Session IIA, 'Human Rights Around the World' panel included, Prof. Akiko Yamanaka, Vice Foreign Minister of Japan (2005-2006) speaking on 'Responsibility to Protect from a Human Security Perspective', Austrian Ambassador (Rtd.) Dr. Walther Lichem explaining the role of 'Human Rights Cities' and Willy Fautre, Director of Human Rights without Frontiers International in a speech entitled ‘Human Rights in North Korea’ and Chair, Robin Marsh, Secretary General, Universal Peace Federation – UK.
Peter Zoehrer from Austria kicked off the first session speaking on the subject of the history of human rights. He ponted out how the original US and French declarations made reference to God or the "Supreme Being" as the cource of these rights. But the Universal declaration omitted this to "increase its universality". But it did mention human dignity as the foundation for all other rights. He illustrated its meaning by examining its antithesis: human slavery, which Mr Zoehrer pointed out was still alive today, albeit under the modern title of "human trafficking."
He reasserted the divine origins of human value: sacred, cosmic and eternal, going on to emphasie the power of religion propel to people to live for the greater good and achieve higher value. He concluded by stressing the importance of loving one's enemy as the greatest challenge we face individually and on the international level.
Dr J.W. Bertens and Saleha Jaffer gave their responses. The former entertained the audience with a very humorous look at the characteristics of the various European and other nations and their histories, enlivened by his witty self-deprecation combined with a keen sense of irony. In this clever way he led the audience to his conclusion that, yes, deep down we really are all the same. and the differences we see between us so many artifacts. The latter reminded us of how the gender difference resulted in many women worldwide receiving inadequate protection of their rights, particularly in her native India in relation to forced marriages. She concluded with an appeal for a greater respect for the principle of equality of all human beings.
The second session was begun by Jack Corley from UPF UK. His starting premise was our shared desire for a wolr of peace and harmony. Religion and politics should provide the means but too often seemed instead to be part of the problem. Peac is not only the abxence of conflict but needs to be actively built on the practice of true love.
He outlined a three-step approach, starting with reflection and reorientation, followed by reversal and restitution, then reconciliation and renewal, threading his own personal experience in with his illustrative examples.
Dr Hadziahmetovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina spoke of the "unculture" of conflict in her country scale and the tragedy faced in recent history, with 25% of population and 75% of economic potential destroyed.
'A New Vision for Cooperation Between Europe and Africa and The Culture of Peace'
Presidential Palace, Malta, November 5th, 2011
This panel held in the context of the current review of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Paris 2006 Declaration on Aid Effectiveness Principles. OECD signatory nations are obliged, when giving aid, to assist recipient nations development plans, to harmonise aid delivery efforts among all donors, to monitoring both aid giving and hold aid recipients accountable. Paris Declaration principles also emphasise that aid should be untied (not given in order to boost that nation’s own products and industry). The OECD series of High Level Forums are to be continued in Busan at the end of November to further refine these principles and their implementation. (Full Conference Report Link)
European Leadership Conference, Committee Room 14, House of Commons, London, England
“Commemorating U.N. Human Rights Day 2011: How Far Have We Progressed?”
Distinguished guests, Ambassadors for Peace, Ladies and Gentlemen! First of all, as Chair of Universal Peace Federation in Europe, allow me to warmly welcome you all to this European Leadership Conference which is aligned with this week’s United Nations’ “Human Rights Day”,
I am very grateful that so large and distinguished a body of people as yourselves, with a deep interest and concern to protect Human Rights and Freedoms, has taken the trouble to gather here for this conference. The advancement of the Human Rights of all peoples is an essential part of the core mission of Universal Peace Federation and, we believe, a key element in building lasting world peace. Championing the rights and freedoms of others takes deep and selfless dedication and commitment, and we truly appreciate all those who undertake such work.
In an event in the House of Lords to promote the work of Moncharity that is assisting the Mongolian street children, we were informed that to survive the children live in the sewers where the hot water pipes bring them warmth. The temperature can be as cold as -40C to -45C. During the winter the homeless children of Ulaan Baatar will face extremely harsh conditions as they try to survive. Through this event, we hope to raise awareness of their plight and to inspire sponsorship for the project. The event was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and World Culture Association. In this photo are Peter Graham, Founder of the World Culture Association, and MC for the Programme, Mrs Odongerel Erdene, Founder of Moncharity and Mr Adolphe Succar, an Ambassador for Peace who came from Beirut to attend this and one other UPF event on Thursday.
Baroness Gloria Hooper attended the event and gave some very good suggestions. The 89 year old Baroness Trumpington also attended. She put us to shame when she said she was very concerned about the situation of street children in Ulan Batur so despite being ‘too damn old’ she had to attend this meeting. Photo Link
"Commemorating Human Rights Day 2011: How Far Have We Progressed?"
December 9th - 10th, 2011
United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and St Giles Hotel, London
We would like to extend a cordial invitation to you to attend a UPF European Conference on December 8th -10th to Commemorate Human Rights Day 2011. There is a draft programme below. The European Leadership Conference (ELC) sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP), is to be held in the United Kingdom on December 8th - 10th, 2011.
The words from the UN Secretary General for the UN International Day of Peace are:
Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."
The Universal Peace Federation in Bromley UK sought to commemorate the ideals of peace among all nations and peoples by bringing together people to participate in a peace event. Four speakers and an audience of about 30 gathered at St. Mary’s Church Hall, 62 College Rd. Bromley for the event.