Dr Hari Shukla OBE Newcastle City of Peace CampaignThere was a very healthy and vibrant UPF-UK Peace Council on July 3rd 2010. The Universal Peace Federation Peace Council is held twice a year to draw together the strands of UPF activities in different UK branches. Speakers from across the national discussed their interfaith, community cohesion, cultural, environment, peace and development activities. There was a panel discusion on the establishment of Family Associations and a consultation on the feasibility of the Inter-Religious Council.

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When the leaders of the G-20 convened in Washington DC last November, they committed themselves to “lay the foundation for reform to help ensure that a global crisis…does not happen again.”

If there is to be lasting change, the G-20 must acknowledge that the current financial crisis did not happen by accident, and it was by no means inevitable. The root cause of the problem has as much to do with moral, indeed spiritual failure, as governmental or financial mismanagement. For this reason, improved fiscal, economic and trade policies alone are not enough. The attitudes and behaviour of people, institutions and even entire nations must change.

The social sphere that comprises business, trade, and finance is embedded in a wider culture and ethos that, during the best of times in human history, provide the moral and spiritual framework within which we, as human beings, live day to day. Thus, the G-20 must engage in deeper reflection on the moral and spiritual infrastructure that forms the foundation of life in the world. We take an enormous risk when we either ignore or de-value that reality.

We began to develop a Peace Council for UPF with Committees on topics that inspire Ambassadors for Peace to cooperate together.

  • Birmingham Peace Council efforts
  • AFP Peace Council Meetings in UPF HQ

Two important events in the year are

  • The Annual General Meeting currently for FFWPU at which UPF activities are reported
  • The Annual Seasonal Gathering in December to review the year and make plans for the following year.

During 2006 there were six visits to Israel – Palestine with the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI). I have not included the reports.

The London Global Peace Festival (GPF) began with a standing-room only plenary discussion hosted at the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster on the topic “New Paradigm in a Time of Global Crisis.” It included presentations from Mrs Ida Odinga, wife of the Prime Minister of Kenya, the former President of Sierre Leone, Ahmed Kabbah and the former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Anton Rop. 

The panel discussion, which featured several representatives from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, was hosted in the House of Commons by Dave Anderson, MP. Anderson recently attended the GPF in Kenya and warmly welcomed the delegates from over 50 nations.“People who want to make a difference in this world are always welcome in this House,” he said.

A Tsunami fundraising event was organised from the charity’s headquarters in London.

Dr. David Earle of Birmingham gave a report on the Interfaith Children's Home in Hyderabad, India. He met three cabinet ministers in Andra Pradesh to help get new land to extend the orphanage. An interfaith prayer meeting was held at the Children's Home and attended by some eighty people including Hindu priests, Muslims from the local mosque and Christian ministers.

Prayers for Peace were held on a regular basis at the charity's headquarters in London

A Jewish-Muslim evening was held at the charity's headquarters in London

An interfaith evening was held at the House of Lords at which an Israeli-Arab and former Knesset Member, Mr Walid Sadik, was the guest speaker

A European leader's meeting took place in Rome were planned interfaith activities were discussed.

Prayers for Peace meetings took place throughout Britain

An interfaith conference held at the charity’s headquarters in London considered the influence of Government policies on the strength of the family structure in the UK


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