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Archive for the ‘Peace and Development’ Category

Universal Peace Federation – UK News August 2013 – 3

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 16, 2013

Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter August 2013

Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter August 2013 Page 3

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Universal Peace Federation – UK News August 2013 – 2

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 16, 2013

Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter August 2013

Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter August 2013 Page 2

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Universal Peace Federation – UK News August 2013 – 1

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 16, 2013

Universal Peace Federation - UK Newsletter August 2013

Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter August 2013 Page 1

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Muslim Aid Launch Ramadan 2013 Campaign, ‘Be the Change’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 12, 2013

Muslim Aid make Ramadan 2013 Campaign Launch, 'Be the Change'Last year, bucking the trend of the economic downturn, Muslim Aid were able to support 250,000 people in total from 40 different nations through their Ramadan campaign. I was invited to attend the 2013 campaign launch and to say a few words. It is significant that Muslim Aid is able to reach areas that are difficult for other NGO’s. It is also to their credit that they included assisting the homeless in the UK. For more: https://ramadan.muslimaid.org/

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Youth Universal Peace Federation-UK Solidarity Visit to Regents Park Mosque

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 17, 2013

Visit to Regents Park Central Mosque by Youth UPF‘Walk Hand in Hand and Shoulder to Shoulder to Heal our Communities’

Youth Universal Peace Federation (UPF) members visited Regents Park Mosque yesterday to ‘Walk Hand in Hand and Shoulder to Shoulder to Heal our Communities’. Supported by Sheikh Dr Hojjat Ramzy, the Muslim Council of Britain Education Committee Chairman, the group of young and old UPF activists from several different faiths, were introduced to Sheikh Imam Khalifa, the Imam of the Regents Park Mosque. He reflected on the current situation of the Muslim community. He shared that humanity all have the same heart and spirit given to them by the creator but we developed differently due to Allah’s wisdom. We should not harm another community because of those differences. (Photo Link)

Sheikh Imam Khalifa was grateful for the visit saying that this time of challenges will soon pass. He added that the Muslim community has a good situation generally in UK. Another worshipper after reading the banner and understanding the nature of the UPF visit, extended his blessing to all who had come to visit at this testing time. Robin Marsh expressed that UPF believes ‘humanity is one family under a loving God’ and that is why we had visited today. Sheikh Ramzy shared that the Mosque was a place that was open to all who wanted to pray to God. He added that he was proud to be an Ambassador for Peace of the Universal Peace Federation which is a great organisation working for peace in the world.

Attending the late afternoon prayers and meeting some of the worshippers, the group was later given a tour of the Mosque which, being built in 1974, is the third oldest in the UK.

The UPF -UK, with support from its leading Ambassadors for Peace, released a statement from the day after the murder in Woolwich.

‘The murder of a soldier in Woolwich was a tragic event. Our prayers are with his family who must be really suffering. It is also sad to see a backlash from small extremist groups against the Muslim Community. Now is the time for all communities in UK to appreciate the genuine Islamic contribution to UK. The Muslim community should be supported and valued as a vital part of the UK. It is through the democratic process, that the role of the UK soldiers who represent us all, is decided. Our strength and harmony is through the inclusion of all communities in the social and political fabric of the nation. That is a daily responsibility for all of us that now has added importance. The Universal Peace Federation, along with many other groups, promotes interfaith activity to facilitate mutual understanding and enhance this fabric.’

Robin Marsh

Secretary General

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK

pa@uk.upf.org  www.uk.upf.org

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

UPF-UK Latest Newsletter

UPF World Summit 2013 ‘Peace, Security and Human Development’

Upcoming UPF Events

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Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter June 2013

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 15, 2013

To view or download the newsletter please see:  Universal Peace Federation – UK June, 2013 Newsletter

UPF – UK Website:  http://www.uk.upf.org

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The Woolwich Murder

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 23, 2013

The murder of a soldier in Woolwich was a tragic event last night. Our prayers are with his family who must be really suffering. It is also sad to see a backlash from small extremist groups against the Muslim Community. Now is the time for all communities in UK to appreciate the genuine Islamic contribution to UK. The Muslim community should be supported and valued as a vital part of the UK. It is through the democratic process, that the role of the UK soldiers who represent us all, is decided. Our strength and harmony is through the inclusion of all communities in the social and political fabric of the nation. That is a daily responsibility for all of us that now has added importance. The Universal Peace Federation, along with many other groups, promotes interfaith activity to facilitate mutual understanding and enhance this fabric.

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Invitation to a Historic Pilgrimage – Jerusalem Declaration’s 10th Anniversary – UPF’s Middle East Peace Initiative

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 3, 2013

Universal Peace Federation

www.uk.upf.org    www.upf.org

An invitation to a Historic Pilgrimage marking the

10th Anniversary of the Jerusalem Declaration.

Dear Friend,

A diverse group from all over the world, who consider themselves friends of both Israel and Palestine, and who are deeply concerned about the ongoing search to bring lasting peace between the two, will meet in Jerusalem on May 14-19, 2013, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI), launched by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who also founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF).

MEPI was established in 2003 as a global movement to help bring lasting peace in the region. The search for interreligious harmony, especially between the three Abrahamic Faiths, has always been at the heart of this quest. Thus, MEPI participants, of whom there have been over 14,000 to date, tend to see themselves to some extent as interfaith pilgrims who rally in the Holy Land to further the cause of reconciliation between moderates on either side of the political, religious, ethnic and other divides that lie at the heart of the conflict there. Participants include religious leaders from all faiths, scholars, politicians, government officials, as well as people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Universal Peace Federation -UK Newsletter March 25, 2013

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 26, 2013

Please find the March 2013 Universal Peace Federation (UPF) -UK Newsletter attached. It includes:

The International Women’s Day 2013 UPF-UK report: Including Lady Fiona Hodgson CBE, Baroness Oona King, Baroness Sandip Verma, Seema Malhotra MP, Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE etc

A Report of the Mothers of Congo event ‘The Tragedy of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’ held together with UPF-UK including the presentation of several Ambassador for Peace awards.

The UPF World Summit 2013 Keynote Address of Co-Founder Mrs Dr Hak Ja Han-Moon together with President Thaci of Kosovo‘s explanation of the birth of his nation and Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke’s speech on the Contribution of Interfaith Work. Read the rest of this entry »

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Universal Peace Federation – UK March 2013 Newsletter

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 6, 2013

Newsletter Additional Items:

1) Rt Hon Baroness Scotland gives an inspirational speech to a Youth UPF ‘Evening With’.

