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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Universal Peace Federation’s Two Slogans

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 19, 2014

Universal Peace FedeartionThe two slogans of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) are ‘Living for the Sake of Others’ and humanity is ‘One Family Under God’.

The first slogan, ‘Living for the sake of others’ is used by UPF to resolve conflicts and encourage personal growth. This conference has considered national branding deeply. The ultimate branding should be respected and trusted as someone who has integrity, a company that is law abiding and is a valuable stakeholder in the community or nation or a nation that is respected for its contribution to solving the problems of other less fortunate nations or to resolving world problems. In the UK prior to the last election in 2010 I was very happy that all three political parties had committed themselves to achieving 07 of 1% of Gross National Income to dedicate to Overseas Development Aid. It was something that we and many other NGOs had campaigned for before the election and since there has been a constant battle to maintain that total and the altruistic sincerity of the purposes for which it was and is being used. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr BK Modi Founder Global Citizen Forum with Dr.Thomas Walsh UPF International President

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 26, 2014

Dr B K Modi, Founder Global Citizen Forum, photo with Dr.Thomas G. Walsh, Universal Peace Federation President, Larry Beasley CEO & Pres & Thomas P.McDevitt Chairman of the Washington Times  http://t.co/UwP8ibIciA

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More About:

Dr B K Modi Founder of Global Citizen Forum:  http://lp.yuucore.net/gcf/founder.html

Dr Thomas Walsh UPF President http://www.upf.org

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World is getting less peaceful. It is official!

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 21, 2014

World is getting less peaceful. It is official! The Global Peace Index research into costs and benefits of peace is very thorough. The eight pillars of peace for stable and resilient nations are very important to maintain. #peaceday #jcipeace14 Camilla Schippa http://bit.ly/1ubOgvo

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International Peace Day Concert – Music for Peace in the Middle East

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 25, 2013

ImageOn UN International Peace Day, Universal Peace Federation – UK helped Tally Koren to organise a wonderful concert of Middle Eastern musicians in support of the Parents Circle Family Forum. ‘Music for Peace in the Middle East’ included Palestinian Oud player and singer, Nizar Al-Issa, guitarist Udi Glazer, Anna Kempton on Chello, violinist Julia Stone and Woody Dean on the piano and was held in the classic church background of St Peter’s in Notting Hill. Photos http://bit.ly/16zleFD

Music for Peace in the Middle East was a celebration of music from different cultures. Each person here tonight is supporting the language of love and on this note the first musician, the Persian Hamid Rasti, started playing with his instrument of 72 strings so beautifully. It was just music, peace, hearts beating and calming down in this church. It was just beautiful and every time we turned our heads back more people where coming in. Music has no barrier, as he diligently played and with what looked like chopsticks we all relaxed and he took us on a journey of hope.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

A Review of 2012 for Universal Peace Federation – UK

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on January 1, 2013

2012 A Review

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK 

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

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

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

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

Robin Marsh                                                                             Margaret Ali and Joyce Suda

Secretary General                                                                     Directors

Universal Peace Federation – UK

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

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

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Europe and Africa: Aid Effectiveness, Trade and Development

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 13, 2011

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

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Women Initiating Change: The Strength of the Outsider by Kat Callo

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 15, 2010

Women Initiating Change: The Strength of the Outsider

By Kat Callo, Trustee of Project Mosaic

www.projectmosaic.net / kat.callo@projectmosaic.net

Thank you for inviting me to take part in this event for the United Nations’ International Day of Women – on the subject of celebrating the achievements of women. How fitting to celebrate this on Mother’s Day. May I first wish to all Mums a very Happy Mother’s Day!

I am a little person, involved in a small and modest initiative called Project Mosaic. This is a UK-based educational charity that helps teach young people to be more tolerant of those coming from a different background – whether that’s a different race, ethnicity, religion, nationality or culture.

One of our projects, the Global Citizen programme, sends successful people from immigrant backgrounds to give inspiring talks to disadvantaged children and young adults. Each “Global Citizen” speaker focuses on two themes. The first is to give practical advice about job hunting, higher education, developing a career and getting better connected into mainstream society. The second theme is identity and tolerance, with a look in particular at how the multiple identities enable us to make a richer contribution to society.

Our Global Citizen speakers are teaching young people how to transform an identity as “an outsider” into a powerful tool for self improvement, community service and nation building.

We all have felt, at some point in our lives, like an outsider. People from immigrant backgrounds can feel they are living on the edge within their new country. Poverty makes people feel like marginalised, left out. Women working in a predominantly male industry can feel like outsiders. Being an outsider can be lonely – but it can also be liberating.

Violent extremism also plays on the theme of  “the outsider” – but it combines it with fear and ignorance, to creates a poisonous cocktail for our young people. Sadly, it’s a type of poison that is contagious, since prejudice by one group can so easily trigger prejudice by another. After the attacks of 9-11, many Americans concluded that Muslims as a group hated Americans and wanted to kill Americans. At Project Mosaic we are working with Muslim friends in the UK, the U.S., the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere to move beyond the fear and ignorance, and break the vicious cycle of group hatred. That’s just one conversation that needs changing. There are so many others.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Vijay Mehta Celebrating Diwali – Festival of Lights

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 18, 2009

Universal Peace Federation

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

Email: pa@uk.upf.org Web: www.uk.upf.org


Invites you to

National Interfaith Week

Hosted by Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Celebrating and learning from Diwali – Festival of Lights

Speaker: Vijay Mehta
E-mail: Vijay@vmpeace.org

Committee Room 4A House of Lords

Wednesday 18th of November, 2009, 5.00pm

Introduction

Diwali or “Festival of lights” is an occasion of joy, prosperity and brightness. It is a significant festival for Hindus,

Shanti Mehta and Vijay Mehta

Sikhs, and Jains. While in Hinduism, Diwali signifies victory over Darkness, it marks the attainment of nirvana by Mahavira, in Jainism. Sikhs often represent Diwali as a ‘Day of Freedom.’

The festival has emerged as a prime tourist attraction of Varanasi and present a breathtaking spectacle as millions of diyas are lit on the ghats and sent floating the river waters. A large number of people, including Indian and foreign tourist, congregate on the ghats and take boat rides to witness the spectacle. Since the day also marks ‘Kartik Purnima’, millions of Hindu devotees take a dip in the river Ganga. The event is also beamed live on TV and singing and dancing events also take place on various ghats.

For Hindus, Diwali is a five day extravagant affair. Dhanteras, the first day, is considered auspicious to buy Gold, household articles and specially utensils for kitchen. On this day, People gift “golden leaf” as it signifies prosperity and luck. Choti Diwali is the day when Lord Krishna killed Narakashura and freed the world from fear, according to the Legend. Laxmi Pooja or the actual Diwali is celebrated with a Pooja dedicated to Goddess Laxmi. Padwa is dedicated to the household cattle, where a pooja is done for them and are fed with goodies. Bhai Duj is a special day for siblings where the Brother visits the Sister’s house to celebrate the day with them.

Diwali day starts with an oil bath, after which everyone wears new clothes and sits down for a pooja of Goddess Laxmi. The whole house hold is lit with diyas in the evening and everyone, adults and kids alike play with crackers. Diwali day also sees lots of cashew studded milk sweets and other sweets. Friends and relatives visit each other to share wishes and Diwali Gifts. It emphasises on the joy of giving and sharing like all other festivals. This festival is celebrated not just in India, now but is a global festival.

There are some negative aspects to Diwali like incorrigible shopping, needless purchases and vulgar display of wealth which marks every Diwali. All these trends are propagated by market-driven forces. Most Indians put up a spectacular display of blinking lights, fire-crackers and blaring loud music.  This is a form of indulgence and is a waste of money while billions of people around us live in abject poverty.

It is time we started pondering whether Diwali is just revelry or a very deep-seated faith in addictive consumerism, an urge to possess and an equally inescapable desire to flaunt and display ones belongings.

Conclusion

How can we make multifaith festivals meaningful in the 21st century, especially to the younger generation and teach them the rights/wrongs of this world.

Our role as human beings is to be a trustee of this planet. While celebrating Diwali, we should ensure that we do not destroy our precious planet but use this festival to improve and enrich our life, heritage and culture. I wonder if some of you have read the article in the Economist of November 7th 2009 issue. In it, the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, said to an audience of spiritual leaders of all faith, I quote, ‘you are the leaders who have the widest, largest and deepest reach. You can make a huge difference in tackling the climate change crisis by linking up faith and green issues and save the planet for future generations.

In conclusion, let me say that celebrating festivals including Diwali is one of the greatest uplifting experiences one can have. If you go back in time in your childhood, one of the high points of a child’s life is to attend festivals along with the family, relatives and friends of different faith and religions. It was a constant source of joy, happiness and creativity. It can be a great learning curve for multiculturalism – a recipe for peace, prosperity and a safer future for all of us.

