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Posts Tagged ‘Fairness’

African Peace and Inclusive Development – Africa Day 2014 – 5-00 pm 43 lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 12, 2014

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK

African Peace and Inclusive Development

Africa Day  Sunday 25th May at 5pm

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA, UK.

Draft Programme

 

You are welcome to attend the Africa Day celebration next Sunday from 5.00 pm. We will be having a mix of traditional dress (Please wear your traditional national dress if you are part of the African diaspora.), music, poetry and the highlighting of serious issues that require our support and action.

To commemorate the creation of the Africa Union (previously the Organisation of African Unity). UPF International often holds events in partnership with the African Union in New York to commemorate this day. For example Africa Day 2013 Manhattan with Dr Ban, Ki-moon.

Speakers include:

Pauline Long

Pauline Long is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, fashion designer, motivational speaker, music video director with over 25 awards. Founder of Europe’s biggest award for black and ethnic personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts- BEFFTA. Named African woman of the year in UK and listed in Black Women in Europe Power List. She’s a TV presenter on The Pauline Long Show SKY 182. (More)

Ahmed Shebani (TBC) Founder of The Democratic Party of Libya

He is a civil engineer, politician and human rights activist. He is a respected Libyan dissident from the city of Misurata and a Libyan affairs specialist. He is the founder of the Libyan Freedom & Democracy Campaign. This political campaign has been a catalyst in igniting the 17th of February Libyan revolution on the virtual world. However, the Libyan Freedom & Democracy Campaign as a civil society movement has given birth on the 14Th of July 2011 to the first political party in Libya following the outbreak of the Libyan revolution. It is called the Democratic Party. It is the only secular political party. It is actively calling for the establishment of a secular democracy in Libya with the direct political help of the UN.

 

Charlotte Simon – Bongumba, Founder of Mothers of Congo

Charlotte Simion Bongumba is a Trustee of the Tatiana Giraud Foundation whose aim is to actively contribute to the restoration of women, girls, communities & families that have been victims of sexual violence in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Foundation works closely with grassroots organisations, treating and counselling victims while raising awareness of their plight in local communities. It aims also to financially support hospitals in the more remote or less developed areas of the Kivu region in the DRC to provide various treatments including healthcare, psychological treatment, temporary housing, as well as job training programmes for victims. Charlotte founded Mothers of Congo to promote awareness of the plight of the mothers of DRC and in particular those in eastern DRC who have suffered greatly while trying to raise their families. (www.mothersofcongo.org)

Robin Marsh: International Efforts to Curb Conflict Minerals. (Presentation)

Concluding with a film about Child Soldiers and Conflict Minerals.

RSVP if you would like to attend to pa@uk.upf.org

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Robin Marsh

Secretary General

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK

Mobile: 07956210768

Office: 02072620985

www.uk.upf.org

UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the

Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Latest Newsletter     Upcoming UPF Events

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Universal Peace Federation – UK Newsletter May 14

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 26, 2014

Living In Service Of Others                              May 2014
International Women’s Day 2014 – Inspiring Change
By Ollie Davis In the House of Lords in London, Rt. Hon. Baroness Verma opened the evening to a room where every possible place to sit or stand was filled. ‘What a tragedy it is that, instead of these conversations, in the UK alone, 1 in 4 women have been or are still the victims of some sort of abuse in the home because of their gender.’ Read more…
The Role of Women At This Time: A Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Perspective
By Margaret Ali At the Universal Peace Federation’s (UPF) International Women’s Day 2014 event in the UK’s House of Lords, Margaret Keverian Ali, a Director of UPF UK, spoke of the role of women from a UPF perspective. Co-founded by Father and Mother Moon in 2005, UPF is currently guided by Mother Moon* after the ascension (passing) of Father Moon almost 2 years ago. Read more…
A YouthUPF Evening With Humphrey Hawksley
By Lauren TurnerHumphrey Hawksley is the author of numerous books, a leading international correspondent for the BBC, and has been in the Royal Navy. As such many were curious to hear what he had to say with regards to his career and the path that he took to get to where he is today at our ‘An Evening With’, a YouthUPF event. Read more…

Holocaust Memorial and Genocide Awareness
By Alan RainerA meeting held at the House of Commons on Tuesday 4th February, 2014 for the Holocaust Commemoration and Genocide Awareness. The meeting was hosted by Mr. Virendra Sharma MP and chaired by Robin Marsh. Speakers included Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, Ruth Barnett, Desmond Fernandes, Paramjit Singh Kohli and Edwin Shuker. UN covenants signed in 1948 between nations obliged all nations to try to prevent genocides such as the Holocaust re-occurring and to bring perpetrators of genocide to justice.  Read more…
Concert for a North Korean Medical Project Held on 12th April
By Robin MarshUPF – UK, YouthUPF and International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF) – UK concert to raise money for a North Korean Medical Aid Project was held on April 12th in UPF’s UK HQ. The audience was also able to enjoy spicy Korean food as well as learn about the jointly supported North Korean Medical Project and other IRFF humanitarian efforts. (Photo Link) Read more…
The European Dream
By Walter SchwimmerWalter Schwimmer is the Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations. He gave this speech in Japan during a series of Universal Peace Federation events.  Read more…
AFP Justina Mutale featured in Avant Garde Magazine 
Buy the Magazine here.
Forum for Religious Freedom –
Europe names Aaron Rhodes President
Forum for Religious Freedom – Europe names Aaron Rhodes PresidentVienna, 4.Apil, 20014 (FOREF): Dr. Aaron Rhodes will succeed Professor Christian Bruenner as President of the Forum for Religious Freedom Europe (FOREF).  The board of directors will formalize the selection at their General Assembly meeting on 5 April 2014.Read more…
Democratic Republic of Congo – From Genocide to Recovery
Universal Peace Federation – UK’s Headquarters in London, together with Mothers of Congo, hosted an event to update and harness the passion to improve the human rights position of people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A number of the Congolese diaspora were present to share their experiences and to encourage everyone to work for a better future in DRC Read more… Be Ambassadors of Human Love by Pauline Long (Speaking Above)

Charlotte Simon called for Strong African Women and Justina Mutale spoke on the ‘Genocide in the DRC: Blood Rubber To Blood Metals’.

Conflict Minerals: The International Response by Robin Marsh

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The Human Rights of Immigrants and Refugees by Lauren Turner

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 25, 2013

Immigrants and Refugees Panel 450The morning session at the European Leadership Conference 2013 – 22nd of November started with an introduction by Margret, followed by the first speaker, Ahmed Shebani. Ahmed Shebani is the Founder of a Libyan freedom and democracy campaign and spoke about illegal immigration and migration from North Africa. He began by explaining how Libya was the gateway to Africa, and because of this many refugees and economic migrants make their way towards Libya. By revealing that he knows that forces have in the past destroyed ships with immigrants still on them, he revealed the horrible truth of illegal immigration and people’s reaction to it, regardless of the reasons behind their migration. “Migrant’s are a force for good, not a force of negative connotation” he argued as he called for a new approach towards them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.

Posted in Community Cohesion | Tagged: , , , , | 25 Comments »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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World Environment Day June 4th 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 4, 2010

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

Posted in Evironmental Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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World Minorities Alliance Launched in UK

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 11, 2010

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK Secretary General, Robin Marsh, was invited to address the UK launch of the World Minorities Alliance. It is a laudable initiative of  Mr Julius Salik in Pakistan and supported by UPF Pakistan branch. The initiative shares much in common with UPF’s vison of humankind being ‘one family under God’ in which all people have equal value irrespective of where they are born. Marsh emphasised the founding purpose of UPF to create an Inter-religious Council in the United Nations that would enhance inter-religious and inter-cultural understanding and peaceful relations. He also congratulated Pakistan for its wisdom in co-sponsoring the UN Resolution with the Philippines to establish a unit within the UN Secretariat to promote Interfaith Dialogue. As explained by the Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP, the event featured the very last speech of Mohammed Sarwar as an MP after a long distinguished service in the House of Commons as the first UK Muslim MP. Mr Sarwar had been presented with an Ambassador for Peace award in the House of Commons on March 23rd.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Forgiveness Heals