2) UPF World Summit Seoul South Korea Slideshare Summary

3) Mothers of Congo – Tragedy in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

4) www.upf.org

5) www.uk.upf.org

6) For Further Information – pa Robin Marsh: Secretary General, UPF-UK

Upcoming Events:

International Women’s Day 2013 – March 13th

Unsubscribe

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Dr HakJa Han Moon Proclaims the Beginning of Cheon Il Guk and Foundation Day

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 24, 2013

Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) celebrated Foundation Day (Giwonjeol) at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, Korea at 10:00 a.m. on February 22, 2013. On Foundation Day, which marks the beginning of a new era of history guided by God’s Providence (Cheon Il Guk,) FFWPU pledged to become a “life religion”through opening a new phase of Unificationist social engagement, including communicating closely with society according to the vision of the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his widow, Dr. Hak  Ja Han Moon.

Throughout his life, Rev. Moon invested time and effort in anticipation of a day of proclamation of everlasting peace and unity, which he long declared would be marked on Feb. 22, 2013 as Foundation Day. From the beginning he taught that the fundamental unit of peace is the family. At the Foundation Day event in Korea, approximately 50,000 attendees from 130 nations dressed in wedding attire. This symbolized the desire of the FFWPU members to usher in the new era of a peaceful world through true love and the determination to build true families. Three million members from 194 nations participated in this event via live broadcast.Furthermore, a total of 250 former heads of state, religious leaders, politicians, economic leaders, NGOs, women leaders and youth leaders, etc., transcended historical conflicts and participated in the Foundation Day event.

This event, supervised by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon,  included a congratulatory message from the Hon. Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, as well as performances from choirs in Korea and Japan.

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Youth Universal Peace Federation positive activities are bringing inspiration to their peers

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 9, 2013

IMG_0044 Youth Panel Group Photo 450

Dear Friends,

We hope that this letter finds you well and that this new-year has been filled with success in your activities and work.

As you may be well aware, Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in the UK launched a Youth Committee in September 2011 in order to focus on issues directly affecting young people. Since then, the youth team has accomplished a lot and has grown to be filled with enthusiasm and confidence in the work they are doing. On top of supporting UPF events such as the European Leadership Conferences, the youth team has also started projects of their own. Currently, theyare running two projects:

· The first project is a Youth Interfaith Council which aims to bring together young people of all faith backgrounds to foster peace and understanding. The council was initiated in November 2012 with much enthusiasm from a variety of religious people. It is crucial that this project gains momentum as the voice of young people in interfaith work is currently rarely heard. Our young people have a lot openness and passion in working with people of other faiths. This provides a strong basis upon which they can bridge gaps between faith communities and provide solidarity in representing a combined religious voice.

· The second project is called the ‘Doing Well and Doing Good’ project. It aims to connect young people to inspirational role models who have attained success in their careers and are currently working for the betterment of society. This project was initiated in March 2012 and has huge potential to continue uplifting young people by giving them insights into the personal motivations of such socially conscientious individuals. We run ‘Evening With’ style interviews which give young people the opportunity to interact personally with the role model and to become empowered to do good as a result. ‘Evenings With’ have included interviews with Sheridan Mungal (business mentor), Rioch Edwards Brown and Ian Brown (Founders of ‘So You Wanna Be In TV?’), Professor Akiko Yamanaka (Photo on Right – Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan 2005-6) and Keith Best (CEO Freedom from Torture). The next will be with former Attorney General the Rt. Hon. Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC on February 26th.

‘MicroSoft Spark-peace’ working with the organisation ‘Give for Youth’recently accepted Youth UPF’s projects to be have online funding platforms. In order to receive funding for the projects, we are looking for support from members of the public to make a contribution of any size to either or both of the projects. If you follow the links below, you will find more information on the projects which are currently aiming to raise funds for the development of the projects. It would be an incredible support to the team if you could donate any amount to eitherproject. Even a small amount such as £5 would be much appreciated, butplease remember that it is a one off donation you would be making. The deadline to receive funding is on the 4th March 2013, so time is running short!

http://www.giveforyouth.org/microprojects/an-evening-with/

Below are the links to both projects where you can find further information and donate:

http://www.giveforyouth.org/microprojects/support-youth-interfaith-council/

http://www.giveforyouth.org/microprojects/an-evening-with/

On behalf of the Youth Committee, we would like to thank you for taking the time to read this email and would be extremely grateful for any support you can give.

Kindest regards,

Neil O’Neill
Youth Coordinator – UPF UK

Christa Kamga
Youth Coordinator – UPF UK

For any enquiries surrounding the projects, please contact us by emailing youthupfuk@gmail.com

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Tragedy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 7, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATragedy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Mothers of Congo

18:30 Friday 1st March,

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

“As a gesture of thanks to the Universal Peace Federation – UK for all the support given to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the “Mothers of Congo” would like to extend an invitation all members, other NGO’s and friends to a Congolese evening on 1st of March 2013 (from 18.30 until 21:00 pm) at 43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA. During the evening you will be able to experience Congolese culture, sample its food and enjoy the best of Congolese music.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform our guests who are not aware of the tragic situation in the DRC. Eastern DRC, especially, was one of the most beautiful places in the world but is now recognised as one of the most dangerous places on earth. We will see a brief video followed by a talk. We will also hear from experts about the situation vis-a-vis conflict minerals in Congo. We would also like to give time for Q-A and discussion as to how we can support each others campaigns, humanitarian efforts and activities.

RSVP to  pa@uk.upf.org  or 02072620985 by 20th February 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Simon.

Mothers of Congo

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An Evening With Keith Best, CEO of Freedom from Torture

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 6, 2013

Keith Best Being Interviewed 250As a part of the ‘Doing Well and Doing Good’ project, Youth Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK hosted ‘An Evening With Keith Best, CEO of Freedom from Torture‘ on Tuesday 29th January 2013. The event was attended by approximately 30 young people in a House of Commons committee room and was chaired by Baroness Howells. Through the event, we explored Keith Best’s motivation behind his work at Freedom from Torture, before going through practical tips he had for young people to positively contribute to society.(Event Photo Link)Mr Best firstly shared his experiences traveling through Asia after he finished his degree at the University of Oxford. He explained how these were very formative experiences in his life as he found himself living frugally and traveling by railway across continents. Through traveling, he explains how he became a world citizen through a greater awareness of humanity’s ‘shared aspirations’. We went on to pose the question of which role models have inspired him in his life, to which he answered: individuals who challenged the status-quo of their time to bring positive social change such as William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King Jr.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 4th February, 2013 Committee Room 14, House of Commons

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 26, 2013

Tribute to Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 4th February, 2013

Committee Room 14, House of Commons

Hosted by Mr Virendra Sharma MP

 

Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich passed away on January 9th, 2013 at age 75. He collapsed while returning from Parliament to his home in Birmingham and passed away in hospital the next day. Lord King was the first from the Sikh community to be raised to the Peerage. He was a hard working peer whose Parliament attendance record was almost perfect despite his age in addition to continuing some of his local responsibilities.

