Archive for the ‘At The United Nations’ Category

WPPS at the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the 3rd Annual Service of Gratitude and Remembrance in NYC-USA

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The World Peace Prayer Society ( WPPS) co-sponsored the 3rd Annual Service of Gratitude and Remembrance during the UN Commission on the Status of Women at the chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations, along with partner organizations The Parliament of the World’s Religions, Temple of Understanding, Interfaith Center of New York, International Yoga Day Committee at the UN, United Religions Initiative, and United Methodist Women. This service of prayer and reflection honors the women who have gone before, leaving their indelible mark through dedicated service to humanity.

Chaplain Dionne Boissiere created a beautiful altar that included a mini Peace Pole, and Monica Willard of the URI invited everyone to name a woman who had inspired us before her passing and inscribe the names in a book.

A highlight of the program was by flautist Brandon Perdomo, who serves as WPPS Youth Representative to the UN, performing several musical numbers with percussionist Caitlin Cawley.

At the close of the service, Monica suggested a group photo and Sande Hart, of the Compassion Games International, called out for everyone to say, “May Peace Prevail on Earth!” A woman named Rachel Bachenberg then approached Rev. Deborah Moldow, WPPS UN Representative, to tell her about the Peace Pole at her church, Keystone United Methodist Church (formerly Broadway UMC) in Kansas City, Missouri, and how much it meant to the congregation.

Deborah and Monica co-hosted a small dinner to honor some of our special colleagues who were present for the event, including Sabina Rifat, who runs the programs for women for URI Pakistan. Together with Fr. James Channan, she has planted more than 60 Peace Poles all over Pakistan!

Monica Willard, Sabina Rifat, Deborah Moldow, Martha Gallahue

Deborah placed a desktop Peace Pole on the table at dinner, causing a young waiter to come up and tell us about the Peace Pole that is at his high school on Long Island, NY. He was so excited to tell us and to meet all of us that Monica gave him a mini Peace Pole. It is sincere young people like him who will take peace forward into the future.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!





Spirit of the UN Awards-777 United Nations Plaza-USA

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

October 25, 2016

Each year, during the Week of Spirituality, Values & Global Concerns, the NGO Committee on Spirituality and Global Concerns-NY offers the Spirit of the United Nations award to representatives of the UN community, including an ambassador, a UN staff member and an NGO. Deborah Moldow was the co-recipient with Monica Willard in 2009.

This year, Rev. Deborah was invited to offer the opening invocation. She invoked the Spirit of Peace and invited all present to repeat, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

By Rev. Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations for The World Peace Prayer Society


Opening to the Spirit of the United Nations: Music, Mindfulness & Meditation-United Nations-USA

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Music, Mindfulness & Meditation

On October 28, 2016, the Sacred and Transcendental Arts Working Group brought together representatives of NGOs, CSOs, UN Agencies and Missions along with performers of sacred and secular music in a program called, “Opening to the Spirit of the U.N.: Music, Meditation and Mindfulness.” This program focused on how the sacred arts of music, meditation and mindfulness can be vehicles for support of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Promote Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies). The event featured ceremony, inspiring speakers and a variety of music.

Rev. Deborah Muldow (front) with Yanni Maniates, Ben Bowler, Sean and Rastas

Rev. Deborah Muldow (front) with Yanni Maniates, Ben Bowler, Sean and Rastas

This event was sponsored by The Sacred and Transcendental Arts Working Group of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-New York (“CSVGC”) as a closing to the 2016 Week of Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns.

Tom W. Q. Jiang, co-chairman of the Global Peace Messengers Alliance, a Chinese peace NGO

Tom W. Q. Jiang, co-chairman of the Global Peace Messengers Alliance, a Chinese peace NGO

Deborah Moldow, the Representative to the United Nations for the World Peace Prayer Society, helped to organize the event. She offered a Call to Purpose that included the prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” – and the more than 100 people gathered all responded by spontaneously repeating the prayer. Deborah suggested that Sustainable Development Goal #16 would serve as a bridge to a culture of peace that would draw forth the Divine Spark in all humanity, as stated in the Fuji Declaration.

