Peace and Development

HE Makarim  Wibisono chair of 61st Human Rights
The Peace and Development Focus Session of the Global Peace Festival in London featured the problems of nations struggling to fulfil Millennium Development Goals by 2015 while struggling with debt, conflict and unfair trade relationships. This followed the Rt. Hon. Bill Rammell MP, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State’s encouraging words to the International Leadership Conference of the Global Peace Festival to create an international coalition of all sectors of society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, lasting peace and prosperity.

Last night we held a meeting entitled ‘Perspectives on Iraq’ to hear the views of several people about the current situation in Iraq.

Dave Anderson MP, Joint President of the Labour Friends of Iraq and a long time official of the Trade Union, Unison, said that he had been opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq but had become involved in the Labour Friends of Iraq. He had accepted an invitation to visit Iraq from the Iraqi Trade Union movement who, he discovered, had welcomed the invasion as a liberation from Sadaam Hussein. He felt the most important point was to listen to the Iraqi people in how to help them solve their problems. Dave had taken Iraqis to the North East to his constituency to visit business people and to show   them how the political and civil system worked. He said, “we’re a helping hand” from which Iraq can gain a lot but also we have a lot to learn from Iraq which is, after all, the cradle of civilisation.

Co-chaired by Mr Stephen Pound MP & Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich
As you may know, a very exceptional man, the former Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. L.M. Singhvi, who touched many hearts and minds, during his six years service in the UK, has passed away.  It is a great loss to us all, but we are all fortunate to have known him in his lifetime. Among his many accomplishments and positions, is the fact that he was the President of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in India, in his retirement years. Last May on Dr Singhvi held an event in the House of Lords, entitled, 'Inter-religious Initiatives for World Peace'. Lord Parekh gave the keynote address and the Indian High Commissioner, HE Mr Kamalesh Sharma and Dr Singhvi spoke.  During this event Lord Khalid Hameed, was presented with an Ambassador for Peace award.

Through this visit we had the honour and privilege of getting to know Dr. Singhvi and Mrs Singhvi together with his friend and his deputy Ambassador K.V. Rajan and Mrs. Rajan. In consultation with some of his close friends, and with the blessing of Mrs. Singhvi, we at UPF have decided to dedicate an annual event to Dr. Singhvi’s memory, preferably in autumn. Through this event we would like to capture his spirit of bringing harmony and understanding among all people of God. The preferred venue for these annual events was chosen as the Houses of Parliament where as a past Parliamentarian in India, Dr Singhvi, felt very much at home.
For this year’s inaugural event, we would like to invite a number of people, including parliamentarians who knew him well, to speak about Dr Singhvi. Others may also be invited to share their feelings about the great man as long as time permits. In future years, we will invite speakers to offer a memorial lecture that reflects Dr Singhvi's interests and desire for harmony with special emphasis in the area of interfaith.

The Student Peace-Building Corps is an international movement of student leaders working in cooperation to build peace at all levels.  

Its members, known as Collegiate Ambassadors for Peace, represent the religious, racial and ethnic diversity of the human family that stand on the common ground of shared principles and are committed to the path of promoting reconciliation, overcoming barriers, and building peace.

There was a high spirited UPF event at Lancaster Gate on Saturday November 17th entitled ‘Creating One Family Under God: Forward Looking Peace Making Efforts and Principles, Reform of the United Nations and the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals.’

The programme began with the call to prayer from Mohamed Aslam who was attending with Mayor Liquat Ali of the London Borough of Waltham Forest who gave greetings and an encouragement for Ambassadors for Peace to live for the sake of others.

'You don't have to be hundreds of miles from your home to be a refugee'
William Morris, the Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation, commented on the plight of millions of Iraqis during a fund-raising event called 'Iraq Night: A Fund-raising Event for Internally Displaced Iraqi Refugees' last Sunday.


Two Japanese wives based in the West Country have recently decided to take up an invitation to visit North Korea. Tomoko Harris and Keiko de Giles, who hold regular Universal Peace Federation meetings in Bristol, believe it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity not worth missing.Under the guidance of Bristol’s Reverend Palmer, supporters of the group organized a surprise farewell meeting for them. A number of friends, many of whom had received the Ambassador for Peace award, prepared a room with food, gifts and donations and expressed their appreciation of the work that Tomoko and Keiko were doing and wished them a safe time in North Korea. They also spoke of their gratitude in having become Ambassadors for Peace and how the status had enhanced their outlook.


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