France: Inauguration of the New Headquarters of UPF and WFWP
By Jacques Marion
On July 12, 2016, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) chapters in France inaugurated their new offices located in southern Paris’s 13th district. Conceived as a place dedicated to international and intercultural exchange, the center, called “Espace Barrault”, will allow UPF and WFWP to organize forums, debates, and cultural programs with Peace Ambassadors and guests on an ongoing basis.
The gathering brought together about 50 participants, including longtime Peace Ambassadors such as Mgr Jacques Gaillot, Bishop of Partenia; Patricia Lalonde, head of the Women’s rights NGO MEWA; Mohammed Larbi Haouat, head of the UNESCO affiliated NGO ASILEC; Mr Chamsamone Voravong, President of FORIM; Venerable Michel Thao Chan, President of Cercle des Nations, etc.
UPF-France Vice President Patrick Jouan warmly welcomed the guests in the newly renovated conference room. He then introduced UPF President Jacques Marion, who gave an overview of UPF activities and perspectives for 2016 and the coming three years. He emphasized the launch of the UPF Parliamentarians for Peace initiative at the National Assembly in Seoul last February, and its planned launching for Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia at an upcoming conference in London on September 7 to 9. He also thanked Peace Ambassadors for proposing candidates for the annual, Million dollar Sunhak Peace Prize to be awarded next February at the World Summit 2017 in Korea.
Brigitte Wada, president of WFWP France, then gave a brief review of her organization’s activities, from international conferences in the Middle East to educational programs for women and “Bridges of Peace” promoting reconciliation among women in the world. She reported about European WFWP youth representatives attending in June the UN DPI annual summit, held this year in Korea, and the recent conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on the theme of Women and the Prevention of Radicalization.
The evening concluded with friendly talks around a standing buffet, and much expectation for a new level of activities of UPF and WFWP in France.