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June 16, 2013, Visit of the First Lady of Mali

Thus far, we have successfully secured and shipped supplies to the Republic of Mali in West Africa. Prior to shipment, we hosted Mali’s First Lady in Las Vegas to share the full scope of our mission and project. In order to further continue such outreach activities, we invite you to become UEF sponsors by:

  • donating funds to ship educational materials and medical supplies (to African nations)
  • hosting events in Las Vegas for visiting heads of state and dignitaries

Beyond our immense gratitude and an official award presented by UEF, your sponsorship will be recognized by the recipient nation, and undoubtedly appreciated by all of the children who benefit from it. Ultimately, as it is rooted in the fundamental ethics of service, equality, and living for others, this sponsorship is an opportunity for personal growth and collective enrichment.

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June 17, 2012 Sydney, Australia International Leadership Conference

An International Leadership Conference on the theme “Consultation for Peace and Security in the Pacific” was held in Sydney, Australia, June 15 to 17. The purpose of this special conference was to discuss and reflect on the ways in which UEF can provide leadership and vision to address the critical issues currently facing nations in the Oceania region.

The 66 participants in the conference came from Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific island nations. They included representatives from government, religion, academia, and civil society. Distinguished leaders from Pacific nations included Sir Allan Kemakesa, Speaker of the House of Parliament in the Solomon Islands; Hon. Kessai Note, current senator and former President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; Senator Joel Toribiong from the Republic of Palau; Ati George Sokamanu, first President of Vanuatu; Rev. Samaauga Motu, Secretary General of the Samoa Council of Churches, Rev. Robert McKay, Priest of the Maori Anglican Church in New Zealand; Iso Nhanken Salvador Iriate, Paramount Chief in the Federated States of Micronesia; and Dr. Berhan Ahmed, Chair of the African Think Tank in Melbourne, Australia.

S.A. Khan: Reflections on the Youth Service in Nuwakot, Nepal

By Shehreen Ataur Khan

The journey of this year’s Youth Service project in Nepal started on June 1st when participants got on the bus heading from Kathmandu Valley to Nuwakot. Throughout the bus ride, the scenery of the surrounding places enchanted everyone because of its mountainous picturesque beauty. Although the bus journey went a little bumpy, the exhaustion went away once the participants arrived at the Shree Bhairam Secondary School, where the school principal along with the teachers and students greeted the participants with their traditional silk scarf, vermilion, and flowers.

Youth Service Project Builds Friendships in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan – “Dushanbe, City of Peace,” was the theme of the first Youth Service project in Tajikistan, which took place May 25 to 31. Activities included visiting religious and historic sites and taking orphan children on an outing. The week concluded with visiting an Ismaili shrine, cleaning and painting a fence at the St. Nicholas Cathedral, and a friendly football tournament.

Ufa Welcomes Interreligious Pilgrimage

Ufa, Russia – During World Interfaith Harmony Week, a Youth Service program took place February 1-5 in Ufa, capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan. The object of the event was to bring together young people of different faiths to promote a tradition of tolerance in relations between different religious traditions and encourage fruitful cooperation for peace in this Ural Mountain region.

October 07, 2012 Songkhla, Thailand

Sunday, October 07, 2012, Songkhla, Thailand - Separatist violence has occurred for decades in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand, and the campaign escalated in January 2004. In addition to the legal and operational control mechanism and regional cooperation through intelligence information exchange, efforts such as cultural and religious approaches should be an area of focus, along with promoting good governance followed by a balanced national development.

UEF-Thailand took a step forward to peace in the region with an International Leadership Conference for Peace on the topic  “Good Governance and Interreligious Cooperation for Lasting Peace”. The Conference was held October 5 to 7 in Songkhla province, the gateway to the three southernmost provinces of Thailand near the border with Malaysia.

The proceedings, held at the BP Samila Beach Hotel and Resort in Songkhla, brought together 350 participants from 21 nations including Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh religious leaders, scholars of religion, diplomats, and political and community leaders.

Together with UEF, the official co-hosts for the conference were UNESCO, the National Assembly of Thailand, King Prajadhipok’s Institute of the Parliament of Thailand, the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center, the Government of Songkhla, the Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organization, and the Songkhla Municipality. Moreover, the Royal Thai Police and the government’s Internal Security Operations Command of Region 4 sent security officers to help with security during the conference. The conference also received financial support from private organizations such as T. Krungthai Industries Public, Ltd., and Wongphanit Suvarnabhumi Recycle Station.

Gen. Charan Kullavanijaya, President of the Assembly of Buddhist Organizations of Thailand, President of the Foundation of the Think Tank of the National Defense College and and former Secretary-General of the Thailand National Security Council, was invited to give the keynote address. Gen. Charan spoke about Thai views on good governance which requires at least six points: 1) Legitimacy, 2) Transparency, 3) Participation, 4) Accountability, 5) Effectiveness, and 6) Righteousness

“Education for clear understanding and good cooperation among people through religious virtues should be strengthened. That will help promote peace in all societies. It is my belief that all religions teach virtues to people. The most important thing is then to promote clear knowledge of those religious virtues and their application,” Gen. Charan said.

The conference was composed of five plenary sessions: 1) The Role of Leaders in Good Governance for Peace, 2) The Role of Interreligious Cooperation in Peace Building, 3) The Situation in Southern Thailand: Problems and Solutions, 4) Innovative Approaches to Peace, and 5) How to Strengthen Families as Foundation for Peace.

