth vs falsehood. We’re living in an age of global deceit. There needs to be a moral and cultural revolution. He saw the world economy ‘as a global casino economy where the house always wins’. He added ‘We need to clean out this city as Jesus cleaned out the Temple.’

Richard Dowden: Director, Royal African Society

Richard Dowden: Director, Royal African Society

Richard Dowden, the Director of the Royal African Society, said that Africa is a rich continent full of poor people because of bad governance. The West has been complicit in this, although the prime responsibility lies in Africa.

‘A lot of corruption money from Africa goes into British tax havens and then into the city of London. The city is committed to eradicating drug money, terror money and corruption money. A nation’s health budget stolen as corruption money kills more than drug money and terror money put together, but the city has failed to address corruption money.’

International Secretary General of UPF, Dr Thomas Walsh, presented an overview of UPF’s activities. He emphasised the role of character education rooted in the experience of a loving family to build a stable economy within one family of humankind under God.

Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, the International Co-Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, reading from a prepared text, emphasised that there are many policies we need to follow to stabilise our economy or care for our environment but these will be best built upon the bedrock of loving families inspired by God. He called for a Global Service Corps of youth that could heal divisions while working to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals.

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the Secretary General for the All India Imams and Mosques organisation, who represents 500,000 Imams in India, spoke on the failures of the G 20 agreements. Speaking as a representative of the largest democracy in the world, I do not see economic growth reaching to the grassroots level. Imam Ilyasi said he will launch ‘Faith in the 21st Century’ for interfaith action to solve common problems, later this year.

Frank Kantor, the Secretary for Church and Society for the United Reform Church, saw three significant roles for faith communities during this crisis: Firstly, a Prophetic role to present God’s view as we understand it to the world; Secondly, a Pastoral role to care for those who are suffering due to lack of money and jobs; and thirdly, to form partnerships with civil society.

Frank Kantor: United Reformed Church, Secretary for Church and Society

Frank Kantor: United Reformed Church, Secretary for Church and Society

Anil Bhanot, the General Secretary of the Hindu Council – UK, stated that there is nothing wrong with money itself but with business ethics. We need a 3-tier regulation system, covering both nation and international transactions, to prevent abuses.

Jonathan Fryer, the Chair of the Liberal International Group said that he wanted to see a ‘genuine new world order rather than a reshuffling of a pack of cards sharing wealth and decisions. Developing the G7 to G8 and G20 is a good thing in itself, but if we are just reshuffling the pack, 172 nations are still left on the sidelines. We need to work together with common moral principles and goals. Don’t just lobby your MP but blog, tweet and make sure your voices are heard.’

Inspired by our faith, armed with the experience of so many civil society groups and an unparalleled network of Ambassadors for Peace and Partner organisations the consensus seemed to be that this is a campaign worth working for and one crucial step towards one family of humanity under God.

Robin Marsh
Secretary General
Universal Peace Federation – UK www.uk.upf.org

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Daily Jang article on New Vision amid the Economic Crisis April 2nd 2009

Daily Jang article on New Vision amid the Economic Crisis April 2nd 2009

Daily Jang article part 2

Daily Jang article part 2

UPF Recommendations for the G-20

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 30, 2009

UPF Recommendations for the G-20 Summit April 2nd – London

When the leaders of the G-20 convened in Washington DC last November, they committed themselves to “lay the foundation for reform to help ensure that a global crisis…does not happen again.”

If there is to be lasting change, the G-20 must acknowledge that the current financial crisis did not happen by accident, and it was not inevitable. The root cause of the problem has as much to do with moral, indeed spiritual failure, as governmental or financial mismanagement. For this reason, improved fiscal, economic and trade policies alone are not enough. The attitudes and behaviour of people, institutions and even entire nations must change.

The social sphere that comprises business, trade, and finance is embedded in a wider culture and ethos that, during the best of times in human history, provide the moral and spiritual framework within which we, as human beings, live day to day. Thus, the G-20 must engage in deeper reflection on the moral and spiritual infrastructure that forms the foundation of life in the world. We take an enormous risk when we either ignore or de-value that reality.

Therefore, as the G-20 gathers in London, we offer the following recommendations:

Ethical Reform: In addition to consideration of critical factors such as energy, security and climate change, food security, the rule of law, and the fight against terrorism, poverty and disease, an even greater need is for ethical reform. This call for ethical reform should be accompanied by greater transparency and fairness whether in financial markets, trade or ‘tax havens’ or in standards of good governance both in developing and developed nations.

The Importance of Social Institutions: Wealth, prosperity and human security are dependent not only on the proper functioning of governments, banks and markets, but also the proper functioning of families, communities, schools, and faith-based institutions, where character is shaped and our core values are learned.

Sustainable Growth: We call on the G-20 to promote sustainable growth for developed and developing nations.

Marriage and Family: Strong, stable, loving families are profoundly relevant to the quality of economic life. The G-20 should give consideration to the relevance of family life to wider economic realities.

Character Education: Character education, not only in the family or faith-based institution, but also in our schools, will help assure a thriving moral culture that is necessary for a robust and stable economy. Hard work, thrift, honesty, responsibility, empathy are moral virtues that are essential to a good business and a good economy.

Unselfishness: At the heart of many of the world’s greatest religious and moral worldviews is an emphasis on the universal value of unselfishness, and the control of self-centeredness. While traditionally, free markets are guided by a profit incentive, that human inclination must be balanced by higher principles such as altruism and service to others. We call upon the G-20 nations to dedicate 0.7% of Gross National Income at least by 2013 (agreed upon by developed nations in 1970 by UN General Assembly Resolution and reaffirmed on several occasions since) to support overseas development assistance and the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals. We would encourage developed nations to forgive debts of the poorest nations of the world especially those accumulated by despotic regimes and that are now shackling succeeding democracies. This altruism demonstrates ‘living for the sake of others’ within the human family.

We are All Members of One Human Family: Humanity is one universal family. Despite the diversity of race, nationality, ethnicity and religion, we are all human and we all derive from a common source or origin, known by many as God, Allah, Jehovah, Brahman, the ultimate reality. We call for increased emphasis upon interfaith and intercultural dialogue between and beyond the nations of the G20 to promote understanding of our common root. Let us never forget that we are one family under God.

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