Peru: Peace Talk – “Looking beyond the pandemic, How can we build a better world?”

Prepared by UPF Peru

On July 16, 2020, UPF Peru held a “Peace Talks” webinar titled “Looking beyond the Pandemic, how can we build a better world?” This web conference was the first live webinar in Peru’s “Peace Talks” series. The web conference attracted 100 participants who connected live from various cities in Peru, as well as international participants from the USA, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile and more than 200 other guests who also saw it live on YouTube.

Dr. Trevor Edward Jones (President, UPF Peru) gave the opening remarks. In light of the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 virus, UPF International and UPF headquarters around the world have been holding Peace Talks Webinar series almost daily, involving political leaders and leaders with global influence.  This period of the virus has brought to light many inequalities in society across the whole spectrum of human life – health, wealth, welfare, education, racial discrimination, etc. It is time to take a serious look at what is wrong with our society and consider how we can contribute to change it, thinking of the essential elements that we expressed in the Summit – Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.  As part of the webinar program, 15 new ambassadors for peace were appointed and 16 ambassadors for peace received a recognition for their hard work in favor of the most needy in Peru.

Mr. Jaime Fernandez (General Secretary, UPF Peru) led the webinar and introduced the speakers.

Panelists

Dr Antero Florez-Aráoz (President of the Congress of the Republic of Peru (2004-2005), Minister of Defense of Peru (2007-2009). President of IAPP Peru) spoke first. He congratulated UPF for its hard work in providing help to the most vulnerable people around the world. The pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, affecting health, economy, and the subsistence of many families. The lockdown period invites us to think about the current situation of Peru and the world, confronting hedonism by promoting values and having an altruistic attitude in younger generations to ensure a better future. He emphasized that the recent change in the Council of Ministers of Peru should be understood as an opportunity to set aside differences and find unity, solidarity, fraternity and to establish common goals for a better Peru.

Dr Orestes Sánchez (Congressman (2020 -2021) Peru, Ambassador for Peace) followed with his remarks.. He emphasized the importance of taking instant and preventive actions by the authorities against COVID 19. He highlighted the increase of social differences as a result of the pandemic, as well as the increase of informal work and the economic crisis. He urged the ambassadors for Peace to assume the role of being spokesperson for peace in  different areas, having the love of God in our hearts, with human sensitivity towards our neighbor, promoting actions of peace and solidarity.  He also pressed for the resumption of Peace Communities activities in many parts of Peru, fostering teachings and values and promoting soup kitchens to help those most in need.

Dr Luis Benavente (General Manager of Vox Populi, Ambassador for Peace) spoke next. He argued that in order to achieve a better world, actions must be adopted at 3 levels: at the political level, relying on authorities with values, with good government practices for the betterment of the country. At the organizational level, with leaders of organizations that promote best management practices, labour relations, social responsibility and commitment to the quality and price of their products. At the individual level, promoting good practices in our everyday life: protection of the environment and actions of service to others. As long as the awareness of seeking a better world increases, and as it becomes part of the discourse of the government, organizations and people, it will be possible to influence others in a positive way.

Dr Felicita García (President of the Private Association of Obstetricians of North Lima, Ambassador for Peace) was the final panelist. In her presentation, Dr García discussed the role of women for a better world. Currently, women are in the front line of work to face the pandemic, from our authorities to professionals and leaders, providing care and offering attention with human quality to the most disadvantaged.  She introduced the project “I am a pregnant woman with values”, involving professionals and citizens to empower pregnant women, as the most important people to make a difference on the world: promoting to their children since pregnancy the value of life, respect and being in solidarity with others.

Q&A and closing statements

Dr Luis Benavente called for the government and leaders of organizations to take steps to safeguard health and reactivate the economy. Dr Antero Florez-Aráoz urged to educate the population to be disciplined and follow the recommendations given by the government. Dr Orestes Sanchez called on public and private sector authorities to take coordinated actions, for the sake of others for the benefit of the country. Dr Felicita García called the population to organize themselves responsibly through institutions such as UPF to educate the population and make decisions in favor of society.

The meeting concluded with a ceremony appointing 15 new Ambassadors for Peace and certificates of recognition for their valuable work during the pandemic were presented to 16 other ambassadors.

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