Biography: Vijay Mehta Vijay Mehta is president of VM Centre for Peace www.vmpeace.org , Founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity www.fortuneforum.org ,  Chair of Action for UN Renewal www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk and co-Chair of World Disarmament Campaign. He is an author, a champion for truth and global activist for peace, development, human rights and environment. Some of his notable books are The Fortune Forum Summit: For a Sustainable Future, Arms No More, and The United Nations and Its Future in the 21st Century.His latest book is on Global Warming and is called ‘Climate Change IQ,’ which is available to download free of charge in electronic form from the website www.climatechange365.co.ukHe along with his daughter Renu Mehta founder of Fortune Forum charity held three summits in London in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The summits raised over a million pounds for charity and attracted a worldwide audience of 1.3 billion people (one fifth of humanity) including print and media coverage. The keynote speakers for the first and second summit were Bill Clinton, former US President and Al Gore, former US vice-President, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2007. The guest speakers in 2008 were Ted Turner, Founder of CNN, Amritya Sen and Sir James Mirrlees both Nobel Prize winning Economists.Vijay Mehta has appeared in various TV programmes including BBC World, Press TV, Ajtak-24 hour Indian news channel, and Think Peace documentary, Canada, among others. The Sunday Times, Independent, Observer, Irish Times and Guardian newspapers, among other journals have written about him. His life is devoted to the service of peace, humanity and our planet.

Posted in Interfaith | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dr. L.M. Singhvi ‘Interfaith Imperatives’ May 2007

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 1, 2009

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‘Beacons of the Light’ Booklaunch October 16th, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 18, 2009

Universal Peace Federation

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

100 People Who Have Shaped The Spiritual History Of Humanity

‘Beacons of The Light’

Address and Book Launch by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke

Book Signing Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke

Book Signing Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke

Photo link of the Beacons of the Light Event October 16th, 2009.

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke with Respondents Imam Mahmadou Bocoum and Vijay Metha as well as MC Cllr. Margaret Ali

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke with Respondents Imam Mahmadou Bocoum and Vijay Metha as well as MC Cllr. Margaret Ali

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke Booklaunch with Dr Naznin Hirji

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke Booklaunch with Dr Naznin Hirji

Imam Dr Mamadou Bocoum praised Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke’s scholarship in writing such a book covering so many significant spiritual figures and for his investment as his teacher in the Muslim College during his Masters course. He quoted, ‘there is one light and there are different flames coming from that light’.

He mentioned that Abraham is the only prophet who became Haleel or the ‘ultimate friend of God’. He had to pay a heavy price to accomplish this title. Many other faiths want to take this person as their own faith’s exclusive founder or leading influence. This book reveals the claims and counterclaims on Abraham.

Imam Bocuom also reflected on the words ‘wherever there is love there is God but not wherever there is God there is love’.

During the Q. and A. Rev. Braybrooke was asked the question, ‘can spirituality exist without a religion?’  He replied, ‘Religions can meet best where they meet their call in God. The Dalai Llama said that for spirituality religion was not necessary. Others are rooted in a faith during their childhood even if they leave the faith later on in life and so it is difficult to separate their religion and their spirituality.’

Asked about those figures who are not included Rev. Braybrooke admitted that there are many more than one humndred figures mentioned but not as a separate section. In the end he said the criteria was how influential they were and after that there had to be some arbitrary selection.

Please see below or here for the response of Mr Vijay Mehta to ‘Beacons of the Light’.

Photo link of the Beacons of the Light Event October 16th, 2009.

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Vijay Mehta – Response to the book launch of ‘Beacons of the Light’

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 17, 2009

Response to the book launch of Beacons of the Light by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke

‘Challenges for Religions and Faiths in the 21st Century’

by Vijay Mehta

Held by Universal Peace Federation Web: www.uk.upf.orgwww.upf.org

on 16th October, 2009 Reception & Book Signing

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

Vijay Mehta

Vijay Mehta

It was a pleasure attending the book launch and thanks to Robin Marsh and Margaret Ali for giving me an opportunity to forward a response to the book.

It was nice the way Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke introduced his book as the spiritual rich list. In a very meaningful, humorous way, Dr Braybrooke described his remarkable book to showcase people who have shaped our world and the history of humanity. In a sense it is about our interconnectedness. We are all responsible for one another’s actions as we will live in an age of mutual engagement.

In his introduction Dr Braybrooke has pictured the spiritual history of mankind and I quote “as a great river with various springs, sources and tributaries, always changing sometimes dividing, but moving forward enriching the present and opening new vistas for the future.” What a profound statement. I have picked up a few highlights from the book. However I am not able to do justice as the book only arrived yesterday owing to the postal strike.”

Among the outstanding features is a continuous stream of spiritual people who have influence and inspired us by the writings and actions defining in different ways our relationship to the divine and supreme. One common theme appears to be the desires of all people of all faiths to be in oneness with the Supreme Being as the ultimate goal. This thought of oneness is still inspiring the religious followers of all faiths and is still the ultimate goal which in other words can be put as salvation.

According to the Hindu scriptures the human body is gained after 840,000 births and deaths. When you are given the precious gift of being a human, you are given one chance to be free from the endless circle of death and birth and obtain moksha (salvation) through prayer, meditation, penance, devotion, good deeds, love, forgiveness, tolerance and kindness. That is in essence the teaching of all faiths and religions. In certain cases, it is the selfless service, sacrifices through non-violence, interfaith fellowship to reach the ultimate reality.

Out of the 100 holy men described in the book 23 are from the Indian Origin and many others who are influenced by Indian thought and philosophy. There influences are far reaching and is felt in all part of India and around the world. This is evident from the fact that you can find Holy Men in most parts of India seen everywhere in daily life. Among the great Indian Holy men, the notables are Buddha, Chaitanya, Shankra, Kabir, Guru Nanak, and Gandhi just to name a few. Their influence has been far reaching specially Buddha and Gandhi whose theory and practice of non-violence which has reached worldwide practiced by the likes of Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King. I should also mention Emperor Asoka who is credited with making Buddhism a world religion. It is fair to say that if there is no Asoka, then there would be no Buddhism today.

In the last chapter, ‘which beacon shines most brightly’ is fascinating not because it lists holy people who made a difference but it also gives the much needed perspective of other religions and gifts and inspirations to the people who have very little knowledge of other religions than their own.  Religion no doubt has been a great source of strength and a source of cross-culture harmony in this world full of turmoil.

However, there are things hard to explain in religion which maybe legitimising violence, holy wars, killings and genocide. Is god a loving, supreme, holy light which is so tolerant that these questionable atrocities keep happening in our world? Among other questions which can be asked is if the dominance of patriarchal attitude of religion (of which women have been excluded for so long) and god has always been portrayed in the masculine form. Also one’s own salvation an ultimate goal of religion is meaningless if billions of people around us are living in poverty, squalor and hunger. Also, the author orthodoxy and radicalism in religion needs to be dealt with. The obvious example is the extremism of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and how it can be contained. How can we make religion and faith meaningful in the 21st century, especially to the younger generation and teach them the rights/wrongs of this world.

However, on a positive note as Dr Braybrooke said in his introduction, and I quote “my hope is that we all become aware of the varied spiritual heritage which we now share we shall now discover the spiritual resources to enable us to live together in peace, to relive the suffering of the hungry and marginalise and to treasure the planet that has been entrusted to us.” I hope the book ‘beacons of light’ will transforms our lives in a meaningful way and awaken our quest for truth. If that transpires then the writing of the book by Dr Braybrooke will be an invaluable contribution to humanity.

Posted in Interfaith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mindanao Tribal Summit and Global Peace Festival

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 27, 2009

Mindanao Tribal Summit and Global Peace Festival

By Dr. Robert Kittel, Director of Peace Education, UPF-Asia

Other Mindanao Peace Initiative Reports link

Sunday, September 27, 2009

“Indigenous Peoples Forging Partnerships for Unity and Peace of One Family of God”

Tribal Summit

Tribal Summit

Malaybalay, Philippines – In the first tribal summit in Mindanao, which brought together more than 40 tribal chieftains along with educators, politicians, representatives from international NGOs, and religious practitioners from Christian, Muslim, and indigenous peoples, there was a new focus. They did not discuss terrorism, politics, military strategies, or arms control. Instead, they directed their energies on children’s education. In a word: peace for the sake of others, for our precious children.

Dr. Estrella A. Babano, Chairwoman of the Mindanao Peace Initiative and Region 10 Director of Department of Education, declared before an audience of over 250 people, “We must focus on our children. They are the common concern we all share, and this must be the framework and platform for our peace initiative.”

Babano went on to outline eight peace programs that highlight this youth-centered approach:

•    The Peace Village is an out-of-classroom, residential program using a total immersion technique to have people experience different cultures and ways of life.
•    The Arabic Language & Islamic Values Education program teaches children, both Muslim and non-Muslim, that Islam is a religion of peace.
•    The Indigenous Peoples Education Center aims at functional literacy for underprivileged people to help uplift their self-esteem and enable them to advance socially.
•    School of Peace educates administrators and trains teachers about the inherent value of each of the various peace programs available; then, on this foundation, it organizes Peace Education Centers using school systems.
•    Harvest of Hope has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministries of Fisheries to train 240 Mindanaoans in aquaculture and fish processing.
•    Child of Peace is an adopt-a-school scholarship program working through the Department of Education.
•    Kids say “No” to Guns, billed as “turning arms into farms,” has children “surrender” their toy guns for saplings which they plant throughout the southern Philippine island.
•    Peace Parks makes learning fun as small groups of eight to ten students visualize and then construct themes related to peace.

