Archive for the ‘IDP’ Category

International Day of Peace observance at the URI Global Staff and Council meeting in Sarajevo, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Monday, October 9th, 2017

On September 15th, 2017, the United Religions Initiative (URI) observed the International Day of Peace with a World Peace Flag Ceremony at our Global Council and Staff meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The event opened with Amb. Mussie Hailu introducing the International Day of Peace video message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.  URI founder,The Right Reverend William Swing, read The Nuclear Prayer that he originally wrote for our Voices for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons Cooperation Circle. (The prayer can be found at www.nuclearprayer.org.)

URI UN Team:Victor Kazanjian, Monica Willard, Maria Crespo, and Mussie Hailu

The flags were presented by 80 people from 40 different countries and displayed around a Peace Pole to create a sacred place in the center of our meeting space.   “May Peace Prevail on Earth” was sung together to open, close and to take time to pray together during the ceremony. URI has cooperation Circles in 102 countries, so The World Peace Flag Ceremony connected our meeting to our members and to the UN observance that was also held on September 15th.

URI Trustee Chief Phil Lane used the sacred space as the center to bless the 20 young participants and future generations

 

The Flags after the ceremony at the Peace Pole with Ribbons panels that were held during The Nuclear Prayer

May Peace Prevail on Earth,
Monica

Monica Willard
United Religions Initiative (URI),
United Nations Representative

South Sudan Plants First Peace Pole!

Monday, October 9th, 2017
On the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2017, the Republic of South Sudan planted her first official Peace Pole in the City Council of Juba.  WPPS Peace Representative Mussie Hailu of Ethiopia organized the dedication in the capital city marking the planting of the first Peace Pole in the Republic of South Sudan.
The official ceremony was presided over by the Mayor of Juba City Council Hon. Stephen Wan Michael, religious leaders and other officials and representatives of the communities.

Mussie Hailu, standing to the right of Peace Pole, with South Sudanese officials.

 
Early in the year, Mussie who is also Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative in Africa (URI-Africa) signed an agreement with WPPS to work in partnership to promote a culture of peace in Africa through the universal peace prayer  May Peace Prevail on Earth.
 
The Mayor appreciated the effort of URI-Africa & WPPS in promoting peaceful co-existence and he said that peace initiative of the two organizations is very much needed more than ever in South Sudan. The Mayor also expressed his gratitude to URI-Africa and WPPS for dedicating and planting the first peace pole in the republic of South Sudan.
 
On the same occasion, URI – Africa facilitated the City of Juba to become a member organization of Mayors for Peace International based in Hiroshima and also fostered a working partnership between the City of Juba and the UN-Habitat/UNEP Regional Office for Africa. 
 
May Peace be in South Sudan
May Peace Prevail On Earth

Together for Peace: International Day of Peace Program at the Tillman Chapel, Church Center for the United Nations – USA

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

 

Friday, September 15, 2017
2:00-4:00pm

Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations, under the loving stewardship of Rev. Dionne Boissiere for the United Methodist Women, once again hosted a day honoring the United Nations International Day of Peace. Multiple events with a sacred slant took place on Friday, September 15th, beginning with the U.N. webcast of the Secretary-General ringing the Peace Bell at 9:30 a.m.

The World Peace Prayer Society partnered this year with Children of the Earth, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and UNITE, organizations that arranged for a busload of 48 refugee students to attend the United Nations International Day of Peace student observance. Many of these young people from various countries were working for peace in different ways, so we offered to create a program together that would showcase the youth projects and then let the youth lead a World Peace Flag Ceremony.

The program, called “Together for Peace,” was directed by Heidi Tappan. It began with a warm greeting from Rev. Dionne, acknowledging all the programs that day celebrating the International Day of Peace at Tillman Chapel. Diverse students from the UNITE program introduced their impressive projects for human rights, environmental sustainability, youth art, and combatting discrimination, all illustrated by PowerPoint slides.  The student presentations were as follows:

  • Pabitra Bhattarai with her experience with Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program as a refugee;
  • Aden Haji with his program Building Blocks to Success at the Boys and Girls Club in Burlington.
  • Sam Cowles with his version of the Climate Reality’s 100% committed campaign and I AM PRO SNOW to combat climate change in the ski communities of Vermont;
  • Olivia LaPierre and her role as an ambassador for Be Zero, a zero-waste organization and role as the chair of the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequity to address racism in environmental activism;
  • Victoria Los talking about their group, UNITE;
  • Audrey Grant and Zymora Davinchi with their photography project, POC: Power of Color, where they share the stories and beauty of people of color in Vermont.

