House of Lords, July 6th 2011 Hosted by Lord Bhikhu Parekh
Sustainability, the Chair for the meeting Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh explained, is a normative concept and as such the purpose of this session was to consider the moral framework for sustainable development. Lawrence Bloom asked whether humankind will survive the intelligence test posed by the current crisis. This challenge was not simply of economy or the environment but whether humanity could embrace values based on a sustainable worldview. Dr Yong Cheon Song described initiatives of Dr Sun Myung Moon to prepare for this crisis of values over the last 40 years, through 'Good Governance and Character Education', scholastic bodies to consider ‘absolute values’ and initiatives to expand ocean related industries as well as investments in land to preserve precious ecological systems. Jack Corley described the character education courses he had developed in China and Russia to refocus on core issues such as finding happiness through living for the sake of others, primarily learned and practiced in the family.
On 8th March the world celebrated the 100th International Women’s Day and on the 9th the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)-UK and the Universal Peace Federation (UPF)-UK jointly hosted an event to mark this auspicious day in the House of Lords. Speeches were given by various luminaries including Lords and Baronesses to a packed house with many people having to stand. Two of the speakers, Lady Fiona Hodgson and Baroness Sandip Verma, had recently attended the annual Commission on the Status of Women and the inauguration of the United Nation’s Women in New York. They were able to draw on those international developments in their speeches.
Harrry Shukla MBE has been credited for great community cohesion work in the Newcastle Gateshead area. He attended the UPF Peace Council last year to talk about his work. He commented on the occasion 'When I went to London to Lancaster Gate I met all kinds of lovely people from all kinds of backgrounds. They were doing the work in different ways but all for the same objective which is to create peace and harmony.'
It is a great honour for me to be standing here before you to be part of the Celebrations marking 100 years when some groups of brave women stood up and collectively said ‘Enough is enough!’.
We women want equal rights; we also want The Vote, we want improved working conditions for women. This was the historic moment in World History. On 8 March 1911, the International Women’s Day was born.
Lady Fiona Hodgson, in a joint Women's Federation for World Peace and Universal Peace Federation event in the House of Lords to commemorate the Centennial International Women's Day 2011, reviewed the situation of women around the world and the recent launch of United Nations Women. She asked, 'So, why do we need an International Women’s Day when we don’t have a special day for men? Well, the simple answer is that today in the 21st century there is still no country in the world where women have equality in political, social and economic terms.'
The Joint Celebration of the Holy Days of Five Faiths: DIVALI / EID AL -ADHA / GURU NANAK’S BIRTHDAY / ADVENT OF JESUS / HANNUKAH took place on Thursday 25th of November. It was a unique opportunity for faith communities to share together not only knowledge but also the spirit and significance of the day. What is revealed often are the similarities within the customs of the celebrations.