In the Opening Session, Dr. Chung Sik Yong, the Regional Chair of the Universal Peace Federation–Asia and special representative of the Universal Peace Federation Founder, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, said that, “the Universal Peace Federation sees ‘leadership’ as one of the most critical issues facing our world today, both in developed and developing nations.” He emphasized this by saying that good leadership was essential to peace and social development precisely because a good leader must emulate the qualities of a good parent—absolute unselfishness.

Florencio T. Flores, Jr., the Mayor of Malaybalay and host of the two-day Summit, said he eagerly responded to the Mindanao Peace Initiative invitation because “without peace, there is no development.” The city of Malaybalay is in the heart of the island of Mindanao, and the mayor was very grateful there had not been any bombing in the city so far.

The highest ranking educator attending the summit, the Under Secretary of the Department of Education Program on Indigenous Peoples, Dr. Manaros B. Boransing, presented an overview of the national curriculum that was developed to preserve the culture of all indigenous peoples throughout the Philippines.

Commissioner Jeanette C. Serrano-Reisland, the Ethnographic Region of Central Mindanao at the National Commission on Indigenous People, gave current data on the various tribal groups in the Philippines. She also praised President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because although the ancestral domain legislation was passed 12 years ago, President Arroyo was the first to implement it by issuing land certifications. Dr. Norma Gonos, Senior Program Officer for Indigenous Peoples Education, described the components of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao experience, which concentrates on improving education for indigenous peoples.

In the afternoon session on the first day, Mr. Massimo Trombin, the International Vice-President of Service for Peace, delighted the audience when he told them that the Global Peace Festival was conceived in and born in the Philippines in 2006. The chairman of the Global Peace Festival, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, was deeply touched by seeing the Filipino lifestyle that integrated Eastern and Western cultures.

Here the vibrant love for music, singing and dance is accompanied by the spirit of family where everyone is a Tito / Tita (uncle or aunt) or Kuya / Ate (older brother or sister). Filipinos immediately embrace so-called strangers as family, encapsulating the spirit of the Global Peace Festival with its motto of “One Family Under God.”

Finally, Dr. Robert Kittel, Director of Education for UPF-Asia, pleased the multicolored crowd dressed in native costumes by saying that UPF had a very simple solution that would ensure peace in one generation — marry your enemy. It may take time for parents to love their in-laws, he said, but there is an instantaneous, irrepressible love between grandparents and grandchildren that bridges any historical resentment.

Two events highlighted the second day: a morning workshop where delegates drafted resolutions for the “Mindanao Tribal Summit,” followed by a Global Peace Festival (nearly 35 such festivals have been held throughout the Philippines this year). Over 200 participants performed skits, prayed, sang, and danced.

Concluding the two-day program at the Kaamulan Cultural Center, tribal chieftains signed the “Mindanao Resolution,” and 25 Ambassador for Peace certificates were distributed.

This Mindanao Tribal Summit and Global Peace Festival September 26 and 27 were sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, the Department of Education, the Province of Bukidnon, and the City of Malaybalay.

Photo Links

Further photo reports of other events:

http://tmeurope.multiply.com/photos/album/45/Field_trip_in_Marawi.04102009

http://tmeurope.multiply.com/photos/album/43/Garden_of_Peace_project

Original Report

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

Report: United Nations International Day of Peace – Sept 21st, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 19, 2009

peacedaylogo

United Nations International Day of Peace

September 21st, 2009

“We Must Disarm”

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

IMGP0286 Speakers Panel

IMGP0272 audience We Must Disarm

The UN International Day of Peace on September 21st at the UPF – UK Peace Centre, supporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s theme for the day, “We Must Disarm”. The International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. This year the Secretary-General is calling on governments and citizens to focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Universal Peace Federation centres all around the world were supporting this event and included a declaration for this day that follows this report or by this link

Vijay Mehta, (below left Shanti Mehta and Vijay Mehta) Chair of World Disarmament Campaign and Action for UN Renewal, ‘Towards a world Free of Nuclear Weapons – can United Nations & civil society make it happen ?’ (Video Link)

He explained the world was overspending on war and underspending on peace and consequently how education and health budgets were suffering throughout the world. (Full speech link)

IMGP0271  Vijay Mehta and Shanti Mehta 3

IMGP0266 Prof Bhupendra Jasani reduced


Prof. Bhupendra Jasani, (above right) King’s College London, Department of War Studies, is a specialist in Disarmament issues. He focused on the verification techniques that assist confidence building and facilitates disarmament. He illustrated the standard of currently commercially available satellite imagery and techniques for verification. He explained his impact on various Governments as well as the UN to improve verification methods and strategies. Video of his speech through link.

Verification Prof Jasani 210909 Please click on this link for the powerpoint presented by Professor Jasani.

Moeen Yaseen, (Below Left) Founder Global Vision 2000 an Islamic International Think Tank:  ‘The Military Influence on our Global Economy and the Need for a Paradigm Shift’     Video of his speech through link.

IMGP0270 Moeen YaseenIMGP0279 Jack Lynes

Jack Lynes: (Above Right) “Peace – a Jewish Perspective and some Food for Thought and Action” (A personal view.)

For More Photos Link

Robin Marsh
Secretary General
Mobile: 07956 210 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              07956 210      end_of_the_skype_highlighting 768

Cllr. Margaret Ali
Director
Mobile: 07723024750

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

https://peacedevelopmentnetwork.wordpress.com

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

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

Working for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons: Vijay Mehta

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 19, 2009

Celebration of UN International Day of Peace lecture

Public Meeting
6.30pm

Monday 21st September 2009
Universal Peace Federation

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Speaker:  Vijay Mehta



Working for a world Free of Nuclear Weapons – what can the

United Nations and civil society do?

Vijay Mehta
vijay@vmpeace.org
http://www.vmpeace.org
http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk

Contents

1)   Introduction

2)   Threats posed by nuclear weapons

3)   Five steps the United Nations can take for disarmament and a nuclear free world

4)   What can civil society do?

5)   Conclusion
Introduction
Thank you Robin Marsh, Margaret Ali and Universal Peace Federation for inviting me here today to speak on an important and timely topic on ‘working for a world free of nuclear weapons – what can the United Nations and civil society do?’

There are renewed hopes as new opportunities for Global Disarmament appear on the horizon for the first time in decades. There is a strong will towards nuclear disarmament and this opportunity must be seized.  These include a Security Council summit on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation on the 24th of September chaired by President Obama, talks between the Russian Federation and the USA for joint initiative to reduce their arsenal under START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty. It is also timely as various initiatives worldwide are being launched to build a momentum for the successful conclusion of nuclear disarmament agenda at next year’s 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Hence today’s meeting is important. It is also important because we are celebrating the UN International Day of Peace. Meetings like ours are happening all over the world.

Thank you for all the good work being done by your organisation on an ongoing basis. It is a privilege to be among peace campaigners. You are thinkers and change makers, the driving force for social change in our world.

Threats posed by nuclear weapons

Today we will be exploring not only getting rid of Trident UK nuclear submarine system but also bigger nuclear proliferation problems which require new proposals and viable solutions. It needs a new mindset. As Albert Einstein said, “the significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

There are 30,000 nuclear warheads in the possession of the declared nuclear weapon states USA, Russia, France, UK and China (the P5 states) with their arsenals on hair-trigger alert. On top of that there is worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology which is being deployed by countries such as India, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and Israel. When so much military hardware is available around the world terrorists can easily create mayhem by indiscriminate mass killing and destruction. Political violence, organised crime and inciting fear in the civilian population are becoming the hallmark of new terrorism. The war on terror has offered a whole set of justifications for countries to increase their arsenals and push the budget on military spending, which is currently running at $1.4 trillion.

The development of mini nukes and bunker buster bombs by US and its doctrine of pre-emption which has replaced arm control and collective security have made the world a far less secure and stable place.  It also gives wrong signals to other countries as they feel vulnerable to attack.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty has been completely ignored by the major nuclear powers because under its provisions the nuclear powers have pledged themselves to negotiate nuclear disarmament and never to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state – a pledge that has been ignored, with direct threats that they might be used if a nuclear state felt endangered.

Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, the terrifying hallmark of which was the nuclear arms race and the doctrine of mutual assured destruction continue to exist. Their existence poses the greatest threat to the human race and the planetary environment.

In this presentation, I will argue that nuclear weapons have no utility and that any security issues they are purported to solve would only be made worse by their use.
There is no serious problem on which military action may be needed which cannot be solved through the use of peaceful dialogue. Most disturbing is that possession of nuclear weapons is proliferating, which enlarges the possibility that they may be acquired by non-State groups.

However, especially in the P5 states, the view is common that nuclear weapons from the first wave of proliferation somehow are tolerable, while such weapons in the hands of additional states are viewed as dangerous.

So long as any state has nuclear weapons, others will want them. So long as any such weapons remain, there is a risk that they will one day be used, by design or accident. And any such use would be catastrophic. Nuclear accidents, effects of radiation and damage to the environment pose grave threats to our world

Nuclear, biological and chemical arms are the most inhumane of all weapons. They are rightly called weapons of mass destruction and weapons of terror. Designed to terrify as well as destroy, they can, in the hands of either states or non-state actors, cause destruction on a vastly greater scale than any conventional weapons, and their impact is far more indiscriminate and long-lasting.

As weapons of mass destruction and disarmament form one of the gravest challenges facing the world, a world free of nuclear weapons is a global public good of the highest order.  Despite a longstanding taboo against using nuclear weapons, disarmament remains only an aspiration. So, is a taboo alone on the use of such weapons sufficient?