Those in the audience asked questions and expressed their admiration and encouragement.

 

The refugee group then presented a dynamic video called “The Change,” made by students, that invited us all to share in Peace, Connection, and Love.

Refugee students from different countries rose to say, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in their native languages.

It was then time for the World Peace Flag Ceremony, which the young people introduced and implemented. Brandon Perdomo, WPPS UN Youth Representative, provided flute accompaniment, while UN Rep Deborah Moldow helped with the country names. The flags were handed to the students with care by Akiko Imaizumi and Reiko Kamozawa. Everyone present prayed for every country in the United Nations, and Deborah was introduced thank everyone and to close the ceremony by presenting the flag of the United Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The group organizer, Laurie Stavrand of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, said, “Thank you so much for all of your help in putting together this event and for all of the work you have done. Our students had a wonderful time and we look forward to working with you again.” Next year, we hope to put this group together with another student group for a lively exchange of peace projects and another beautiful World Peace Flag Ceremony.

The International Day of Peace Observed at the United Nations, New York – USA

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

15 September 2017
Report by Rev. Deborah Moldow, Representative to the U.N.

The World Peace Prayer Society celebrated its 20th anniversary of assisting the United Nations Department of Public Information in planning and implementing the U.N. observances of the International Day of Peace.

THE PEACE BELL CEREMONY

Once again, students raised the flags of the U.N. Member States as the Secretary-General, António Guterres, rang the Peace Bell in the Japanese Garden in front of U.N. headquarters in New York. The presence of these young people was acknowledged by the incoming President of the General Assembly, H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, who said:

“As the United Nations works for peace, we will need to collaborate closely with young people. I am happy to see the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth with us today. And I am especially encouraged to see 194 students here – holding the flags of the United Nations and all its Member States. We will work together – across generations, across nationalities, across cultures – to attain our most precious goal – peace for our planet and all of its people.” (See video here: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/miroslav-lajčák-general-assembly-president-at-united-nations-peace-bell-ceremony-for-the-international-day-of-peace-2017/5577070626001/?term=)

THE STUDENT OBSERVANCE

Video link: http://webtv.un.org/search/international-day-of-peace-2017-student-observance/5577070642001/?term=&lan=english&cat=Meetings%2FEvents

The annual student observance of the International Day of Peace, with the theme of “TOGETHER FOR PEACE: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All,” was opened by Ms. Alison Smale, the newly-appointed Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations Department of Public Information, who greeted the 700 high school and college students gathered in Conference Room 4, along with those watching live at the U.N., at the Peacekeeping Mission in Bogota, Colombia and those watching the U.N. webcast around the world.

She introduced Secretary-General Guterres, who delivered a warm greeting to the students. He said, “One thing is clear: the International Day of Peace is of special significance.” He called on the young people to do a better job with peace than his generation and spoke about his ten years serving as U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Mr. Guterres enjoyed a lively round of Q&A with the students, asking for their comments and suggestions as well as their questions and replying to them as adults.

Ms. Smale then gave the floor Mr. Maher Nasser, who mentioned that the theme was close to his heart since he was a child of refugees whose parents were forced to flee their homes in 1948. He introduced Peace Messenger Dr. Jane Goodall, who spoke movingly to the students about how everyone can create peace in their lives. She told about refugees in the African countries where the young people were involved in her Roots and Shoots program and how every religion respects the Golden Rule. She said we need to stop the war we are waging on the natural world. She ended on a note of hope in the young people, especially when they are empowered to take action.

Next to speak was Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. She and Dr. Goodall also engaged with the students.

Two animated films about refugees were shown. Youth Moderator Ms. Malala Waseme introduced the remainder of the program, including the peace projects presented by the young people via satellite at the Peacekeeping Mission in Bogota, followed by music provided by the talented sisters Omnia and Leila Hegazy, to the appreciation of the crowd. Then the students in the conference room whose projects had been selected for presentation. A wide range of inspiring projects were presented from the Mater Dei Prep emerging global leaders program’s Global Education Tool Kit to Breaking Walls arts for peace to the making and sharing Peace Cranes.

At the side of the dais, just beneath one of two giant screens, sat a six-sided Peace Pole and the WPPS peace bell. Just before 12 noon, two young refugee students now living in Vermont came to the front of the room to announce the Minute of Silence and the ringing of the peace bell. Malala Waseme explained that the Minute of Silence on the International Day of Peace would offer the opportunity of a 24-hour peace wave as a shared and practical act of peacebuilding (at 2:17:25 on the video). A young refugee girl from Iraq, Ms. Saja Amongali spoke about the WPPS peace bell being made from recycled weapons of war to introduce the Minute of Silence. The gong was sounded and everyone rose in silence. The message inscribed on the peace bell flashed on the double screens for all to see (at 2:17:12): May Peace Prevail on Earth!

