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Posts Tagged ‘MDGs’

Press Release – YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA TO SPEAK AT AFRICA RISING CONFERENCE IN LONDON

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 24, 2014

Press Release (for immediate release)

Africa Rising - The Role of the Diaspor African WoMan Final Flyer 450YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA TO SPEAK AT AFRICA RISING CONFERENCE IN LONDON

South African Superstar and Legendary Singer, YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA will be in London next week. Ms Chaka Chaka, who is a UNICEF & Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of Princess of Africa Foundation will hold the London premiere of her film: “A MOTHERLAND TOUR: A Journey of African Women with Yvonne Chaka Chaka” which will be screened in the wings of the 58th BFI London Film Festival.

Ms Chaka Chaka will also be a Keynote Speaker at the Conference on “AFRICA RISING: THE ROLE OF THE DIAPSORA AFRICAN WOMAN”, which will be hosted by the Rt. Hon. Baroness Verma, Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at the House of Lords, Westminster Houses of Parliament on Thursday 2nd October 2014. The Women’s Conference will discuss the role of women in the rise of Africa, with special focus on the need for the Diaspora African Woman to constructively engage with the current exciting and transformative moment in Africa’s history. The Conference aims to provide delegates an opportunity to gain insight and join discussions about the realities, obligations, obstacles and opportunities for the Diaspora African Woman in Africa Rising. The Conference has been convened by members of the “POWER 14″, who include Justina Mutale, Founder & CEO of POSITIVE RUNWAY, who is also African Woman of the Year 2012 and Gender Equality Ambassador & Spokesperson for the International Women’s Think Tank; Jacqueline Onalo, Human Rights and Immigration Lawyer at R. Spio & Company Solicitors and a trustee of Community Development Initiatives (CDI); and Deborah Owhin, Gender Equality Specialist and Founder of Made Equal, a vision to engage, educate and empower people in their 20s and 30s in the campaign to eradicate gender inequality.

It is hoped that this Conference can provide an avenue for understanding and paving a way for African women, including those in the Diaspora, to play an integral part in the rise of the continent in the wake of Africa’s changing political, environmental; economic and social landscape; as well as in the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda” says Justina Mutale. Read the rest of this entry »

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Millenium Development Goals and Civil Society

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 25, 2010

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Vijay Mehta Discussion Paper: ‘We Can End Poverty’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on June 17, 2010

Annual Erskine Childers Lecture 2010

Discussion paper by Vijay Mehta

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

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

Contents

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

ì Introduction

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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‘How Much Is Britain Helping Africa? Is It Effective?’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 1, 2010

Edinburg Glenneagles G8 Summit day. June 6th 2005

Universal Peace Federation-UK

Monday April 26th

6:30 for 7:00 pm

43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA


The Universal Peace Federation-UK is planning to commemorate African Day (usually May 25th each year) early on Monday April 26th at 6:30 for 7:00 pm, to coincide with the expected election campaign period to focus on the United Kingdom’s relationship with Africa. We will consider the trading relationship between Africa nations and the UK and how effectively the UK is supporting African development.

All major political parties have pledged to spend 0.007% of Gross National Income for overseas development aid. We will be asking representatives of the three major parties to explain their policies ahead of the UK general elections. There will be a discussion of those manifesto promises with influential Africans and civil society involved in African development.

Speakers include: Speakers include:

Nick Dearden, President of Jubilee Debt Campaign

Jonathan Fryer, author, journalist and former Chair of the Liberal International Group

Liberian Ambassador, HE Wesley Johnson

Ruth Tanner, Policy and Campaigns Officer for War on Want

Cllr. Lurline Champagnie will also address the audience regarding a charitable project, Reach Out Africa, she has initiated.

6:30 for 7:00 pm, at 43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA.

Representatives of other parties have been invited.

Please let us know if you are planning to come.  This is a public meeting, open to all concerned about Africa.