States make the key decisions where nuclear weapons are concerned. But the UN has important roles to play. It provides a central forum in which states can agree on norms to serve their common interests. It analyses, educates, and advocates in the pursuit of agreed goals.

Most states have chosen to forgo nuclear weapons, and have complied with their commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Yet some states view such weapons as a status symbol, and some view them as offering the ultimate deterrent against nuclear attack, which largely accounts for the estimated 30,000 that still exist.

Unfortunately, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence is contagious, making non-proliferation more difficult and raising new risks that nuclear weapons will be used.

The world remains concerned about nuclear activities in North Korea and Iran, and there is widespread support for efforts to address these concerns by peaceful means.

There are also concerns that a “nuclear renaissance” is looming, with nuclear energy seen as a clean energy alternative at a time of intensifying efforts to combat climate change. The main worry is that this will lead to the production and use of more nuclear materials that may be used for making bombs, proliferation and terrorist threats.

The obstacles to disarmament are formidable including the daunting challenges of multiple crises: food, fuel, flu pandemic and financial crisis. But the costs and risks of its alternatives never get the attention they deserve. Consider the enormous opportunity cost of huge military budgets. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military expenditures last year exceeded $1.4 trillion. Ten years ago, the Brookings Institution published a study that estimated the total costs of nuclear weapons in the United States alone to be over $5.8 trillion, including future cleanup costs. By any definition, this is a huge investment that could have had many other productive uses, i.e. eradicating hunger, poverty, diseases and the adverse effects of climate change.

The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded. Military spending continues to rise everyday. It is now well above US trillion. More weapons are being produced. They are flooding markets around the world. They are destabilising societies. They feed the flames of civil wars and terror. Around the world, gun violence is the number one cause of civilian casualties.

Concerns over nuclear weapons’ costs and inherent dangers have led to a global outpouring of ideas to breathe new life into nuclear disarmament. We have seen the WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) commission led by Hans Blix, the New Agenda Coalition, and Norway’s Seven Nation Initiative. Australia and Japan have launched the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Civil society groups and nuclear-weapon states have also made proposals, such as the Hoover Plan, spearheaded by Henry Kissinger. There is further ray of hope with the new American administration, under Barack Obama, who has pledged to show the world that America believes in its existing commitments under the NPT to work to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Five steps the United Nations can take for disarmament and a nuclear free world

To push forward the agenda, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, put forward a five-point proposal.

  • Disarmament must enhance security

First, to urge all NPT parties, in particular the nuclear-weapon states, to fulfill their obligation under the treaty to undertake negotiations on effective measures leading to nuclear disarmament. They could agree on a framework of separate, mutually reinforcing instruments. Or they could consider negotiating a nuclear-weapons convention, backed by a strong verification system, as has long been proposed at the UN. A draft has been circulated to all UN members of such a convention, which offers a good point of departure.

The nuclear powers should actively engage with other states on this issue at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. The world would also welcome a resumption of bilateral negotiations between the US and Russia aimed at deep and verifiable reductions of their arsenals.

The Security Council’s permanent members should begin discussions on security issues in the nuclear disarmament process. They could unambiguously assure non-nuclear-weapon states that they will not be subject to the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons. The council could also convene a summit on nuclear disarmament. Non-NPT states should freeze their own nuclear-weapon capabilities and make their own disarmament commitments.

  • Disarmament must be reliably verified

Secondly, governments should also invest more in verification research and development. The United Kingdom’s proposal to host a conference of nuclear-weapon states on verification is a concrete step in the right direction.

The NPT state parties should pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament, either through a new convention or through a series of mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a credible system of verification.

  • Disarmament must be rooted in legal obligations

Thirdly, Universal membership in multilateral treaties is a key, as are regional nuclear free zones and a new treaty on fissile materials.

Unilateral moratoria on nuclear tests and the production of fissile materials can go only so far. We need new efforts to bring the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty into force, and for the conference on disarmament to begin negotiations on a fissile material treaty immediately, without preconditions.

There should be efforts made to support the creation of the Central Asian and African nuclear-weapon-free zones which should also strongly support efforts to establish such a zone in the Middle East. And all NPT parties need to conclude their safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and voluntarily to adopt the strengthened safeguards under the Additional Protocol.

Furthermore, an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice in 1996 stated that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

  • Disarmament must be visible to the public

Fourthly, countries with nuclear weapons should publish more information about what they are doing about what they are doing to fulfill their disarmament agenda.

The nuclear-weapon states often circulate descriptions of what they are doing to pursue these goals. But these accounts seldom reach the public. The nuclear-weapon states should send such material to the UN Secretariat, and to encourage its wider dissemination. The lack of an authoritative estimate of the total number of nuclear weapons attests to the need for greater transparency.

  • Disarmament must anticipate emerging dangers from other weapons

Finally, a number of complementary measures are needed. These include eliminating other types of WMD; new efforts against WMD terrorism; limits on the production and trade in conventional arms; and new weapons bans, including of missiles and space weapons.

If there is real, verified progress on disarmament, the ability to eliminate the nuclear threat will grow exponentially. As we progressively eliminate the world’s deadliest weapons and their components, we will make it harder to execute WMD terrorist attacks. WMD should not stand for weapons of Mass Destruction but for We Must Disarm.

These proposals offer a fresh start not only on disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful use of nuclear energy, the three pillars of NPT, but also on strengthening our system of international peace and security leading to nuclear free world.
These can be enhanced by following the Article VI of the NPT which obliges its signatories “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”.

What can civil society do?

Follow 13 Practical Steps for Disarmament which is reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control. (see end of the speech)

Here is a list of action points – things that we can all do to oppose nuclear weapons and promote a nuclear weapons world:

  • Before anything – study the problem.
  • Write to your MP and to key decision makers and put pressure on government ministers. Urge  UK government to send a delegation at ministerial level to represent the UK at the next NPT conference.
  • Ask your MP to sign the parliamentary motions.
  • Write letters to world leaders and the editor of newspapers.
  • Educate the public and organise a forum.
  • Plan a demonstration.
  • Hold a meeting or run a workshop.
  • Call a radio talk show.
  • Contact your local interfaith group to discuss the issue.
  • Make paper cranes to send to decision makers (they have become a symbol of disarmament).
  • Join the nonviolent initiatives for disarmament.
  • Attend a “Dialogue with decision-makers” workshop.
  • Get involved in your local disarmament group.
  • Promote complete and general disarmament by distributing information about 13 Practical Steps taken from the final document of 2000 Review Conference of the (NPT) Nuclear-non Proliferation Treaty. (see appendices to lecture).
  • Pray. The nuclear weapons danger cannot be addressed through action alone. All activism must be accompanied by an inner journey that faces the existence of nuclear weapons, the possibility of annihilation, and the power of God in the face of these threats. Religious people can be a voice of hope for the future.
  • Speak truth to power. Our elected officials are the ones who are making the daily decisions to fund new nuclear weapons or to follow our treaty obligations by reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons. Build a relationship with your local and national elected officials by writing letters, making phone calls, and setting up in-state lobby visits.

Conclusion

For total and general disarmament, education should be made a priority for bringing a culture of peace, nonviolence and reconciliation. By eliminating root causes of war we can eliminate the need for small arms and nuclear weapons leading to lasting peace. The world today spends billions preparing for war.  Should we not spend a billion or two preparing for peace? The reduction of defense budgets and demilitarisation should be applied to fund the economic aid and conflict resolution.

One of the sustainable long term solutions for elimination of nuclear weapons will be the prohibition of weapon usable nuclear materials. By signing the FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty) Treaty, we can prevent nuclear proliferation by limiting the available sources and hence increasing physical safety and security.

The United Kingdom and the other nuclear powers have to recognise that their own weapons and policies are part of the problem and hinder international efforts to abolish nuclear weapons and reduce proliferation incentives. Now is the time to begin phasing out nuclear weapons, starting with a decision not to replace Trident. Contrary to myth, giving up nuclear weapons will not happen overnight or leave the United Kingdom naked and vulnerable. It is high time to recognise their irrelevance and start planning for a safely managed transition to a more relevant security approach, with a more appropriate allocation of defence resources.

Now whilst the worlds leading nations talk of reducing nuclear weapons they still want to develop new weapons for themselves. This strikes me as a strategy that will never free the world of nuclear weapons.

That is why you and all other who care must ensure that governments will go into the non-proliferation talks next year ready to act. This is a precious opportunity to move towards a nuclear free world and i call upon you and all supporters of a world free of a threat of complete annihilation to sieze that opportunity.
It should be noted that Gandhi, was not only a keen supporter of substituting nonviolent resistance for war, but a sharp critic of the Bomb. In 1946, he remarked: “I regard the employment of the atom bomb for the wholesale destruction of men, women, and children as the most diabolical use of science.” When he first learned of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Gandhi recalled, he said to himself: “Unless now the world adopts non-violence, it will spell certain suicide.” In 1947, Gandhi argued that “he who invented the atom bomb has committed the gravest sin in the world of science,” concluding once more: “The only weapon that can save the world is non-violence.” The Bomb, he said, “will not be destroyed by counter-bombs.” Indeed, “hatred can be overcome only by love.”