He was the Patron of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK and a member of the Universal Peace Federation International’s Presiding Council. Lord King supported many worthwhile campaigns and projects with numerous groups including UPF.

He had an innate sense of fairness and decency that informed his decisions to support the human rights of women, persecuted groups and disadvantaged minorities. He hosted the UN International Women’s Day annually for several years and commemorated Human Rights Day, Africa Day, as well as sponsoring numerous human rights conferences often with the support of the UPF – UK and the Women’s Federation for World Peace – UK. Lord King demonstrated a wisdom and enthusiasm for the importance of the family, for example, to counter the influence of gangs. He expressed this wisdom in the regular UN International Family Day events he held. He hosted several conferences that highlighted issues of violence, both domestic and sexual, against women. He commented on the unfairness of the decision not to allow women Bishops in the Anglican Church of England in a recent meeting.

The complete tribute from the UPF is available from this link

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 4th February, 2013 Committee Room 14, House of Commons

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 18, 2013

Tribute to Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 4th February, 2013.  Committee Room 14, House of Commons, Hosted by Mr Virendra Sharma MP

Lord King of West Bromwich passed away on January 9th, 2013 at age 75. He collapsed while returning from Parliament to his home in Birmingham and passed away in hospital the next day. He was a hard working peer whose Parliament attendance record was almost perfect despite his age. He was the Patron of the Universal Peace Federation – UK who excelled as a supporter of many worthwhile campaigns and projects.

‘He had an innate sense of fairness and decency that informed his decisions to support the human rights of women, persecuted groups and disadvantaged minorities. He hosted the UN International Women’s Day annually for several years now and numerous human rights conferences often with the support of the UPF – UK and the Women’s Federation for World Peace – UK. He hosted several conferences that highlighted issues of violence, both domestic and sexual, against women. He commented on the unfairness of the decision not to allow women Bishops in the Anglican Church of England in a recent meeting.’

The complete tribute from the UPF is available from this Read the rest of this entry »

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A Review of 2012 for Universal Peace Federation – UK

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 1, 2013

2012 A Review

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK 

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

2012 has been a busy year in which UPF-UK has supported a series of conferences around Europe that have provided a wider forum for many of the issues we have featured in the UK in past events. The European Leadership Conference series convened in:

There have been UPF national and local events supporting United Nations Days and initiatives such as Holocaust Day, Global Interfaith Week, International Women’s Day, International Family Day, UN Africa Day, International Peace Day in Oslo’s Stortinget (Parliament) and Human Rights Day. There has been a continuation of the Forgiveness series of conferences that have been chaired by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke for the last five years including Marina Cantacuzino’s Forgiveness Project in both events this year.

Youth UPF, has made inspiring progress during 2012 developing its own programme of events with the ‘Evening With’ series interviewing inspirational figures, (Keith Best CEO of Freedom from Torture next up on January 30th) conflict resolution and human rights training courses, human rights campaigns and the Youth Interfaith Council. Many of those active in Youth UPF have received the Youth Achievement Award that are presented in an event held annually in July.

Robin Marsh                                                                             Margaret Ali and Joyce Suda

Secretary General                                                                     Directors

Universal Peace Federation – UK

www.uk.upf.org     pa@uk.upf.org     Office Tel: 02072620985

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

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Merry Christmas and Happy New 2013 from Universal Peace Federation – UK

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on December 25, 2012

From all of us at the Universal Peace Federation – UK

Wishing You and Your Family a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year

Robin Marsh, Margaret Ali and Joyce Suda

May peace be more than a season, may it be a way of life.

www.uk.upf.org        www.upf.org

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Reminder – Universal Peace Federation-UK’s Annual Peace Council – Saturday 8th December

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on December 7, 2012

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK

UPF Peace Council

From 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday, 8th December

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

It is our tradition to end the year with an UPF’s annual Peace Council. I hope that you can join us for December 8th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, in order to strategise for the coming year and share about the good projects and activities that you are doing. If you have a successful project or a model of good practice that others can learn from please contact us. There will be a chance for networking and learning from each other as well as updating ourselves on the plans and successes of UPF internationally.

There will be a Christmas style lunch with all the allowances for different food requirements. The cost of the one day event is £10, inclusive of lunch, with £5 concessions for senior citizens and students. If you wish to take advantage of the once a year UPF membership offer plus Annual Peace Council of £25 only which will include UPF membership of 2013, fee of £20.

Draft Programme:

9:30 – 10:00 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 – 11:30 Opening Session

Welcome: Lord King of West Bromwich UPF-UK Patron

UPF Peace Values – Jack Corley: UPF -UK Chair UK

Dr Yong Cheon Song: UPF President Europe

European Leadership Council conference series

12:00 – 1:00 UPF International

Introduction Video

Mark Brann UPF Europe Secretary General: UPF International Updates

HE Dr. Suresh Chandra Chalise: Ambassador of Nepal: Peace Process in Nepal

1:00 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 4:00 UPF – UK Activities

Youth UPF – Interfaith Council, ‘Evening With’, Character Education and Human Rights

UPF – UK 2012 Reports

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Friends of UPF Activities in Libya

UPF Annual Visit to Several African Nations inc. Zambia and Uganda

South London UPF Chapter

4:00- 4:30 Ambassador for Peace Awards

Concluding Remarks

Entertainment

2012 has been a busy year in which UPF-UK has supported a series of conferences around Europe that have provided a wider forum for many of the issues we have featured in the UK in past events. The European Leadership Conference series convened in:

· Moscow, (Peace and Security in Multicultural Societies at a Time of Global Crisis);

· UNESCO, (New Vision for Peace and Human Development);

· Pristina – Kosovo, Principles for Peace and Security in Kosovo;

· Tirana – Albania,

· UK Parliament, (Human Rights and the Protection of the Unempowered and Dispossessed);

· UN Geneva hosted a conference on the ‘Contribution of the Family to Peace, Human Development and Prosperity‘;

· On the International Day of Peace in Norway’s Stortinget (Parliament), ‘Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future‘;

· UN Vienna, ‘Europe and Russia; Partners in a Globalised World

· Berlin considering the future vision for Europe.

· There is an upcoming conference (December 4th and 5th) in Brussels held in the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Parliament, entitled: ‘How Can Europe Do More to Advance Human Rights?’

