Introduction to the Universal Peace Federation
Session 7: Peace-Loving Nations Retaining Military Strength – A Prerequisite for Sustainable Peace
This session was moderated by Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General of UPF-Europe.
Dr. Werner Fasslabend, former Defense Minister of Austria, spoke about the areas of challenge in today's world. He described several areas, regions, and trouble spots but dwelled particularly on the military build-up in China. For the first time in Chinese history, there is no threat from the north (Mongolia and Siberia) or from the southwest (India and Pakistan). Therefore, China can focus on developing its strategic interests on its Eastern maritime front. China’s territorial claims go all the way down to Indonesia. Similar to NATO's role in securing the Atlantic Rim, an alliance is needed to secure the islands in the Pacific Rim. Before and during World War II, Japan's “Greater Asian Co-Prosperity System” occupied an extensive territory including Burma, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Now China is on a similar track.
Session 6 [Second Day] Women: Human Security and Sustainable Peace
The question of security is complex. Which areas are involved and how can we strengthen human security? Mr. Robin Marsh, Secretary General of UPF UK, moderated the session.
Professor Akiko Yamanaka, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, emphasized how political dynamics have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Now there is a scramble for natural resources, tornadoes, nuclear accidents, financial crisis. The Middle East problem is getting worse. The nature of security has changed since the end of the Cold War. Security is increasingly complex and multifaceted, including environmental and social dimensions and their interlinkage.
Session 3: Our Spiritual Traditions and Sustainable Peace - in the Norwegian Parliament
The essence of religion is good values; however, in reality we can see tension between them. How can religions contribute to sustainable peace? Ms. Marcia de Abreu from Spain moderated the session.
Mr. Stein Villumstad, Secretary General of the European Conference of Religious Leaders, asked why it is important to involve religions in the peace process? He gave five answers: 1)The importance of God cannot be ignored; 2) there’s a growing movement towards interfaith engagement; 3) religions need to be engaged to solve the problems of society; 4) the power of religious assets, e.g., The Golden Rule; and 5) religions have important social groups such as women’s organizations and youth groups.
Session 1: A New Vision for Sustainable Peace
Mr. Steinar Murud, Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation - Norway, gave his welcoming remarks, praising the efforts of all the participating leaders, who are making great efforts in their respective fields. World peace cannot be created by any single individual or group, but we all need to work together in order to build sustainable peace.
Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future
United Nations International Day of Peace 2012
(A paper prepared for UPF European Leadership Conference on Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future United Nations International Day of Peace 2012 At Stortinget, Oslo, Norway, 20th-22nd September 2012)
Introduction: In my faith tradition the Holy Qur’an commands believers for establishing inner-peace through interfaith co-operation “to come to common grounds” (The Holy Qur’an 3:64). As a Muslim I have been ordered to build good relations with all people of the world (The Holy Qur’an 49:13 & (16:40); work for peace everywhere and whenever possible with others (The Holy Qur’an 2:208) & 8:61); cooperate with others in furthering virtue and God–consciousness (The Holy Qur’an 5:2); seek and secure human welfare, promote justice and peace (The Holy Qur’an 4:114); do good to others (The Holy Qur’an 28:77) and not to break promises made to others (The Holy Qur’an 16:91). The Holy Qur’an tells believers that those who do good deeds and help others are the best creation (The Holy Qur’an 98:6).