I will close with a paragraph from Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, director of IAEA:


“Imagine what would happen if the nations of the world spent as much on development as on building the machines of war. Imagine a world where every human being would live in freedom and dignity. Imagine a world in which we would shed the same tears when a child dies in Darfur or Vancouver. Imagine a world where we would settle our differences through diplomacy and dialogue and not through bombs or bullets. Imagine if the only nuclear weapons remaining were the relics in our museums. Imagine the legacy we could leave to our children. Imagine that such a world is within our grasp.”

If we can follow his wisdom and all the outline initiatives we have discussed today, then we have a golden opportunity to achieve a world free of nuclear arms.
Thank you very much for listening.

Notes

The following publications were consulted and excerpts have been taken from them during the writing of this article:

1)    Ban Ki Moon, “Five steps to a nuclear-free world” (Guardian, UK) 23 November 2008

2)    Penn State Live, Ambassador to address U.S. foreign policy, nuclear disarmament, 6 February 2009. http://live.psu.edu/story/37444

3)    Vijay Mehta, “Should Britain be building new nuclear weapons? What are its implications and what is the peace movement’s strategy?” 1 June 2006

Biography: Vijay Mehta

Vijay Mehta is president of VM Centre for Peace www.vmpeace.org , Founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity www.fortuneforum.org ,  Chair of Action for UN Renewal www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk and co-Chair of World Disarmament Campaign. He is an author, a champion for truth and global activist for peace, development, human rights and environment. Some of his notable books are The Fortune Forum Summit: For a Sustainable Future, Arms No More, and The United Nations and Its Future in the 21st Century.

His latest book is on Global Warming and is called ‘Climate Change IQ,’ which is available to download free of charge in electronic form from the website www.climatechange365.co.uk

He along with his daughter Renu Mehta founder of Fortune Forum charity held three summits in London in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The summits raised over a million pounds for charity and attracted a worldwide audience of 1.3 billion people (one fifth of humanity) including print and media coverage. The keynote speakers for the first and second summit were Bill Clinton, former US President and Al Gore, former US vice-President, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2007. The guest speakers in 2008 were Ted Turner, Founder of CNN, Amritya Sen and Sir James Mirrlees both Nobel Prize winning Economists.

Vijay Mehta has appeared in various TV programmes including BBC World, Press TV, Ajtak-24 hour Indian news channel, and Think Peace documentary, Canada, among others. The Sunday Times, Independent, Observer, Irish Times and Guardian newspapers, among other journals have written about him. His life is devoted to the service of peace, humanity and our planet.

13 Practical steps

EXCERPTED FROM THE FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE 2000 NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE

The Conference agrees on the following practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995

Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”:

1.    The importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

2.   A moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.

3. The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on / Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.

4.   The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.

5.   The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures.

6.    An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.

7.   The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions.

8.    The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

9.   Steps by all the nuclear-weapon States leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:

*     Further efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally.
*     Increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon States with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to Article VI and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament.
*     The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process.
*     Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems.
*     A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination.
*     The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.

10. Arrangements by all nuclear-weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside of military programmes.

11. Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.

12.  Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”, and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.

13.The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

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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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UPF Peace Declaration on 21st September, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 11, 2009

UPF - logos 2-0 cm

Universal Peace Federation

Peace Declaration

“Since wars begin in the minds of man, it is in the minds of man that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”  (UNESCO Constitution, 1945)

On the occasion of and in support of the International Day of Peace, September 21st, 2009, for which Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon gave the motto “We Must Disarm” (WMD), with a focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Universal Peace Federation offers the following affirmations:

First, human conflict and the resort to arms and weapons have their roots in the breakdown of human relationships, and the human failure to live up to our highest ideals and aspirations. Violence is a symptom of a moral and spiritual failure. If we are to eliminate violence and weapons of mass destruction, we must commit ourselves to a moral and spiritual awakening.

Second, lasting peace is secured not only through the reduction of nuclear arsenals, but, more importantly, by the growth in solidarity among the whole human family, and a recognition that we are all brothers and sisters who share a common spiritual and moral heritage. We are one family under God. It is this understanding that gives rise to the collective will to put an end to violent conflict.

Third, being the basic, building block of society, the family serves as the primary school of ethics, and should serve as the school where we learn to love, respect and serve others.  By strengthening marriage and family, we can educate our children to respect all people, thereby establishing a culture of peace.  Once humanity learns to resolve conflicts without weapons, massive resources will be reallocated for human development.

Fourth, laws alone cannot change the culture of violence, but must be undergirded by substantial educational programs aimed a promoting character education, conflict resolution, and a culture of service and peace. Men and women who are taught to fulfill their moral obligations and responsibilities toward others will respect and live for the greater good and fulfillment of others.

The Universal Peace Federation thereby resolves to join the United Nations to declare September 21st as
The International Day of Peace

To Be Declared this 21st day of September 2009  London UK.

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Pilgrimage – Interfaith Perspectives

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on September 2, 2009

‘Pilgrimage’


Period of Silence to Begin

Period of Silence to Begin: Angad Kaur, Brother Tashi, Swami Saradananda, Joy Phillipou, Amarjeet-singh Bhamra, Imam Mahmadou Bocoum

What can we learn about pilgrimages that are common to all religions? On September 3rd we heard about jumping queues and ‘culturally determined’ mind sets that are challenged when we join a pilgrimage. Swami Saradananda, who coordinates pilgrimages (www.flyingmountainyoga.org), talked of India as a place where Europeans or Americans had to relearn everything from how to eat, talk, sleep and go to the toilet. The happiest pilgrimage was often the one where everything went wrong! Imam Mahmadou Bocoum spoke of wearing the white clothes of the Haj and putting away things of the world. Yet he struggled when others jumped queues, pushed and shoved to fulfil their heavenly duties. Brother Tashi spoke of accumulating merit by pilgrimages as well as purifying our karma. He demonstrated the sequence of devotion when approaching the holy mountain in Tibet near Llhasa: the sequential prostration every two metres along the path.

Angad Kaur talked of two pilgrimages. The first was similar to sightseeing. The second with a spiritual guide and mentor was an external manifestation of an enriching internal journey. She could experience the devotion suffused within the stones and creation where it was practiced by holy people of the past.

Joy Phillipou grew up in the Holy Land of the Levant, providing ample time to experience swimming in Lake Galilee while thinking of Christ walking on that lake or the joy of being given turkish coffee and sanctified bread at 4:00 am by monks after sleeping overnight in the Church of Holy Sepulchre or lying down in the Garden of the Tomb in the place where Christ’s body may have been laid to rest. She felt a sacred presence within the stations of the cross on Via Doloroso holding her arms out like Christ in crucifixion.

A Unificationist, Ashley Crosthwaite, saw life of faith as a journey. The pilgrimage is a small aspect of that journey. On a pilgrimage to a holy place in Korea he and his wife, who were having difficulty to have children, were told by a spiritual lady of that place to fast one day a week and have cold showers each day for three years. At the conclusion of those three years they had their first child.

Swami Saradananda quoted Mother Theresa’s conception of a castle with seven rooms in our inner world. Each room is guarded by those who check whether you have really learned all there is to learn from that room before passing to the next. Real peace must come from within she said as we change our own inner nature. A pilgrimage brings out the real inner nature in a way that allows us to deal with what we can easily hide in our own nation and regular life.

For more photos please click here. For other interfaith activities please use this link.

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Interfaith Meditation and Spiritual Leadership Sept 16th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 25, 2009

UPF - logos 2-0 cm

UPF-UK Interfaith Committee

Rajesh Ananda:

Foundation for International Spiritual Unfoldment

Guided Meditation

&

Discussion: ‘The Value of Spiritual Practices (Prayer, Meditation etc):

How do we raise the profile of the value of spiritual practices?’

6:30 pm 16th September 2009,

43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA

Rajesh Ananda will guide a meditation and a discussion of the leadership of his spiritual Guru, the Gururaj Ananda Yogi, from whom he inherited his position and wisdom. Gururaj Ananda Yogi emerged as a spiritual master in South Africa at the same period as Nelson Mandela who is well known in the world. Gururaj was also struggling against apartheid although he was never jailed he was threatened on numerous occasions. Kindly RVSP to reserve your place.

Sincerely,

Robin Marsh on behalf of the Interfaith Committee

Mobile: 44 (0) 7956 210 768

Universal Peace Federation – UK www.uk.upf.org Tel: 44 (0) 207 262 0985
Peace and Development Network:    Blog: https://peacedevelopmentnetwork.wordpress.com

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

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‘Beacons of the Light’ Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke Oct 16th

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 20, 2009

100 People Who Have Shaped The Spiritual History Of Humanity

UPF - logo

Universal Peace Federation:

43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA

Web: www.uk.upf.orgwww.upf.org

‘Beacons of The Light’

Address and Book Launch by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke

16th October, 6.00pm – 7:00pm Reception & Book Signing

At 43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA

7.00 pm Keynote Address

Followed by Respondents and Q&A

You cordially invited to attend an address and book launch by Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, entitled, ‘Beacons of The Light’ which introduces 100 of the world’s most influential spiritual teachers.

Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke DD., is a retired Anglican Clergyman. He was Executive Director Council of Christians & Jews 1984 – 87, and Chairman of the World Congress of Faiths 1978 – 83 & 1992 – 99, and is its current President. He is the author of more than a dozen books. His Lambeth Doctor of Divinity was presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury in recognition of “his world-wide work for inter-religious understanding and co-operation.”