There have been UPF national and local events supporting United Nations Days and initiatives such as Holocaust Day, Global Interfaith Week, International Women’s Day, International Family Day, UN Africa Day, International Peace Day in Oslo’s Stortinget (Parliament) and Human Rights Day. There has been a continuation of the Forgiveness series of conferences that have been chaired by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke for the last five years including Marina Cantacuzino’s Forgiveness Project in both events this year.

Youth UPF, whose representatives will make a presentation, has made inspiring progress during 2012 developing its own programme of events with the ‘Evening With’ series interviewing inspirational figures, conflict resolution and human rights training courses, human rights campaigns and the, soon to be inaugurated, Youth Interfaith Peace Council. Many of those active in Youth UPF have received the Youth Achievement Awards that is held in July each year.

There will be a presentation on activities that UPF-UK is supporting to highlight the injustices, to assist healing and to promote reconciliation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

If there are people who want to share some of their talents we may yet, have an informal impromptu entertainment! We look forward to this programme and the chance to strategise and prepare together for 2013 which will be an important one for Universal Peace Federation.

Reply early to reserve your place. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday December 8th.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Marsh Margaret Ali

Secretary General Director

Universal Peace Federation – UK Universal Peace Federation – UK

07956 210 768 07723024750

pa Office Tel: 02072620985

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

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UPF’s Annual Peace Council Saturday 8th December

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 26, 2012

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK UPF Peace Council From 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday, 8th December 43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA It is our tradition to end the year with an UPF’s annual Peace Council. I hope that you can join us for December 8th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, in order to strategise for the coming year and share about the good projects and activities that you are doing. If you have a successful project or a model of good practice that others can learn from please contact us. There will be a chance for networking and learning from each other as well as updating ourselves on the plans and successes of UPF internationally. 2012 has been a busy year in which UPF-UK has supported a series of conferences around Europe that have provided a wider forum for many of the issues we have featured in the UK in past events. The European Leadership Conference series convened in: · Moscow, (Peace and Security in Multicultural Societies at a Time of Global Crisis); · UNESCO, (New Vision for Peace and Human Development); · Pristina – Kosovo, Principles for Peace and Security in Kosovo; · Tirana – Albania, · UK Parliament, (Human Rights and the Protection of the Unempowered and Dispossessed); · UN Geneva hosted a conference on the ‘Contribution of the Family to Peace, Human Development and Prosperity‘; · On the International Day of Peace in Norway’s Stortinget (Parliament), ‘Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future‘; · UN Vienna, ‘Europe and Russia; Partners in a Globalised World‘ · Berlin considering the future vision for Europe. · There is an upcoming conference (December 4th and 5th) in Brussels held in the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Parliament, entitled: ‘How Can Europe Do More to Advance Human Rights?’ There have been UPF national and local events supporting United Nations Days and initiatives such as Holocaust Day, Global Interfaith Week, International Women’s Day, International Family Day, UN Africa Day, International Peace Day in Oslo’s Stortinget (Parliament) and Human Rights Day. There has been a continuation of the Forgiveness series of conferences that have been chaired by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke for the last five years including Marina Cantacuzino’s Forgiveness Project in both events this year. Youth UPF, whose representatives will make a presentation, has made inspiring progress during 2012 developing its own programme of events with the ‘Evening With’ series interviewing inspirational figures, conflict resolution and human rights training courses, human rights campaigns and the, soon to be inaugurated, Youth Interfaith Peace Council. Many of those active in Youth UPF have received the Youth Achievement Awards that is held in July each year. There will be a presentation on activities that UPF-UK is supporting to highlight the injustices, to assist healing and to promote reconciliation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. There will be a Christmas style lunch with all the allowances for different food requirements. The cost of the one day event is £10, inclusive of lunch, with £5 concessions for senior citizens and students. If you wish to take advantage of the once a year membership offer plus Annual Peace Council of £25 only which will include UPF membership of 2013, fee of £20. If there are people who want to share some of their talents we may yet, have an informal impromptu entertainment! We look forward to this programme and the chance to strategise and prepare together for 2013 which will be an important one for Universal Peace Federation. Reply early to reserve your place. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday December 8th. Yours sincerely, Robin Marsh Margaret Ali Secretary General Director Universal Peace Federation – UK Universal Peace Federation – UK  07723024750 www.uk.upf.org pa@uk.upf.org Office Tel: 02072620985 Universal Peace Federation is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United N­­­ations

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‘How Can Europe Do More to Advance Human Rights’ – Brussels 4th -5th December 2012

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 14, 2012

Universal Peace Federation

Women’s Federation for World Peace

European Economic and Social Council

European Leadership Conference

“How Can Europe Do More to Advance Human Rights”

Commemorating Human Rights Day 2012

December 4th – 5th 2012, Brussels

Brussels – European Parliament & European Economic and Social Council

The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in cooperation with the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and The European Economic & Social Committee, cordially invites you to attend our European Leadership Conference “What More Can Europe Do To Advance Human Rights?” on Tuesday December 4th and Wednesday December 5th 2012 in Brussels.

A programme for the Conference is attached. Europe has lead the world in advancing understanding and implementation of Human Rights everywhere. And yet all too often “man’s inhumanity to man” with all the consequent suffering it causes, predominates. This conference proceeds from the conviction that whilst U.N. Human Rights Day is an occasion to celebrate what has been achieved, there is no room at all for complacency and we can and must do better! So, we will take advantage of the spotlight that U.N. Human Right’s Day will shine on this area to pose the question: “What more can Europe do to advance Human Rights?

The conference is part of a series of European Leadership Conferences on issues of pressing concern for Europe and the world, held during 2011-2012 at the United Nations in Geneva and in Vienna, at UNESCO in Paris, in National Parliaments in the United Kingdom and in Norway, and in the Presidential Palace in Malta. We expect speakers and participants from all over Europe.

International participants should arrive in Brussels by the evening of 3rd December and will be accommodated in the Thon Hotel EU Rue de la Loi 75 B-1040 Brussels (Tel: +32 (0)2 204 3911). A fee of 320 Euros will include a two night stay (with departure on 5th December) sharing a twin bedded room with meals and all aspects of the programme on 4th and 5th December (extra nights ?80 per person in twin bedded accommodation, single accommodation extra 140 Euros per night).