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on December 21, 2009


‘Forgiveness Heals’ by Cllr. Faizullah Khan

Former Speaker   London Borough of Hackney Council

If only! We hold our tongue, and hold our hand

If only! We try a little harder to understand

I am sure,  that we will be able to avoid aggression

Happiness will be our reward; a great compensation

If we want to be lighter then light

Mercy is the route; not the might

Look human, but be an Ocean where all things dissolve

If you are calm, surely and truly it will eventually resolve

Peace.  We all want and peace we deserve

Harbour no grudge and peace we preserve

When treated badly, Deep down, A Plight

We were only asking,  what was our right

Stop feeling angry and resentful

The Perpetrator will be shameful

I know revenge is due when we are harmed

We may exceed in retaliation, when armed

Bury the hostility and Make allowance for Clemency

If you seek mercy for yourself than be first in Mercy

Forgiveness & Altruism, all religions have preached

To handle problems; These tools are to be reached

Forgiveness is the Blessing. They all said

Your Lord is Forgiving:  A help and an aid

He is One God, Merciful, The Only

With Him you will never feel lonely

When you are hurt and oppressed

When you are down and depressed

You are in grief, when people give you pain

Pray to Him. He will lift you; sunshine or rain

Seek refuge with Him when down

There is no need to faint or frown

Forgiveness rewards you in the best possible manners

Enemies become friends. Surely Forgiveness delivers

Let bygones be bygones. If you “Love thy enemy”

You are nearer to Creator and earned His Mercy

You forgive and forget. This is a test but a safe destination

Stretch out your hands of Forbearance and Reconciliation

Seek Lord’s help in despair

Ruined lives, He can repair

Mighty Lord, All Powerful, Omnipotent

Most Merciful, Protector, Omnipresent

He is All Forgiving and loves forgiveness

Delivers you from misery and loneliness

Forgiveness is a natural healer

A rare gift from God for sufferer

Suddenly,  we switch from negative to positive

We are our own enemy, if we do not forgive

Cllr Faizullah Khan

If only! We hold our tongue, and hold our hand

If only! We try a little harder to understand

I am sure,  that we will be able to avoid aggression

Happiness will be our reward; a great compensation

If we want to be lighter then light

Mercy is the route; not the might

Look human, but be an Ocean where all things dissolve

If you are calm, surely and truly it will eventually resolve

Peace.  We all want and peace we deserve

Harbour no grudge and peace we preserve

When treated badly, Deep down, A Plight

We were only asking,  what was our right

Stop feeling angry and resentful

The Perpetrator will be shameful

I know revenge is due when we are harmed

We may exceed in retaliation, when armed

Bury the hostility and Make allowance for Clemency

If you seek mercy for yourself than be first in Mercy

Forgiveness & Altruism, all religions have preached

To handle problems; These tools are to be reached

Forgiveness is the Blessing. They all said

Your Lord is Forgiving:  A help and an aid

He is One God, Merciful, The Only

With Him you will never feel lonely

When you are hurt and oppressed

When you are down and depressed

You are in grief, when people give you pain

Pray to Him. He will lift you; sunshine or rain

Seek refuge with Him when down

There is no need to faint or frown

Forgiveness rewards you in the best possible manners

Enemies become friends. Surely Forgiveness delivers

Let bygones be bygones. If you “Love thy enemy”

You are nearer to Creator and earned His Mercy

You forgive and forget. This is a test but a safe destination

Stretch out your hands of Forbearance and Reconciliation

Seek Lord’s help in despair

Ruined lives, He can repair

Mighty Lord, All Powerful, Omnipotent

Most Merciful, Protector, Omnipresent

He is All Forgiving and loves forgiveness

Delivers you from misery and loneliness

Forgiveness is a natural healer

A rare gift from God for sufferer

Suddenly,  we switch from negative to positive

We are our own enemy, if we do not forgive

Cllr Faizullah Khan

40, London N16 7PS

Posted in Community Cohesion, Interfaith, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Migration should be based on the facts and not mythology

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 24, 2009

We can absorb the current level of migration taking account of emigration

Migration should be based on the facts and not mythology

Keith Best, Chief Executive, Immigration Advisory Service UK

Keith Best speaking with Tom Brake MP and Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Keith Best speaking Tom Brake MP (left) Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh (Right)

Speaking in the House of Commons Committee Room 12 to an audience of Members of the Lords and Commons and others from The Universal Peace Federation (a global alliance of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace) with Lord Bikhu Parekh and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the subject ‘Contribution of Immigrants to British Society’ Keith Best, Chief Executive of IAS, said that for too long the debate about migration has been based on poor statistics and prejudice rather than facts and this was the reason that the UK in the Transatlantic Trends survey of the USA and six EU countries comes out as the most anti-immigrant in its public sentiment.

“There is now general acceptance that migrants bring not just economic but cultural benefit to the UK, are hard workers and often do jobs that the British workforce is unable or unwilling to do. Migrants have given us our cuisine, art, literature and music” he said. “Against all the evidence of economic and social benefit come the ridiculous and wild assertions of some self-appointed so-called experts opposed to migration that migrants cost us £1 million each – an assertion on wholly flawed logic.

“Students bring more than £8 billion a year to the UK in their overseas student fees and spending power: they do not have the right to settle in the UK. Yet without those overseas students the academic institutions, many of the larger ones relying for more than half their total income on overseas student fees, would not be able to educate British domestic students as Prof David Metcalf, Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, has pointed out.

“More people are coming for temporary purposes in a globalised world increasingly of circulatory migration which benefits both donor and recipient countries. Remittances are often a more effective way of helping an economy develop than official development aid.

“We are all migrants in the UK – it is just a question of when our ancestors arrived here. We have a rich diversity which is the legacy of Empire and Commonwealth that we should treasure. 8,000 people a week are leaving the UK to settle elsewhere – half of them are British citizens going to Australia, France, Spain and half are migrants who are returning home. This is the example of circulatory migration which will be a hallmark of the future.

“Even though parts of the UK may feel under threat by a massive influx of migrants and a majority of schoolchildren who do not have English as their first language these are issues that need to be addressed locally and do not reflect the situation throughout the UK. We can absorb and continue to benefit from the current levels of migration. About 10% of the UK population was not born here – compared with 25% in Australia, 20% in Canada, 14% in France and 12% in the USA – these are not countries on the brink of social disintegration as a result.

“We need to curb our xenophobia and accept the reality that increasingly people will make their own choices where they take their portable skills and choose to live – there are more UK citizens working and living abroad than there are EU migrants in the UK. These are the facts of modern day life.”

END CONTACT:

Keith Best,

Chief Executive

Immigration Advisory Service UK

26-11-2009

Press Release (Click link for original)

Posted in Community Cohesion | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reconciliation and Forgiveness Conference

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 4, 2009

‘Reconciliation and Forgiveness’ Conference

2009 UN Year of Reconciliation

Morning Session

Forgiveness and Reconciliation Conference Full Report October 4th 2009

The day featured two sessions. The first session in the morning in a meeting room in 43 Lancaster Gate was chaired by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke. Photo Link from the morning conference:


Dr Natubhai Shah

Dr Natubhai Shah

Bhai Mohinder Sahib Singh

Bhai Mohinder Sahib Singh

IMG_8479a audience

IMG_8480a audience

The morning session was rich with experience and knowledge about the topic of Forgiveness as expressed by the pool of wisdom emanating from distinguished speakers such as depicted above as well as Dr Ven Sumana Siri, Mr Jehangir Sarosh, Andrea Foulkes and Mr Jack Corley of UPF who gave concluding remarks. The general feeling about the morning conference was well expressed by the chair Dr Braybrooke who felt that during next year we should consider a one day conference with 3 sessions, one which could be a workshop in smaller groups perhaps, given the fact that there was so much to discuss, and such a wealth of experience amongst the speakers.

The second session was held in Friends Meeting House including an Interfaith Water Ceremony and presentations by many faith and community leaders.  Photo Link from the afternoon conference:

Report on the ‘Forgiveness and Reconciliation’ event by Connie Rennie

IMG_8689a interfaith water ceremony

Interfaith Water Ceremony

IMG_8625a Connie Rennie and Robert Haines

Connie Rennie and Robert Haines Readings

Today I had the opportunity to take part in a ceremony at Friends meeting house where representatives of many different faiths came together to share the teachings, practices and experiences of forgiveness and reconciliation. It was a rare and wonderful sight to see so many different faiths being represented on one stage as each stood to share their viewpoint. The religious leaders included keynote speakers such as Dr Marcus Braybrooke: President World Congress of Faith and Rev Dr Sumana Siri: Buddhist Cardinal of Europe and many many more.
Differences are often emphasized between faiths and cultures, but by listening to the words of each of the leaders at the event today, one clear message was portrayed; forgiveness is a key aspect of a strong life of faith, which when practiced leads to peace within oneself, naturally allowing you to bring peace to others, as is described in Buddhist psychology, ‘He who loves himself will harm not another.’ Not only does forgiveness bring us closer to each other, but all faiths expressed that forgiveness brings us closer to God. One of names of God in the Qur’an is, ‘The Forgiver.’ In practicing forgiveness, do we not become God-like?  One of the most important days of faith for Jewish believers, as described by Mr. Edwin Shuker: Sephardic Jewish Association, is ‘Yom Kippur ‘or ‘The day of Atonement’ where the relationship between God and humans is reconciled through repentance, and the seeking of forgiveness.

