Oceania Regional Leadership Conference
UPF Oceania: The 2015 Oceania Regional Leadership Conference was held at the Oceania Peace Embassy in Sydney, Australia on December 1-2, 2015 with the theme: “Peace, Security and Human Development in Oceania.” The conference was sponsored by UPF and jointly organized and supported by WFWP.
The delegates at the conference came from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Melbourne, Queensland and Sydney, to discuss four main topics:
- The formation of multi-faith, multi-disciplinary Peace Councils at the state, national and Regional levels in Oceania. This session I was chaired by UPF Australia Vice-President John Bellavance.
- Values Education with a particular focus on following up on the Fiji Government’s invitation for UPF to introduce values education to Fiji secondary school teachers. This session II was jointly chaired by values education teacher and authority Ms Irene Anania, and by UPF and FFWPU Fiji President, Santosh Neupane.
- The New Village Movement (NVM) using the example of its implementation in Vanuatu. This session III was chaired by Rev Jong Deug Yoo who gave a presentation about the NVM and the NVM programs in Vanuatu.
- Dealing with the impacts of climate change on low-lying atoll nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu and how we can help. This session IV was conducted by Rev Suamalie Iosefa Naisali, Tuvalu Christian minister and President of The Pacific Island Climate Change Action Forum in New Zealand.
After a warm welcome to all the delegates from Oceania Regional Chairman, Rev Jong Deug Yoo, Oceania Secretary-General Greg Stone, gave an introduction to UPF and an overview of the conference themes.
A conference back grounder was prepared for each session, with a list of proposed committee members who would be the main discussants in the session. Others would be observers but could contribute comments and ask questions at the end of the session.
Each session began with a presentation and was arranged to allow for a round table discussion so that participants could ask questions and put forward their own comments. Please see the outline of each session in the Appendix. Through this interactive format, it was hoped that participants would feel more ownership and would be able to work together to form follow-up action committees in each area. The sessions did indeed attract a lot of interaction and discussion. At the end of each session there was a call for volunteers who would like to participate in the follow up committee about the session topic. These groups were photographed and/or the names were recorded.
At the end of the two days, participants gave very positive reflections, and indicated they were inspired by the content and wished to support the ongoing projects stemming from the conference content.