To notify us of your wish to attend, please use the Online Registration link. We look forward to hearing from you soon and hope that you will be able to join us for this very timely and meaningful conference.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Marsh, Secretary General  Mobile: 07956210768

Margaret Ali, Director  Mobile: 07723024750

Universal Peace Federation – UK    http://www.uk.upf.org

For more information about this conference please use this link

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Nepalese Ongoing Peace Process: Prospect and Challenges – Hon. Minister Ek Nath Dhakal 30th October 3-00 to 5-00 pm

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 29, 2012

Universal Peace Federation – UK

Tel : 020 7262 0985 Email: pa Web: www.uk.upf.org

Hon. Minister Ek Nath Dhakal speaks on:

‘Nepalese Ongoing Peace Process: Prospect and Challenges’

Minister for Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation – Nepal

3pm – 5pm Tuesday, 30th October, 2012

Kindly Hosted by Mr. Virendra Sharma MP

Committee Room 6, House of Commons

You are cordially invited to an afternoon meeting to acknowledge the visit of Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Minister for Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation, Government of Nepal who will be giving an update on the ongoing peace process in Nepal and the role of civil society within it. We will also welcome other officials from Nepal and possibly HE Dr Suresh Chalise, the Ambassador of Nepal to the UK (TBC). This visit and the opportunity to speak in Parliament has emerged with very short notice but it is a rare chance to hear from someone who has been highly involved with the peace process and building a renewed nation after a long term conflict.

Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal was born in 1974 in the Gorkha district of Nepal. He graduated from Tribhuvan University on Humanities and Social science. Dhakal received informal education from various prestigious educational institutions abroad. His public life started as an independent student leader. He also received many honours from both home and abroad including “Youth of the Year” award with gold medal on 2007. Dhakal is widely involved in Peace-building, Education, Politics, Youth Empowerment, International Relations and Human Rights as well as various projects related to Orphan Children, Underprivileged People and Environment Protection. Dhakal was elected to the Nepalese Parliament and Constituent Assembly on 2008 from the Nepal Family Party. He served on various parliamentary committees such as Security Special Committee, International Relations and Human Rights Committee and Constitutional Committee. Dhakal is also a convener of the South Asia Peace Initiative. Since May 16, 2012, Dhakal has been serving as a Cabinet Minister of the Government of Nepal leading the Ministry of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation. Dhakal is married with Mrs. Blessie Gadon Dhakal. (www.uk.upf.org for more info)

RSVP to reserve your place and for more information. Please come 20 minutes early to pass through security. Entrance at St Stephen’s Gate and Oliver Green Security Unit. (Invitation and Directions for more info.) We look forward to your favourable reply.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Marsh Margaret Keverian Ali

Secretary General Director

Universal Peace Federation – UK Universal Peace Federation – UK

M: 07956210768 M: 07723024750
UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Recent Conferences:

UN Vienna ‘Europe and Russia: Partners in a Globalised World’

Oslo, Norwegian Parliament: ‘Sustainable Peace for Sustainable Development’

Human RIghts: A Necessity for a Sustainable Peace

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SEC Rules on Conflict Minerals August 22nd

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 23, 2012

The Securities Exchange Commission published rules yesterday to regulate conflict minerals used to finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires any US company to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if there’s a possibility that its products contain conflict minerals.

The law will not need to be fully implemented until 2014. The rules were to be published in April 2011 but have been postponed due to business lobbying. BBC World Affairs correspondent Humphrey Hawskley wrote about his experience in eastern DRC (here).

CONFLICT MINERALS (Link for whole document)

AGENCY: Securities and Exchange Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new form and rule pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act relating to the use of conflict minerals. Section 1502 added Section 13(p) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires the Commission to promulgate rules requiring issuers with conflict minerals that are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured by such person to disclose annually whether any of those minerals originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country. If an issuer’s conflict minerals originated in those countries, Section 13(p) requires the issuer to submit a report to the Commission that includes a description of the measures it took to exercise due diligence on the conflict minerals’ source and chain of custody. The measures taken to exercise due diligence must include an independent private sector audit of the report that is conducted in accordance with standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States. Section 13(p) also requires the issuer submitting the report to identify the auditor and to certify the audit. In addition, Section 13(p) requires the report to include a description of the products manufactured or contracted to be manufactured that are not “DRC conflict free,” the facilities used to process the conflict minerals, the country of origin of the conflict minerals, and the efforts to determine the mine or location of origin. Section 13(p) requires the information disclosed by the issuer to be available to the public on its Internet website.

DATES:

Effective Date: [60 days after publication in the Federal Register]

Compliance Date: Issuers must comply with the final rule for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2013 with the first reports due May 31, 2014.

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Europe and Africa: Aid Effectiveness, Trade and Development

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 13, 2011

‘A New Vision for Cooperation Between Europe and Africa and The Culture of Peace’Presidential Palace, Malta, November 5th, 2011
By Robin Marsh
International Leadership Conference convened by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Federation for World Peace.
Session Four PanelThis panel held in the context of the current review of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Paris 2006 Declaration on Aid Effectiveness Principles. OECD signatory nations are obliged, when giving aid, to assist recipient nations development plans, to harmonise aid delivery efforts among all donors, to monitoring both aid giving and hold aid recipients accountable. Paris Declaration principles also emphasise that aid should be untied (not given in order to boost that nation’s own products and industry). The OECD series of High Level Forums are to be continued in Busan at the end of November to further refine these principles and their implementation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Horn Of Africa: ‘Drought Need Not Become Famine,’ Says UN

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 25, 2011

The UN focused its attention to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa on Saturday, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warning that the “crisis grows deeper by the day”. Looking for long-term solutions at a mini-summit, he cited programs in Ethiopia and Kenya which showed how “drought need not become famine”

NEW YORK — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned on Saturday that the crisis in the Horn of Africa “grows deeper by the day” and stressed the need for long-term solutions to make sure that humanitarian crises like the one now affecting some 13 million hungry people will not happen again.

Speaking at a mini UN summit on the Horn of Africa crisis, the Secretary General noted that successful programs in Ethiopia and Kenya have helped ensure that, despite the worst drought in six decades, there is no famine in those countries.

“This is a profound achievement that can be replicated some day in Somalia. We will see drought again – with increasing frequency. But drought need not become famine,” he said. ( http://bit.ly/rn5LkP )

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Holocaust Memorial and Genocide Prevention

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 15, 2011

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Hosted by Lord King, the Universal Peace Federation-UK held the annual ‘Holocaust Memorial and Genocide Prevention’ in a heart moving event in the House of Lords on February 15th, 2011. This featured Daniel Finkelstein sharing his family’s tragic Holocaust experience, Alex Ntung and Prudencienne Seward spoke of their horrific experiences in the Rwandan and Great Lakes region and Ruth Barnett spoke about Genocide in general and the Armenian Genocide in particular as a forerunner of the Holocaust. Jonathan Fryer emphasised the role of the individual to take on the Responsibility to Protect.