Jake Blackbear Singer

Jake Blackbear Singer

A small Peace Pole graced the altar through the opening indigenous prayer songs by Jake “Blackbear” Singer and inspiring speakers Dr. Kurt Johnson, Ben Bowler of, Dr. Andrew Vidich, and Sharon Hamilton-Getz. Drs. J.J. and Desiree Hurtak offered a meditation with stunning visuals on the large screen, including a shot from the WPPS event in the UN General Assembly and one showing Deborah with a large Peace Pole. There were numerous performances, including a rousing Reggae finale by Pato Banton and Antoinette.

Pato Banton

Pato Banton

Ras I Ray

Ras I Ray

Later, Jake Blackbear told Deborah that he was headed to Washington, DC to offer a Pipe Ceremony inside the courtyard of the Pentagon on Nov. 4-5 with only 19 others invited. Deborah offered him the desktop Peace Pole to bring along, in alignment with the large Peace Pole inside the Pentagon chaplain’s chapel.

World Peace Flag Ceremony Marks the 2016 International Day of Peace at the United Nations-USA

Friday, December 30th, 2016

By Rev. Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations for The World Peace Prayer Society

Following the official observance of the 2016 International Day of Peace at the United Nations on September 16th, a dedicated group gathered across the street to send their prayers for peace to every nation of the world.

More than 100 people filled the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations for an event hosted by Chaplain Dionne Boissiere of the United Methodist Women and organized by the World Peace Prayer Society and the United Religions Initiative.

Included among the participants was a busload of youth brought to the International Day of Peace observances from Vermont by Children of the Earth. These young people, many of whom are refugees from various countries, came to the event directly from a luncheon visit to the Mission of the United States, where they were greeted by Amb. Samantha Power.

Rev. Boissiere opened the event with a warm welcome that reiterated her commitment to opening the chapel to the International Day of Peace each year. Deborah Moldow, Representative to the United Nations for the World Peace Prayer Society, serving as M.C., began by introducing Monica Willard, Representative to the United Nations for the United Religions Initiative. Monica read the URI’s moving Nuclear Prayer in the spirit of the International Day of Peace. She also spoke about some of the inspiring events planned to take place for the International Day of Peace on September 21st all over the world.

Interfaith filmmaker Ruth Broyde Sharone next told the touching story of the Israeli Palestinian Women’s Peace and Healing Quilt, which was displayed behind the chapel altar. A brief video explained this joyful vehicle for healing and peace in the Holy Land.

Peace Quilt with Ruth Broyde Sharone, Rev. Dionne Boissiere, Monica Willard (Photo: David Willard)

Peace Quilt with Ruth Broyde Sharone, Rev. Dionne Boissiere, Monica Willard (Photo: David Willard)

Deborah then explained the World Peace Flag Ceremony, in which all present would participate, raising the flag of every Member State of the United Nations – the very same flags that had been lifted by students at the Peace Bell as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang it that morning for the final time in his administration. She demonstrated how each participant would announce the country name and present the flag.

Sasha Reed, Deborah Moldow, Patrick McCollum (Photo: Patrick McCollum)

Sasha Reed, Deborah Moldow, Patrick McCollum
(Photo: Patrick McCollum)


Sasha Reed (Photo: David Willard)

Sasha Reed
(Photo: David Willard)

Deborah then introduced Rev. Patrick McCollum to tell the story of the World Peace Violin, hand crafted to contain fragments from around the world from places of conflict that had been healed. Patrick introduced Ms. Sasha Reed, a beautiful young violinist who would accompany the ceremony with her transcendent music.

The flag distribution team of Brandon Perdomo, the WPPS Youth Representative to the UN, Yuji Hiraiwa, Akiko Imaizumi, and Dr. Joni Carley took their places, and the World Peace Flag Ceremony began.

(Photo: Patrick McCollum) 

(Photo: Patrick McCollum)


(Photo: David Willard) 

(Photo: David Willard)

As the music of peace flowed from the World Peace Violin, people of all ages and many nationalities took turns praying for peace to prevail in each country as its flag was raised. From time to time, Deborah sounded the World Peace Bell made from recycled weapons of war and everyone paused to proclaim, “May Peace Prevail on Earth!” The World Peace Flag Ceremony was a profound experience, as the chapel filled with everyone’s prayers from the heart.