Most of the participants, especially the more than 200 Thai participants who were mainly Buddhists and Muslims, were moved and inspired by the UEF presentations. Since speakers in each session were high-level figures in their fields: ministers, Members of Parliament, religious leaders, government officers, etc., especially Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, who became the Minister of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, they also gave very interesting and useful presentations that attracted participants who filled the hall almost every session.

UEF’s conference in Songkhla was the first international conference in the region with a large number of participants that addressed the problems of the three southernmost provinces of Thailand and proposed peaceful solutions. Mr. Peera Tantiseranee, Mayor of Songkhla, was inspired by this initiative and international cooperation of UEF. At the end of the first day of the conference, the Songkhla Municipality sponsored the welcoming banquet and presented gifts to all participants.

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June 20, 2011 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Education Director,

Monday, June 20, 2011,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Building on the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week program organized by UEF, a special dinner reception was held at the prestigious Bankers’ Club in the Amoda Building in downtown Kuala Lumpur on June 20.
The event was a three-in-one program: 1) invitational speeches on the theme “Business Engine for Global Peace”, 2) the awarding of Ambassador of Peace certificates to several prominent Malaysians, and 3) the launching of the Regional Peace Conference.

The program opened with recitations from the Holy Qur’an by Mr. Mahadi Mohd. The Master of Ceremonies for the program, Mr. Joachim Ng, kept the program moving and interjected humor to keep the spirit lively.
Tan Sri Devaki Krishnan, welcomed the guests. In her loving, light-hearted, and forthright manner, she told Senator Koh, “Please invite the Prime Minister of Malaysia to our next Regional Peace Conference.”

Senator Koh began by graciously acknowledging that this was his second UEF program. Last year he attended the Legacy of Peace ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, in which the lives and accomplishments of legendary Malaysians who had passed away were celebrated and commemorated.

Senator Koh then praised his fellow countrymen for helping Malaysia make it into the top 20 of the Global Peace Index this year. In 2008, the first year of this index, Malaysia was 38th and each year since then it moved up. This year Malaysia was ranked 19th out of 153 nations.

“Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and multi-linguistic nation,” he said that defied doomsday predictions that the country would never be able to stay united. The key, Senator Koh emphasized, was that Malaysians learned to practice moderation and inclusiveness. They did it by everyone taking ownership of the national motto “1 Malaysia”.

June 13, 2010 Brazzaville, Congo

Brazzaville, Congo – An international seminar of UEF’s Central African sub-region was held in Brazzaville from June 11 to 13. This Summit was supported by the Presidency of the Republic and by the National Peace Council. It had a substantial impact on the nation.

October 11, 2009 Bangkok, Thailand

Nearly 150 current and former Asian parliamentarians from ten nations attended the First Asian Parliamentarian Leadership Conference on Peace, October 8-11, 2009 held in Bangkok, organized by UEF.

Hon. Nikom Wairatpanij, First Vice President of the Senate, Thailand, said, “The creation of a culture of peace requires a whole-hearted effort and participation from everyone, in all levels of society and in all countries. It is not attained solely through political and economic arrangements of governments, but must be based upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of all peoples of the world.”

Congressman Jose De Venecia, Jr., Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines and Founding Chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, said “We must begin make our way toward a community of sharing: toward the sublime and quiet peace if  every man living under his vine and his fig tree, we must stand together against political extremism in every form and … we must seek reconciliation in all Asia’s conflict zones from the Koreas to the Taiwan Straits, from Mindanao through Southern Thailand to Nepal – from Kashmir and Afghanistan to Iraq and Palestine – and from Chechnya to the Caucasus”.

Fifteen representatives of the Asian Parliamentarian Leadership Conference on Peace paid a courtesy call to H.E. Chai Chidchob, president of the Thailand National Assembly.

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May 02, 2008 Washington, DC

April 28 to May 2, 2008, brought together 160 delegates from 32 nations in North and South America from Canada to Argentina and Chile to consider the challenges and opportunities for better relationships throughout the hemisphere. The conference participants included six former heads of state and government, four current speakers of the house, 27 congressmen and senators from different legislatures, members of the diplomatic corps, clergy from key faith traditions, and community, youth and women leaders. With the hopeful news of the election of new governments in many nations on the one hand, and concern about the rise of potentially destabilizing populist movements on the other, the participants were set the difficult task of examining new paradigms for leadership and development.

Certainly political changes are an important part of the solution. Ambassador Charles Shapiro of the US State Department called for evolution rather than revolution, and emphasized the need for strong and free trade ties as a foundation for prosperity and more friendly ties. “There has been an important transformation going on in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said, “and the developed world needs to pay more attention”.

H.E. Felipe Gonzalez, Prime Minister of Spain for 15 years, pointed out that successful democracy means more than successful free elections and called for deeper examination and a commitment to the entire process of good governance. “Democracy does not guarantee good government,” he said, “Politics is the art of governing shared space and getting all to feel ownership of the results”.

The event was part of UEF’s series of International Leadership Seminar, designed to examine in some depth the importance of shared spiritual and cultural values as the most important ingredient for change. The ILC introduced the key concepts of the UEF Peace Education curriculum, which emphasizes strong families, interfaith unity, and an unwavering commitment to personal integrity and self discipline as the foundations for lasting change.