To see the similarities in the teachings on the topic was interesting, but what I felt really created a positive atmosphere of unity in the hall, was the practice of forgiveness. Chants of forgiveness from the Muslim, Jewish and Jain traditions were presented, as well as an interactive session where the audience were asked to stand and greet their neighbor as a representative of all things that they need to forgive, and tell them, ‘You are forgiven!’ We were also led through a meditation chant by Mayura Patel representing Hinduism. At this point I felt that peace and reconciliation between people of different faiths cannot be achieved simply by an intellectual understanding, but to respect each other as much as to be willing to practice each other’s traditions. Everyone in the room was willing to share and participate in the practices of other faiths, and I was so moved!

The highlight of the event was the ‘Interfaith Water Ceremony’ where representatives of each faith poured pure water into one single bowl, while reflecting on the virtues of water and its importance to Sikhs and Gurus, as described by Bhai Gurdas in his writing, ‘Be Compassionate Like Water.’ This ceremony is a symbol of the dissolution of resentments, and the desire to become one interreligious peaceful community. And after taking part in this event and seeing the example of the leaders today I feel inspired, and re-determined to practice forgiveness as one method to bring peace within myself, to those around me, and ultimately to God. Thank you!

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke Reporting on the Morning Conference

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke Reporting on the Morning Conference

Photos by Andy Johnson

Lord King UPF Patron

Lord King UPF Patron

water ceremony different faiths 2

Interfaith Water Ceremony

Posted in Community Cohesion, Interfaith | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

UN International Day Of Peace: Disarm Now Moeen Yaseen

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 18, 2009

UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: DISARM NOW

THE MILITARY INFLUENCE ON OUR GLOBAL ECONOMY AND THE NEED FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT

Moeen Yaseen Managing Director   Global Vision 2000

EMBARGOED

Monday 21 September 2009  6.30-8.30

Thanks to UPF for organisation of another event and the extension of the invitation to speak today. I wish to dedicate my contribution to the silent voices of millions of people who were sacrificed by the Warmongers. This contribution will not focus on the scientific, technical or legal dimensions but on the political economy of war and address the 800 pound gorilla in the room which we are in denial.  As General Smedley Butler stated there are only two things we should fight for one is the defence of our homes and a Bill of Rights : War for any other reason is a racket. Last year in April 2008 Global Vision 2000 held a conference on the Global Financial Meltdown, socioeconomic injustice and war: cause and remedy with speakers from Stop the War Coalition, International Peace Bureau and the 9/11 Truth Movement. Today I will address the underlying ideological glue cementing the event.I will focus upon AngloAmerican imperialism and AngloAmerican financial usurious capitalism given it’s pre-eminent role with the British empire in the 19th century and Pax Americana in the 20th century to date. Jonathan Swift identified the following factors in the evolution of the imperial system:- Doctrine of Permanent War;  War, Money power/Banking elite which benefits from the State’s indebtedness and Public debt as well as the Militarists and Military-Industrial-Political complex which President Eisenhower coined. This is the context we are dealing with namely a world where might is right and white is right and wherein the spirit of power prevails than the power of the spirit. The Global Financial architecture established in Bretton Woods by the financial oligarchy underwrites this dominant paradigm.

In the modern era the foundation of the Military Industrial Political Complex was established in 1939-45; in the postwar coldwar period the Trilateral Commission in 1968 established the National Security Apparatus and Military Keynesianism. Post 1989 with the collapse of the cold war with Bush wars we have seen the rise of the New World Order and Disaster Capitalism in which pre-emptive wars are built around deconstruction and reconstruction of societies by warprofiteers who plunder the Treasury/Currency. Economic policies are run to benefit the financial elites. Pre 9/11 we also have the Project for the New American Century to kick in the 21st American century which is ending up as an own goal.

Underpinning the Warfare economy exists the TRIAD of the Military Industrial Political complex interlocked to the concept of Permanent war entrenched since World War 2. In the postwar cold era Bush introduced the New World Order with seeds planted in the Middle East for future wars. This idea originated with the Trilateral Commission’s concept of the New International Economic Order wherein military might enforces foreign policy which is based on economic interests. It is an agenda of perpetual warfare and violence fuelling global domination via economic means. Also international organisations such as NATO devised for defence originally are being transformed into aggressive forces to enhance US economic and geopolitical interests with NATO in effect becoming a surrogate military-political force for globalisation and US world economic domination. As many people are asking what is NATO really doing in Afghanistan? What are British/European soldiers dying for?  It should be noted that Afghanistan is a symbolic rock in history where empires have been smashed.

This warfare economy is a parasite which manipulates fears and paranoia; it trashes economies by diverting resources from domestic investment into productive uses such as green technologies and subverts university research massively.  It reduces economic growth and employment. Indeed the 9/11 attacks on the US homeland were used as a Cassus Belli and for the establishment of a National Security State. The Global War on Terror manipulates fears; keeps us afraid and stops dissent. As far as 9/11 is concerned our thinktank rejects the official narrative as Alice in Wonderland mythology and supports the notion of the existence of  the phenomenon  of State sponsored false flag terrorism. But that is another story. The military economy operates outside a competitive market and erases the line between the State and the Corporation. Disguises it’s growth via the privitisation of war with the rise of mercenaries such as Blackwater- XE services which is in effect the largest private army in the world.

Insane expenditure on Department of Defence aka the Department of War has NO correlation to National Security- this has been hijacked by the Financial Oligarchs. see Chalmers Johnson. Melman has proven that the DoD budget is the largest single block of financial capital resources. The exact costs are difficult to verify as there is a cloud of secrecy over it. Melman argues that since 1944 the US Federal Government has spent more than 50% of it’s entire budget on past, current and future military operations and this underwrites the permanent war economy. The Mlitary budget is greater than all other nations at 623 Billion for 2008 not counting the supplemental budget nearing 3000 Billion for the wars(Stiglitz). N.B 30-40% of DoD budget is BLACK i.e. hidden for classified purposes The true size and cost for the US mil empire is 1100 billion for 2008.

The Official Pentagon inventory includes:-

865 facilities/bases in over 40 countries;

190.000 troops in 46 countries this does not cover privitisation of war via contracted security firms which are mercenary armies

2 Billion dollars spent every day

US budget deficit of 1.75 Trillion and National Debt of 10.6 Trillion

Military Keynesianism see Seymour Melman on Pentagon Capitalism focusses on the political economy of war .Massive trade deficits financed by borrowing and the National debt is 10 Trillion in 2009. Therefore Military expenditure is Military Keynesianism used to keep and maintain a Permanent war economy and military output is seen as ordinary economic product although it makes no contribution towards production and consumption.  Even with Obama in Congress who swept into power on change has backtracked as Congress is not willing or able to articulate a rejection of the War economy. The economy has become preoccupied with Death; namely the business of killing and being killed. The war economy thrives on aggressive war and a perverse realpolitik of national security. There is a tacit acceptance of much that threatens to destroy anything and everything.

Hollowing out of the US economy has occurred with the lack of modernisation and replacement of assets has almost evaporated the US manufacturing base. The US is now the world’s leading Debtor nation with it’s influence reliant on it’s Military Industrial Political Complex which I would argue underpins the IMPERIAL DOLLAR.

SOLUTION

QUID PRO QUO for the survival of the USA in a Multi-polar world of Creditor nations:-

1. To save the dollar and the nation it requires a NATIONAL VOLTE FACE to show humility and repentance

2. Repudiation of the Neocon goal to achieve US Global hegemony

3. Liquidation of the American military empire and its overseas bases

4. Cessation of DoD budget as a Keynesianism jobs program and investment into a socially productive economy

CONCLUSION

We need to really reflect on Michael Jackson’s song Man in the Mirror; we need to look at this problem in the eye and make that change.

We need to end glorification of violence and repent. This entire military enterprise is surplus to requirement, damaging to the National Interest/security, cause of war with other nations. It shows a Global Hegemon in economic decline engaged in imperial outreach, perpetual war and insolvency with a real danger of the collapse and fragmentation of the US State.

Moeen Yaseen

(Note: Universal Peace Federation seeks to promote debate and discussion. Not all the views of contributors reflect a UPF perspective but are  still welcome in the process of encouraging dialogue and seeking understanding.)

