Peace and Development


Tribal SummitBy Dr. Robert Kittel, Director of Peace Education, UPF-Asia

Other Mindanao Peace Initiative Reports link

Sunday, September 27, 2009

“Indigenous Peoples Forging Partnerships for Unity and Peace of One Family of God”


Malaybalay, Philippines - In the first tribal summit in Mindanao, which brought together more than 40 tribal chieftains along with educators, politicians, representatives from international NGOs, and religious practitioners from Christian, Muslim, and indigenous peoples, there was a new focus. They did not discuss terrorism, politics, military strategies, or arms control. Instead, they directed their energies on children’s education. In a word: peace for the sake of others, for our precious children.

Dr. Estrella A. Babano, Chairwoman of the Mindanao Peace Initiative and Region 10 Director of Department of Education, declared before an audience of over 250 people, “We must focus on our children. They are the common concern we all share, and this must be the framework and platform for our peace initiative.” Babano went on to outline eight peace programs that highlight this youth-centered approach: 


There was a Filipino evening in London last night at which Gene Alcantara introduced the Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK to the local Filipino community. There were several purposes for the evening:

-  Launching the Mindanao Peace Initiative UK – an initiative that seeks to promote peace in Mindanao, through projects in education, youth service activities, and other initiatives to bring young and old from different communities together in this Philippine area of Christian-Muslim conflict, as well as awareness-raising in the UK. Although focussed on Mindanao, any progress we make will benefit the whole country as well as contribute to world peace.

-  Introducing the Luzviminda Foundation, a new association aiming to connect Filipinos in the UK from all  three main island groupings, and helping where it is needed.  Many of the current Filipino organisations are already focussed on their own provinces, and Luzviminda hopes to supplement their role by not being restricted geographically. See Videos and  Read more...

Richard Dowden - President Royal Africa Society

While the G20 Summit was meeting in the Excel Centre and violent demonstrations were disturbing the City of London’s banking sector, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) was holding a conference with civil society and faith-based groups in the House of Parliament’s largest committee room, entitled, ‘New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis’. This contrasted the moral vision promoted by civil society and faith based groups with the pragmatic approach of the G20 Nations’ Summit. Many in the session echoed the ‘Put People First’ demonstration theme that this was a time for a new perspective and not just a return to ‘business as usual’. In the lead up to the G20 UPF had issued a Statement emphasising the need for ethical change:

‘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.’

Kelvin Hopkins MPGlobal Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation jointly organised, on July 13th, an emergency seminar in a parliamentary Committee room to examine the underlying causes of the financial and economic crisis and the need for a fundamental paradigm shift to restore stability, prosperity, justice and peace.  Photos Link

The seminar shed light on the terrifying nature of the death spiral of the global debt based financial and economic system and the ruinous path towards servitude and serfdom. There were parliamentary, interfaith, monetary and fiscal reform perspectives shared and brought to bear on terms of alternative radical holistic solutions offering suffering humanity hope and salvation. This event took place when Parliament is at it’s lowest ebb and it’s image has been tarnished. The event affirmed grassroot coalitions facing the urgent need for civic society to champion the values of public service and the common good and claim Westminster as the people’s shared political space. Read More...    Report by Canon Peter Challen

UPF South London Branch

Well over 50 people attended and were very impressed by the talks of our speakers Dr Lance Gardiner, Mrs Lorraine Chatfield and Dr Iftikhar Ayaz this Saturday. Dr Gardiner spoke on “crises and change in the credit crunch era”, the present economic situation and its cause; basically greed and recklessness were mentioned. The solution would be a more spiritual culture, a return to fundamental values, such as being responsible, valuing the family and creating a community spirit.

Rarely have our democratic institutions and processes been under such pressure as they are at this time. As we experience a crisis of trust at the very heart of the democracy we value so highly, many feel a sense of being betrayed by those in positions of authority. This trust, generated by leadership that maintains integrity and genuine public-mindedness, is so essential for the good working of our political structures.

On this day we were happy that many guests found their way to our event, in spite of the very cold and rainy weather. Besides brothers and sisters there were about 40 guests, namely Peace Ambassadors, Ambassador for Peace candidates and others. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the video on the Global Peace Festival, including a part of Hyun Jin Nim's speech. This was inspiring for everyone who could not manage to come to the GPF, as much for those who attended.

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