Peace and Development

Session Four Panel'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)

Moncharity for Mongolian Street Children

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

 

Mr Bharat Koria - Hindu PjiliosophyCommemorating the UN International Peace Day an event was held in the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) HQ in 43 Lancaster Gate on the 19th of September. A presentation on the efforts of UPF to support the United Nations in various initiatives, especially to promote dialogue between the different religions of the world, was made by Robin Marsh. There followed a number of contributions from the audience who came from many different faith backgrounds. Jack Corley, Chair of UPF in the UK, in concluding remarks spoke of the vision and continuing passion of UPF's Founder, the 92 year old Father Moon to build a peaceful world. Photo link 

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. 

EAPPI Doris RichardsSouth London Peace Embassy - Thornton Heath

Freedom of movement is an essential right which is the basis for the exercise of other human rights, concluded the UPF South London conference held to commemorate the 20th annual occasion of the International Day of Peace. About 35 participants attended UPF’s event entitled “Building a World of Peace” on Saturday 17th September 2011 at the Peace Embassy building, Thornton Heath. The meeting spotlighted tensions experienced by Palestinians and the Sudanese and featured expert commentaries from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the situations on the ground.

Extremism Debate - European ParliamentA policy debate on extremism, held in the European Parliament yesterday, 20th September, considered what responses to extremist religious views were effective while maintaining freedom of speech and other fundamental freedoms of liberal, western democracies. The debate, chaired by Dr. Charles Tannock MEP and convened with the support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, approached the threat of extremism to all communities.

Very articulate and well researched presentations from Dr John Bew, the Co-Director of International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at Kings College London and Sofia Lemmetyinen, the EU Liaison Officer for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, presented a picture of radicalisation and intolerance that is insufficiently challenged either in chatrooms, in the public sphere or in international diplomacy. Journalist and daughter of the late Salman Taseer, the Governor of the Punjab in Pakistan who was assasinated earlier this year due to his opposition to religious extremism, was unable to attend and speak on 'Religious Persecution in Pakistan' as planned because of the sudden abduction of her brother. 

Recent interfaith tour of Africa which we started last year with Ambassadors of Peace from Scotland under the UPF banner and with a partner charity from the USA "Eyes on Africa". This year we could visit Ethiopia,Zambia (my former mission country of 1975) and Uganda (my assigned nation). Together with Mr. Aftikhar Ahmed,our AFP here in Scotland we could distribute about $7,000 in donations, laptops, school materials, eyeglasses to not only our own Church projects in each country but also to our partner charities in the Moslem and Christian communities.In addition we distributed $1,000 on behalf of IRFF Sweden.

We hope this has greatly benefited these nations and we hope next year to extend the tour to include also Malawi, and Tanzania or Botswana.
All those who participated this year were really impressed with the development in Africa and are all enthusiastic to participate again next year. Our hope is to grow the team to 10 participants next year. Provisional dates are July 2-18, 2012. I will let everyone know the final schedule as soon as possible and the tour company we used last year is already working on it!

All the best,

Robert Williamson
Regional Leader
Balkans,Europe

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