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Green Economy Initiative by Lawrence Bloom September 3rd 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 3, 2009


Green Economy Initiative

UPF - logos 2-0 cm

Universal Peace Federation

UPF-UK Environment Chapter

Understanding Copenhagen 2009: Community Leaders Awareness & Debate

Lawrence Bloom

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

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

Lawrence Bloom

Lawrence Bloom

and

Murad Qureshi, Assembly Member

Chair of the Environment Committee

London Assembly, Greater London Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Dr Marios Gerogiokas
UPF-UK Environment Chapter
075 0789 3739

Mr. Muftah Benomran

Noble Cities Plc
www.noblecities.com


Reclaiming tomorrow…

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

David Suzuki Foundation

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

Paul Krugman, New York Times[1]

T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such a lifestyle change delivery programme will, in essence:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Chairman, Noble Cities Plc, UK

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

www.lawrencebloom.com


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

Posted in Evironmental Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Financial and Economic Meltdown

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 15, 2009

THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC MELTDOWN AND THE NEED FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT

Global Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation jointly organised, on July 13th, an emergency seminar in a parliamentary Committee room to examine the underlying causes of the financial and economic crisis and the need for a fundamental paradigm shift to restore stability, prosperity, justice and peace.

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Lord King of West Bromwich

Lord King of West Bromwich

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham


For More Photos Please Click Here

The seminar shed light on the terrifying nature of the death spiral of the global debt based financial and economic system and the ruinous path towards servitude and serfdom. There were parliamentary, interfaith, monetary and fiscal reform perspectives shared and brought to bear on terms of alternative radical holistic solutions offering suffering humanity hope and salvation. This event took place when Parliament is at it’s lowest ebb and it’s image has been tarnished. The event affirmed grassroot coalitions facing the urgent need for civic society to champion the values of public service and the common good and claim Westminster as the people’s shared political space.

Speakers gave clear evidence of the ‘grand canyon’ between officials who imagine green shoots of recovery and the common experiences in our communities.

The financial crisis has revealed an economic crisis now manifesting as a full blown political crisis. Participants agreed that the future is viewed with fear rather than hope and the hatred of the stranger stalks the land. We are now seeing the rise of political extremism which threatens the peace and unity of the country. We deplored the way mainstream media and political elite are taking remedial action but failing abjectly to address the underlying forces. There is a need to review and redesign a fairer, just and sustainable global economic system that empowers the world’s poorest billion to emerge from desperate poverty and facilitate global peace; helping both wealthy and poor to lead full and healthy lives.

In offering different proposals for change this seminar moved us all in the direction of a socially and ethically based mind-set , a new paradigm and the nature of the system that could implement it.

The seminar addressed the following issues:

Are we witnessing a ‘L shaped’ Great Depression rather than a ‘V shaped recession’? Do we need regulation, reform or revolution? How can monetary, fiscal and economic justice advocates connect with the people and political system? How can people power and national sovereignty be secured against the global financial oligarchy? How can the UK deliver on it’s commitments on MDG?  What does the City of London need to do to be the leader in global finance? Is Islamic finance a Trojan horse or Panacea?  What type of paradigm shift is required?

How do we overcome the difficult first task, that of receiving a hearing from public leaders in order to enter an inclusive dialogue. There is a need for a radical shift in awareness, through a clear, short message, that will give people confidence to say, “No. This is wrong, we will no longer accept it. That was the key point of the day; short, crisp pamphlets. Not heavy books.”

Speakers in order:-

Co-convenor  Robin Marsh        Secretary General,  Universal Peace Federation UK – welcomed us with a plea to bear in mind the intensity and ubiquity of suffering around the globe.

Co-convenor   Moeen Yaseen     Managing Director     Global Vision 2000 – – emphasised the challenge before us as outlined with such clarity in the press release summarised above.

Rev'd Canon Peter Challen

Rev'd Canon Peter Challen

Canon Peter Challen: Chairman, Christian Council for  Monetary Justice, – (text of speech below in Comment section) singled out key words EXPLOITATION and EXPONENTIAL GROWTH as lying behind our now evident mistakes; reminding us that they fed the process by which we had made commodities of LAND, PEOPLE AND MONEY, embedding the ill effects of doing so in centuries of legal protection for vested interests. All traditions of good faith cried out against this grave distortion of natural law. Speakers to follow will clarify means by which we must de-commoditise these three fundamental subjects

Lord King, as host for the seminar, reminded us of the detail of our distorted economies, nationally and globally, and pressed us to attend to the proposals to be offered to meet the challenge we face.

Lord Ahmed wished the seminar well and underlined the urgency of our getting the message of moneytary and fiscal reform across to Parliamentarians.

Kelvin Hopkins MP, spelt out the almost total loss of a vision of inclusive justice and the cost of not restoring a moral base to political economy.

Anne Belsey

Anne Belsey

Daud Pidcock

Daud Pidcock

David Trigg

David Trigg







Anne Belsey: Monetary Reform Party, took us to the grass roots task of communication, illustrating, from her own diligence in the work of the Money Reform Party, the fundamental issue of talking in our communities, with a clear, succinct message, of the need and the process for money reform, as a basic contribution to generating the critical mass we must build to seek effective change.

Daud Pidcock: Global Vision 2000 –brandishing ‘The Crash of 2008’ a revisiting today of a study of ‘people versus the banks’ by Swann, he spoke as a scholar long probing the history of the abuse of money [‘lethal tender’!] as a driver of the disintegration of society, presented evidence we cannot ignore of the need and difficulty of restoring state transparent responsibility for the money supply. ‘We’ve endured iron, stone and the lash, but the hardest to endure is debt’ We must restore the effect of the Jubilee practised for 2 1/2 thousand years 2500 BC in Babylonia; explode the myth of the Bank of England being a nationalised bank; expand the M0 supply for community ends.

David Triggs, Coalition for Economic Justice and Executive chair, Henry George Foundation, informed us eloquently and passionately of the need for genuine capture and distribution of the accumulated value of land springing from our co-operative activities over time. He stressed the need to rediscover the natural law that governs the prospects of all life on earth as the basis for our paradigm shift of ordinate significance and to translate this into the economic means of collecting the community’s value for the community, combating the erosion of justice by grossly distorted property rights.  Fight against nature and it will punish you. Work in harmony and it will reward. Water runs down hill!. Such a fact cannot be fought or legislated against; it just is. Economics, the production and distribution of wealth for all is intimately part of nature and thrives only by its rules.



hol130709 058 cropped Adrian Wriggley

Dr Adrian Wrigley

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

Ian Parker-Joseph

Ian Parker-Joseph






Dr. Adrian Wrigley, Systemic Fiscal Reform Group, emphasised the systemic nature of economic disorder and the systemic response we need to make. He contrasted the countries where revenue was based in the collection and fair distribution of community value with those that taxed people’s productiveness, the former producing more just and stable societies. The old paradigm of ‘absolute resource ownership’ must give way to the new mindset that could be triggered by a’ debt for tax’ swop.  Land must be restored to the factors of economic productiveness and the great monopolies [land, water, intellectual property etc.] ended.  He explored the history of economic society through the ages and found we had known the solution for millennia. Tax and regulation are smokescreens. What matters is the funding source, that of the largest monopolies, land and money. Avoid this melancholy proof and expect inevitable meltdown. Scholars back to Confucious are unanimous on free access to nature’s gifts unless that access causes harm or exclusion through exploitation or exponential extraction, in which case the victim must be compensated. Civilisation flourishes under these conditions. The paradigm under which presently we suffer took over at the beginning of the 20th century when nature was cut out of the analysis. We don’t need a new paradigm, we need to re-instate the old one. Leaders need to read history and start thinking deeply and stop rebutting the well informed public. Free market capitalism is the best approach but of the Eastern not Western variety!

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed: Director, Institute for Policy Research and Development, Provided further scholarly evidence of the fundamental change of perception required if we are to replace exploitative structures with those creating inclusive justice. New structures founded on only productiveness, not speculation; on the ending of wage slavery, and the interest free funding sustainable growth must be designed.

Ian Parker-Joseph:   Leader, Libertarian Party, (click for full text) explored the creative tension to be found between a global consciousness of our interdependence and the nurture in freedom of the rich diversity of local  communities. He recommended the interplay of 1] £Sterling – debt free money for societal infrastructure-2]  £Sovereign as 100% backed trading currency, and 3] Free banking in competition.

Robin Marsh and Moeen Yaseen

Robin Marsh and Moeen Yaseen

Report by Rev’d Canon Peter Challen

Further details, and access to papers delivered, form……Email: myaseen@globalvision2000.com

www.globalvision2000.com Mobile                07818 082011

Global Vision 2000 is an independent international Islamic think tank committed to the evolution of global humanity.

For More Photos Please Click Here

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Universal Peace Federation – Peace Council

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 6, 2009

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – Peace Council

43 Lancaster Gate

July 4th, 2009

Link for Photos:

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

UPF Peace Council - July 4th 2009

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Greetings from Lord King of West Bromwich - UPF Patron

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

Ambassador for Peace Award Recipients

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

Reports from UPF Committee Chairs or active representatives.

