UPF Statement on the Crisis in Syria
September 11, 2013
The conflict in Syria has escalated at an alarming rate, leaving more than 100,000 people dead, and more than 2 million internally displaced persons and refugees; in effect, spawning a human disaster of enormous magnitude. With recent news of the August 21 deaths of 1400 men, women and children as a result of chemical weapons, the world's leading stakeholders, including the permanent members of the Security Council, finds themselves at a critical juncture. While a solution seems far away, there is at least movement in the direction of establishing some international control over Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons, a move that might avert a military intervention by the USA.
On behalf of the Universal Peace Federation, we are pleased to announce a special consultation on the current crisis in Syria. We are already painfully aware of the magnitude of the current crisis, the loss of life, the displacement of persons, and the horrors of war. We all fear the potential for this crisis to escalate even further into a wider conflict, involving other countries in the region, as well as major power like Russia, the European Union and the USA.
This special consultation will bring together approximately 20 religious leaders, academics and Middle East experts to reflect on “The Prospects for Dialogue and Reconciliation in Syria: The Role of Religion in International Relations.”
There is growing, yet still inadequate awareness of the important role which religions could and should play in international relations. Some of the obstacles are related to outdated attitudes toward religion on the part of the mainstream community of international relations experts, and some of the obstacles are related to religion’s own inadequacies and unfortunate practices. These obstacles can be overcome, and religion can be a significant and constructive player in global affairs. The consultation will provide an opportunity for us to consider the way in which religious believers of diverse faiths and ethnic or national backgrounds can come together in a spirit of harmony and cooperation to speak with one voice of the need for dialogue, cooperation, and peace.
Throughout the history of UPF’s Middle East Peace Initiative, we have consistently encouraged interfaith dialogue and cooperation. In addition, UPF has for thirteen years been advocating for the United Nations to build within its system an interfaith council of spiritual elders. We admire and are encouraged by initiatives taken up by Pope Francis, by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, by H.E. Nasser Al Nassir of the UN’s Dialogue Among Civilizations, and many others who affirm the need for interfaith, intercultural and inter-civilizational dialogue and cooperation.
With this in mind, the consultation provides a golden opportunity for us to come together as an international and interreligious group of leaders from various sectors, to listen and learn, to share and reflect on how we can serve as relevant, contribution stakeholders in the search for a solution to the crisis in Syria.
This presentation was made on August 23rd at the time of Father Moon's Ascension Anniversary Commemoration to an international UPF conference in South Korea.
Music for Peace in the Middle East concert on International Peace Day, 8.00 pm 21st September in Notting Hill.
ISRAELI singer Tally Koren believes her country is not portrayed in the most positive light by the British media.
So she is aiming to capture the good side of Israel by teaming up with Palestinian singer Nizar Al-Issa. The duo will take to the stage on Saturday, September 21 - the International Day of Peace.
It has been organised by the Universal Peace Federation UK and will be a fundraiser for the Parents Circle Families Forum, who are Palestinians and Israelis bereaved by the conflict.
Article Link http://jewishtelegraph.com/art_2.html
Celebrate International Peace Day with
Award Winning BBC 2 Playlisted Artist
With Some of the Middle East’s Most Renowned Musicians
8.00 pm Saturday 21st September 2013 at St Peter’s Church Notting Hill
Organised by the Universal Peace Federation - UK
Principles of Leadership posted by UPF International
In the modern era leadership is often understood in secular terms, such as political or corporate leadership. This presentation considers the relevance of religion and spirituality to leadership and good governance. Themes include spiritual growth, life after death, and the existence of a spiritual world.