Two of the students from Vermont, Johnny Strek and Aidan Lodge, posted a report on their UN experience. They wrote:

One of the many powerful parts of the day was the flag ceremony. Taking part in the UN chapel, 196 flags of the world were held up and met with the wish “may peace prevail,” while the world peace violin was played. There is a great deal of conflict in the world that seems to be caused by conflicting ideologies. To be in a chapel in which one’s faith didn’t matter and the hope for peace was sent out to everyone was truly incredible.  

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

The 2016 International Day of Peace Student Observance at the United Nations-USA

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Rev. Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations for The World Peace Prayer Society


The International Day of Peace student observance at the United Nations began in 1997, when the Education Outreach division of the Department of Public Information (DPI) decided to invite local students to observe five UN-appointed days, including the International Day of Peace, then marked on the third Tuesday in September, the annual opening day of the General Assembly. The World Peace Prayer Society’s UN Representative offered a World Peace Flag Ceremony with the Middle School students raising the flags of all the Member States. DPI agreed to try it, and from then on the World Peace Prayer Society and Pathways To Peace were NGO partners in planning this event each year, later joined by the United Religions Initiative and the Jane Goodall Institute.


Over the years, the NGO partners worked with DPI on the annual theme and helped outreach to schools and entertainers. The NGOs also encouraged DPI to invite the Secretary-General into the student event from his ringing of the Peace Bell until his presence and that of the celebrity Messengers of Peace in attendance became a regular feature. They also succeeded in getting the UN to invite the students to offer short presentations on their own peace projects, which is always inspiring. And they asked for the students to be allowed to carry the flags outside to where the Secretary-General rings the Peace Bell.

In 2016, the 20th student observance of the International Day of Peace at the United Nations took peace to a whole new level – literally. After raising the flags high at the UN Peace Bell, the students processed in to their event, which was held in the prestigious General Assembly Hall! After a rousing hip-hop presentation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the students and asked them to become champions of the Global Goals.

Secretary-General Photo by D. Moldow 

Photo by D. Moldow

The President of the 71st General Assembly also spoke. Then it was time for the Messengers of Peace. Actor Michael Douglas then took on the role of M.C., and then showed a video on disarmament.  Dr. Jane Goodall spoke touchingly about the need to preserve the natural world.

Dr. Jane Goodall Photo by David Willard

Dr. Jane Goodall
Photo by David Willard

Stevie Wonder told of overcoming his disability to reach millions with his music.

Stevie Wonder Photo by David Willard

Stevie Wonder
Photo by David Willard

Leonardo DiCaprio – a favorite with the students – showed a trailer for his new film about climate change.

Leonardo DiCaprio  Photo by David Willard

Leonardo DiCaprio
Photo by David Willard

And Midori played a stunning piece on her violin, before explaining the importance of giving children the experience of living arts.  Following the introduction of the Global Teacher Award honoree, Ms. Hanan Al Hroub of Palestine, all were treated to a beautiful series of songs performed by the Rainbow Choir of children from the Republic of Korea, which was very warmly received.

Rainbow Choir Photo by Ashley Young

Rainbow Choir
Photo by Ashley Young

But that wasn’t all! There were three Nobel Peace Prize laureates to speak to the youth about their passion for peace: Ms. Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, Ms. Leyma Gbowee of Liberia and Ms. Shirin Ebadi of Iran. As youth moderator Dena Mekawi took the podium, there were video links to the UN Peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Liberia, as well as a student presentation from Rome. Then six students offered brief presentations of their own peace projects, after which Mrs. Ban rang a peace bell inscribed with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” for a 12 noon Minute of Silence, as she has each year of her husband’s term as Secretary-General, which concludes this year.

Mrs. Ban rings the Peace Bell

Mrs. Ban rings the Peace Bell

Following the event, Deborah Moldow and Monica Willard presented Mrs. Ban with a desktop Peace Pole in recognition of her dedication to the students and to peace.

Mrs. Ban, Rev. Deborah Muldow & Monica Willard (from left to right)

Mrs. Ban, Rev. Deborah Muldow & Monica Willard (from left to right)

This spectacular morning of peace ended on a high note with the students being led in a chant of “SDGs – Building Blocks for Peace!” They will not forget their visit to the United Nations – where peace was celebrated at the highest level.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

UN Photo by Rick Bajornas

UN Photo by Rick Bajornas

Peace Pals Art Exhibition – UN Headquarters New York

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

A Peace Pals Art Exhibition was hosted in the lobby of the United Nations Headquarters in New York between October 17th thought the 29th. The exhibition was made possible through the kind sponsorship of the Japan Mission highlighting the theme, Love to Hiroshima   Love to Nagasaki.  The Exhibition auspiciously coincided with the meetings of the first committee on disarmament held at the UN and the 2016 Week of Spirituality.





