Solomon Island: Inauguration Conference for IAPP
by Peter Chaniel Tome, UPF Solomon Island
Solomon Islands inauguration of IAPP was held on the 30th of October 2017 at the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel in Honiara with the theme: “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time. The Role of IAPP in the Solomon Islands.”
The event was hosted and supported by Universal Peace Federation. Women’s Federation for World Peace and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Oceania Headquarter’s staff also attended and Rev. Greg Stone UPF Secretary General Oceania and Shang Seon Park UPF Regional Director.
Around 70 guests attended the event including 4 former members of Parliament, 21 executive members of the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly with their deputy Premier, a couple of local church leaders and members of various NGOs in Honiara.
Rev. Greg Stone gave the main presentations on the Role and works of UPF and the “Need to educate for Character” and the importance of Family in the Nation’s Peace Building process.
There was also a panel of presenters from the Solomon Islands NGOs highlighting the critical issues affecting the Solomon Islands. Family and moral values degradation was highlighted as well as land boundaries and involvement of foreign developers in some parts of the country. Another presenter also highlights the issue of political instability and corruption in the country as a critical issue.
Solomon Islands is situated in the Oceania region. This nation has previously host a number of UPF conferences in the past promoting Core Values, Character Education, inter-faith dialogue, Moral leadership, Family Values and World Peace. Last year UPF has also introduced the concept of New Village Movement as a model for rural development in the island nations.
This year 2017 the theme of the event is “Addressing the Critical challenges of our time and the Role of IAPP in the Solomon Islands. The highlight of this event is the inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). Due to the Political situation in the country all current members of parliament not able to attend. A motion of no confidence was launched in the parliament that has resulted in the removal of the Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare. However four former members of Parliament and twenty one executive members of Guadalcanal Assembly attended with various members of active NGOs and Political Party leaders in the country.
Rev. Greg Stone (Secretary General of UPF Oceania) gave presentations introducing the work of UPF and its philosophy of peace. The other sessions highlight the importance of Character Education and Family and World Peace. The Regional Director of UPF Oceania Rev. Shang Seon Park was also present and was given the opportunity to give the Welcome remarks on behalf of UPF.
In response to the Regional Director Speech, the Deputy Premier of Guadalcanal Province gave an acceptance speech and commends the work and vision of UPF in the Solomon Islands.
In the afternoon session a panel of three members representing the churches, NGOs and political parties in the country gave presentations highlighting critical issues faced by the nation.
The program ended with the reading and signing of the IAPP Inauguration Resolution.
During the conference there were three presentations by the Secretary General of UPF Oceania Rev. Greg Stone. Firstly, he introduces the UPF and its work in the Oceania. It was the first time for most of the participants to learn of the work of UPF and its philosophy for peace building in the nation and the world.
The second presentation was on the “Need to Educate for Character”. This really inspired a lot of participants and they express a lot of interest in learning of the character education introduced by UPF. The Chief Education officer of the Guadalcanal Provincial Government also gave support comments on the issue and mentioned to that his office has already preparing to introduce character education into their school curriculum.
The third presentation was on Family and World Peace. Rev. Greg Stone highlights how strong families link to peaceful communities and world peace. This is again a very inspiring presentation. Solomon Islands is a country with strong family values but now it has been experiencing a lot of family breakdowns and families living in urban areas are now letting go of some traditional family values. One participant also recommend that the teaching of family values need to be introduced in the country’s school curriculum.
Panel of Local Institutional Representatives
In the fourth session a panel of 3 representatives from three local institutions was selected to present what they see as critical challenges faced by the country. The main challenges highlighted are churches guidance in the government as stressed by Pastor Geoffrey Alacky of Full Gospel Church. The other presenter representing the Civil Society stressed land boundary disputes and involvement of foreign investors in the isolated islands. The third presenter
representing the People’s Alliance Party highlighted corruption in the government system has ripen and that actions are needed to eradicate corrupted leaders and officers. He also stressed the need for a character education curriculum to be put in place in the education system.
The last session of the event is the reading of the IAPP Resolution and signing. This resolution was introduced by Rev. Greg Stone of UPF Oceania and was signed by all the participants. All participants agreed that parliamentarians play a very important role in the society to address issues that affects human lives both locally and globally.
- Mr.Casper Joseph Fa’asala President People’s Alliance Part: The corruption practices in the country can only be eradicated if education as provided by UPF is introduced into our school institutions. Thank you UPF for a clear philosophy for peace building.
- Mr. Kamilo Teke, Former Member of Parliament, Leader of Solomon Islands Civil Society: Maintaining Family values in the Solomon Islands Society has now become a great challenge. UPF should engaged more in the society. Your philosophy of peace building is very import for the country.
- Pastor Geoffrey Alacky, Full Gospel Church Solomon Islands: The vision of the founders is a great one. We just have to support it.
- Messach Suia, Chief Education Officer, Guadalcanal Province Education Authority: Thank you UPF for your continuous support in inviting us to you events. My office is currently preparing to implement character education to our schools as an effort in the peace building process between our province and the other provinces. We are looking forward to working closely with UPF Solomon Islands.
The event ended with three cheers of Ogmansei as all the participants were really excited and inspired. All participant felt that they were so fortunate to be invited and learn of the work and philosophy of UPF for peace and nation building.
A lot of the participants are intended candidates in the upcoming 2018 general election. One of them commented that this event has really given him a clear vision on the real challenges faced by the country.
UPF Solomon Islands also see this event as a positive contribution of its work in the country and would also like to thank its sponsors and supporters, FFWPU, WFWP, UPF Oceania and Headquarters for their support and contributions. A special thanks to the founders for the great vision that we could share with the people of our nation.
Special thanks to Rev. Greg Stone for his continuous great effort and support to Solomon Islands. We are looking forward to you support again in the future.