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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 -- and deeply humbled -- to be invited to speak to you on a very important issue of Common Grounds for Common Good by Universal Peace Federation.

Let me begin from the very outset to clarify Islam from Muslim. Most people treat Islam and Muslims as synonymous and mutually interchangeable terms, often saying Islam where they ought to say Muslims and vice versa. In my opinion the word “Islam” should be used exclusively for the “Way of Life” based upon divine sources: The Book known as Qur’an, “the word of God” and Sunnah, “the proven practices of the Prophet” (peace and blessing of God be upon him). Muslims” as human beings are free to abide or deviate from Divine Guidance as they feel fit according to their own conscience. Islam has never claimed to be a new faith. It is the same faith that God ordained with the creation of the first man sent to earth.

Read more: Common Moral Grounds for the Common Good: An Islamic Perspective

Dr Sonia RamzyJune 15-17, 2012 London
Speech of Dr. Sonia Ramzi: Former head of the promotion of cultural heritage at UNESCO

To conclude, I will quote Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali: “The defence of human rights no matter what our engagement, our determination, our will could be disregarded if we do not create, at the same time, conditions for peace and shared sustainable development.” The construction of peace is a concept that the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali launched and for which he keeps on working untiringly. The construction of peace can be found today in the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace, joined together in this historical and prestigious place the Houses of Parliament, outstanding and exceptional builders who, with UNESCO and the United Nations, constitute the real conscience of the world.

Read more: Dr Sonia Ramzi Human Rights - Protection of the Unempowered and Dispossessed

Human Rights Education and Gender EqualityMrs Louise Rawlence, the Chair for the Session, commented that there has been a recent transition towards taking great pride in female equality. (Photo Link for Session)

Ms Manuela Mesa Peinado, Director of the Centre for Education  and Research for Peace (CEIPAZ) within the Foundation for a Peace Culture, and an author of a book entitled, 'Mujeres Tejiendo La Paz' (Women Knitting Peace), opened by reminding us that “we are in a world still deeply rooted in a masculine perspective of life’s experiences” and questioned the trend towards the millitary.

Read more: Human Rights Education and Gender Equality

Youth Group PhotoSESSION III  YOUTH SESSION: 

FRIDAY 15th  JUNE 2012 14:00  Concurrent Session A - Committee Room 14 House of Commons

1) Ms. Kanchan Jadeja, Chair National Council for Voluntary Youth Services UK
Kanchan told us that NCVYS ensure that young people are represented in whatever the organisation does. There are 1million unemployed young people in the UK. Young people have lost faith in institutions and the media, they have no real role models.

Read more: Youth Employment: A Threat to Dignity

AFP awards At the conclusion of Day Two of the 'Human Rights: Protection of the Unempowered and the Dispossessed' European Leadership Conference, several Ambassador for Peace Awards were presented and some participants gave reflections. Jack Corley was coordinating the session and with, Dr Yong Cheon Song, presented the Ambassador for Peace Awards.

Ms. Sudesh Sharma, a UK Ambassador for Peace, said she learned so much and had much pleasure listening to the distinguished speakers from a variety of fields, empowering others and was absolutely amazed how people have taken inspiration from Father Moon to do such wonderful work in furthering the cause for peace.

Read more: Ambassador for Peace Awards and Participant Reflections