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WFWP Spain - “Steps to Peace”

Event to highlight and promote the importance of individual changes as a basis

for social transformations to take place.

The program was divided in three sessions, each with its own sub-theme: 1. Rights and

Obligations in a Global Society; 2. The Relevance of Women for Social Transformation:

Security, Harmony, Peace; 3. The Role of Spirituality in the Building of a Peaceful


A number of good friends who are individuals committed to serving society from a

variety of fields of action such as politics, entrepreneurship, spirituality, education,

NGOS and International Organizations made powerful and brilliant presentations which

moved the public in assistance to participate raising questions or making short


The program started with welcoming words by Marcia de Abreu, President of WFWP

Spain, who insisted in the idea that we are the ones to change and improve ourselves if

we want society to go the same way. “We need to incarnate the values that we defend

and promote”, she said.

Ms. de Abreu was also the moderator in the first session, under the theme “Rights and

Duties in a Global Society” and whose speakers were:

Mr. Josep Carles Laínez, President of the ICTS who made an excellent presentation on

the rights and responsibilities of human beings expressed in the text of The Universal

Declaration of Human Rights and its new approach written up at an international

congress in Valencia in 1999, highlighting the weight of the individual conscience.

Ms. Arenales Serrano, former Senator and MP in the central government for years,

highlighted that “the globalization, accentuated by the new technologies, has brought

positive changes such as that of millions of Chinese people being able to leave poverty,

and negative aspects, such as the revival of communism on certain areas of the planet”.

Mr. Sánchez Motos, clearly declared that “we all need to understand individually and

relationally what true love is in order to create a harmonious society”.

After a brief pause, the speakers of the second session were ready to take their places.

María Jesús Cañellas, a journalist and good friend of WFWP, moderated this session

with sharpness and sensitivity. This session was dedicated to women and their relevance

in the establishment of a society where peace prevails.

Ms. Carmen Quintanilla, former Senator and MP in the central government, Founder

and President of AFAMMER (Families and Women in the Rural World Association)

went through women’s development in history and emphasized that “we still need to

work to guarantee equality between men and women, which is the base for a prosperous

world, always avoiding a discourse that is based on polarization, confrontation and


Rosa María Rodríguez Magda, a PHD in Philosophy and writer who insisted on that

“all levels in society must cooperate towards equality between men and women if peace

is to be achieved” and that “we still need to reivindicate the dignity of feminism”.

Ivette Barreto, President of the IberoAmerican Businness Women Association,

emphasized that “moving according to convictions and not emotions and being firms

with our Judeo-Christian values is a must if we want to build a righteous and peaceful


The theme for the third session was “The role of spirituality in the building of a

peaceful world”.

Armando Lozano, Director of UPF Spain, was the very fine moderator in charge.

Rafael Monzó, President of Valencia/Mediterranean Association for UNESCO,

expressed that “all religions must be seen as part of the solution for peace, as all of them

have in their teachings indications to help establish peace. In this sense, nowadays we

must promote the interreligious dialogue”.

Belén Blanco, overseer of the educational program for a network of Catholic Schools,

explained that “an overall education refers to all dimensions of the human being,

including spirituality; it refers to the dimensions of interiority, then of spirituality and

finally of faith”. Juan Carlos Ramchandani, President of the Hindu Association in

Spain, who clarified certain precepts: “the Divinity is One, no matter how we name it,

we all belong to the human family beyond our different faiths and beliefs”.

All in all, the speakers made great contribution to the debate with concise and precise

ideas on how we can be active in the creation of peace from a variety of angles. The

public responded with interest, raising good questions and making clarifying comments.

WFWP and UPF organized a lunch open to all in order to promote a more personal

exchange among all.


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