At 6.00 pm we will have a reception for those of you who wish to take time to speak to Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke and when there will be a more relaxed and personal time for those who wish to have their books signed by him.

Reviews
It’s a book that should be on the shelf of anyone who wishes to understand the astonishing variety of ways in which religious faith has shaped the way human beings live and the way they think. Canon David Winter, Former Head of BBC Religious Broadcasting.

With his breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm, diligent work and sensitivity Marcus has become a beacon for others, including myself, to follow.

Rabbi Jackie Tabick, Chair of the World Congress of Faiths, London.

Seeing the spiritual history of mankind through the eyes of wise elders from all cultures and religions reminds us of our common humanity and points the way to a peaceful future.

Alison Van Dyk, Chair, Temple of Understanding, New York

After Dr Braybrooke’s talk we will have respondents from different faiths, then the floor will be open for comments and questions. He will be available later to sign books. Please let us know if you are able to attend so that a place is reserved for you. We look forward to seeing you.

Yours sincerely,
Robin Marsh                                                                            Cllr. Margaret Ali
Secretary General                                                                 Director
Mobile: 07956 210 768                                                     Mobile:07723024750

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

Peace and Development Network: http://uk.youtube.com/PeaceDevelopmntNetwk

https://peacedevelopmentnetwork.wordpress.com

UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
Follow the links for more about the Interfaith Committee or the Community CohesionChapter of UPF.

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

More About the Book: www.o-books.com

Marcus Braybrooke

Extent: 512 pages  Size: 51/2×81/2 inches 216/140mm

Paperback

World rights

First published 2009

Religion/History

CONTENT: Today we are inheritors of the wisdom of spiritual teachers of every religion, century and country – thanks to the work of many scholars and translators. Their messages, with significant cross-cultural harmonies, can still inspire us today and help us recognise the oneness of all human beings.

Beacons of Light introduces 100 of the world’s most influential spiritual teachers – some like Jesus, the Buddha or Muhammad are well known; others like Rabia, Manikkavacakar, Guru Arjan Dev or Hildegard deserve to be better known. The story of their lives is clearly set in the historical and religious context of their time. A summary is given of their message and continuing influence.

The author has dared to rank the 100 according to his personal assessment of their influence and challenges the reader to do the same and not just to absorb the information but also to reflect on the impact of the people discussed.

The book is an invitation to the reader,as a citizen of the world, to claim his or her inheritance of spiritual riches.

AUTHOR: Marcus Braybrooke has for forty years played a significant role in the growing worldwide interfaith movement. He is President of the World Congress of Faiths, Co-Founder of the Three Faiths Forum, a Peace Councillor and a Patron of the International Interfaith Centre at Oxford. He has travelled widely to share in many interfaith gatherings. He is also the author of over forty books on religion and prayer, including 1,000 World Prayers and A Heart for the World (both O Books).

ENDORSEMENTS AND REVIEWS: I never expected to read a book in which Calvin, Guru Nanak, Mohammed and Francis of Assisi sat side by side, along with 96 others, in the pantheon of the ‘world’s most influential religious figures’. Probably only Marcus Braybrooke, with his unparalleled grasp of the world’s religious scene, would have attempted it – and only one with his genuine openness of spirit could have succeeded. It’s a book that should be on the shelf of anyone who wishes to understand the astonishing variety of ways in which religious faith has shaped the way human beings live and the way they think. Canon David Winter, Former Head of BBC Religious Broadcasting

Beacons of Light continues the series of invaluable contributions that Marcus Braybrooke has made to furthering interreligious understanding and respect among people of different faith traditions;. Everyone will benefit from this book. Newcomers to interfaith exposure will take a giant leap forward. Experienced participants will also learn from this well-researched and eloquently expressed volume. At the end, readers can agree with the author’s selection and categorization of “the one hundred people who have had the greatest influence on the spiritual life of the world,” or they can accept his invitation to make their own list. Either way, their judgement will be illuminated by the succinct, informative biographical sketches of these people who are, indeed, Beacons of light. Dr Bill Lesher, Chair of the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions, Chicago

Beacons of Light is a priceless and inspiring gift from the good and open heart of one of the global interfaith movement’s wisest and most respected leaders, Marcus Braybrooke. It is impossible to read without being spiritually enriched. Your heart and mind will be opened by this treasure of a book that shines with the brightness of 100 of humanity’s greatest lights. Revd Charles Gibbs,, Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative

I like the style – it is accessible, dense and thorough. It leaves room for questions to be asked. Paul Carling, Director of Religious Studies, Sherbourne College

Tells the life story of influential spiritual teachers, some of them perhaps unlikely bedfellows, although that contributes to its appeal. Inspiring. Bookseller selected title

Marcus Braybrooke is one of the most significant Christians I have ever met. Rabbi Tony Bayfield, Head of the Movement for Reform Judaism and a President of the Council of Christians and Jews, Quotation from ‘The Church Times’

Marcus Braybrooke is to be thanked for stretching our minds with some of his choices. He closes with a chapter on WHICH BEACON SHINES MOST BRIGHTLY. Thus good reading for 101 nights. Richard Boeke, Amazon Review

We’ve had rich lists and power lists before. Now Marcus Braybrooke, a retired vicar, has produced the “holy list”, selecting 100 people who he believes have done the most to shape the history of humanity. It should come as no surprise that an Anglican cleric has decided that Christ is the most influential figure. However, as co-founder of the Three Faiths Forum – an organisation that encourages mutual respect and understanding – he has been careful to make the top 10 representive of the major faiths. Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph Blog

http://www.o-books.com/product_info.php?cPath=68&products_id=574

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UPF Peace Declaration on 21st September, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 11, 2009

Universal Peace Federation

Peace Declaration

“Since wars begin in the minds of man, it is in the minds of man that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”  (UNESCO Constitution, 1945)

On the occasion of and in support of the International Day of Peace, September 21st, 2009, for which Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon gave the motto “We Must Disarm” (WMD), with a focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Universal Peace Federation offers the following affirmations:

First, human conflict and the resort to arms and weapons have their roots in the breakdown of human relationships, and the human failure to live up to our highest ideals and aspirations. Violence is a symptom of a moral and spiritual failure. If we are to eliminate violence and weapons of mass destruction, we must commit ourselves to a moral and spiritual awakening.

Second, lasting peace is secured not only through the reduction of nuclear arsenals, but, more importantly, by the growth in solidarity among the whole human family, and a recognition that we are all brothers and sisters who share a common spiritual and moral heritage. We are one family under God. It is this understanding that gives rise to the collective will to put an end to violent conflict.

Third, being the basic, building block of society, the family serves as the primary school of ethics, and should serve as the school where we learn to love, respect and serve others.  By strengthening marriage and family, we can educate our children to respect all people, thereby establishing a culture of peace.  Once humanity learns to resolve conflicts without weapons, massive resources will be reallocated for human development.

Fourth, laws alone cannot change the culture of violence, but must be undergirded by substantial educational programs aimed a promoting character education, conflict resolution, and a culture of service and peace. Men and women who are taught to fulfill their moral obligations and responsibilities toward others will respect and live for the greater good and fulfillment of others.

The Universal Peace Federation thereby resolves to join the United Nations to declare September 21st as
The International Day of Peace

To Be Declared this 21st day of September 2009  London UK.

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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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Mindanao Peace Initiative by Gene Alcantara

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 6, 2009

Mindanao Peace Initiative by Gene Alcantara

Dear Friends and Kababayans

Gene Alcantara

Gene Alcantara

You will know that the conflict in Mindanao continues to cause pain and suffering, dislocation and costs in terms of the economy, loss of human life, increased poverty and destruction of localities. As we have also seen recently the situation allows kidnap-for-ransom activities which create fear and deflect tourism and investment in the region.

I am writing to tell you that a Mindanao Peace Initiative was launched during the Global Peace Festival Mindanao in September 2008. The event was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Philippine Government at national and local levels, and non governmental organisations. Enclosed herewith please find the Declaration of the Inauguration of the Mindanao Peace Initiative (MinPI).

In our desire to get involved in the pursuit of peace in Mindanao and help our compatriots there, we have set up a UK Committee to support and seek funding for the MinPI. I hope you will be able to join us and contribute to the peace efforts.

A couple of projects we will be supporting this year are the Lanao Del Norte (LDN) Peace School Model, and the First Mindanao Hiphop Convention to be held in August 2009.

With Service For Peace we are also exploring the possibility of advocating volunteerism and service in LDN and Davao City, as well as implementing micro financing and soft loans for young entrepreneurs and women.

The MinPI UK Committee will be overseen by UPF and its partners, particularly in the Filipino community. Administration and handling of contributions/sponsorships will be provided by International Relief Friendship Foundation, Inc. (IRFF), a UK charity organization [http://www.irff.org/]. Execution on the ground in Mindanao will be the responsibility of Service For Peace [www.serviceforpeace.org] and partner Filipino NGOs.

I would be grateful if you could please forward this to friends and kababayans who might be interested in getting involved or to contribute financial and other help. If anybody wishes to provide any financial help, please go directly to http://www.irff.org/ to do so, specifying your contribution is for the Mindanao Peace Initiative UK.