Robin Marsh

Secretary General

UPF – UK

Mobile: 07956210768

Photo Link

The photo above is of the UPF event ‘Africans Discuss Africa’, in Edinburg at the time of the G8 Summit in Glenneagles, June 6th 2005.

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World Cultural Association’s Oriental Experience

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 24, 2009

World Cultural Association’s Oriental Experience,

August 22nd 2009,  43 Lancaster Gate

Mongolian and Japanese Traditional Dress
Mongolian and Japanese Traditional Dress
Murad Qureshi - London Assembly Member

Murad Qureshi AM

‘London is the most multi-cultural city in the world. When we welcome the world here in 2012 Olympics we will have each local community here embrace their own delegation. I love to see this kind of event that celebrates our diversity.’ Murad Qureshi AM. (Greater London Authority Assembly Member).

Yesterday UPF was supporting the cultural programme, ‘An Oriental Experience’, the inaugural event of the World Cultural Association. It was a great event organised by the musician, Peter Graham, who has a longstanding passion for music and art to overcome  barriers between peoples and build a culture of world peace. The programme included Korean, Mongolian and Japanese cultural performances. Please click here for the links to photos of the event.

In a reception before the event, John Grogan MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mongolia, expressed his warmth for Mongolian culture as well as the appreciation of cultural events that allow people in the UK to understand more of the origins of the people around them.

The afternoon featured a presentation by Mathew Jackson of the Korean Spirit Promotion Project.

John Grogan

John Grogan MP

Mongolian traditional costume

Mongolian traditional costume

IMG_0043 Mongolian painting

Painting of a Mongolian women in traditional dress

Sakura Club

Sakura Club

Peter Graham
Peter Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unurmaa Janchiv of the Mongolia Art Cafe organised a number of Mongolian exhibits, a Mongolian calligrapher and other performances.

The Sakura Club, wearing beautiful Kimonos, demonstrated the Japanese Tea Ceremony and sang two Japanese songs.

We look forward to having more cultural events that reflect a world of ‘One Family of Humanity Under God’.

Robin Marsh

Posted in Cultural Programme | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK: Filipino Evening

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 6, 2009

Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK: Filipino Evening

Wednesday 5 August 2009

There was a Filipino evening in London last night at which Gene Alcantara introduced the Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK to the local Filipino community. There were several purposes for the evening:

–  Launching the Mindanao Peace Initiative UK – an initiative that seeks to promote peace in Mindanao, through projects in education, youth service activities, and other initiatives to bring young and old from different communities together in this Philippine area of Christian-Muslim conflict, as well as awareness-raising in the UK. Although focussed on Mindanao, any progress we make will benefit the whole country as well as contribute to world peace.

–  Introducing the Luzviminda Foundation, a new association aiming to connect Filipinos in the UK from all  three main island groupings, and helping where it is needed.  Many of the current Filipino organisations are already focussed on their own provinces, and Luzviminda hopes to supplement their role by not being restricted geographically.

–  Welcoming H. E. Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo and other new officials at the Philippine Embassy in London.

During the evening Charles Hardie spoke passionately of his desire for peace in Mindanao. He had experienced through the Northern Ireland conflict the constant need for talks and economic development in order to bring peace.

Imam Abdul Mannan Wahid  from the Philippine Muslim Association – UK, spoke of Mindanao as a rich and bountiful island that requires peace to become prosperous.

Andy Vilalba emphasised the beauty of Mindanao and the need for greater awareness and understanding of its situation.

Other videos from the evening are available from http://www.youtube.com/user/PeaceDevelopmntNetwk

My apologies for the poor quality of the videos.

Robin Marsh

Posted in Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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

Posted in Peace and Development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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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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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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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Disarmament for Development: Will we make it for the next 100 years?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 14, 2009

Disarmament for Development:

‘Will humankind survive more than 100 years?’ was the leading question posed by Dr. Tony Kempster at Lancaster Gate on Monday night. Dr. Kempster, Vice President of the International Peace Bureau, presented an intelligent case for pacifism both in words and song.

