It is a great honour for me to be standing here before you to be part of the Celebrations marking 100 years when some groups of brave women stood up and collectively said ‘Enough is enough!’.
We women want equal rights; we also want The Vote, we want improved working conditions for women. This was the historic moment in World History. On 8 March 1911, the International Women’s Day was born.
Lady Fiona Hodgson, in a joint Women's Federation for World Peace and Universal Peace Federation event in the House of Lords to commemorate the Centennial International Women's Day 2011, reviewed the situation of women around the world and the recent launch of United Nations Women. She asked, 'So, why do we need an International Women’s Day when we don’t have a special day for men? Well, the simple answer is that today in the 21st century there is still no country in the world where women have equality in political, social and economic terms.'
The Universal Peace Federation fully affirms and supports the United Nations' annual International Day of Peace. In 2010, UPF chapters around the world will join with UN agencies and with other NGOs in observations and celebrations of this day. In both 2008 and 2009, UPF hosted and participated in more than 40 such programs, and this year is expected to be equally active.
At the same time, UPF is concerned that the themes of past Days of Peace have on occasion focused narrowly on the externals of weapons reduction and nuclear disarmament. Important though these goals are, there is a danger of missing a more important truth, eloquently stated in the UNESCO Constitution written just after World War II in 1945:
“Since wars begin in the minds of man, it is in the minds of man that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”
David and Marie Fairbank explained that they had been inspired by UPF to come out of retirement to promote low cost housing manufacturing in under-developed nations to alleviate poverty, promote skills and sustainable communities. They had encouraged Richard Price, former Managing Director of Costains Asia and Africa, to join them in this project. They have been encouraged by various nations and financiers responses to these proposals. The project has the value of being designed to produce low cost prefabricated houses with only moderate profits to sustain the business and train indigenous workers to take over the factory after three years. These houses can be assembled without the use of cranes in three days by a trained team of four workers. A large factory plus assembling teams and sales people could provide employment for up to 5,000 people. Environmental aspects of the houses and the proposal to add a waste to energy unit should create communities that are sustainable and of great value to the economic development of the region in which they are established. They are looking to UPF and its wider network to help find partners who have a similar vision to establish several factories in the Third World where they are needed. The project also plans to develop the facility of stored units to be able to respond to emergency relief at a time of natural disasters.
Youth and Development
Written by Emanuele Militello
The United Nations ‘International Day of Peace’ was celebrated at the UPF UK Headquarters in Lancaster Gate on 23rd September. The event happens to coincide with UN Summit for The Millennium Development Goals with guest speakers’ theming their talks on Youth, Peace and Development. We had the pleasure of having Dr David Hoile an expert in Sudan and Darfur, Keldon Alleyne from Lewisham Youth Aid and Seja Majeed from vinspired, the youth volunteering organisation, speaking at the event.
Is Religion Cause or Cure of Conflict?
by IMAM DR Abduljalil Sajid *
The Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony
Bismillah Hir Rahma Nir Rahim (I begin with name of God the Most Kind the Most Merciful). I greet you with the greetings of Islam (Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakathu (May God’s blessing and peace be with us all.)
Form the very out set, I brought greetings from Farooq Murad the current Secretary General of British Muslim's most representative umbrella body Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the previous Secretary Generals Sir Iqbal Sacranie OBE, Yousuf Bhailok and Dr Abdul Bari OBE.
Living and working together is not always easy. Religion harnesses deep emotions, which can sometimes take destructive forms. Where this happens, we must draw on our faith to bring about reconciliation and understanding. The truest fruits of religion are healing and positive. We have a great deal to learn from one another, which can enrich us without undermining our own identities. Together, listening and responding with openness and respect, we can move forward to work in ways that acknowledge genuine differences but build on shared hopes and values.