Annual Peace Ambassador Meeting: Human Rights, Responsibilities for Peace

UPF France,  December 13, 2014: Commemorating the International Day of the Declarations of the Rights of Man, on December 13, UPF-France held in Paris a day meeting of Peace Ambassadors under the theme of “Human Rights, Responsibilities for Peace – the role of civil society in peace building”. The audience of about 80 participants included Peace Ambassadors and new guests.

After an opening address introducing 2014 activities of UPF in Europe and France, the first session on “Rights to peace, education for peace” began with Professor Edmond Jouve, a renowned constitutional law scholar, who outlined the progress of human rights and argued that the rights of peoples will gradually take precedence in international law. He was followed by Dr. Jean Luc Berlet, who gave a one-stimulating talk on the role of love and its development through the “three blessings”.

The second session on “Human Rights and spiritualties” began with Venerable Michel Thao Chan, founder of the “Cercle de réflexion des nations”, who explained how human rights could be gradually internalized to become an inner way of looking at and transforming the world. Then Mr. Mohammed Haouat, president of UNESCO-affiliated association ASILEC, gave a report on Islam’s view of human rights, emphasizing how Islam was distorted by its current expressions in the Syrian and Iraq war.

Then Jacques Marion, from the viewpoint of UPF philosophy, spoke on the meaning and importance of interreligious dialogue and how the family is meant to play a major role as training ground for harmonizing human rights and duties.

In the last session on “Youth and peace”, Alexandre Huard from Youth UPF reported on Religious Youth Service (RYS) programs around the world. Then three leaders of the association “Coexister”, a well-known youth interreligious organization in France, introduced their vision and activities and their interfaith tour around the world, during which they met UPF leaders at the UPF-UN office in New York. A discussion was thus open for cooperative interreligious projects with UPF.