At the close of the conference (2:24:28), Malala thanked the guest speakers, the Department of Public Information, the World Peace Prayer Society, United Religions Initiative, Pathways To Peace, Peace Day Philly, Roots and Shoots, and others. We are grateful for this long-standing partnership in mutual respect and cooperation.

The World Peace Prayer Society U.N. Representation Team:
Lisa Parker, Brandon Perdomo and Deborah Moldow

 

 

Peace Pole Rededication at Chapel at Croton Falls, New York – USA

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Interfaith Sunday Celebrates International Day of Peace

What an amazing guest graced our Interfaith Sunday on September 17, 2017 celebrating the U.N. International Day of Peace at the Chapel at Croton Falls in Westchester, NY! Kulavadhuta Satpurananda, a delightful master from India of many traditions, shared his wisdom and a meditation and even joined our Peace Pole rededication. We also heard from Muslim Sunera Rahman about the plight of the Rohingya entering her native land of Bangladesh; from Pastor Hans Hallundbaek about the “peace telegraph”; and kirtan music performed by Miriam ‘Sita’ Zernis. It was a joy to celebrate the International Day of Peace with this truly interfaith program.

 

 

 

The Peace Day event, organized by Rev. Deborah Moldow, includes an annual rededication of the Chapel’s Peace Pole, which was planted at the time of Dr. Hallundbaek’s first sermon welcoming the head of the Hudson River Presbytery in 2006, at the suggestion of a mutual friend of Hans and Deborah, Danny Martin. The prayer for peace has become an integrated part of the church’s worship since that time.

Dr. Hallundbaek says:

The planting of a Peace Pole was a natural manifestation of love for life, planet, community, and the recognition of our profound need for Peace in the world. It was also a recognition that the church needed to take a stance.

 “This planting and the subsequent rededications each year, as well as the annual Symphony of Peace Prayer services, are no doubt the single most significant and enduring contributions we, have made to the Croton Falls Chapel and the community.”    

This year once again, people of different faiths gathered around the Peace Pole bearing flags of many nations to affirm the Peace Pole’s universal message: May Peace Prevail on Earth!

International Day of Peace at the Sacramento State Capitol – USA

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

September 23rd, 2017

The International Day of Peace event was hosted by The United Nations Sacramento Chapter President, Kate Van Buren on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.  Local peace builders and organizations gathered to celebrate this occasion in the spirit of peace and goodwill in the very heart of California.
As part of the opening welcome, volunteer WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie, spoke about the universal message of hope and prayer for peace, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” to attendees at the Peace Day Celebration.

WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie

 

Following the welcome speeches, Fumi Johns-Stewart and Major Reneé Marie presented the World Peace Flag Ceremony honoring all sovereign nations by invoking the World Peace Prayer as participants placed the corresponding flag cards around the Peace Pole.  Participants held hands in a moment of silence to conclude the ceremony while speaking the Universal Message of hope for Peace, May Peace Prevail On Earth in unison, three times.  It was a very moving community event.

Peace was sent to all sovereign nations on every continent around the world.

 

Peace Builders gather for a group photo with the flags of every nation around the Peace Pole.

 

The Sacramento Chapter of the U.N. led our Peace Walk which concluded the celebration honoring The International Day of Peace.

Photos by Brendan Woolley

World Peace Prayer Society Brings It All Together in Washington DC – USA for IDP

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

As part of The World Peace Prayer Societies participation in numerous International Day of Peace 2017 events, Jim Dugan, Manager of The World Peace Sanctuary in New York, presented a United States Flag Ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Monument in Washington DC as a highlight of the “March to Restore Civility” created by Ken Nwadike and the Free Hugs Project. This is the same spot that Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream “ speach. Speakers from varied backgrounds included Sargent Tommy Norman who is a Positive Police Practices Specialist from the North Little Rock PD along with other nationally known Police Officers, Native American Activist Eryn Wise, Daryl Davis (African American Activist who built bridges with Ku Klux Klan members), International Peace Educator Dr. Arthur Romano, Bobby Seale (Founder  of the Black Panther Party) and many many others. The US Flag Ceremony included the US Territories and the Indigenous Unity Flag.