Dr Tony Kempster talking to Ambassadors for Peace in Lancaster Gate

Dr Tony Kempster talking to Ambassadors for Peace in Lancaster Gate

He defined himself as a ‘rational’ or ‘natural’ pacifist, a position that has been opposed by other pacifists. He explained that ‘absolute’ pacifists may not ever shoot anyone to defend themselves but may drive a car that pollutes the environment. He saw a link between the pacifism that opposed wars and the policies that encouraged keeping to two children per family.

The main fears he suggested are:

1) Global Warming leading to less land, less food and a movement of people making a future war more possible.

2) The marginalisation of the majority world leading to widespread dissatisfaction with birth rates falling in the north and growing in the south.

3) Resources running out in major areas in the next 50 years

4) Growing militarism especially between rival powers. An estimated $1.34 trillion was spent on weapons in 2007. That money could have been invested in relieving poverty or fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.

He expressed his disappointment at the wider peace movement that he did not see as successful except in those cases where there were limited and well-defined objectives such as the Campaign Against Landmines or the Campaign Against Arms Trade. He described the peace movement as too old, too left and too riven with internal conflicts.

Tony Kempster receiving an Ambassador for Peace award

Tony Kempster receiving an Ambassador for Peace award (From Left Prof Ian Hall, Dr Tony Kempster, Mr Mark Brann, Rev Dr Sumana Siri, Cllr Margaret Ali)

Dr Tony Kempster:

Vice President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva

General Secretary of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship

Report by Robin Marsh

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Dave Anderson MP visits to Kenya and the Middle East

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on February 16, 2009

There has been considerable interest in Dave Anderson MP’s support for the good works of the Universal Peace Federation.

Click here for a report of the visit to the Middle East in 2007. This includes a visit to a hospital in Bethlehem, the work with Israeli and Palestinian Doctors, meeting trade union representatives, the support for the Bereaved Family Forum who are seeking reconciliation rather than revenge, briefings and appointments with Israeli and Palestinian politicians and bringing together of religious leaders of all sides. During his visit Dave Anderson was able to question Dr Mustafa Bhargouti, Palestinian Minister of Communication and Mr Oded Ben Haim, Director of Palestinian Affairs Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Kenya the conference included a clean up of the Nairobi river, a UN project that the UPF sought to promote. There were further activities, including a football tournament that brought together the tribes that were engaged in post-election violence in Kenya.

The conference in Nairobi was attended by Kenyan Prime Minister and Mrs Odinga, former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, former Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ciorbea, former President of Slovakia Michel Kovac and former President of Sierra Leone Ahmed Kabbah, as well as many other parliamentarians from across the world.

Politicians of a wide spectrum of backgrounds have participated in Universal Peace Federation, or its preceding organisation, Inter-religious International Federation for World Peace, events.

Robin Marsh
UPF – UK Secretary General
07956210768

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Kenya Global Peace Festival Celebration and World Food Day (Oct 16th)

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 21, 2008

Kenya Global Peace Festival Celebration & World Food Day

October 16th 2008, 43 Lancaster Gate


Joseph Mingala and Doreen Oganga

Joseph Mingala and Doreen Oganga

The co-MC, Kenyan Jacob Mingala, expressed that while Kenya was the ‘cradle of civilisation’ it had many problems to find peace. Doreen Oganga, who was also MC for the evening, introduced the evening saying ‘I saw the banner of the Global Peace Festival and the river Nairobi clean up. I was there just after the presidential elections. I heard the fighting. Poor people are paid to do terrible things. As it was Global Debt Week, Robin Marsh spoke of the national debt of Kenya, largely created by a corrupt former President, that has inhibited  progress to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. Debt campaigners want to have Kenya’s debt cancelled.

Tim Miller had attended the Global Peace Festival in Kenya. He explained that the ‘Nairobi’ river means ‘cool clean water’ but it was so thick with rubbish you could walk on it. The clean up, inspired by the Global Peace Festival, will continue in the future. One stretch of the river was completely clean after the service project. Crops were already being planted alongside the river. Dave Anderson MP from the UK and a local MP planted trees with a number of the activists. The project was supposed to be a catalyst for political action as a service project alone would not solve the situation.

