meeting of UPF/WFWP-France:
Saturday, May 31, 2014, Paris
Ambassadors for peace and a few guests were invited by the French chapters of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) at the “Centre Culture et Paix”, in Paris, 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 10th anniversary of the Women for Peace activities and the MEPI program organized in Israel on May 12 to 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 10th 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 YadVashem 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 Peace Ambassadors from Paris. The conference on the theme : Towards Peace and a Lasting Reconciliation in RDC, 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 (OIM, Red Cross), and the Assistant Permanent Delegate of the DRC to the Unesco, Peace Ambassador, Prof. MandaKizabi. Experts on African geopolitics and Women and NGO leaders, from the DRC and from Europe, then took the stage, opening a lively debate with the audience. A set of recommendations from all participants will be, after further discussion within the diaspora, sent to the DRC government, parliament and civil society, and to UN organizations.
Both reports enlightened the participants in Paris about the range and depth of UPF and WFWP’s activities in their peacebuilding efforts through “track II diplomacy”. A new Peace Ambassador certificate was awarded to a young musician active in social networks.
Report by Brigitte Wada