Germany: UN International Day Of Peace 2016
By UPF Germany (September 18, 2016)
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Bonn and the Women’s Federation for Peace presented a lot of facts worth knowing about the history of the UN and the Peace Day to a very international audience. Informative videos illustrated the successes of the UN in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), but also revealed considerable weaknesses and failures which unfortunately dampen optimism about the new sustainability targets (2015-2030) adopted last year.
The Sustainable Development Goals (especially poverty reduction and environmental protection) are to be regarded as important prerequisites for peace. But these “Building Blocks for Peace” are no guarantee for the safe construction of a house, in which the peoples of the world will live together peacefully. A change of awareness and attitudes among the inhabit- ants of the house is also necessary.
UPF’s Five Principles of Peace were suggested as suitable points of reference for the needed change in the attitude of the people. These are universal principles that are acceptable and feasible for people of different religions and nations as a basis for a peaceful coexistence.
This understanding was supported by the positive reactions from the audience who originated from more than 20 nations.
The fact that “ordinary people” can contribute to peace was illustrated by reports on a number of peace activities conducted by associates and members of the organizers. A young ambassador for peace is doing an outstanding job with his impressive work for the improvement of relationships between refugees, migrants and local people. He appeared on TV shows and was interviewed in a number of newspapers.
The “Interfaith Prayer for Syria”, a new initiative in Bonn, and the ongoing “Intercultural Week” were additional projects which were met with great interest.
The Online Questionnaire “What if you would rule the world?” – developed by “ONE” – provoked lively reactions from the audience. Eight Questions and an overview of possible answers encouraged everyone to reconsider their own attitude.
Finally two ladies and a gentleman were honored for their commitment to peace and were awarded an Ambassador of Peace certificate.
In the course of the event several text and song contributions by some of the people present created a very beautiful atmosphere. In sensitive ways they expressed the desire for a world without violence and armed conflicts and the hope of peace.
After the conclusion of the official part, lively discussions among the participants continued for a long time. The topic “Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” is a challenge and a task for everyone of us.