Universal Peace Federation-UK held its Annual Peace Council to review the year and plan its 2014 activities on Saturday 7th December in the Lancaster Gate, UK Headquarters. The day included sessions on values, peace initiatives, humanitarian efforts and a Youth UPF concert to raise funds for a peace project in Jerusalem. (Youth UPF Team in photo left)
Mark Brann, the Secretary General of UPF in Europe, gave an update on UPF activity around the world as well as the direction of future activity. Justina Mutale spoke of the 'Positive Runway: Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread' work she has done with celebrities to prevent the spread of HIV Aids as well as her other activities for gender equality and development in Africa.
Jack Corley, the Chairman of UPF-UK, followed Justina Mutale to emphasise the role of character education and abstinence to prevent the spread of Aids. He had worked on a project in the Soviet Union and China to teach character education. He expressed the importance of marriage and family life to bear and nurture children.
Robin Marsh gave a talk about UPF-UK activities in the last year. Mekki El-Sayed offered a minute of silence and a eulogy to Nelson Mandela.
After lunch the conference included reports on Youth UPF, South London UPF Branch and International Relief Friendship Foundation.
Youth UPF explained that there were several programmes that had been continued for a few years and some new developments recently. Some of the core team had just returned from a Malta project funded by EU Med. The project had included young adults from around the Mediterranean. A group will also participate in a Religious Youth Service project in Jerusalem. (View photos by Ingrid Marn)
The human rights of those who were of a lower caste in India but living in the UK they should have an equal status but are experiencing the same discrimination and exclusion. There were contributions from Anna Prior about The Unity of Faiths Festival's plans for the coming year, a moving poem from Alan Rainer and Armina spoke of the pain of being ostracised as a whitch in her childhood. A moving testimony from Charlotte Simon about her experience working with UPF in order to articulate her campaign for peace and justice in the eastern realm of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She really praised the support and love that she had received after being blocked from expressing the pain of her people in other groups or in other meetings.