WFWP/UPF Joint Conference: Educating for Peace Series

imagePEACE, ORDER AND GOOD GOVERNMENT II
The Quest for True Canadian Values

OTTAWA, CANADA – NOVEMBER 13 & 14, 2015
Franco Famularo – Secretary-General, Canada
As a follow up to the 2014 annual joint UPF & WFWP conference with the same overall theme, the following issues were addressed:
• “A Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?”
• “Challenges of Policing in the 21st Century”
• “Could an Interreligious Council at the UN oversee Jerusalem as an International City.”

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The conference consisted of three panels comprised of a moderator and experts in each area. Not only were the issues addressed within a Canadian context, but also in the broader context of how Canada can serve the world in each of the above areas.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Moonshik Kim, Chair of the Universal Peace Federation in Canada, emphasized that given current tensions in our world, issues raised by the conference theme are indeed urgent.
Co-MCs for the conference were Robert Duffy and Eveline Stewart, both veterans of peace efforts on several continents.
After introductions to the Universal Peace Federation by Franco Famularo and to the Women’s Federation for World Peace by Mrs. Lilly Tadin, a video presentation featured the world-wide efforts of both organizations.
The first panel moderated by Dr. Peter Stockdale on “A Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?” featured Ms. Lina Tuzet, currently a social worker, who has actively participated in service projects in Vanuatu and in Paraguay during the past three years. She was followed by Baraa Arar, a high school student, strongly engaged in youth activities in the Muslim community of Ottawa. Both impressed the audience with their articulate presentations.
Andrew Cardozo of the Pearson Institute offered a view from a public policy perspective and the need for strengthening peace oriented youth activities. Desire Kilowla, program officer for International Development- Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provided the view as a Congolese living in Canada and his efforts to effect change in the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond.

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During the 2nd panel on the “Challenges of Policing in the 21st century” a contrast of speakers addressed the topic.

The moderator, Dr. Michael Balcomb, a US citizen and President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA shared an array of recent statistics on the state of affairs in the USA which, in his view, provided for a far worse situation with regards to relations between police and citizens than most countries – especially Canada.

Retired Chief of Police for York Region, Armand La Barge, provided a glimpse into the history of policing in Canada and the world. Providing hard numbers on the state of police resources (both human and material) in Canada was an eye-opener for many of the participants. (see attached presentation)

La Barge was followed by Ms. Gabrielle Fayant, an Indigineous Activist, who shared about the pain and suffering in her community due to continuing tension and misunderstanding with police and folks in authority.

Daniel Stringer then added his comments as one involved in community building as chair of the National Capital Peace Council in Ottawa. He was followed by Dr. Vern Redekop, a specialist in conflict studies at St. Paul University and author of “From Violence to Blessing” who related how he emerged from a small Mennonite Community in Saskatchewan to facing domestic and global policing issues.

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After a musical interlude provided by Classical Violinist, Ralitsa Tcholakova, the luncheon speech was given by veteran Ambassador for Peace, Rev. Darryl Gray, who currently serves as Special Assistant to the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), spoke about the vision of the founders of UPF and WFWP. He urged each one present to emerge from the shadows with their message of goodness. Rev. Gray shared that even though a lot has happened since Martin Luther King Jr. founded the SCLC in the United States, recent violence due to racial tensions in the USA demonstrates there is still a lot of work to do.

The afternoon program included the appointment of four new Ambassadors for Peace, a final panel on the need for an Interreligious Council at the United Nations. Moderator Father Jacques Kabangu introduced the session which posed the hypothetical question: “Could an Interreligious Council oversee Jerusalem as an International City.”

Ricardo de Sena, UPF North American Secretary General led the session with a presentation on a proposal for such a council at the UN as proposed by the late Rev. Moon in August, 2000. He was followed by international human rights consultant and educator, Dr. Karen Mock who approached the question from the viewpoint of one with a Jewish Heritage. She was followed by Mrs. Alexa Ward, deputy director of the UN Office of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. A Muslim view was provided by Ms. Shaheen Junaid Ashraf, a representative of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. The concluding on this session were provided by Mr. Michael McIntyre, past president of the Capital Region Interfaith Council in Ottawa.

