The Words of the Marion Family
Paris, France -- Ambassadors for Peace and a few guests were invited by the French chapters of UPF and the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) to the "Center Culture et Paix" in Paris on May 31, 2014, to hear reports and discuss about two recent programs held jointly by UPF and WFWP in Jerusalem and Geneva.
First was a report on the tenth anniversary of the Women for Peace activities and the MEPI program organized in Israel May 12-16 by UPF International and WFWP, presented by Brigitte Wada (WFWP-France President), who attended the event together with two French women Ambassadors for Peace.
After outlining the vision and objectives of the Middle East Peace Initiative, Ms. Wada showed a short movie on the historical 2004 Women for Peace project which brought to Jerusalem 500 women from 40 nations under the theme of A Mother's heart for Peace. She spoke of the mother's power to heal a child's pain and how crucial the unity of women is, suggesting that history may have been very different if the mothers of Ishmael and Isaac, both children of Abraham, had united. She then reported on the tenth anniversary commemoration in Jerusalem, their visits to a hospital in Safed at the border of Syria that treats injured Syrians children and women; a special school in Sur Baher in Jerusalem; the Knesset, where a session was held with the participants; the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial; and the peace walk through Jerusalem.
The second report was given by Jacques Marion (UPF-France President) about the conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), held on May 26 at the United Nations Office at Geneva, which he attended along with four Ambassadors for Peace from Paris. The conference on the theme: Towards Peace and a Lasting Reconciliation in DRC, the Role of Religion, Women and Civil Society, was initiated at the request of the DRC diaspora in Switzerland, with the desire to be part of and support the peace process in their war-troubled country. It was co-sponsored by UPF, the Fribourg Peace Forum and the Women's Federation for World Peace.
A video message sent by Martin Kobler, the special representative of the UN in the DRC, opened the conference, followed by speakers from international organizations (International Organization for Migration and the Red Cross), and the Assistant Permanent Delegate of the DRC to Unesco, Ambassador for Peace Prof. Manda Kizabi. Experts on African geopolitics and women and NGO leaders from the DRC and Europe then took the stage, opening a lively debate with the audience. A set of recommendations from all participants will, after further discussion within the diaspora, be sent to the DRC government, parliament and civil society, and to UN organizations.
For videos of conference proceedings [in French], click here www.fpforum.org/fpf/index.php/conferences/conference-mai-2014/115-video-de-la-conference-a-geneve
Both reports enlightened the participants in Paris about the range and depth of UPF and WFWP's activities in their peace-building efforts through "track II diplomacy." An Ambassador for Peace certificate was awarded to a young musician active in social networks.