Archive for the ‘Peace Rep News’ Category

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

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

February 3, 2016

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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.

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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.

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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!

UN Flag Dedicated with Peace Prayers-May Peace Prevail On Earth! Middletown, CT-USA

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

 

October 23, 2015

Reverend Julia Burkey

Rev. Julia Burkey asked the WPPS Representative to the United Nations, Rev. Deborah Moldow, to take part in a special evening at the First Church of Christ in  Middletown, CT on October 23rd.

The occasion was twofold: a magnificent concert by the Paul Winter Consort and the dedication of a United Nations flag on the eve of the UN’s 70th anniversary.

Paul Winter’s presence was perfect. Not only is he a cherished member of the World Peace Prayer Society’s Founding Advisory Board, but he was also invited by WPPS to play his uplifting music for an interfaith ceremony during the first event ever celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week in the UN General Assembly hall in 2012.

Paul Winter with Eugene Friesen

Paul Winter with Eugene Friesen

After the first half of the concert, Rev. Burkey welcomed Deborah to the stage along with Dr. Sergei Kambalov, a retired UN staff member who had been instrumental in developing the UN Global Compact for businesses, as well as serving as ECOSOC liaison to the community of religious NGOs. Dr. Kambalov outlined some of the achievements of the UN, as well as some of its challenges. Deborah then spoke about the presence of the World Peace Prayer Society among the NGO community at the UN. She said, “the UN flag belonged in a church as a symbol of international unity, suggesting that when Jesus asked us to love our neighbors as ourselves, he didn’t mean to leave anyone out.”

Reverend Deborah Moldow

Reverend Deborah Moldow

Deborah asked those gathered to take a moment of silence, putting their prayers into the flag so they would radiate out to all the nations united. Then everyone said three times together, “May Peace Prevail on Earth!”

Nine Peace Poles dedicated in Loving Memory of  Ruben Lopez, ‘Killed In Action’ in Kandahar, AFGHANISTAN

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Renee Marie from FB

This Peace Pole is at the home of Gloria Estrada in Williams, California.

This Peace Pole was placed in honor of  Mrs. Estrada’s son, Ruben “Boy” Lopez, ‘Killed In Action” on August 10, 2012, in  Kandahar, Afghanistan.

These are Ms. Estrada’s four beautiful grandchildren.

Gloria Estrada purchased and dedicated a total of nine Peace Poles, to include:  one for each of her four daughters, one placed at three local schools and one placed at the local Post Office.

May Peace Prevail with Humanity!     May Peace Prevail On Earth!

Submitted by:  Renee Marie, WPPS, Peace Representative

Original Peace Pole at a junior high school in Senna Comasco, Lombardia, ITALY

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

March 26-28, 2015

We conducted a two-day peace education workshop at a junior high school in Senna Comasco in northern Italy, near Lake Como and Milan.

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It was a wonderful experience working with 120 students and teachers over two days. Everyone responded to us with great enthusiasm to origami making and Japanese calligraphy.

Then on the third day, we organized a World Peace Flag Ceremony and celebrated their original Peace Pole. One-hundred primary school age students participated and many parents of the junior high school students came and joined us as well.

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Two art teachers designed the Peace Pole and the town of Senna Comasco financed it.  We loved their original Peace Pole with a peace crane on the top! There is light inside and in the evening, when the Peace Pole is illuminated, the peace message seems to glow in the dark!

The students and teachers made 1,000 peace cranes. They will send them to the city of Hiroshima. The Peace Department of Hiroshima will place the peace cranes under the statue of Sadako, in the Atomic Bomb Commemoration Park of Hiroshima.

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Caroline, Uma, Guerrino, Martina  and I enjoyed these fantastic three days very much. It was a precious experience for all of us!

Infinite Joy!!   Sonoko Tanaka, WPPS Peace Representative

Be The Peace Global Teleconference on the International Day of Peace in ISRAEL-JAPAN-SCOTLAND-URUGUAY-USA

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

September 21, 2015

WPPS Peace Representatives from Israel, Japan, Scotland, Uruguay and USA participated in Be The Peace Global Teleconference on the International Day of Peace followed by a gathering with members of the GaiaField Network, the Shift Network and other local peace activists.

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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 http://webtv.un.org/search/international-day-of-peace-2015-student-observance/4499625827001?term=International%20Day%20of%20Peace

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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.

MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH

Report by Monica Willard and Deborah Moldow

11 Days of Global Unity: Peace – Sept 21 Global Webcast

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

September 21, 2015

The final segment of the Summer of Peace webcasts focused on the 11 Days of Global Unity, September 11-21. The programs were organized and co-hosted by Rick Ulfik, founder of the We Campaign at www.we.net. Deborah Moldow was asked to report on the International Day of Peace events that had taken place that very day at the United Nations.
See http://summerofpeace.net/program/122

World Peace Flag Ceremony at Tillman Chapel in the Church Center for the United Nations-NYC-USA

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

September 21, 2015

The Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN, the Church Center for the United Nations, and an impressive list of coalitions and organizations including the World Peace Prayer Society co-sponsored a day-long vigil for the International Day of Peace at the Tillman Chapel in the Church Center across the street from the United Nations on 21 September.

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The event was entitled, “The Quest for a Just and Sustainable Peace,” with a keynote address on “A Tale of Two 70s: The 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the United Nations and the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Atomic Bombing.”  The winning artwork of the 2015 Peace Pals Art Exhibition with the theme “Love to Hiroshima–Love to Nagasaki” was on display throughout the day.

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The Chaplain for the Church Center, which is run by the United Methodist Women, is Rev. Dionne Boissiere. She now has her own desktop Peace Pole, which she placed in a special area where those in attendance could write their prayers on a ribbon to post on a board. The Chapel was filled with prayers for peace all day long. Rev. Boissiere also put out a call to churches to ring their bells at 12 noon and for everyone to Tweet, #MayPeacePrevailOnEarth!

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The World Peace Prayer Society held a World Peace Prayer Ceremony with the flags of all nations at 3:00, following the hourly Minute of Silence, accompanied by the Society’s Peace Bell made of recycled weapons of war. The flags has been raised that morning by students at the bell ringing ceremony by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Now each one was presented in turn as everyone sent a prayer for peace to prevail in each country of the world in turn, accompanied by the transcendent music of the World Peace Violin.

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Many special friends of the World Peace Prayer Society took part in the prayers, including Andrew Benson Greene of Sierra Leone, who has long worked with Bockarie Enssah, our Peace Representative there. He is an accomplished poet, who has written a book of poetry called “The Peace Pole.”

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This heartfelt call to peace from the United Nations was surely felt around the world. May Peace Prevail on Earth.

Anchoring the Spirit of Peace: A Gathering of Souls Honoring the Spiritual Foundations of the U.N. International Day of Peace – Sept. 20 at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York-USA

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

September 20, 2015

 A very special gathering of people dedicated to a spiritual path to peace came together on the eve of the UN International Day of Peace at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in Manhattan. The event was co-sponsored by the Museum, the United Religions Initiative and the World Peace Prayer Society.

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The focus of the evening was a silent meditation around a small Peace Pole followed by deep sharing from the heart, in preparation for the wave of light that would circle the globe on the International Day of Peace.

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Music was offered by Rick Ulfik on piano and Scarlet Rivera on the World Peace Violin. Attending were longtime WPPS Peace Representatives Jennifer and Charles Kim, Angelica Cubides and Monica Willard.

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Dr. Dorothy Maver posted an article about it in Kosmos Journal on line at http://www.kosmosjournal.org/news/kosmos-event-anchoring-the-spirit-of-peace/ . She wrote: “Those gathered included representatives of worldwide organizations affiliated with the United Nations, along with artists, musicians and spiritual leaders. All were aware of the failure of major systems across the planet, yet held the hope that these breakdowns may be the source of an all-systems breakthrough. […]

 “The International Day of Peace is a unique opportunity for people around the world to hold a shared focus on peace, including a widely observed Minute of Silence at 12 noon in all time zones. The event at the Roerich Museum offered a moment to prepare for this special day by sharing both deep contemplation and practical intentions for building a culture of peace, while surrounded by the artworks of a visionary master. May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

14th Annual Vigil for International Peace and Ecology at the Central Park Band Shell-NYC-USA

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Sept-2015

Susana Bastarrica, retired UN staff member, organized for the 14th consecutive year a colorful Vigil for International Peace and Ecology at the Band Shell in the center of Central Park.

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The World Peace Prayer Society’s flags were there, along with a large “May Peace Prevail on Earth” banner.

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Paul Sladkus was on hand to lead a Peace Party segment, with the beautiful Peace Pole made by students at Arlington High School in the center of the human peace sign.

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Deborah Moldow led a World Peace Prayer Ceremony, and Susana kept the prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” as a refrain at the heart of this celebration of peace through music, prayers and joy.

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  Photos by Andrew Kaen