Each of the three sessions was followed by a lively Question and Answer session.

To conclude the conference, the Honourable Anita Vandenbeld, recently elected to the Federal Parliament of Canada, explained “How Women of the World Empowered her to Become a Member of Parliament.”image

On November 14, with most everyone’s thoughts on the tragic events of the previous day in Paris, France, a Seminar was held on the topic “Exploring the Peace Philosophy of the Founders of UPF and WFWP”. Speakers included Dr. Michael Balcomb, Rev. Darryl Gray, Mrs. Alexa Ward and Mr. Alan Wilding.

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With thanks to all organizers, participants and those who helped make the 2 day conference and seminar a success.

WFWP/UPF Joint Conference: Visions of the Future World

LOCATION: Father Madden Hall, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto

81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, On M5S1J4

DATE: Saturday, July 25, 2015

TIME: 09:00 AM – 04:00 PM

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Panel 1.  In search of absolute values

Panel 2.  Evaluation of the focus of education

Panel 3.  A world without borders

 Hosted by the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and the Unification Peace Federation (UPF), the conference was a successful event that surfaced many important and challenging issues facing modern societies and nations.

On behalf of the attendees, we applaud the WFWP/UPF for choosing such timely topics that have an influence on all of our lives. The well-informed speakers (please request a copy of the program) who delivered much ‘food for thought’, sparked a dialogue that should be a beginning rather than a conclusion to such a meaningful event.

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Panel 1.  In search of absolute values

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Earl Smith Andrea Moore, Rev. Wendel Gibbs Rev. Mitch Dixon

In a world of conflicting values, fostered by different races, cultures and creeds, the speakers delivered from his or her religious perspective, experiential knowledge and worldview. An interesting observation was the decorum and politeness exhibited by the panelists and the audience despite the challenge to embrace viewpoints from different religious platforms. Ultimately, the consensus of human values did spring from a common religious perspective that underpin religion as opposed to distinct belief systems.

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Panel 2.  Evaluation of the focus of education

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 Mr. Errol Gibbs , Tahira Quamar and Christina Tadin

This topic spoke to the education system as one that focuses on Academic Information Literacy (AIL) which fosters careers, and materially driven lifestyles, at the expense of the broader goals of education. The topic led to a spirited discussion as the attendees inquired about the role of parents in a system dictated by educational policy makers facing challenges by a diverse community with competing worldviews. The question of home schooling arose as an alternative for some parents, but there is no universally accepted standard for home schooling parents.

The discussion shed light on great expenditures in lifestyle illnesses, the justice system, and military despite great expenditures in education. These in-depth discussions showed that there was a need for an evaluation of the focus of education, but how can the public influence the policy makers policy makers pose a dilemma for the attendees.

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Panel 3.  A world without borders

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This was a rather interesting topic, given the major challenges of managing and controlling legal and illegal immigrants, with new challenges such as refugees of famines, natural disaster refugees, and refuges of wars and genocide. The concept seemed impracticable, since all nations need to manage and control peoples within and outside their borders for planning national programs.

Some of the discussions took a turn toward the opening of commercial borders for moving goods and services more effectively between nations, which was feasible as a mutual benefit for the nations involved. Cited, as a downside was that the more powerful nations would maintain an advantage in negotiations from a position of mass production capacity, and their dollar value. The subject was well-worth discussing.

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 Keynote address “The Nation and World of Peace Sought by God and Humanity delivered by Lilly Tadin

In summary, the conference was a worthwhile proposition for all of us to contemplate the three important topics. Everyone shared afterthoughts of the conference that will resonate within us for a long time. As the seminar backgrounder ‘Visions of the future world’ states, it was a glimpse into the future by shaping our reality of what we want the future world to become with the welfare of all people in mind.