Daniel Finkelstein’s family suffered greatly during the Holocaust. Most of his family were in Holland in the same community as Anne Frank. On the day they received visas to go to the UK Holland was invaded and they were trapped. With three young children it was impossible to go into hiding like Anne Frank. His Grandfather, who was in London at the time, is famous for founding the Wiener Library in London for the collection of evidence and artefacts of Fascism. The collection was used during the Nuremberg Trials. The Wiener Library is the world’s oldest institution devoted to the study of the Holocaust, its causes and legacies. Founded in 1933 as an information bureau that informed Jewish communities and governments worldwide about the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis.

Finkelstein’s family experience of the Holocaust has coloured his political views. Big ideas are threatening because it was the big ideas that killed many of his family as well as many other tragedies. The small ideas are less threatening.  The passionate desire for the truth pursued by his grandfather has also influenced his political and journalistic career.

His mother and her sisters lived due to an ‘outrageous stroke of luck’ because there was a prisoner swap which only happened one time. He described the torment of ‘survivor’s guilt’ suffered by his Aunts adding that his Mother dealt with this through her strong mind and keen reasoning. (For a full account please see here)

Two testimonies about the Rwandan genocide were very powerful. Alex Ntung shared that he had been saved because of his nose! His nose does not look like a typical Tutsi nose. He sadly has been in three genocides: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Somehow he survived all three. Another time he escaped because the killers at a checkpoint had killed so much they were tired and hungry and he was able to pass through without being attacked. He suffered the survival guilt that was experienced by Holocaust survivors.

Prudentienne Seward, a Rwandan Tutsi, testified to her work with the healing process after so much tragic loss in her family during the  Genocide in 1994. She has been involved in ‘Highly Inclusive Inter-Rwandan Dialogue’. She is the Chair of PAX that is seeking to promote justice, forgiveness and reconciliation among Rwandans ad people of the Great Lakes Region by involving them in reconciliation activities. They hold regular conferences to attempt to deal with the repeated human rights violations of the Great Lakes region in a way that heals and brings closure for as many as possible. In the view of the activists there has been little progress since the Edenbridge declaration in 2001 to bring reconciliation in the Great Lakes region.

Ruth Barnett, a Holocaust Educator and Kinder transport child, shared that the pursuit of truth that was so important for Daniel Finkelstein’s Grandfather was also important for her and for the resolution of genocide. Denial of genocide is the final stage in the Gregory Stanton’s ‘the 8 Stages of Genocide’ (For More Info: Genocide Watch). The first six stages do not include murder. There are many opportunities to prevent genocide before it gets to violence. The 7th stage is extermination of the victimised group and the 8th stage is denial of the genocide. That is why she said she is so hot on challenging  genocide denial.

Barnett emphasised that the Armenian genocide was the model for the Holocaust in that the Turkish leaders were allowed to evade responsibility for 96 years. There are archives in the Houses of Parliament that demonstrate the truth of the Armenian genocide. There is no closure without acknowledgement. After the World War One there was a conspiracy to cover up the truth of the genocide that included the UK Government. This was not a healthy development and encouraged other genocides because conspiirators believed they could commit mass murder with impunity.

Prudentienne Seward testified to her work with the healing process after so much tragic loss in her family. She has been involved in ‘Highly Inclusive Inter-Rwandan Dialogue’. She is the Chair of PAX that is seeking to promote justice, forgiveness and reconciliation among Rwandans ad people of the Great Lakes Region by involving them in reconciliation activities. They hold regular conferences to attempt to deal with the repeated human rights violations of the Great Lakes region in a way that heals and brings closure for as many as possible. In the view of the activists there has been little progress since the Edenbridge declaration in 2001 to bring reconciliation in the Great Lakes region.

Her family suffered many deaths and her husband was also killed in the massacres. It has been so traumatic but she felt the only way to go forward was to seek to promote reconciliation, justice and forgiveness through PAX. This justice should deal with the massacres of 1994 but should also deal with the other bouts of killing that preceded this.

Marilyn Brummer, President of the League of Jewish Women, asked if the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ initiative could be effective when dealing with sovereign nations that were engaging in persecution of a minority community?

Jonathan Fryer emphasised that nations are composed of people who need to take responsibility to stand up for what they believe. In the Holocaust there were a number of individuals who took incredible risks to save Jews even though they were not Jewish themselves. The responsibility to protect can of course promoted and implemented by nations and armies but they are often part of the problem. Individuals must stand up to take their own responsibility to protect by being courageous. Once the people stand up the Government cannot hold them back for long.

Robin Marsh explained that the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) perceives humanity as being one family under God. This means that all human life has sacred value. Thus the human value and rights of all people are equal. This also means that our moral concern should be to protect all members of the human family and support the poorest and most disadvantaged. Tim Miller, the Vice President of European UPF, added that the Inter-Religious Council proposal for the United Nations composing the spiritual and religious wisdom of all faith communities in conjunction with political leadership could promote the dialogue that has the possiblity to prevent these tragedies.

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Millenium Development Goals and Civil Society

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 25, 2010

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New Future for Britain: Where will the Coalition Lead Us?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 1, 2010

Tom Brake Addressing UPF South London Audience

In front of a 50-strong audience at the Peace Embassy in Thornton Heath, Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, received an Ambassador for Peace award, which was presented in acknowledgement of his sterling contribution over many years as a hard-working MP and shadow government minister and for his long-standing efforts in support of human rights and international development. Presenting the award at UPF South London’s conference on “A New Future for Britain”, Robin Marsh, UPF Secretary General, commended Mr Brake for his sense of integrity and his consistent support for the principles of peace and social justice. The MP,  who had cycled from Carshalton to Thornton Heath to be with us, delivered a forceful message regarding the steps being taken by the coalition government to reduce the deficit and stabilise the economy.

He further emphasised the importance of the concept of a wider society – a big society – and the role that the government envisioned community, church and voluntary groups to play. He admitted that working together with a party he had previously opposed represented a great challenge which required a new mindset but illustrated the adaptability of his party.  Fielding questions from the audience, Tom Brake talked about the options and timetable for electoral reform, and the desire of his party to remain true to its principles while working within the coalition.

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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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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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UPF Statement on Africa Day 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 24, 2010

On the occasion of Africa Day, May 25th, 2010, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) extends its congratulations and best wishes to the African Union and all its member states, and the 900 million people of Africa. As well as celebration, Africa Day is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa and the world as we move into the second decade of this new millennium.

UPF is working through its chapters worldwide to promote dialogue and cooperation among religions, including the creation of an interreligious council at the United Nations; strengthen marriage and family, essential to end the scourges of poverty and AIDS; and promote service and good-will projects in and between nations to establish a culture of peace.

The UPF is committed to promoting peace and human development in all parts of the world. We are proud of our chapters throughout Africa — from the West to the East, from the North to the South — brothers and sisters who are working to build a world of lasting peace and help achieve the MDGs. We applaud the African Union for focusing on “peace and security in Africa” and we look forward to exploring the ways in which we can support its work, along with the United Nations, toward a world of peace and prosperity for all.