Humanity as one family has huge implications for human rights. In the US it was struggles over civil rights that led to civil war. The GPF’s slogan ‘one family under God’ means that we have equality irrespective of colour, nationality or faith. He emphasised the result of the Global Peace Festivals occurring around the world drawing attention to the issues that needed to be resolved to create a world that is truly equal and for a need for a spirit of public service. (The UK Global Peace Festival – November 22nd ExCel Centre London www.globalpeacefestival-uk.org)

'Hearts to Africa' Mrs Simone Morris & Ms Samantha Chase

Hearts to Africa Mrs Simone Morris & Ms Samantha Chase

Three Ambassador for Peace awards were presented, for those who had been epitomising that spirit. Two hard working members of ‘Hearts to Africa’ for the last 7 years Mrs Simone Morris & Ms Samantha Chase were given awards by Samuel Burke, Dr Raheem Khan, Tim Miller and Margaret Ali.

Mrs Roshen Ahmed

Mrs Roshen Ahmed

Mrs Roshen Ahmed received an Ambassador for Peace award for her long service through the Isha Foundation. She had grown up in Kenya but spoke of Isha foundation’s service work in India and teaching agricultural techniques in Sierra Leone.

October 16th is World Food Day, first proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The aim of the Day is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Michelle Goldberg spoke of the role organic foods in solving the foods crisis. Human beings intestines, she said, are not designed for meat eating. Too much land is being used to grow grains that are feeding cattle so that people can eat them. We would all have sufficient food if we utilised food from the sea and ate healthier diets.

Eco-Village Urban Initiative

Michelle Goldberg: Eco-Village Urban Initiative

For More Photos

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/PeaceFederationUK/KenyaGPFCelebrationOctober16th2008?authkey=UC4NFJ_Tq98#

You Tube http://uk.youtube.com/user/PeaceDevelopmntNetwk

UK Global Peace Festival November 22nd 2008 – ExCel Centre

For More Information www.globalpeacefestival-uk.org

Robin Marsh

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Jonathan Fryer blog on the Celebration of the Mongolian Global Peace Festival London Sept 26th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 5, 2008

http://jonathanfryer.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/mongolia-and-the-ninth-millennium-development-goal/

Mongolia and the Ninth Millennium Development Goal
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 27th September, 2008

World leaders have been in New York this week, discussing progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The sad fact is that there is no way that many poor countries are going to reach their targets by 2015. Moreover, with a few notable exceptions, including Britain I’m pleased to say, rich countries have failed to live up to the promises they made at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 Summit. The MDGs, for those who need reminding, are, in brief, (1) ending poverty and hunger, (2) universal education, (3) gender equality, (4) child health, (5) maternal health, (6) combatting HIV/AIDS, (7) environmental sustainability and (8) global partnership.

Last night, at a reception and seminar at the Universal Peace Federation in London, I learnt that Mongolia, intriguingly, has unilaterally added a ninth MDG to its programme: strengthening human rights and fostering democratic governance. Speakers including the Mongolian Ambassador, Bulgaa Altangerel, John Grogan MP (Chair of the All-Party parlianmentary group on Mongolia) and Dr Nancy Tokola, formerly Visiting Professor for Biomedical Ethics at the Health Services University of Mongolia, outlined some of the extraordinary advances this previously Communist Soviet satellite state has made over the past decade. The capital Ulan Baatur hosted a huge peace festival earlier this month, about which we were shown a short video. And the government is busy promoting Ghengis Khan not as the bloodthirsty vandal he has been seen in the West but as the founder of stable government and administration. As Mongolia is one of only three Asian countries I have never visited (the others being North Korea and East Timor), I’m now itching to see for myself the reality behind the hype!