Written by Mr. Errol Gibbs and Lilly Tadin

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WFW /UPF Mini Conference January 11 2014

P1120429A WFWP/UPF conference, part of the on-going ‘Educating for Peace’ series on, was held in Toronto on January 11, 2014 on the specific theme, ‘Stable Families Bring Prosperity, Peace and Integrity to the Nation’. It was compromised of 3 panels, with time for questions and answers and was very ably guided by Dr. Armand LaBarge, retired Police Chief of Peel. Rev. Earl Smith of the Church of Scientology offered the Invocation and Dr. Moon Shik Kim, the Canada UPF Chairman, welcoming remarks…P1120440

The first panel’s topic was, ‘Is the family in decline, as values are lost, leading to anarchy and chaos?’ guided by Eveline Stewart of Hamilton WFWP. To begin Nazila Isgandarova looked at the question from a Muslim perspective. Originally from Azerbaijan, Nazila is well aware of the challenges face by the immigrant population and, given that our identities are formed in the family, has seen the results of dysfunctional Muslim families, those which cannot live up to the dictates of the Koran. Thus the Muslim divorce rate is rising in N. America, with all of its resultant problems. Yet still the historical benefits of the Koran’s teaching in controlling and increasingly ending polygamy and creating equality for women must always be remembered.P1120524Nazila was followed by Chelomie Colchrist, a Christian. Chelomie stressed that stable families need both husband and wife modeling  ‘godly principles’ and that children cannot be left to raise themselves. Inspiring the audience that, “We are the change”, Chelomie underscored the power of the family to set the foundation to be passed on to the future.

This theme was continued by Rev. Mitch Dixon, Unificationist and Co-Chairman of the Toronto UPF. Using Rev. Moon’s remarks that lineage is more important than love or life and that the loss of lineage caused God the greatest pain, Rev. Dixon asked us to think forward 5 or 20 generations. He then compared the lineages of two early pioneer Americans, one starting with Max Juke, as studied in Richard L. Dugdale’s “The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease and Heredity”, the other beginning with the preacher Jonathan Edwards. From the preacher descended judges, professors, senators, mayors, even a vice-President. From the hard drinking, womanizing Juke came murderers, prostitutes, alcoholics, vagrants and bank robbers!

P1120543The second panel was a perspective on marriage and family from two young adult Unificationists, Sharon Fuchs and Miki Young. They warmed and won the audience’s hearts with their testimonies of their ‘matchings’ to their respective spouses, Sharon’s German, Miki’s Japanese, followed by the story of the development of real, substantial relationships and the difficulties they have so far faced and overcome.

P1120639After a delicious lunch, much enjoyed by all, Rev. Stoyan Tadin addressed the conference theme with his normal humor, passion and intelligence. Rev. Stoyan Tadin delivered the keynote addressed on the topic of “Stable Families Bring Prosperity, Peace, and Integrity to the Nation.” Rev. Stoyan was explicitly clear that the

most serious problem humankind is facing today is the gradual destruction of family values due to uncontrolled check upon immorality and erosion of divine values. The stability in families comes through love between one man and one woman,which is the basis of pro-creativity designed by God.

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The final panel, convened by Lilly Tadin, Canada WFWP Chairwoman, dealt with, ‘How do Religious Norms and Values add Stability to the Family. Has this been weakened by hypocrisy?’ Sandra Palin of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, shared the great value of Monday evening family night from when she was growing up right until today. Coming from a family of 9 she remembered how she loved it when all the family baked together. This tradition reflects the great value her church places on the family as, ‘ordained by God’ and that we are accountable before God.

Rev. David Stewart of the Unification Church looked at the commonly held assumption that divorce is as prevalent in Christian families as it is in the non-religious. Despite the problems faced in religious families he concluded that active, committed religious homes do indeed provide greater stability than the norm.  David was followed by Mrs. Kim Auckbaraullee graciously reading the presentation of the sadly absent Prof. Sahar Al-Majali, which provided insights from an Islamic perspective on the question at hand. Prefacing her remarks as to the centrality of the family in the Abrahamic faiths and other world religions as well as its sociological importance Prof. Al-Majali said that also, “the family was in all stages as a mirror that reflects the society in which it was created”. Thus despite the respect Islam has for the family and the care with which Islam has crafted its norms and values to protect the family and its members it has always been and remains under “waves of attack”. This is why Prof. Al-Majali exhorted all present to work hard to prevent greater disintegration and collapse of the family and Muslims to adhere strictly to the family norms and values of their religious tradition.

P1120579P1120621P1120631-Written by David Stewart

-Photographs by E. Young