Africa Day 2010 will focus on “Peace and Security in Africa”. This year, the New York celebration will be a culinary and cultural exhibition of the rich diversity of the African continent. It will also mark the launching of a number of water treatment projects for Africa. The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is being called upon by the African Union to assist in co-hosting the celebration in partnership with the United Nations African Ambassador’s Spouses Group (UNAASG).

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Observing UN International Families Day 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 21, 2010

The Impact of Migration on Families Worldwide

By Sister Kate Holmstrom

Bonjour! Buenos dias! Dzen dobre! Al-salam al-lekum! Namaste! Jambo! Nee ha!

An event focussing on Families and Migration gathered about 35 people at the Quaker Centre, Milton Keynes, on 15 May, observing UN International Day of Families 2010, at the invitation of Christa Rennie of the WFWP (Women’s Federation for World Peace) and her husband David, of the Universal Peace Federation. Navrita Atwal from the MK Equality Council spoke on “Family Values from an Asian Perspective”, Ayser Ali on “The Journey of a Family from Iraq to the West”, I (Sr Kate) on my experience with refugee and immigrant families in London, Milton Keynes and Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, and David on the “Vision of the Universal Peace Federation”.

Between us, we made the following points: Migrating can be a huge gift, promoting openness to other cultures and the enrichment of learning other languages. “Home is wherever the family is”. However, moving can also be de-stabilising, and come at a bad age such as adolescence, when friends are all-important. Despite lessons in their mother language and the support of their ethnic or religious community, it happens sometimes that youngsters grow up feeling neither totally integrated in the new country nor accepted in their country of origin if they return there. The importance of family meals was stressed: parents – particularly from cultures where eating together is taken for granted and seen as a significant family value encouraging respect and caring – have difficulty sometimes in gathering the children when there is competition from other activities. Keeping in touch physically can be problematic as the family members grow up and move away: “Why should I need to make the journey back to visit when we can speak on the phone and even see each other with the web-cam?” If the migrant parents cannot learn English as fast as their offspring certainly will do, there is the risk of a widening rift in understanding in the family.

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Refugee Child by Sister Kate Holmstrom

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 20, 2010

Refugee Child by Sister Kate Holmstrom


I feel Mum’s worry, sense her sadness.

Where’s my Dad? She’s never said,

Never told me of the madness,

Of the reason why we fled.

I remember that night, hiding

While the soldiers searched and swore,

Shouting that they’d surely find him,

Battering upon the door.

I could hear my mother screaming

As those soldiers laughed and jeered.

I heard: “Rape!” –  what is its meaning?

Was that what she’d so much feared?

Now we’re here. I speak your language,

But the nightmares haunt me still.

Life goes on … we have to manage.

This I’ve learnt: I’ll never kill.


Kate Holmstrom, Oxford


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How Much is Britain Really Helping Africa?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 28, 2010

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‘Globalisation has impoverished resource-rich developing African nations’ was a recurring theme last night during an early Africa Day 2010 event to coincide with the UK election campaign. Alice Ukoko, founder of Women of Afrika, Ruth Tanner, Campaign and Policy Officer of War on Want and Ahmed Shebani, Al Jamar Government and Media Centre Official Spokesperson, based in Tripoli, Libya were the main speakers. ‘All the UK political parties may guarantee at least 0.007% (of gross national income) in overseas development aid by 2011 but five times that amount is lost to developing countries in Africa through the tax dodging  and capital flight of multi-national companies, including a number established in the City of London’ said Ruth Tanner.

Ahmed Shebani described Libyan charities that channeled  funds into projects throughout Africa, the Libyan African Investment Portfolio (LAIP), the Wa Attassimou Foundation, promoted by HE Dr Ayesha Gaddafi, the daughter of Colonel Gadaffi and the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation run by HE Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, which includes several leading UPF Ambassadors for Peace among it’s Trustees. These ventures are supporting both humanitarian projects and economic development. He mentioned that Libyans are also encouraged to emigrate to other African nations in order to establish businesses. Those with a good business plan receive a line of credit easily.

Alice Ukoko emphaised that African women could be a force for peace and development. She passionately stated that, ‘Imperial, colonial powers have burdened Africa and prevented development.’  The international aid should be stopped and Africa will be able to stand on its own two feet.

Aliu Bello: ‘I worked in UNICEF for 25 years. I know what aid does and doesn’t do. Even from the aid given to some African countries 80% is coming back here. It is not helping anybody in Africa. We could solve this if 70  – 80% of any aid is distributed through civil society. They are better organised and prepared to distribute resources where they are needed. We don’t need hand outs. Otherwise aid that doesn’t have this (stipulation) should be rejected. It should not be sent through the very governments that are ruining their economies.’

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‘Two Paths to Peace’ by Dr Robert S Kittel: Nepal Peace Process

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 26, 2010

Kathmandu, Nepal – A new book written by Dr. Robert S. Kittel entitled ‘Two Paths to Peace’ was presented to the Hon. Nilamber Acharya, Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the Constituent Assembly on April 12, 2010. A total of 70 books were given to the committee at a program organized at the Parliament Secretariat. The book offers valuable insights, principles, and experiences to the constitutional committee members. The book also offers insights into UPF Founders, Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, and documents the contributions of their visits to Nepal and the initiatives they inspired to the peace process in Nepal from 2005 to 2009. This book is a case study highlighting the role which the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has played, and continues to play, in helping peace return to the Land of Buddha.

UPF’s Role: Peacemaker, Peacebuilder
Traditionally, the term “peace education” includes three categories: peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. Peacekeeping can be defined as violence management. Its goal is to respond to situations where violence has already broken out and prevent it from escalating further. Here, the people and Government of Nepal, UNMIN, and other international governmental and non-governmental organizations are the main players. They are the ones moving, coaching and guiding the peace process. UPF applauds and encourages their work. To support this, UPF has been making significant contributions in the areas of peacemaking and peacebuilding.

Read More Buy or Download Book

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Children’s Relief Bethlehem

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 18, 2010

Bethlehem Baby Hospital, or Children’s Relief Bethlehem has long been a favourite place for the Universal Peace Federation’s Middle East Peace Initiative to visit. On Thursday April 15th there was an appeal made by Daniel Hurter of Children’s Relief Bethlehem UK during the Joint Faith’s Celebration.