Meantime if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

With best wishes

Gene Alcantara

Mindanao Peace Initiative,
UK Committee
43 Lancaster Gate,
London W2 3NA

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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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Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of Three Faiths

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on April 14, 2009

Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of Three Faiths

14th April, 2009
The Joint Celebration of the Holy Events of the Three Faiths was inspired by a very successful Jewish – Muslim Celebration evening on October 21st 2006 following the 2nd Lebanese war. Yael Lindenboim had suggested that event because the Jewish High Holy Days and Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan occurred at roughly the same time that year. Yael was acknowledged at the start of this evening by Dr Raheem Khan who had been one of the leading members of the Community Cohesion and Interfaith committees organising this event. The evening began with messages from those who had been aware of the evening but could not be there. Canon Andrew White, the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, had prepared a message that was presented by Sharon Booth his Personal Assistant and Project Manager of Foundation for the Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. The Rt. Rev’d. Riah Abu El-Assal, the former Bishop of Jerusalem, also sent a message that was read by Vanessa Edwards.

Each of the three faiths representatives were to present scriptural readings about the holy event in their calendar and to explain both the significance and some of the traditions included in the celebration. There followed also some younger representatives presentations, cultural performances and food from each religious heritage.

Links for Event :   More Photos:
More Videos

Rev. Dr Shadrach Ofosuware PhD FRSA: Easter

Pastor Dr Shadrach Ofosuware PhD FRSA, the Pastor of Freedom Centre International, a multicultural Christian Pentecostal church with an aim to “Raise overcomers and set the captives Free” explained that Easter was a time of renewal as Jesus came to renew humankind by bringing salvation through his sacrifice.

Pastor Shadrach shared that Easter is the celebration of the Passover a time of atonement in which the High Priest makes a sacrifice of the Passover lamb for atonement of sins in the Holy of Holies. That shedding of blood atones for sins. Jesus shed his blood, like the Passover lamb, for our past, present and future sins. Therefore we can treat each other with love and care. Pastor Shadrach concluded ‘the blood of Jesus unites all nations and all people’.

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid JP: Mawlid An-Nabi

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid JP

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid expressed how the birth and life of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) influenced the world. Muslims in various parts of the world celebrate his birth as a perfect human being, in the festival of Mawlid An-Nabi, who came not to start a new faith but to continue the faiths of Judaism and Christianity.

He pointed to the inclusive nature of the constitution of Medina as an example of his worldview. He did not create a constitution just for his followers but for all people of Medina, including those of other faiths, both for security and prosperity.

His character of forgiveness was also exhibited in the conflict with the population of Mecca. During the persecution he did not want to condemn any of the persecutors so that they could have a chance to realise their mistake and come round to support him.

After the victory over Mecca he was asked how he wanted to deal with the population of Mecca. He answered that he would deal with them in the same way that Joseph forgave his brothers for their wrong doing. This action led to an era of peace.

Edwin Shuker: Passover

Edwin Shuker, Passover Seder Traditions

The ‘Joint Celebration of the Three Faiths’ included presentations, music and food from each faith. Because of the oncoming sundown Edwin Shuker, the Vice President of the World Sephardic Council, began the evening with a reading from the Torah and explained the reason for the traditional Passover foods. ‘Passover is a symbol of hope, he said, ‘it is my favourite holiday in the Jewish calendar’ he said.

He felt  that the act of sharing this precious message is holy in itself. ‘When I heard from Dr Khan the inspiration for this event I felt that his passion for the event went way beyond him; from the God that unites us all.’

He explained some of the symbolism in Passover. He said that the removal of the leavened bread, ‘Hametz’, from the house prior to Passover, was an expression of removing the arrogance or pride. The Passover traditions are the longest rituals in the western world having been followed for 3300 years.

Edwin Shuker is also a member of the International Division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and President of Justice for Jews of Arab Countries.


Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal

Much as I desire to be with you and all taking part in the Three Faith Traditions Celebrations, I am afraid, physically speaking, it is not going to be possible.  However, I want you to know that I will be with you all in the spirit.

I have always advocated co-living not simply co-existence; believing that this will be the only way left for us, humans, to live in peace and harmony in years to come.

Religion was never meant to separate people from people; irrespective of this or that person’s convictions.  Neither was it meant to imprison any and make him/her a slave of this or that tradition.  St. Paul was right when he challenged us to re-examine where we stand as believers when he said: “the letter kills but the spirit gives life.” We are called to bring life even in the midst of death.  How more when we are called to live together, recognize the otherness that is in the other, if we wish the other to recognize the otherness that is in us.  Religion has been used, misused and often abused, not by the outsiders, but those who claim to be the defenders of the faith!!! I am sick of that religion and I call on all who believe in the ONE GOD who created ALL of us to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful mosaic that the Almighty left for us humans to enjoy.  To ignore the other and / or pretend he/she does not exist, does not make him/her cease to be.

Easter reminds us of the love of God who cares for All His Children and want them to be united for what protects His beautiful image in each and everyone.  It is the day when we celebrate the victory of life over death, the victory of faith over doubt, the victory of hope over despair.  In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, I dare say it is in the recognition of the other that I am recognized; in appreciating the other and his otherness that I am appreciated and my otherness; and it is “in giving that we receive.” Easter is also the Passover, when we are called to pass–over barriers and reach out with whatever love God has placed in our hearts to meet the so-called ‘other.’  Only in passing we will realize that we have come to a Brother and to a Sister, not simply another creature. Oh for the day when God in His Mercy will break down all the barriers that separate the Brother in God from the Brother in God, the Sister in God from the Sister in God.  This is the vision that St. John in the Book of Revelation saw and shared with us when the ‘new heaven and the new earth’ come in our midst and the Almighty be the God of All of us.

In closing, I wish to quote Joan Chittister: “Vision is not the ability to predict the future.  Vision is the foresight to create the future.”

God bless you all and know that this comes with my love and my best wishes.’

Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal is the former Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem

Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White

‘Greetings from Baghdad, I am so sorry that I am unable to be with you today especially as my great friend and member of my board Dr Raheem Kahn is behind this event.

Today you come together as members of the three great monotheistic faiths, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Together we have one great thing in common we all believe that G-d is one. We all believe that G-d is part of our life and we believe interfaith activity does not make us weak in our faith it should makes us stronger and indeed more orthodox in what we believe and practice. Unlike many in the West I do not live and work with those who do not believe much. Most people believe firmly in their faith. Yet they are serious about engaging with the other.

At the same time we all realise that when religion goes wrong it goes very wrong. We do not deny that religion is at the core of so many of the problems in the world today, but if religion is part of the problem it must also be part of the solution. The solution begins with you; you have come together as one not two or three. You must hear each other’s story and you will soon discover that you are friends not enemies. It was the American poet Longfellow who said “Who is my enemy; it is the person whose story I have not heard”.

May the Lord, Hashem, Allah and the Almighty G-d be with you all forever.’

Canon Andrew White
Vicar of St Georges, Baghdad
President, Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East

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

Invitation letter:

Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA
Tel : 020 7262 0985  Fax : 020 7724 2262
Email: peacefederationuk@gmail.com
Web:  www.uk.upf.org

The UPF Community Cohesion & Interfaith Working Committees would like to invite you to a joint celebration of the holy events of the three faiths on Tuesday April 14th, at 6.30pm at 43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA.

1)   MAWLID AN-NABI – The birth of the Prophet Mohammed, (peace be upon him) takes place on March 9th in 2009. Charity and food are distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children. There are also large street processions and homes or mosques are decorated.

2)   PESACH – The season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses begins on April 9th and finishes on April 17th. This is commemorated each year at the ‘Passover Seder’.

3)   EASTER commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival. On Good Friday, Jesus Christ was executed by crucifixion. On Easter Sunday Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is celebrated. Easter is a time for families to worship and spend time together.

More information on all these Holy Days at BBC Religion website – www.bbc.co.uk/religion

As you well know these three Holy Days have a deep significance in the lives of the respective faith traditions and many who are less religious also hold these days as a special time in their yearly calendar – a time of togetherness in their families. As the 3 Holy Days are in close proximity, we are fortunate to have this opportunity to be together, to celebrate them all.

The Programme will include:

  1. Short talks about each festival delivered by prominent speakers from each Faith and illustrating the importance of the Holy Days to their faith community.
  2. The foods of the three faiths with particular significance for the celebrated holy events .
  3. Music, Poetry and Cultural Performances from each faith community.

More than anything we will have lovely people from all communities who want to share their Holy Day with others. We will learn from each other and enjoy a high spiritual experience, created by our collective good will. Peace, Harmony and Joy will reign!

Should you wish to contribute (or someone you know) please let us know!!