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative

Gene Alcantara - Mindanao Peace Initiative-UK

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

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

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

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

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

Marios Gerogiokas - Report from UPF Environment Chapter

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

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

Marriage and Family Committee Report by Chair Eddie Hartley

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

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

Dr David Earle reporting on UPF activities in Birmingham

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

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

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

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

Ambassador for Peace Awards

Ms. Hadia Saad

Ms. Hadia Saad

Mr Mohammed Khokhar

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

Karen Szulakowska

Karen Szulakowska

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

Major(Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya

Posted in Community Cohesion, Evironmental Awareness, Interfaith, Marriage and Family, Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Up to 2.8 Million More Children to Die Because of Recession

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 24, 2009

I was reading a UN press release today about The UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development when amid all the professional language one sentence seemed to stand up and scream at me.

‘The World Bank projects a finance gap of up to $700 billion in these countries, resulting in additional deaths of 1.5 to 2.8 million infants by 2015 and more than 100 million people tipping over into extreme poverty each year for the duration of the crisis, the summit’s website states.’

The preceding sentence,

‘The Assembly President (UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto), underscored the need for leaders to help the world’s developing countries, which had no hand in creating the crisis, to cope with the global recession, noting that the World Bank recently predicted that the consequences of this crisis among the “most vulnerable, those that don’t have safety nets, is going to be devastating.” ‘

We in the UK may have problems but….

Together with Global Vision 2000 we are having an event in the House of Lords (link to invitation) on the 13th of July to look at alternative methods to run an economy.

The UPF Peace Council on July 4th (link to invitation) will also look at current campaigns of  other groups that are experience in these issues.

Robin Marsh
07956210768

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UPF-UK Statement on European and Local Council Elections

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 4, 2009

Universal Peace Federation – UK

Statement on European and Local Council Elections

Rarely have our democratic institutions and processes been under such pressure as they are at this time. As
we experience a crisis of trust at the very heart of the democracy we value so highly, many feel a sense of being betrayed by those in positions of authority. This trust, generated by leadership that maintains integrity and genuine
public-mindedness, is so essential for the good working of our political structures.

The people of Britain once again have the opportunity to express their views about the future of Europe as well as some areas of local Government. It is important that all eligible citizens exercise their precious right and duty to vote, and that they vote wisely. Failing to fulfil that duty can only serve to assist those who wish to damage our democracy.

The Universal Peace Federation is a global alliance of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace, a world in which everyone can live in freedom and harmony, and enjoy prosperity. Many of the issues being
dealt with by our current UPF committees stand to be affected by these elections: community cohesion, marriage and family, peace and development, interfaith relations, and more. Our strong alliance of diverse religious leaders
is calling on all people of faith to pray for these European Elections that will be held on 4th June; prayer has the power to touch hearts and minds, and to nurture all that is good, loving and just.

Of course, this commitment is one shared by all conscientious people. For this reason, UPF is making this call to all voters to reject divisiveness and messages of hatred and distrust, and to foster policies and decisions that further the wellbeing of all European citizens.

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Islam, Renewal of United Nations and Peace

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 2, 2009

Islam, Renewal of United Nations and Peace*

IMAM Dr Abduljalil Sajid

The Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony

* A paper prepared for the ‘World Summit on Peace: A New Vision for peace in the 21st Century’ held at Seoul, Korea 29 to 2 June 2009

Bismillah Hir Rahma Nir Rahim (I begin with name of God the Most Kind the Most Merciful). I greet you with the greetings of Islam (Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakathu (May God’s blessing and peace be with us all.)

I am honoured to be asked to speak to you on the important issue of “Islam, Renewal of United Nations and Peace” at the great city of Seoul in the South Korea in the World Summit on Peace: A New Vision for Peace in 21st Century organised by the Universal Peace Federation – UPF. I am also very grateful to the Founder, Chairman and the Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation – UPF for providing me an opportunity to explain my thoughts of the very important topic.

I have two roles: First to explain what we have been doing in the United Kingdom for Peace and secondly explain the position of my faith.

So far as Universal Peace Federation – UPF UK is concerned the major emphasis of this year has been to support the United Nations in its activities and make it more effective through its organs. The UPF has held various activities in the UN buildings in New York, Geneva and Vienna promoting themes that support the wider direction of the UN. There has been a big emphasis on the UN International Day of Families and the September 21st Day of Peace at UPF Branches throughout the world. The UN International Day of Families has been supported by the UK branch with two events in London attracting an MP, local politicians a senior UNA representative, and interfaith leaders. There have been various activities in the UPF – UK promoting dialogue between cultures and faiths called for by several UN Resolutions for the Dialogue of Civilisations and Faiths. Interfaith, Community Cohesion, Humanitarian activities and the promotion of Millennium Development Goals have been continuing strongly in activities of UPF branches and HQ.

We did recommend on 2nd April 2009 at the meeting of House of Commons in parallel to G20 meeting at Excel with the support of Dr Walsh, Secretary General of UPF International, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak and Lord Tarsem King the following:

1.      The current financial crisis did not happen by accident. The root cause of the present political, economic and leadership problem is that it has no link with God and it is not based on any ethical foundation. Therefore we recommend an Economic Ethical reform accompanied by greater transparency and fairness to all.

2.      Consideration of the true relationship based on family life, which is the only God inspired institution given to mankind by God, and wider economic realities.

3.      Character and Peace education in the family with wider community, faith based institutions and public schools be given priority.

4.      Debt forgiveness for the poorest nations of world should become a reality.

5.      Interfaith and intercultural dialogue to promote better understanding of our diverse communities and culture and our roots.

6.      Dedication to fulfilment of the UN Millennium Development Goals be given priority if the International community wanted to establish a sustainable economy in the world.

Regarding the Renewal of the United Nations we have working on the three point Agenda:

1.      Renewed UN Must increase its Security Council membership;

2.      Renewed UN Must become democratic in theory and practice to gain respect of the people of the world.

3.      Renewed UN Must establish a second chamber consists of recognised major faith leaders to provide moral and spiritual guidance to political leaders of the World.

Let me deal with other important issues in clarifying two terms Islam and Peace one by one. The Word “Islam”: The “root” of the word “Islam” in Arabic is SALAMA which is the origin of the words Peace and / or Submission, a submission to God and peace to all humanity. It is, thus, no wonder why the salutation in Islam is: “Al-Salamu Alaikum or Peace on You.”  In this regard, Prophet Mohammad ordered his fellow Muslims to salute others Muslims or non-Muslims with peace when he said: “Peace before Speech” It is a Rule in Islam that during war time, an enemy warrior who pronounces the word peace is totally immune. The United Nations has a link with Peace of the World but only an able UN and renewed UN can deliver Peace.

Let me deal with some principles which Islam teaches for establishing internal and external Peace.

Islamic Moral and spiritual teachings are the basis of internal Peace:

Here are some moral teachings of Islam, which comes from the idea of “promoting good and preventing evil” “Amar bil Maroof and Nahi a’nil Munkar” (The Holy Qur’an 3:104; 110; 9:71); Be Honest, (The Holy Qur’an: 22:78 and 16:92); Be truthful, (The Holy Qur’an:25:72 and 104:1); Be Pure, (The Holy Qur’an: 23:1-11); Be Unselfish, (The Holy Qur’an: 17:32); Be Just, (The Holy Qur’an: 4:135); Be good and do good to others, (The Holy Qur’an:2:83; 2:195 and 41:33); Be part of the change you wanted to see as God will not change unless you change for yourself, (The Holy Qur’an: 13:11); Love, (The Holy Qur’an:2:195,9:108 and 96:11); Listen and Obey, (The Holy Qur’an:64:16; Pray – Quite time, (The Holy Qur’an:7:205), Istikhara – Seek guidance from God, (The Holy Qur’an: 1.45).