The Fuji Declaration at the United Nations in honor of World Interfaith Harmony Week-USA

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

February 3, 2016

SDG crop

Mrs. Saionji joined other distinguished government and U.N. speakers, religious, and heads of international organizations to discuss the importance of interfaith solidarity in ensuring the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event was organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in partnership with the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.

The heart of her speech was the introduction of the Fuji Declaration, launched in May 2015. She encouraged people in all fields to be part of the Fuji Declaration, to bring forth the divine spark that links all people in unity while encouraging our diversity to shine through.


As one of the organizers of the event, The High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, invited Mrs. Saionji to join other distinguished speakers to offer innovative approaches to developing a spirit of partnerships among religious communities and the United Nations.

Al Nasser Speaks

The first of two panels addressed interfaith harmony as key to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Remarks were offered by representatives from the Permanent Mission of Jordan, the Observer Mission of the Holy See, UNESCO, American Jewish World Service, and the Ifa Heritage Institute in Nigeria. These speakers offered diverse cultural perspectives, setting the stage for Mrs. Saionji, introduced as the Chairperson of three organizations: The World Peace Prayer Society, Byakko Shinko Kai and The Goi Peace Foundation.

Panel 1

To open her remarks, Mrs. Saionji called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “a roadmap to a new civilization.” The slides accompanying her presentation showed activities at Fuji Sanctuary in Japan and the planting of Peace Poles around the world. She spoke about the annual Symphony of Peace Prayers organized at Fuji Sanctuary since 2005 which hosted the launch program for the Fuji Declaration in 2015.


The highlight of her talk focused on the Fuji Declaration encouraging people in all fields to recognize and awaken to the ‘divine spark’ which exists within the human heart for a more sustainable world community. She asked, “What would relationships between religions or governments look like if we all understood that every individual has this divine spark? Could this understanding open the door to a new era of unity in diversity that empowers the work of the United Nations?”

L-R: Deborah Moldow- UN Rep for WPPS, Masami Saionji-Chairperson of WPPS, Victor Kazanjian-Executive Director of URI, Maki Saionji Kawamura-WPPS, Fumi Johns-Stewart-Executive Director of WPPS

May Peace Prevail On Earth!

The International Day of Peace at the United Nations-USA

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Deborah-Monica IDP 2015 ReportSeptember 21, 2015

The 2015 International Day of Peace began at the United Nations with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the70th General Assembly ringing the Peace Bell while 193 students raised the flags of the Member States during the Minute of Silence.

Peace Bell
Photo by Amanda Voisard

Following the ceremony, the Secretary-General joined 800 people in Conference Room 4 to begin the student program on the 2015 theme, “Partnerships for Peace–Dignity for All.” A full webcast of the event is at


The program was full of celebrities and rich with information and inspiration. Speakers included Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Messengers of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall, Michael Douglas and Yo-Yo Ma; UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock; the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi; Youth Moderator Ms. Zuhal Sultan, the founder of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq; and the students from UNIFIL in Beirut, Lebanon, who were present live via satellite.

SG and Peace Pole
Photo by Dave Willard

Highlights included Yo-Yo Ma playing his cello and students from South Korea demonstrating advanced Taekwondo techniques, as well as students presenting their projects for peace. The United Nations International School Chamber Ensemble sang, “Heal the World.”

Another memorable moment was when a Security guard brought in a dog in response to Dr. Jane Goodall’s desire to have the non-human community represented. Dr. Jane immediately went to greet this special guest by the Peace Pole in the chamber.

Jane w Dog and P Pole - happy
Photo by Dave Willard

The traditional 12 noon Minute of Silence was introduced by the International Day of Peace NGO Committee Co-Chairs: Deborah Moldow, World Peace Prayer Society; Monica Willard, United Religions Initiative; Michael Johnson, Pathways To Peace; Shawn Sweeney, The Jane Goodall Institute. Mrs. Ban rang the World Peace Prayer Society’s Peace Bell, made of recycled weapons of war, and the silence was closed with the room saying together, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

The program concluded with a special 70th Anniversary Flag Ceremony for World Peace developed by the UN Department of Public Information. William Yotive, Education Outreach Director, showed the progression of countries joining the United Nations over the past seven decades by asking the students holding flags of the 193 UN Member States to rise in turn showing the decade in which that country had joined the United Nations.

