Universal Peace Federation (UPF) members gathered – from around all over the UK - for the Annual Peace Council held at Lancaster Gate, in which distinguished speakers would present and speak about recent worldwide initiatives to bring about peace. Proceedings began after a festive lunch before Robin Marsh and Margaret Ali, representing the UK - UPF Secretariat, introduced the event. The first programme was a musical performance by a Mr. Bharat Korea came before he shared a humorous reflection on a recent family festival.
Dr. David Hanna, (Video Link)one of the main speakers, gave a talk on UPF’s core principles, which are centred around peace, marriage and family. He spoke about UPF’s founder – Rev. Sun Myung Moon – who emphasised the need for a new organisation which would work to bring about peace. Rev. Moon taught that “Real, genuine love is unconditional,” and that the Three Blessings are the fundamental ideals which all humans should strive for. “The Three Blessings are what everybody wants in order to have true happiness.” Dr. Hanna shared his personal experiences with Rev. Moon in which Rev. Moon imparted deep insights and wisdom. Dr. Hanna talked about the need for a transformation within ourselves, almost like a grafting process. Dr. Hanna ended his strongly talk with: “You can’t talk about world peace, without marriages and family.”
Lord Andrew Stone, (Video Link) respected humanitarian and businessman, spoke on his personal attempts – and mishaps - at bringing about peace. He shared his experiences of bringing peace in the Middle East in a humorous style which captured and entertained the audience. Renowned broadcaster, Humphrey Hawksley, (Video Link) testified about his experiences abroad in Ski Lanka along with the difficulties he experienced in attempting to bring about peace. Mr. Hawksley has collaborated with UPF for almost 20 years and said: “UPF is a very practical organisation working towards what is right.”
The next speaker, Mr. Mark Brann, (Video Link)explained the purpose and goal of UPF. He give an in-depth insight into the history of UPF and spoke about Rev. Moon’s efforts to bring out unity between North and South Korea. “UPF aims to tackle the root causes of the world’s problem,” he continued and emphasised how the founders – Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon - founded UPF’s principles and values on peace. Mr. Brann said: “UPF’s approach to peace is based on heart.”
Dr. David Earle reported on Birmingham’s activities in bringing people together while, Jodie Dontje gave a youth perspective on UPF’s recent activists alongside various other speakers who inspired the audience with their stories of peace. Mr. David Fraser Harris (Video Link) spoke about his efforts for peace in Syria and highlighted the importance of religious leaders and Parliamentarians working together, in addition to reporting on UPF’s activities in the Middle East. Sheik Ramzy, spoke of his positive experience in attending the launch of the Inter-Religious Association For Peace and Development who took place in South Korea. He praised UPF’s spiritual leader - Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon - for her dedication in working towards world unity. Several attendees received ‘Ambassador For Peace’ awards to commemorate their work and efforts towards peace. Rana Nazir (Video Link), an awardee, commented on her wonderful experience of meeting UPF and WFWP and attending a weekend seminar to reflect on peace principles.
The event was a success as attendees left with high spirits, with many motivated to continue to work - within their respective fields – towards peace and unity.