International Day of Peace 2015 in Ethiopia

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By UPF Ethiopia, Simon Amare: UPF Ethiopia marked the UN DAY OF PEACE with a forum under the UN Theme: “Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for all”.

18 Peace Ambassadors plus 3 guests, mainly young peace ambassadors actively participated in this forum organized in UPF offices of ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA. It was actually done on September 19th, knowing that September 21st would be a working day. The participants are sorted from various sectors such as Education department, Peace & Security, Women & Children affairs, Information & Development and even from the private sector, etc…

The program of the day started with, at first the presentation of Promoting a culture of PEACE & Non-Violence for the children of the world by Mr. Simon AMARE TEKEBA, Sg of UPF ETHIOPIA. This presentation was proposed as a resource on UPF website for the UN day of peace.

Particularly, one of the last slides invites us to reflect upon what are we doing for Peace? The participants found the presentation very inspiring and some have even noticed that UPF is not only a useful NGO but fundamentally practices the culture of Peace. At the second phase of the day, we entered in the discussion forum with the following questions:

  1. What is True Peace?
  2. Is there True Peace in this world?
  3. Peace starts from whom or where?
  4. Who is the 1st entity responsible for peace?
  5. What is my contribution as a partner for Peace (as an Ambassador for Peace)?
  6. What is my contribution so there is Dignity for all?
  7. What resolutions should I take to make PEACE happen?

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Mr. ASAYE NIGUSSIE from the field of Development of art & Information: In my opinion, TRUE PEACE is an ideal peace or Heavenly peace that had been planned by GOD. A Heavenly peace is a world where everything is harmonized. So, for me this kind of peace does not exist in this world as for now. So, we got a lot to do in order to, at least, come closer to this ideal.

Mr. BELAYNEH MENGISTU, lawyer: I don’t think we can all agree there is no peace in this world. I think Peace is relative. Some people think there is peace in this world somehow, and some don’t. Of course, there are conflicts somewhere in this world, especially when we think of Syria and some other parts of the world, but I guess if those conflicts are not affecting us directly, then we tend to think that there is peace around us. For me, it is difficult to define peace because there are a lot of explanations about peace. Surely, I agree Peace is a statement that there is no conflict between two parts.

Ms. BEZAWIT WORKU, Information Technology development and lawyer: I think even if we’re not affected directly, somehow our heart might feel troubled to see a world of conflicts through the media. If we take the case of the little child who died while crossing the sea; which we watched on TV, surely no one can stay untouched in front of this kind of shocking image. We are humans and I think we are sharing the same feelings. There are many awful images that the media is showing us daily. We can’t say we are not concerned. Those are our brothers and sisters. I think peace is delicate and sensitive. We don’t have peace within us because of the fall of our first ancestors so it is important to really restore this broken world.

Ms. EMEBET HABTE, Human Resources manager: I think True Peace needs us to follow our conscience and do what is right, rather than do what is wrong. For me, it is that simple, if we do go then we got peace, if we do bad, surely we don’t have peace, instead our mind or conscience is disturbing us. I believe in GOD, and the most important factor of conflicts is the diverse religions and when we come to that point, I noticed there is a lot of centeredness in the religious sphere. We got to admit that we all belong to one GOD. This will definitely resolve many problems. That’s why the culture of Peace is very important.

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At the end of the discussion forum, UPF secretary general read some excerpt from the book of the Philosophy of PEACE of Rev. Dr. SUN MYUNG MOON explaining that peace starts within oneself with the unity of the mind and the body. This is a crucial step towards peace. The harmony of the mind and body will bring peace to the self-individual and who will bring to the family, and the society and so on. A culture of peace & non-violent comes to strengthen our mind attitude so that we can overcome all attractions of our body. A culture of peace is a culture of heart. Heart is the motivator of TRUE LOVE. We need to be LIVING FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS to practice TRUE LOVE. Then only, can we bequeath a culture of peace or heart by LFSO to the future generations. In so doing, we can break down our barriers and differences to bring about the hope of ALL AGES: A UNIFIED WORLD OF PEACE.

We finally concluded to use all the technology opportunities in this globalized era such as the social media, internet, etc… in order to make PEACE happen. From this perspective, on the actual Day of PEACE, September 21st, we used our cell phones and sent an SMS to share with all friends and siblings. Mrs. HAPPINESS AMARE, wife of the UPF Secretary General of Ethiopia suggested to use Dr. HAK JAH HAN MOOM’s words and guidance about forgiveness: TO FORGIVE, LOVE & UNITE.

And the SMS went through: “Let’s make today our special Day: FORGIVE, LOVE & UNITE, Reconcile, pray, smile, use Facebook… to make PEACE happen. PEACE & LOVE!”