Links: http://www.mongoliatourism.gov.mn and http://www.globalpeacefestival-uk.org

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Mongolia: Global Peace Festival and the Millennium Development Goals.

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 26, 2008

Mongolia: Global Peace Festival and the

Millennium Development Goals.

September 26th, 2008

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

The evening began with a Reception at which we were happy to meet several people from the Mongolia Association UK. H.E. Bulgaa Altangerel, the Ambassador of Mongolia, began proceedings by mentioning the good influence of the Global Peace Festival for the promotion of reconciliation. He mentioned that one of his main roles was to develop the economic relations with the UK.

HE-Bulgaa-Altangerel-Ambassador-of-Mongolia

HE-Bulgaa-Altangerel-Ambassador-of-Mongolia

John Grogan MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mongolia, has visited Mongolia five times this year. He had been an election monitor in parliamentary elections at the end of June that had seemed to fulfil international standards. This was a mark of its transformation to a mature democratic state even though there had been some troubles following the elections. John Grogan explained the pride of the Mongolian people when two gold medals were won by Mongolia in the Beijing Olympics.

John Grogan MP and Mark Brann

John Grogan MP and Mark Brann

Mark Brann, the CEO of the Global Peace Festival, explained that the value of the partnerships that have developed to run the Global Peace Festival. He encouraged all of us to work together to make the London GPF as successful as the Mongolian festival had been. A video of the Global Peace Festival in Mongolia showed the same square that had suffered conflict after the elections full of people enjoying the Festival.  Reports and videos are available onhttp://www.gpf.mn and www.globalpeacefestival.org

Dr Nancy Tokola

Dr Nancy Tokola

Dr. Nancy Tokola, who was a visiting Professor for Biomedical Ethics (2005-2007) in the Health Sciences University of Mongolia, explained the state of the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). She stated that Mongolia had decided a 9th MDG for Human Rights and Democratic Development was necessary for their nation to fulfil the other eight MDGs. A 2007 MDG assessment found that Mongolia will need $14 billion to accomplish the MDGs by 2015 with 50% of targets achievable or already achieved (MDGs 4,5, 8 and 9) and 47% were slow or backsliding (MDG’s 1, 2 3,6 and 7.)

John Mann, a British historian and writer on Mongolia, has written several books on the region. He was available to sign the books at the end of the evening. He has written books about Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan and Attila the Hun. He talked of his findings of a religious order of Genghis Khan in Northern China. He explained how Genghis Khan was driven by a sense that heaven had decreed that Mongolia owned the world and should govern it. Despite being a nomadic people they had gone beyond raiding other lands to governing their conquered lands effectively. He had established religious freedom and trade within his empire.

John Man

John Man

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Celebrate Kenya Oct 16th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 21, 2008

Global Peace Festival

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

Tel : 44 (0) 20 7262 0985  Fax : 44 (0) 20 7724 2262                                                         

 

 

 

You are cordially invited to a celebration of the Global Peace Festival in Kenya at 6:30 pm on October 16th at 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA. We will have presentations on the situation in Kenya, the experience of the Global Peace Festival and its projects in Kenya and also an explanation of World Food Day which occurs on the 16th October.

The Global Peace Festival is held every two years bringing together activists, NGO’s and other organisations and institutions that share a common vision for peace of one family of humankind, and who wish to assist the United Nations in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This festival is a platform from which they can all share their ideas and endeavours and create the opportunity to celebrate their achievements, develop partnerships and launch new initiatives together.

The Festival is not just an event but a process that in Kenya and elsewhere have been acknowledged to have inspired interfaith and intercultural activities, a series of youth service projects and reconciliation activities. For further information on the Kenya Global Peace Festival please see the website www.globalpeacefestival.org

We look forward to seeing you on the 16th of October. RSVP to reserve your place.

Yours sincerely                                           

Robin Marsh   peacefederationuk@gmail.com

Mulumba Kabongo k.mulumba@sky.com

Reports on the Kenya Global Peace Festival  www.globalpeacefestival.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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