Commemorating the UN International Peace Day an event was held in the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) HQ in 43 Lancaster Gate on the 19th of September. A presentation on the efforts of UPF to support the United Nations in various initiatives, especially to promote dialogue between the different religions of the world, was made by Robin Marsh. There followed a number of contributions from the audience who came from many different faith backgrounds. Jack Corley, Chair of UPF in the UK, in concluding remarks spoke of the vision and continuing passion of UPF's Founder, the 92 year old Father Moon to build a peaceful world. Photo link
South London Peace Embassy - Thornton Heath
Freedom of movement is an essential right which is the basis for the exercise of other human rights, concluded the UPF South London conference held to commemorate the 20th annual occasion of the International Day of Peace. About 35 participants attended UPF’s event entitled “Building a World of Peace” on Saturday 17th September 2011 at the Peace Embassy building, Thornton Heath. The meeting spotlighted tensions experienced by Palestinians and the Sudanese and featured expert commentaries from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the situations on the ground.
An event, held yesterday in the House of Lords to mark 12th September as a Global Interdependence Day, was entitled 'Islam, Multi-culturalism and the Lessons of Norway' and co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation. The programme had been organised by Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh, who sadly could not be present. The distinguished panel included, Mr Jan Gustav Strandanaeu, U.N. Consultant on Environmental issues, Dr Omar Khan, Research Director, Runnymede Trust, Imam Sajid, Chair of Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, Lord Frank Judd, Rabbi Jackie Tabick, Chair of World Council of Faiths, Dr Varun Uberoi, Lecturer at Brunel University, and the programme was chaired by Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel. The event was co-sponsored by the Gandhi Foundation, Runnymede Trust, Universal Peace Federation and Civ-World (U.S.A.).
A programme to consider values that would allow sustainable development of humankind was held at 43 Lancaster Gate in UPF - UK's Headquarters. It was an opportunity to present some of the ideas and initiatives of the Universal Peace Federation stemming from its Founder, Father Sun Myung Moon, while contemplating the beauty of nature and its inter-connectedness with humanity through the astounding video 'Home' by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and discussing these issues at length afterwards. Photo from Monkey Forest in Staffordshire UK; a reserve for the Barbary Macaques monkey that is on the endangered species list.
It is with great sadness that we saw the recent chaos and criminality on our streets of London and other major cities around the UK. Our condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives during the turmoil. Several images and statements are enduring. The first is the helplessness of an overstretched Police Force to prevent the sudden escalation of criminal behaviour, the emergence of undercurrents of jealously, greed, violence and inter-community tensions. When Police authority was removed real emotions and motivations were released in a crude and raw expression. 'You’re rich we're poor but we rule the streets tonight' was an expression of the crude, underlying feelings. In response many Londoners utilised social media for a good purpose to gather to clean the streets the next morning.
There have been many noble but unsuccessful efforts to assist the vulnerable and deprived groups of UK society. It would be wrong to blame these riots upon these failures. We should instead recognise that there is a widespread failure to inculcate correct values that would strengthen the conscience of individuals. Irrespective of the opportunity to steal or loot individuals should not take the chance but respect other's property. Similarly Directors of companies should not abuse their position to exploit others. Politicians should not abuse their positions and power. Journalists, and religious leaders, also should not abuse their position. The Universal Peace Federaton believes we should live for the sake of others in creating one family of humankind under an inclusive, loving God and that we are morally accountable for our actions. These values should be taught primarily by example in the family, but also in schools, religious institutions and the wider community.
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House of Lords, July 13th 2011
Fourteen young adults gave inspirational speeches about their activities and vision before receiving Youth Achievement Awards, in an event kindly hosted by Lord King of West Bromwich and organised jointly by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women's Federation for World Peace. Baroness Verma, one of several Parliamentarians to attend the event and present awards, said, 'I am so glad that I was here to hear your speeches today, and I will look in 10 years to see who among you has become a leader.'’ A participant later added, 'I would like to express my gratitude for the award yesterday. I think I speak for many when I say it was a very inspirational event. As one of the recipients of the award, I left the event yesterday with the motivation to continue striving in my endeavours, contributing to my community.' Six schools from the Stepney Partnership also participated, presenting an award to one exemplary family from each school. Ben Yeo, Project Manager for the Stepney Partnership, wrote later, ‘Big congratulations to six Stepney Partnership families who won an important national award at the House of Lords last night. The families received their award for the huge impact that parents/carers have had on their children’s learning and the wider community. The Youth Achievement Awards were organised by the Universal Peace Federation and included inspiring stories from young people across the UK.' (Full Report Link)