Universal Peace Federation International Statement: The guiding principles of UPF are interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values. With these in mind, we work to build a world of lasting peace, a world wherein all people live together in harmony and cooperation, as one family under God. Our primary tools for carrying out this principled work are dialogue, service, and collaborative partnership. This is no easy task, as forces of resistance and obstruction, established patterns of thought and behavior, too often stand in the way, giving rise to division, disharmony, conflict and suffering.
Currently, in the United States, and spreading to other parts of the world, there is a growing response to the horrific and senseless killing of George Floyd, an African American, by a police officer in Minnesota. This act of violence has lit a spark of protest and outrage that is spreading.
Largely peaceful demonstrations are taking place daily in the cities of the USA, denouncing patterns of racism that bring harm to African Americans, other minorities, and our entire society. While these demonstrations have at times been marred by violence and looting, the vast majority of the demonstrators are expressing their outrage peacefully, and are calling for a change of heart among fellow citizens, as well as reform of institutions through peaceful exercise of their constitutional rights.
This is indeed a critical time in human history. And, although it seems at times as if the world is turning upside down, we remain hopeful, and we believe that if we work together in a spirit of mutual respect and with a shared vision of that community of peace we all long for, the current darkness can turn to light. The current challenges can give birth to a better world. UPF will continue to aspire for and work for peace, a world of justice and goodness.
The ideal of “one family under God” represents a call for all of us to overcome attitudes and practices that degrade other human beings. If we are to build a “holy community” we must overcome racism; we must each overcome selfishness from the individual to every level of society. This is true not only in the United States of America but in countries and societies around the world.
Let us be bridge-builders, peacebuilders and facilitators of dialogue and cooperation during this difficult time. The world needs such people, now more than ever.
Thomas G. Walsh, Ph.D.
Chairman, Universal Peace Federation Date: June 4, 2020