Students with UN Member Paper Flags
Photo by Dave Willard

An accompanying slide show demonstrated show the growth from 51 Member States in 1946 to 193 in 2015. Then everyone was asked to hold high a paper flag of the United Nations and say together, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Mr. Yotive then asked them to repeat the message with more energy, and the call for peace rang out through the United Nations.


Report by Monica Willard and Deborah Moldow

The World Peace Prayer Society at the United Nations for the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE—NYC-USA

Friday, October 4th, 2013

September 18th,  2013


The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) has worked in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) on the UN observance of the International Day of Peace (IDP) since 1997. On Wednesday, September 18th, 500 high school and college students arrived at the United Nations early in the morning – international students from Rutgers University, refugee students living in Vermont, an overnight busload of students from Montreal, Roots & Shoots volunteers from along the East Coast, and many more representing diverse peace efforts in their schools and communities.

194 of these students had the privilege of carrying the flags of all the UN Member States into the Rose Garden to take part in the ringing of the Peace Bell by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary-General gave a moving speech that included a plea for peace in Syria, as well as a strong call to get every child into school. He asked for a Minute of Silence and rang the Peace Bell, as the students raised the flags high.

Room with Peace Pole

The Secretary-General then joined the students in the recently renovated Conference Room 1 of the UN, warmly encouraging them to feel compassion in their hearts and to work for a better world for all. The students also heard inspiring remarks by Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace, and UN Foundation “Girl Up” Champion Monique Coleman.


The program included a live feed from the UN Peacekeeping site in Haiti, songs by Ta’Kaiya Blaney and by Technicolor Lenses, and talks by numerous dignitaries. But the most exciting parts were the presentations by students of 14 of their own peace projects, from a high school Peace Pledge to the Diversity Rocks International Youth Project to Theatre for Social Change. Two of the young people closed their presentations with “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

Peace Pals in UN Conference Room

Decorating the Peace Pole

This message of peace was present in the room with a Peace Pole, a display of the winning entries to the Peace Pals Art Exhibition, and the WPPS Peace Bell, for the traditional Minute of Silence conducted by Mrs. Ban. Everyone in the room had a paper flag of one of the UN Member States at their seat.

Students with Paper Flags

At 11:50, Monica Willard of the United Religions Initiative invited Mrs. Ban to come forward to ring the bell. Deborah Moldow of the World Peace Prayer Society invited everyone to rise and hold up their paper flags. After the Minute of Silence at the stroke of noon, all 500 students, chaperones, dignitaries and UN staff said together, “May Peace Prevail in (the country of the flag).” and then three times, “May Peace Prevail on Earth!” Everyone was moved by the profound feeling of peace that filled the room through this simple ceremony.



Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

May 23rd, 2013

The Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends (www.bruno-grö is a worldwide network of groups practicing the natural healing technique popularized by Bruno Gröning (1906-1959). Bruno Gröning was thought to be a miracle healer, but he insisted that any person, by absorbing the life force freely available to all, could bring about healing even of conditions considered to be incurable.

Deborah Moldow, WPPS Representative to the United Nations, presented the Peace Pole to Mr. Dieter Häusler, leader of the Circle of Friends. She noted the relationship between healing the individual and peace for the entire world, and expressed appreciation for the altruistic work over 30 years of the Circle of Friends.


Dieter Häusler received the Peace Pole, saying, “This award signifies the recognition of the life work of Bruno Gröning, and at the same time all of the Bruno Gröning friends worldwide who carry the message of peace, love, and harmony, as well as the possibility of healing on the spiritual path.” He spoke about the peaceful cooperation of friends in Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as the unusual friendships between Greek and Turkish people and how the communities in Palestine are supported by the friends from Israel, demonstrating the possibility of the phrase, “May peace prevail on Earth.”

The ceremony took place in the ecumenical Tillmann Chapel of the United Nations at the invitation of SaluS, a member the United Nations Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC). A video of the presentation can be viewed at

Members of the Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends expressed interest in planting Peace Poles around the world in honor of the UN International Day of Peace.