Let me deal with these principles in some details which may be pre-requisite for peace:

1) Read and Learn! Read and learn in the name of God who has created. .[1]

2) Believe and work hard. Those who believe and work hard deserve God’s forgiveness and a great reward[2]

3) Be pious and respect your parents. God Almighty has prescribed that you worship none except Him and that you do good to your parents…[3]

4) Be honest and fight for your rights. You ought to be engaged in the effort to the way of God courageously and honestly…[4]

5) Be aware of tomorrow. Let every one, male and female, see what he/she is doing for tomorrow…[5]

“That is a past nation. It belongs to it what it has earned by itself and to you belongs what you have earned by yourselves, [6]

6)Be Good and Do good deeds: ‘And do good. Truly Allah loves the good-doers.’ [7]

7) Be Peaceful in all aspects of life; The word Islam is itself derived from the word peace (i.e. salaam). And Muslim is the best description of those who believe in this religion:

‘It is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Holy Qur’an), that the Messenger be a witness over you and you be a witness over mankind!’ [8] The essence of this religion is peaceful submission to the Lord of the worlds: ‘Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follow Allah’s Religion of Islamic monotheism) and he is a good-doer, then his reward is with the Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ [9]

‘When his Lord said to him, “Submit (ie. Be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself to the Lord of the worlds.” [10] ‘”And we were ordered to submit to the Lord of the worlds”’ [11]

Paradise is itself a place of peace: ‘For them will be the home of peace (paradise) with their Lord. And He will be their Helper and Protector because of what they used to do.’ [12] ‘Allah calls to the home of peace and guides whom He wills to a Straight path.’ [13]

Allah, the High, the Blessed, has named Himself “Peace”: ‘He is Allah other than Whom there is none (that has the right to be worshipped) the King, the Holy, the Peace…’ [14]

8) Be Merciful and patient: Mercy is the companion of peace in the salutation of Muslims. The Messenger of Islam is a Mercy to the worlds. And the slogan of Islam, repeated in every utterance and action is “In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” The behaviour between the believers is one of patience and mercy:

‘Then he became one of those who believed and recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to piety and compassion.’ [15]

9) Compassion and Forgiveness In Islam: Muslims are enjoined by the Holy Qur’an to “pardon and forbear… [For] do you not desire that God should forgive you your sins, seeing that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace?” They are reminded of this duty when they pray five times daily to “Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate” or invoke “God the Forgiver” or “God the Pardoner” – four of God’s ninety-nine names.

Leadership must be forgiving: “And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Muhammad] didst deal gently with thy followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily God loves those who place their trust in Him.” [16]

Forgiveness: A different outlook and a new start: In Islamic history one may find an outlook of a different nature. When the Romans conquered any country, the first thing they would do is mass massacre. When the Muslims entered any country, they would give guarantees of life, property and honour to all the non-belligerents. Even in war a Muslims are not allowed to kill an old person, a woman, and a child, those who are crippled or disabled. Not only that, even trees are not to be cut and crops are not to be burnt. The entire Islamic history does not know of the concept of mass killing or massacre of enemies. One cannot find one single example of any Inquisition or ethnic cleansing on the name of Islam.

Ends cannot justify means: Another point is that Islam is very unique and firm in asserting that the ends cannot justify the means. This means that to achieve even good ends you could resort to evil means. The principle that Islam has enunciated is that

“Good and bad are not equal. Replace evil by good”. (The Holy Qur’an 41:34)

If you fight falsehood with falsehood it is falsehood that prevails. If you replace vice with vice, it is vice which triumphs. If you change evil by evil, it is evil which is victorious. Islam says that evil is to be eliminated by good. If you pursue this technique then only you would be able to fill the earth with goodness, and justice, and peace and fellow feeling. As far as the wrong (Munkar) is concerned, you are permitted to eliminate it. But as far as the truth and virtue (Ma’ruf) is concerned, it is not to be enforced by power.

10) No Coercion in Islam and Justice and Fairness to Non-Muslims: Unlike many other religions where people were offered either conversion and peace or death, Islam came with the just word of our creator. In the Holy Qur’an 2:256; God said “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error…” [17]There are many other verses in the Holy Qur’an that deals with the nature of spreading God’s message. One of my favourites which I keep quoting is Verse 10:99 “If it had been thy Lord’s Will, they would all have believed, all who are on earth! Wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!” [18]

Global Ethics and Interfaith Dialogue: I am reminded the words of Professor Hans Kung “No peace among nations without peace among the religions and no peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions”. I add “No peace without Justice and no Justice without forgiveness and compassion”.  Dialogue and agreement must be conscientiously applied and maintained, so to create bonds of love, care, trust and confidence. Its prerequisite is proper education and learning from one another.  We must speak and act truthfully with compassion. We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. Every human being must be treated, fairly, humanly and with dignity without any fear or discrimination.

I admire the work of Prince Hassan El Talal over the years for promoting better understanding between different faiths and advocating dialogue for resolving conflicts. His short book “Continuity, innovation and Change” is must read for every Muslim. I not only share his vision but also say that he represents true Islamic scholarship in the current debate on the issue of World peace. The building of peace requires an attitude of sanctity and reverence of life, freedom and justice, the eradication of poverty, dissolution of all forms of discrimination and the protection of the environment for personal and future generations. The ideals of peace include fundamental and global directives such as:

  • Do not kill i.e. have respect for life;
  • Do not steal i.e. deal honestly and fairly;
  • Do not lie i.e. speak and act truthfully;
  • Do not commit sexual immorality i.e. respect and love one another.

I confirm that Islam is faith of moderation and girder of unity for all mankind and blessing for mankind because Muslim model communities where:

  • All of God’s creation – whether human, animal or the environment – is valued and respected;
  • Where people want more to serve others than to get what they can for themselves;
  • Where no one has too little or too much;
  • Respecting the right of others to disagree with us;
  • Being sensitive and courteous to all.

The world will not change for the better unless the conscience of individuals is changed first. Remember, Remember, Remember. Evil is not in the body. Evil is in the mind, Therefore harm no body. Just change the mind.  Lord You said and your word is true! Love is stronger than hate. O God Almighty You are peace and from You peace comes. Bestow upon all of us Your peace and make our final destiny in your eternal abode of peace. Let there be respect for the earth, peace for is people, love in our lives, and delight in the good, forgiveness for our past wrongs and from now on a new start.

This is a brief sketch of the basis of true peace within our selves for the sake of all humanity. May God have mercy upon all of us and show us the true guidance for establishing Peace and making necessary changes in the United Nations. May God guide us all and show us the right path in our lifetime.

Amen.

Imam Sajid

Imam Sajid

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid

Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK (MCRRH);

President National Association of British Pakistanis (NABPAK);

President Religions for Peace UK and Deputy President of European WCRP -Religions for Peace;

Chairman European Inter-cultural Dialogue;

Deputy President and International Secretary World Congress of Faiths (WCF);

Adviser to European Council of Religious Leaders/Religions for Peace (ECRL);

Adviser to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) Europe and International Affairs Committee (EIAC);

Link Officer Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group (IFCG) for National and International Inter-faith matters;

European Representative of World Council of Muslims Inter-faith Relations (WCMIR)

[1] The Holy Qur’an, 96:1

[2] The Holy Qur’an, 5:9

[3] The Holy Qur’an, 17:23

[4] The Holy Qur’an, 22:78

[5] The Holy Qur’an, 59:18

[6] The Holy Qur’an, 2:134

[7] The Holy Qur’an, 2:195

[8] The Holy Qur’an, 22:78

[9] The Holy Qur’an, 2:112

[10] The Holy Qur’an, 2:131

[11] The Holy Qur’an, 6:71

[12] The Holy Qur’an,16:127

[13] The Holy Qur’an, 10:25

[14] The Holy Qur’an, 59:23

[15] The Holy Qur’an, 19:17

[16] The Holy Qur’an, 3:159

[17] The Holy Qur’an, 2:256

[18] The Holy Qur’an, 10:99

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New Vision Amid Economic Crisis – Daily Jang

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2009

2nd April  2009,  House of Commons Committee Room 14

img029 New Vision Amid The Economic Crisis G20 April 2nd 2009 Daily Jang article 1

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Eliminating World Poverty – DfID Consultation Ends May 27th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 22, 2009

Please note this consultation is now closed:

Please find a copy of an invitation from the Department for International Development to contribute to their white paper on Eliminating World Poverty – Deadline May 27th

http://consultation.dfid.gov.

Topics:
1. Building our common future
2. Global economic growth
3. Climate change
4. Fragile and conflict-affected countries
5. International institutional reform

19 February 2009 (Original Announcement)
New UK White Paper on International Development
“The global community faces enormous challenges. The economic crisis, food Security, climate change, energy insecurity, conflict, rising population – these are the challenges of unprecedented magnitude which affects us all, and in particular the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. The nature of this interdependence means that it has never been so important to invest in our common future.”
Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development

Over the last decade, there have been massive gains in reducing global poverty yet there are some big threats as we leave a strong era of global economic growth.

The global financial crisis is bringing the most significant economic downturn for decades which could devastate the developing world as 90 million more people are forced into poverty at the end of the year. The effects of climate change are increasingly apparent and conflict as well as weak government is preventing progress for millions of people. The global economic crisis has also revealed a number of flaws in the international system.

Have your say
The Department for International Development will be producing a new White Paper this summer which will outline how the government can tackle global poverty in the context of these long term challenges.