L to R, Jim Dugan and Sally Damon. Photo from C-SPAN

You can watch the entire event, all the speakers and Flag Ceremony here on the C-SPAN website. C-SPAN broadcast the entire rally (the Flag Ceremony is at 1 hour and 6 minutes in part 1):
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-1/march-civility-rally-part-1
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-101/march-civility-rally-part-2
Here is a short video on the event and the featured speakers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkjnSJE-aPg

Atlanta celebrates International Day of Peace – Georgia – USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

WPPS Peace Representative Andrea Kay Smith from Atlanta, Georgia, USA took part in an International Day of Peace event which took place at the local Atlanta Public Library.  The event was part of the Libraries for Peace initiative which will become an annual project.

Andrea shared a booth to highlight the many peace initiatives in Atlanta including Atlanta Peace Trails, a program that maps Peace Poles and Peace Monuments in Atlanta http://www.atlantapeacetrails.com, World Peace Trails and her own peace program, Partnerships in Peace.  The Peace Pole carries the peace message in  English, Creole, Swahili & Farsi.
 
May peace be in Atlanta

Ketchikan High School plants Peace Pole for the “Kings for Peace” event in honor of the International Day of Peace-Ketchikan, Alaska-USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Ketchikan High School in Ketchikan, Alaska is pleased to announce Kings for Peace, a celebration of International Peace Day on Thursday, September 21, 2017 in the Kayhi Auditorium.

The entire dedication ceremony can be viewed here.
(Note from WPPS: This is a beautiful tribute – please watch.)

At the ceremony, students and community members will join together for the dedication of Kayhi’s Peace Pole. “May Peace Prevail on Earth” printed on the Peace Pole in six languages reflective of Ketchikan’s traditional and contemporary culture will be a visual reminder of the importance of global understanding.

David Janes of the United States – Japan Foundation will speak to the projects and education that foster a mutual understanding between America and Japan and will bestow the 2017 Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award upon Ms. Sarah Campbell.

In addition to generous support from the U.S.-Japan Foundation, Ketchikan’s chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and the Kayhi Vocational Department, staff, various clubs and groups of students have joined Ms. Campbell in the creation of the first annual Kings for Peace celebration.

Students, staff, and community members will “plant” the first Peace Pole in Ketchikan on September 21, 2017

All students, staff, and special guests are invited to attend and participate in the ceremony. Twitter/Instagram users are encouraged to tweet using #PeacePole, #PeaceDayChallenge, #PeaceDay, #KayhiPride, and #KingsForPeace.

For more information about Kings For Peace, please contact event coordinator, Sarah Campbell.

2017 UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE CELEBRATION IN NIGERIA BY WPPS, Peace Representative of NIGERIA-WEST AFRICA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

The 2017 world peace day on the theme “TOGETHER FOR PEACE, RESPECT, SAFETY & DIGNITY FOR ALL “ observance in Nigeria was great as it drew participants from all race to meet together to share a common ideology for peace as enshrined in the universal prayer for world peace “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”  Religious leaders, Traditional Rulers, Members from the academia, Political class, Youth group and members of the press, all prayed the universal prayer for world peace.

The event features the reading of the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres message for 2017 International Day of Peace which was read by Chief Eseme Ibans who is a Justice of the Peace, while I “Mojima Etokudo” presented my address and a paper on Peace Through Team Work.  Joseph Boaz anchored the event while Prince Effiong Udoekong who is an ambassador of Peace gives the goodwill message.

The highlights of the 2017 UN Peace Day was the planting of a 7 foot metal ( iron)Peace Pole with the inscription “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in English, French, Japanese and Efik languages in the palace of HRH.  Dr. Sylvester Ibanga who is an ambassador of Peace and a king in the community who was one of our Desktop Peace Pole recipient last year at his country home in Ikot Ekiduk-Midim in Abak, Nigeria. I spoke extensively on the essence of Peace Pole and its history. Three (3) religious leaders namely “Evangelist Ikobong Akpan of Church of Christ,  Bishops Emmanuel Inyang and Charles Ekpott of Mt Zion Light House Church prayed at various times before, during and after planting the Peace Pole.

The Peace song I composed with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” was sung by all as I lead the singing.
Stickers with the universal prayer inscription was shared with all participants.

The 2017 UN International Day of Peace received media coverage as we had both an electronic and print media representative in attendance.

Thank you for your prayers and kind thought about me and my work for peace in Nigeria, I need more. God bless you all.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!

Sincerely,

Mojima Etokudo
Peace Representative in Nigeria
The World Peace Prayer Society
AKWA IBOM STATE,
NIGERIA – WEST AFRICA