The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has two key themes. The first is the promotion of altruism. UPF uses the slogan, ‘Living for the sake of others’. This conference has dealt with a lot about branding. The ultimate branding is to be respected and trusted as someone who has integrity, a company that is law abiding and is a valuable stakeholder in the community or nation or a nation that is respected for its contribution to solving the problems of other less fortunate nations or to resolving world problems.
In the UK prior to the last election in 2010 I was very happy that all three political parties had committed themselves to achieving 07 of 1% of Gross National Income to dedicate to Overseas Development Aid. It was something that we and many other NGOs had campaigned for before the election and since there has been a constant battle to maintain that total and the altruistic sincerity of the purposes for which it was and is being used.
The second slogan is the sense of humanity being one family under a loving God. Even if you are not a person of faith the perspective of one human family is a powerful one. To enjoy each other’s gifts is a wonderful thing. With the understanding of humanity as one family comes family obligation/responsibility to others in that human family who are less fortunate. When the Rana Plaza building collapses and we hear of the suffering of those working in exploited conditions we as consumers or investors have to be concerned. When we hear of mass rape and ethnic cleansing connected to conflict minerals we wonder about the smart phones and laptops we rely upon. When we hear that research for a vaccine for Ebola was considered but not initiated, apparently for commercial reasons, we understand how dangerous small minded thinking can be.
We are integrated as a worldwide human family. We need to think about how we live and how that affects the others in our human family as well as enjoying the richness of its diversity. To be respected as a nation that contributes a great deal to the development of peace and the enjoyment of health and prosperity for all is a valuable brand. People the world over would like their children to be educated in that nation's schools, to be buying reliable products from the companies of that nation and sending the sick family member to the high quality care in the hospitals of that nation.
As a person of faith operating within an organisation that promotes interfaith dialogue, I would add that the capacity to accomplish this ideal is enhanced and enabled when we have the extra dimension and resource that a relationship with a loving, compassionate and inclusive God brings.
This is a revision of an impromtu closing remarks at the end of Institute of Cultural Diplomacy conference in London. This was partly held in UPF HQ and UPF was a partner of the conference.