1. Building our common future
2. Global economic growth
3. Climate change
4. Fragile and conflict-affected countries
5. International institutional reform


Eliminating World Poverty: Assuring our Common Future
A consultation document

Foreword
The UK Government believes that helping the poor is not only a moral imperative, but in our increasingly interdependent world, it is in our long-term interests. It is an essential element of our international policy that enables the UK to be a successful world leader and a strong force for good.

Later this year DFID will publish a new White Paper on International Development setting out how the UK Government aims to continue helping deliver better lives for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. A world shocked by recent global events and more connected than ever before means new approaches are required for the challenges we now face in pursuit of our mission.

Despite these adverse events of seismic proportion and consequence, we must acknowledge the remarkable progress in reducing world poverty over the last decade. In the UK, we can be proud of our collective contribution to this success, across Government, NGOs, faith groups, trade unions, private sector and many others. The three previous White Papers (1997, 2000 and 2006) have provided the UK with a clear focus on eliminating poverty, and have helped ensure that the UK plays a key role in lifting 3 million people out of poverty every year. Fighting global poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals will continue to be at the heart of our mission. We must continue our work on core areas such as getting more children to school, tackling HIV/AIDS and malaria, and continuing to put gender equality at the heart of our agenda. But we also need to recalibrate elements of our agenda to deal with the changed circumstances which now prevail.

This consultation document sets the current context and then outlines some preliminary ideas and poses a series of questions on four priority areas. I encourage all concerned to respond to these questions. We also welcome comments on how we can further refine our existing agenda, for example on supporting basic services such as health and education. The Government relies on your contributions of experience, knowledge and wisdom as key inputs to its policy formulation.

I very much look forward to your responses. Please send your comments by Wednesday 27th May 2009 to whitepaper@dfid.gov.uk or by post to White Paper Team, DFID, 1 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HE.
Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP,
Secretary of State for International Development, March 2009

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Vaisakhi 2009: The Promise of a New Start Amid the Economic Crisis

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 26, 2009

 

 

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, Chairperson, British Sikh Consultative Forum

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, Chairperson, British Sikh Consultative Forum

On Wednesday 21st of April we had the good fortune to be invited to a Vaisakhi celebration in the House of Commons organised by the British Sikh Consultative Forum (BSCF). Usually Vaisakhi is celebrated on April 14th but Parliament was in recess at that time. Despite coinciding with budget day a good number of MPs and Lords gathered to honour the occasion. Mr. Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, the Chairperson of the BSCF, gave the keynote address explaining the historical significance of Vaisakhi as a time of humility, reflection and new start for the Sikh faith that comprises 24 million worldwide and 700,000 in the UK. He applied the lessons of this period to the current economic crisis saying,

 

 

 

‘every crisis is an opportunity and contains within it the promise and hope of new beginnings. The present crisis highlights the unity and interconnectedness of all humanity….I believe the present crisis presents us with very real prospects to rethink and reorganise the global order.  The crisis has revealed to us the disconnection and void between policy making and moral practice which lie at its root.’ He emphasised that the human consciousness must be empowered with values in order to affect change.

‘Such values can be awakened within us by faith and spirituality’ he explained, as well as by ‘drawing on the repository of wisdom offered by the world’s faith traditions.’

He added that the UN needs to be strengthened to assist in international peace-making and to deliver the Millennium Development Goals.

 

 

He also emphasised the importance of marriage by adding, ‘to achieve cohesion, we need to strengthen the sacred institution of marriage, the building block of family and community life.’

For More Information http://www.BSCF.org.

 

 

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Three Faiths Celebration Article – Daily Jang

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 20, 2009

To Promote Inter-Religious Understanding Practical Steps Are Needed

Under the Auspices of Universal Peace Federation (UPF):

Brief Translation
Religion is the Only Way to Bring World Peace and to Bring People Closer Together But it is Usually Used as a Justification to Kill People.

Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of the Three Faiths of Abraham

Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of the Three Faiths of Abraham: April 14, 2009

Dr Raheem Khan quoted that the Holy Prophet’s teaching includes bringing negotiations of peace with non-Muslims in every way.

Under the auspices of the UPF, Muslims, Christians and Jewish leaders came together to address this meeting. They said practical steps are needed rather than just talk to bring inter-religious cooperation and understanding.

Dr Raheem Khan said, over the past centuries people are being killed in the name of religion while religion is the only way that there can be peace in the world. Interfaith dialogue is an important need of the day.

Yael Lindenboim said the current circumstances of the world demand that mutual hatred should be replaced by mutual understanding between communities.

There were messages from Canon Andrew White, the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ and the former Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev’d. Riah Abu El-Assal. Imam Nabil Haider gave a recital from the Koran

There were recitals from different texts. The importance of each of the ceremonies was explained. The occasion was attended by a large number of distinguished members of different faith communities.

Joint Celebration of the Three Faiths April 14 2009 Daily Jang Article

Joint Celebration of the Three Faiths April 14 2009 Daily Jang Article

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Jubilee Debt Campaign – G20 – New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 11, 2009

Jubilee Debt Campaign

The dust has settled on last week’s G20 summit, and it’s time to ask: did world leaders Put People First?


Our verdict: it was high on rhetoric, and high on headline figures, but overall the G20 failed
to deliver the radical changes that are desperately needed.

 

Shortly before the summit, we released a new report warning of the risks of a new debt crisis emerging from the financial turmoil, as already unpayable poor country debts continue to grow. The G20 summit didn’t calm those fears. In fact, it took some worrying decisions – such as massive extra funding for the International Monetary Fund, without fundamental reforms to put people before Washington economics – that have begun to take us down that path. Read our full G20 response

But despite these setbacks, the G20 summit is not the end of the story. As one placard had it at the G20 protest, ‘The beginning is nigh’. World leaders may still be stuck in their old way of thinking, but we’ve started a global discussion about how to transform the financial system to replace 30 years of discredited economic thinking.

That discussion will continue in the months ahead. In June, the United Nations will host a major meeting on the financial crisis. The G20 leaders have said they will meet again in six months time, and the G20 Finance Ministers are due to meet in Scotland in the autumn.

This crisis is still a massive opportunity to clean up global finance. But it’s going to take continued and determined campaigning throughout 2009, and beyond, to make that happen.

Jubilee Debt Campaign

http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/

 

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G20 Recommendations: Anil Bhanot, General Secretary, Hindu Council – UK

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 10, 2009

Interfaith Meeting HOC committee room 14 on G20 – 2 April 09

 

I would like to just focus on the need to reorganise our financial structures and institutions and offer some practical suggestions. We are all now aware how the banks were allowed to become so powerful that political power or the democratic rule of governance dwarfed in comparison. The financial institutions led the politicians and by how much ever the politicians tried to bail the banking system out of crisis it seemed never enough. Only a few weeks ago the Governor of the Bank of England warned the Government not to extend their borrowings to a far bigger level than the size of our economy so that the country itself will find itself in the sorry situation that it won’t be able to pay back its borrowing, just as some of the banks could no longer afford to pay back their depositors.

 

So this power of money that can make the world go round cannot be underestimated. It is actually a positive power that is going to unite us more by making the world go round but only if and when we can harness it’s power properly. Free market economies are necessary to help create wealth but things go wrong when that freedom comes on the expense of the weaker or the poorer elements in society. Then that freedom is actually stealing and it is stealing through legal means. This is how the financial institutions became above the law and therefore more powerful than our governments.

 

We have heard a lot about One God form various speakers and Hindus too have only one God, Brahm. But due to its antiquity we have several incarnations and various aspects of God, not least the female. We have the Goddess of wealth, Luxmi, whom we pray for prosperity and comforts but ancient Hindus quite cleverly, I think, ordained that when Luxmi is pleased with you she sends the fortune riding on the back of an owl. The interesting thing is that an owl is a nocturnal animal, which cannot see in the day light, meaning that money can blind you if you are not careful.

 

Of course this is where morals come into play, our business ethics. But these only work with those of us who have learnt to “own” these ethics or morals as part and parcel of our way of life. For the vast majority of people the temptation to make easy money, legally even though it may be on the expense of others, is too blinding for them to keep up to these morals. If our education, our training, was sufficient to give us all a sense of responsibility for our fellow beings to the extent that we all would question the fairness of our earnings then clearly there won’t be any problem But that will never happen. The ancient Hindu wisdom of money coming over the back of an owl is an eternal enigma we have to find solutions for.

 

So how do we make sure that we have an additional guide to help us when we are being blinded by money? You have probably heard the word far too often by now and it is regulation. We need now a three tier regulation system. There is nothing wrong with money or capitalism or free markets but we need to have systems to ward off the money’s blinding effects.

