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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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UPF – UK Statement on the Recent Riots

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 12, 2011

Universal Peace Federation - UKIt is with great sadness that we saw the recent chaos and criminality on our streets of London and other major cities around the UK. Our condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives during the turmoil. Several images and statements are enduring. The first is the helplessness of an overstretched Police Force to prevent the sudden escalation of criminal behaviour, the emergence of undercurrents of jealously, greed, violence and inter-community tensions. When Police authority was removed real emotions and motivations were released in a crude and raw expression. ‘You’re rich we’re poor but we rule the streets tonight’ was an expression of the crude, underlying feelings. In response many Londoners utilised social media for a good purpose to gather to clean the streets the next morning.

There have been many noble but unsuccessful efforts to assist the most vulnerable and deprived of UK society. It would be wrong to blame these riots upon these failures. We should instead recognise that there is a widespread failure to inculcate correct values that would strengthen the conscience of individuals. Irrespective of the opportunity to steal or loot individuals should not take the chance but respect other’s property. Similarly Directors of companies should not abuse their position to exploit others. Politicians should not abuse their positions and power. Journalists, and religious leaders, also should not abuse their position. The Universal Peace Federaton believes we should live for the sake of others in creating one family of humankind under an inclusive, loving God and that we are morally accountable for our actions. These values should be taught primarily by example in the family, but also in schools, religious institutions and the wider community.

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Statement on the Burning of the Koran in a Florida Church

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 26, 2011

It is with great regret that we heard the news that the Christian Minister, Terry Jones burned a Koran in a public ‘trial’ in Gainsville, Florida. We as people of different faiths urge respect for faith to be the benchmark of inter-religious and inter-community relations. Religion can be a powerful force to divide humanity. Centred on respect for faith in its many and varied forms religion can be a force for healing and unification that encapsulates and articulates the great love of our Creator.

  • Rt Rev Riah Abu El-Assal, Emeritus Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
  • Rev Canon Peter Challen
  • Jack Lynes
  • Aftikhar Ahmed
  • Robin Marsh, Secretary General Universal Peace Federation-UK
  • Ruth Barnett
  • Major (Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya
  • Sir Bryan Frasi
  • Sudesh Sharma

Please leave a comment if you wish your name to be added to this statement.

For More Information

Posted in Community Cohesion | 7 Comments »

Millenium Development Goals and Civil Society

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 25, 2010

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7-7 Muslim Perspectives by Murtaza Shibli

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 4, 2010

FIVE YEARS ON – BRITISH MUSLIMS SPEAK OUT ON IMPACT OF JULY 7 BOMBINGS

British Muslims give condolences, and provide findings for future resilience

Our first thoughts and prayers are for those remembering loved ones and friends lost or injured in the 7 July 2005 London bombings. This was the worst act of domestic terrorism Britain has ever experienced.  The shock of finding that the perpetrators were young apparently well integrated British Muslims has caused many to question the role of Muslims in the UK.

The July 7 bombings affected British Muslims in an unprecedented way as questions about their loyalty, Britishness and the nature of their  belonging in our society created endless discussion, academic research, government interventions and media speculation.

Today we add substance and authenticity to the debate. For the first time, 25 British Muslims explain in their own words what they were doing that day, how they were affected immediately by the bombings, and what lessons they draw now that five years have passed. The contributors, evenly balanced between men and women, include British born Muslims, immigrants and converts to Islam.

Edited by Murtaza Shibli, former Public Affairs and Media Officer of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the book, 7/7: Muslim Perspectives will be launched on 7 July at the House of Lords, at an event supported by the Universal Peace Federation and European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter.

The editor of the book, Murtaza Shibli, said “The voice and views of the ordinary British Muslims have been lost

Murtaza Shibli

amongst the endless debates and analysis. This book offers a chance to find out what normal people experienced and how this watershed event has had an impact on their lives both as British citizens and as Muslims.”

Canon Guy Wilkinson, National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser & Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, said of the book “Those responsible, we need to be reminded, were respecters neither of humanity nor of religion. If this book enables more people to be respecters of both, then it will have contributed to the wellbeing of British society.”

Robert Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer of the European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter, argue that a failure to hold a public inquiry into 7/7 has led to many misunderstandings about its causes. This in turn has allowed religiously observant and politically active Muslims to be demonised as ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ by ill-informed commentators and politicians. For them    “This is an excellent book that challenges Islamophobic accounts of Muslims that have grown alarmingly since 7/7”.

In a joint statement, Robin Marsh and Margaret Ali of the Universal Peace Federation said, “The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is supporting the book launch of ‘7/7 Muslim Perspectives’ because facilitating dialogue and understanding between communities is central to UPF’s vision. It is good to hear firsthand accounts from Muslim men

Seja Majeed: a champion of volunteering and a contributor to the book

Seja Majeed - A Contributor to the Book

and women. Through the humanity and compassion in their testimonies a wider common ground can be perceived by concerned non-Muslim Britons. This is particularly necessary at this time of tension over immigration and the rise of the BNP”.

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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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Legacy of Peace Photos

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

(For more link)

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Stages of Life

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

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

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World Oceans Day

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 8, 2010

Our oceans: opportunities and challenges

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

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

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

For More link

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Forgiveness by Karen Szulakowska

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 6, 2010

Forgiveness

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

How do we manage it and how do we know?

What helps people from the edge of despair?

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

There are some who have much to forgive,

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

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

Yet, still they are able to forgive…

Some of us are fortunate to have less to forgive

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

Forgive those who have held us back,

Forgive those with the will to attack

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

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WED2010 Interconnectedness of Humanity and Environment

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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World Environment Day June 4th 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 4, 2010

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

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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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International Family Day 2010 – Impact of Migration on Families

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2010

‘What does it feel like to be a migrant or growing up in a migrant family? The impact of migration on families was the theme for the United Nations International Day of Families 2010 that was commemorated around the world by many chapters of the Universal Peace Federation. In Bromley, near London, several people who either were migrants or who are from migrant families, spoke on fairly similar themes about their experiences.’

‘I hate to see wasted talent.’ Was the first comment of Sheridan Mangal. He went to explain that he mentors 6 young boys from disadvantaged backgrounds from ethnic minorities in the UK. His motivation for this came from his father and mother who came from the Caribbean to the UK in the early 1950’s. They came for the economic opportunity with the attitude that the UK as the motherland was doing them a favour. It was a difficult course for them as a couple and later us as a whole family because they were people with talent and willing to work hard. Soon they were faced with resentment and bitterness from the indigenous workers as they were given greater responsibilities.

His house was always crowded with family members who followed them to the UK. His parents helped many close relatives to establish themselves in the UK. This led to some tensions as some paid rent regularly but others did not. His parent’s attitude was to keep their heads down and work hard. They encouraged him to do the same and try to get a Government job. However, he grew up here mixing with British children who were encouraged to reach for the stars. He did not understand why he should keep his head down and did not feel that the UK was doing him a favour. He saw that his parents had made an immense contribution through taxes and later by employing others.

Rohema Miah was one of six children who grew up in the UK. Their father is from Bangladesh and their mother is Welsh. Their father did not return to Bangladesh for 42 years but sent money back to support the family. The main route for Bangladeshis in the UK is through restaurant ownership. This has contributed £1.2bn per year to the British economy.

She added that their parents never imposed a religion on them. They were allowed to make their own choice and despite making different choices they have remained close as brothers and sisters.

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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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