A heartwarming 7 minute documentary of the work of Children’s Relief Bethlehem which finances and manages the Caritas Children’s Hospital. They provide medical care medical care for all children regardless of race, religion or ability to pay, together with health education and other projects to benefit families in this troubled region of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

For support and more information please visit http://www.childrens-relief-bethlehem.org.uk
Contact: daniel.hurter@crb-mail.org.uk

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Joint Faith’s Celebration- Mawlid An-Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammed), Pesach (Passover), Easter And Vaisakhi

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 16, 2010

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The Joint Faith’s Celebration was a accumulation of sharing, talk, reading, food, music and drama highlighting the significance of ‘Mawlid An-Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammed), Pesach (Passover), Easter And Vaisakhi’. Around the sharing of these precious faiths’ holy events there were many significant meetings among the 80 plus people gathered, including interfaith figures such as Rev. Dr Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths, Community Cohesion figures such as Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO, Faith Regen Foundation, Marilyn Brummer of the League of Jewish Women and humanitarian influential figures such as Dr Saif Ahmad, (MADE in Europe), Dr Hojjat Ramzy, Proprietor of the Iqra Girls’ School in Oxford and a presentation by Daniel Hurter about Children’s Relief Bethlehem.

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Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke explained the significance of Easter to Christians. ‘Lord Jesus Christ’s first word after resurrection was ‘Mary’. It was a personal word illustrating that this is a personal experience. Through the death of Jesus on the Cross we gained ‘Atonement’ for our sins. We can become ‘At One with God’. He described the feeling, ‘I am loved and forgiven’ rather than feeling abandoned by God. The belief in Easter is fundamental to Christians that illustrates that ‘love is stronger than hatred’.

Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO, Faith Regen Foundation identified a number of moral standards that were established by the Prophet Mohammed, (PBUH). Monetary honesty in financial dealings, keeping of one’s word and not lying were some of those standards that were established at that time that are needed during these days as well. The first human rights party was supported by Prophet Mohemmed who emphasised that wars had to fought ethically and respect given to prisoners of war in a code that had a role like the Geneva Convention today.

Jack Lynes showing his Freedom Pass explained that this (free London transport for those over 60 years old) has some parallels with Passover (Pesach)! He described the symbols of the Passover seder meal as a process of ‘visual early education’ rooted in the experience of the slaves in Egypt. The traditions of the ‘spring clean’ of the Jewish home before Passover as a healthy tradition that is supposedly looking for bread to remove from the house. The extra cup set out for Elijah to take on his return pressaging the coming of the Messiah. However, the belief of the children in Elijah’s coming has similarities to the belief in Father Christmas of Christian young children. Seder traditional ending is the toast, ‘next year in Jerusalem’. which has many meanings but Jack considers to be reliving the experience of those slaves, ‘next year we shall be truly free’.

Mr Sukhbir Singh explained, ‘Sikhs all over the world celebrated Vaisakhi yesterday, and will continue to do so for another few days. Vaisakhi for the Sikhs represents the birth of the Khalsa, and has its beginnings in a remarkable event that took place over 300 years ago. During the latter part of the 17th century, India was ruled by the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb who was bent upon converting the Hindus into Islam.’  For more click here

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‘Vaisakhi’ by Sukhbir Singh

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 16, 2010

Sukhbir Singh, Angad Kaur and Amarjeet-singh Bhamra

Vaisakhi of 1699

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure being with you on the occasion of the Joint Celebtrations. I thank Margaret Ali and Robin Marsh for inviting me to share with you the Sikh celebration of Vaisakhi. Sikhs all over the world celebrated Vaisakhi yesterday, and will continue to do so for another few days.

Vaisakhi for the Sikhs represents the birth of the Khalsa, and has its beginnings in a remarkable event that took place over 300 years ago. During the latter part of the 17th century, India was ruled by the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb who was bent upon converting the Hindus into Islam.

In 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, gave the supreme sacrifice, to save Hindu religion from the hands of the Emperor, and was beheaded in Chandni Chowk Delhi. At this time, the only son of Guru Teg Bahadur, Guru Gobind Rai was only 9 years old when He resumed the Guruship as 10th Guru of the Sikhs.

From the very young age, Guru Gobind Rai was a perfect leader & motivator for the Sikhs. He organised Sikhs and led them to follow spiritual route to attain union with God and at the same time, trained them to be self-defendant and guard the helpless against injustice & tyranny. He re-iterated the “Saint-Soldier” concept. At the age of 33 i.e. 24 years since the Guruship, Guru Gobind Rai was set out to accomplish God’s spiritual mission started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji of creating “Khalsa Panth” (God’s Religion). He chose the day of Vaisakhi for such a grand venture. Before the event, Guru Ji has been quoted to have not made any public appearance for over 11 months.

The Vaisakhi Day

In early 1699, few months before the Vaisakhi Day, Guru Gobind Rai sent a special invitation to the Sikhs all over the country to join the special Vaisakhi Celebrations in the town of Anandpur Sahib in the Punjab state of India. He asked them not to cut any of their hair and to come with their turbans on. Masses of people turned up on the day.

About Eighty thousand Sikhs had gathered at this event. The Guru welcomed everyone and reminded them of their duty, commitment, loyalty and faith. Then to everyone’s surprise, The Guru withdrew his long sword and said in a very powerful voice “Who will be brave enough to come forward to offer me a head? The Guru asked for the sacrifice of head for the sake of Dharam, or religion. No one expected this to happen. This amazed and horrified many. There was a pin drop silence. Some people were looking for the way to escape. No one came forward. The Guru repeated this three times.

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Event: ‘Joint Celebration Of Mawlid An-Nabi, Pesach (Passover), Easter And Vaisakhi’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 12, 2010

Universal Peace Federation – UK: Community Cohesion Committee

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA.

Tel : 020 7262 0985   pa@uk.upf.org   Web:  www.uk.upf.org

Based on the success and popularity of our past events particularly of the three faiths Joint Celebrations in April, 2009 (see last year’s joint celebration), the UPF Community Cohesion & Interfaith Working Committees would like to invite you to a Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of four faiths on Thursday April 15th, at 6.15pm at 43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA.

The Holy Days to be celebrated are:

MAWLID AN-NABI – The birth of the Prophet Mohammed, by Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO, Faith Regen Foundation.

PESACH – The season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. Jack Lynes will speak on Freedom – The Passover Plate’.


EASTER commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths, will be speaking about Easter.

VAISAKHI – commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699 and the beginning of the Sikh New Year. Shukhbir Singh of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha–Birmingham will be explaining the significance of Vaisakhi to the Sikh faith.

As you well know these three Holy Days have a deep significance in the lives of the respective faith traditions and many who are less religious also hold these days as a special time in their yearly calendar – a time of togetherness in their families. As the 4 Holy Days are in close proximity, we are fortunate to have this opportunity to be together, to celebrate them all.

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