 

Most of the G20 countries have like the UK a Financial Services Authority, the FSA, which regulates large institutions in each country. This system of regulation works at the middle tier. And in the UK we had additionally a regulatory regime at the more ground level, which was set up after the last recession of the early 1990’s and that was through institutions like the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the CML. The CML regulated the brokers at the ground level so that home lending remained within the confines of business ethics. But as soon as the powers of the CML were eroded we started seeing mortgage lending going through the roof, bearing no relation to peoples earnings. We saw Northern Rock offering loans on the expense of ordinary savers, many of them pensioners, who now get a zero % interest on their earnings. Of course the more the Bank managers lent the higher their bonus. This was exactly the same scenario in the 1990 recession. We learnt then to install regulation through the CML but the Government took away its powers when the banks told the Government that it is somehow restricting growth in the country. It seems to me that the bankers were talking more about their bonuses than the growth of the economy. Regulation was made a dirty word and now the poor and the vulnerable in our society our paying the price, not those bankers, certainly not Sir Fred Goodwin with his £700,000 pension.

 

I believe if we had kept the regulation at the ground level through institutions like the CML and we have the FSA at the middle level the UK would have been in a lesser mess. Nonetheless we would still be in a mess because there is no regulatory regime on financial and other trade between countries. This is where the free markets really mean the larger economies having an unfair advantage over the weaker economies. In our case it was the US, the subprime lending came from the US, the UK then had to trade likewise just to keep up with the US. The banks are now internationalised, we do not have domestic banks. Money flows through international branches at a colossal level with electronic speed. There is now talk of the need for an international regime of financial regulation and I hope the G20 will be courageous enough to develop a fair and robust system, not only for financial instruments but over what we call free trade also. There is a need for a top level international regulatory syste.

 

As religious leaders we have to learn to accept that to talk of morals and ethics is we will be accused of being “judgemental”, that is if we are not prepared to translate those morals into systems that can protect the weak and the poor. We must continue to ask more regulation, that would be my moral view, and yes of course nobody likes over regulation and its best mode is self regulation but with money there will always be a blinding effect that needs a guiding hand and for that we do need a three tier regulatory regime, at an international top tier, a national middle tier for the large financial institutions, and another ground level tier at the delivery point dealing with the ordinary people.  Just as the banks were allowed to become too powerful the FSA should not be allowed the same fate of regulating financial services at every level. Let FSA regulate the larger institutions but give powers back to institutions like the CML to regulate at the delivery point for the ordinary people at the ground level.

 

So I suggest a three tier regulatory regime to avoid a similar financial crisis in future and remember this is the second time, after the early 1990’s recession.

 

 

Anil Bhanot

General Secretary

Hindu Council UK

 

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New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis – G20

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 2, 2009

New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis – G20

New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis: 2nd April 2009

House of Commons Committee Room 14

2:30 – 5:30pm Thursday 2nd April 2009

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

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

Ruth Tanner: War on Want

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

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

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

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

Richard Dowden: Director, Royal African Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Jang article part 2

UPF Recommendations for the G-20

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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UPF Recommendations for the G-20 Summit April 2nd 2009 – London

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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G20 Put People First Demonstration – March 28th 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 28, 2009

G20 Put People First Demonstration: March 28th 2009

This was a good opportunity to highlight important issues regarding fairness, relieving poverty, injustice and climate change. Among the 35,000 people involved there were a wide ranging number of groups included in the demonstration. Where else could you share a walk with ‘Bananas for Justice’ who were emphasising fair trade issues and a paper mache dragon that was promoting the World Development Movement? The demo was preceded by a church service led by the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres in Westminster Central Hall. For much of the march from Westminster to Hyde Park I was helping to carry the Jubilee Debt Campaign banner or placards. We were following a group including one with a Mohican haircut and another with bright pink hair who took turns to power a speaker system through bicycle power and chanted or sang in a way that was well practiced and humourous.

The speakers promoted issues of fairness and justice not just within the financial system but throughout our entire human family. Those on stage or on video repeatedly illustrated the injustice of the current economic and trading system. Rather than the G20 being the goal and end of the campaign the feeling from speakers and activists was that this is only one step in a long campaign to rectify the current unfairness. The current crisis was repeatedly referred to by participants and speakers as a watershed that is provoking reflection and must not be followed by ‘business as usual’.

Photo Link: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/PeaceFederationUK/PutPeopleFirst#

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GPF Focus Session and Display: A Future for Our Children? Can I make it happen?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 22, 2008


GPF Focus Session and Display: A Future for Our Children?

Can I make it happen?


Written by Greg Peachey

Nov 22nd, 2008
On entering the exhibition area in ExCeL on Saturday 22nd November 2008, one of the first things that caught everyone’s eye was a dazzling green algae lamp! The contribution to the Global Peace Festival by the Environment Focus Group chaired by C-Green Solutions and the benefits returned were both highly successful. These included a project co-sponsored by the GPF, an exhibition stand and a focus session.

The practical project entailed the successful development, by Harry Hart of Global Eco, of a system which, when fully replicable, will pave the way to feeding the hungry and resolving climate change in the process. Photographs with explanations were displayed in the environmental exhibition booth, together with footage showing representatives from four schools visiting the project. The principles were then implemented in a purpose-built greenhouse at St Michael’s Catholic High School and Specialist Humanities College in Watford. These results were showcased on the Environmental stand, together with their small-scale demonstration of key components of the Global Eco World Recovery Process, which involves cultivating algae, composting it in the absence of air and growing crops in the resulting nutrient-rich fertiliser. Because all you need to do this are sun, sea and air (excess CO2), this is a method of reclaiming deserts, which make up around 75% of the world’s land and cyclically producing food, fuels and just about any raw material – growing the world economy in harmony with the planet. A plasma screen showed an animation of the process.

The focus session was conducted at a fast and furious pace in order to fit in with the myriad of things happening in the broader event. It was well-attended, and resulted in potential funding to secure the person-millennium of research behind the world recovery process, and a set of out-of-the-box environmental ideas, to be presented on the web for public discernment, development and support. Hopefully, the best of these will turn into radical projects.

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Perspectives on Iraq

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 14, 2008

Last night we held a meeting entitled ‘Perspectives on Iraq’ to hear the views of those Iraqis who understood something of the current situation in Iraq.
We were fortunate to have Dave Anderson MP who is the Joint President of the Labour Friends of Iraq and a long time official of the Trade Union, Unison. Dave Anderson expressed that he had been opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq but had become involved in the Labour Friends of Iraq. He had accepted an invitation to visit Iraq from the Iraqi Trade Union movement who, he discovered, had welcomed the invasion as a liberation from Sadaam Hussein. He felt the most important point was to listen to the Iraqi people in how to help them solve their problems. Dave had taken Iraqis to the North East to his constituency to visit business people and to show them how the political and civil system worked. He said, “we’re a helping hand” from which Iraq can gain a lot but also we have a lot to learn from Iraq which is, after all, the cradle of civilisation.

Talar Salih Faiq, a UK representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), an autonomous region in Iraq since 1991. She explained that it is a secular Government that observed human rights and that 27% of the politicians in the KRG are women, the highest in the whole Middle East. There were some critical comments from the audience about corruption in the KRG to which Talar replied that every nation in the world has to struggle against corruption. The Kurdish people have suffered a great deal and are only now coming into development. It will take some time to become a mature democracy with refined systems against corruption. She, and all she knew, were doing all they could to help the people of the KRG and the rest of Iraq.
Gary Kent, who is the Parliamentary Adviser to the Kurdish Regional Government and Director of the Labour Friends of Iraq, said he wanted to listen to the Iraqi people themselves. Dave Anderson and he had wanted a ‘warts and all’ view of Iraq. The Kurdish people are the largest people without their own nation. They have every reason to be bitter after their great suffering. Even so the KRG have big plans including a huge airport that will have the 5th largest runway in the world. He expressed that contact with the wider world and in particular investment is very important both for Iraq and for the KRG.
Sadiq Al-Wohali had just returned from a visit to Iraq part sponsored by the UK Football Academy. He had been in 2007 amid all the violence to train football coaches in Sadr city when 40 people graduated his course. This year he returned to train coaches in several more areas around Iraq. Surprisingly he said there are several football teams in Sadr city including a women’s team! Aziz Al-Naib drew attention to the plight of refugees within Iraq and talked of his upcoming visit to make a documentary film.
One of the final comments of the night was from Dave Anderson. He emphasised his determination to continue to help the people of Iraq. ‘I will work with whoever you vote into power. If someone is not good you have the right to work to get them voted out. That’s the great thing about democracy.’

Dave Anderson MP, Aziz Al-Naib, Robin Marsh, Talar Faiq Salih, Gary Kent

Dave Anderson MP, Aziz Al-Naib, Robin Marsh, Talar Faiq Salih, Gary Kent

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