Germany: International Day of Peace
“A new Peace Initiative for Syria”
By Anja Brina, UPF Germany
The Universal Peace Federation Düsseldorf held an event to commemorate the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2017, which attracted an audience of 40.
Mrs. Anja Brina, our emcee, opened with some welcoming words, and then went on to explain that the general assembly of the UN meets every third Tuesday in September. On the 21st September 1981, the assembly proclaimed that a day of peace should be celebrated and officially called “International Day of Peace”. This day should be used to realize the ideal of peace not only within each country and its people, but also between nations.
From 2001 onwards, it was declared that this day should always be celebrated on September 21st. Unfortunately, only a few people remember and celebrate this day.
Following this introduction, Mr. Werner Fehlberg gave an impressive presentation about the ideas and goals of UPF. He gave a short introduction to the autobiography of Sun Myung Moon “As a Peace Loving Global Cirizen”. Before Mr. Karsli presented his topic “Syria-ways out of the crisis“, we watched a short video: “Syria: before and after the war” from which we gained an impression of the country. On the one hand we saw the beauty of Syria; on the other we saw terrible destruction. The film made a deep impression.
Then Mr. Karsli gave his presentation which he prefaced with an introduction to himself and his family. He served for many years as a local member of parliament in Düsseldorf. He himself is Syrian and a Muslim; his wife is Italian and a Christian. He speaks Arabic to his children, his wife speaks Italian to them, and together they speak German. They get along very well together!
Then he spoke about the deteriorating and complicated situation in Syria.
Over a million people have died in the conflict and many more have been injured, and in his family alone there have been 32 fatalities. He described this conflict as a small world war, which is being waged on Syrian soil – a conflict between terror organizations and 40 nations.
Mr. Karsli presented his peace initiative; his proposal is that the German government, representing a neutral country which has accepted the most refugees, together with the UNO, should hold a peace conference involving the most influential nations. And only independent Syrians – that is those with connections neither to the opposition nor to the Assad government – should be invited to participate. Eighty percent of the population falls into this category. In this conference, a peaceful solution could be agreed on and the form of the future Syrian state established. Mr. Karsli sent the German government a letter outlining this idea of a peace conference.
Following his presentation there was an opportunity to ask questions. Anja Brina then read an excerpt from Rev. Moon’s autobiography: ‘’Only when the knowledge and experience of political leaders is connected with the wisdom of interreligious leaders, can the world find its way to true peace.’’
A prayer for peace closed the official part of the program, and then followed discussion over coffee, cake and snacks.!