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Raheem Khan – special consultant to the three faiths celebration
Saleha Jaffer – Joint Chair of CCWG and Community Cohesion/preventing extremism consultant
Margaret Ali – Joint chair of CCWG & Director-UPF UK
Robin Marsh – Secretary General of UPF UK

Other members of the Community Cohesion Committee include
Cllr. Liaquat Ali: former Mayor of London Borough of Waltham Forest
Mrs Ruth Louise Barnett: Holocaust educator
Cllr. Janet Baddeley: Watford Borough Council
Habibah Anwar Bhatti: BME Development and Community Cohesion officer, Hastings  V. A.
Cllr. Mushtaq Lasharie: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea & Chair of 3rd World Solidarity
Brenda Hodgson: Peace activist
Alan Rainer: Interfaith activist & RE teacher
Hilde Rapp: Conflict Resolution & Co – Chair, Centre of International Peacebuilding
Ajit Singh MBE: Interfaith activist
Tim Miller: Chair of Hastings Interfaith Forum
Mathew Huish: Chair of Faithlink (student interfaith group)
Shamsuddin Agha: President of Indian Muslim Federation – UK
Mr Brij-Mohan Gupta: Chair of Hindu Culture and Heritage Society – UK
Cllr. Faizullah Khan: Former Speaker of London Borough of Hackney
Mr Edwin Shuker: Vice President of the World Sephardic of Congress
Cllr. Greta Sohoye: Croydon Council
Cllr. Lurline Champagne: London Borough of Harrow Council
Mr David Sasson: Peace Activist
Amarjeet-Singh Bhamra PhD IHM: Interfaith activist and Ayurveda Consultant

Interfaith Committee members include below:
Dr Ghayassudin Siddiqui
Dr. Christoph Von Luttitz
Mr Sukhbir Singh
Mrs Joyce Suda
Mrs Ruth Barnett
Mr Mathew Huish
Dr Raheem Khan
Mr Martin Moloney

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Inter-religious Cooperation Beyond Dialogue

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 17, 2009

Inter-religious Cooperation Beyond Dialogue  – London, UK

On Saturday 28th February the UPF Interfaith Committee continued their series of events showcasing models of Inter-religious Cooperation Beyond Dialogue. Mr Sukhbir Singh, the London representative of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, explained how the Sikh community in Birmingham supported the Hindu community during the Ram Katha Vedic Festival in the Birmingham NEC in 2001. After telling the story from the perspective of the Sikh community, Mr Singh was followed by the director of the festival, Mr Dinesh Chauhan, in sharing the perspective of the Hindu community. After a description of langar, the holy and humble sharing of food which is essential to the Sikh faith, Mr Singh described the scale of support being offered to the festival: A marquee was to be erected in the NEC car park where food for 10,000 people would be prepared daily. Both communities had encountered episodes of obstacles, which frequently threatened to jeopardise the entire festival. After some miraculous breakthroughs, the 9-day event was executed successfully. There were no emergencies, no health and safety issues. The event was highly praised by the then Birmingham Lord Mayor. The stories were so touching that many had tears in their eyes.

Mr Sukhbir Singh and Mr Dinesh Chauhan

Mr Sukhbir Singh and Mr Dinesh Chauhan

Many Sikh organisations actually could not comprehend or approve of this initiative. Many Hindus had second thoughts about working with Sikhs – however the perseverance of great leaders like Mr Chauhan, Mr Sukhbir Singh  and Mr. Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh the Chairman of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, AND with the help of God, they could overcome all obstacles and bring about such a glorious result of such impact that many cannot forget this precious experience. To date, it gives them much joy and empowerment as the testimonies demonstrated. It was very pleasing to see that friendships have developed and strengthened over the years because of this experience of Inter religious Initiative Beyong Dialogue.

Miss Balhar Kaur, the daughter of Mr Singh, gave an account of her experience as an 11-year old volunteer within the kitchen, or langar. She could testify to the electric and deeply spiritual atmosphere created when Hindus and Sikhs cooperated in the preparation of food for the festival participants. In homage to her father, she announced that “anything is possible with my Dad.”

Mr Sukhbir Singh's family in the UPF Office

Mr Sukhbir Singh's family in the UPF Office

Hindus and Sikhs worked side-by-side in the preparation of food, chanting God’s name together, truly creating the spirit of one family under God.

After the presentations, discussion circles were organised in order to generate new ideas of how our respective faith communities could offer something to another faith community. Some of the ideas mentioned included: serving langar in the Middle East as part of the ongoing Middle East Peace Initiative; organising an Interfaith Festival of Forgiveness around the time of the UN International Day of Peace; empowering youth cooperation amongst faith communities; and celebrating the gift of service.

Krishna Chauhan, the son of Mr Dinesh Chauhan, took the opportunity to promote an upcoming event promoting unity between Sikhs and Hindus through the joint celebration of the festival of Holi: On Sunday 15th March the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College will host the Redbridge Nagar Holi Celebration. Everyone was invited to join in between midday and 4pm.

The next event will be a joint festival between the Abrahamic faiths celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Pesach & Easter. At 43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA, on Tuesday 14th of April at 6.00pm. For more information please contact 020 7262 0985 or http://www.uk.upf.org

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Hero of Non-Violence Remembered

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 7, 2009

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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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Iraq Night

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 2, 2008

Iraq Night at The Peace Embassy


Click to read more at The Global Peace Festival website

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East London Community Cohesion Event, 4th May 2008

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 4, 2008

UPF - logo

Universal Peace Federation – UK

Community Cohesion Working Group


East London Community Cohesion Event

Minhaj-Ul-Quran Mosque, Forest Gate, London

Sunday 4th May 2008 (2-6pm)


Partners for this event include: Minhaj-Ul-Quran, WFWP S-London, SABRANG ladies, IMF Newham, FAITHLINK, WAIT East – London, Service for Peace, UPF-EAST

On a bank holiday weekend on a Sunday, Mayor of Waltham Forest,  Mayor of Havering, speaker of London Borough of Hackney and most appropriately  the civic ambassador of Newham gathered in Minhaj-Ul-Quran Mosque in Rumford Road,  Forest Gate, Newham, to address a room full of over a hundred activists and professionals, Youth , and women  regarding Community Cohesion projects in the region of East London area and to congratulate those in the audience who brought models of good practice from the community in specific areas of women, youth and civic/faith-leader groups.  Mrs Saleha Jaffer and Cllr Margaret Ali joint chairs of Community Cohesion working group- welcomed all and invited The Civic Ambassador of Newham , Cllr Omana Gangadharan to give the opening  speech. The speech was a wonderful testimony to her life coming to this point – she  said that Newham is one of great Boroughs  championing  diversity and building community cohesion.

Mayor Ali was very encouraged to see so many people here for this Community Cohesion Event. He was greatly honoured to host the first of the Community Cohesion events in Waltham Forest back in February, and is very pleased to be in this follow up event here in Newham and encourages a cohesive community as it is a happy community.

Cllr. Faizullah Khan, Speaker of London Borough of Hackney, was very passionate about Community Cohesion and how Faith leaders and our Sacred Texts from all Faiths, just as much as Quran, can help so much in bringing better understanding and respect for the “other”.

Mayor Georgina  Gulpin of Havering, born in Newham said “My Borough misses out so much compared to Newham because there is  so much diversity here…we must all strive to make good effort to better community relations wherever we are..”

The incoming Civic Mayor of Newham, Cllr Akbar Chaudhary, praised the people and policies of Britain to make Britain one of the most tolerant countries in the world, he said we should all work together to keep it that way!

As Mr Carl Wonfor of National Community Tension Team (NCTT) of Metropolitan Police said during the speech he delivered: “I’ve never seen so many Mayors in one room together at one time. I am particularly impressed as this is a Bank Holiday weekend and the event is on a Sunday! I want to congratulate the Mayors for their  commitment to Community Cohesion and the organisers for bringing you all together” . Mr Wonfor also emphasised the importance of highlighting   and documenting all the good reports of the amazing activities  he heard about,  particularly the projects he listened to  in the Youth group workshop.  (He was suggesting we put these on a website perhaps that of GPF). He wanted to bring these positive models to the attention of the Police Chiefs. We need to give young people a voice. He added that “All the good works already exist and the government does not need to invent new projects but support those in existence. We need to give young people a voice, people like those in the audience doing good have at least one aim to make everyone in the community feel safe! If we have a cohesive community where there are support structures, people can be helped before they get into trouble

There were Models of good practice presented  by women, (from WFWP and Sabrang  Ladies Friendship and  Co-operation in South London)  also sister  Khadija from Minhaj Ul Quran shared about her work with women. ,Youth work from Minhaj Ul Quran, was shared by Rafiq Patel who guides the youth work. and Youth from Service for Peace,(with Wait –East) and  FAITHLINK, Faith connection for Youth- spoke of great models of good practice. Wait East had earlier in April in collaboration with London Wildlife Trust-   done a great project in Dagenham  involving youth of all races, backgrounds and faiths working alongside each other clearing the smaller trees to give way for larger trees to develop.

Models from Faith Leaders, included speakers from  Church of England and from the Catholic Church in Manor Park, Mr Patrick Hanley,  who spoke of the great work they are doing in Muslim Christian dialogue forum, together with Imam Qureshi.  The  2 Christian ministers were working closely in cultural and religious celebration projects with an Interfaith group in NEWHAM as well as with Minhaj Ul Quran particularly. The chief Imam of the Mosque spoke passionately about their work and expressed deep appreciation for spiritual aspect of the UPF presentation by Tim Miller.

Imam Qureshi said “this is a fantastic event – all different people together makes good community -thanks for coming to our Mosque . I enjoyed all the speeches, particularly Mr Miller’s  speech, which had such a good spiritual input.. .”.

We later had  3 concurrent  workshop sessions 1. With women and women leaders    2. Youth and Youth leaders doing  projects and 3. Faith and  Civic leaders. All 3 groups  had animated exchange of idea s and information sharing. We had reports from all three groups which were quite illuminating.  People   who did not have opportunities to share, were given a chance to speak briefly .

The meeting was brought to a close with a good feeling of having sewn the seeds for good works to follow.

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