Heads of State and Distinguished Leaders

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Las Vegas community leaders meet with Japanese community leaders in Tokyo, Japan

In April 2015, UEF specially chose and sponsored community leaders from Las Vegas to meet with community leaders in Japan.

Maggie Tsu of Downtown Project, Evan Louie of Kona Ice, and Duy Nguyen of OCA Las Vegas travelled to Japan to share their vision of social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and community involvement. Together with Japanese community leaders, methods of serving the community were discussed, and novel ideas for community involvement were shared. Maggie Hsu had an opportunity to talk about Tony Hsieh and the vision he had when reviving Downtown Las Vegas.

Together, the leaders visited the Tomodachi Initiative, which is a U.S. – Japan Counsel. They also met with Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), Japan chapter, and learnt about their humanitarian projects in Africa and other impoverished communities. Their current projects include building schools and helping to provide better education, after listening to the results of a survey they carried out. WFWP have met great success and have nurtured many close relationships to partners in Africa, whom they continue to work with to strengthen African countries.

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August 9 – 13 World Summit 2014, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

Tommy Furuta of UEF was fortunate enough to attend the 2014 World Summit at the White House and represent UEF. He was able to meet congressional leaders such as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu, and U.S. Congresswoman, Judy Chu amongst many others.

It was a great opportunity to discuss philosophies for future empowerment of nations and international collaboration, and share UEF’s vision to world leaders. It was inspiring to see that there are many world leaders who share the same vision and desire as UEF.

July 2014 International Conference, Seoul, South Korea

In July 2014, UEF co-sponsored an international conference held at Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Leaders from nations around the world were invited for a long weekend of discussions, panels and presentations. In total, national and political leaders from over 180 countries covering all continents attended. Community leader, Evan Louie, participated as a representative of Las Vegas.

Honorable Attendees included the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. D. M. Jayarate, Head of State of Somoa, Tue Atua Tupua Tamales Efi, and Maori Prince of New Zealand, Whatumoana Paki.

The reason for this conference was to discuss the core principles of peace; uncovering the wisdom held in different communities and cultures worldwide. This tightly packed event shed light on issues faced in the pursuit of peace by various countries around the world, and opened arenas for future collaboration and international dialogue.

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April 30 – May 4 2014 – Heads of State of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo visits UEF in Las Vegas

From April 30 to May 4th 2014, UEF welcomed Brazzaville, Congo Heads of State to discuss the Universal Peace Federation’s principles of conflict resolution, national unity and sustainable peace.

Many delegates and leaders came from the Congo including Mr. Maurice NGUESSO, Special Assistant to the President of the Republic of Congo, visited Las Vegas and attended the Special Seminar.

Former Cirque du Soleil performer and author, Vital Germaine, shared his personal experiences and reflections about growing up through hardships which turned into his inspiration, and his roots to Congo.

October 27 – November 2 2013 Visit of the Nigerian VIPs and Ambassadors for Peace and November 1st Rally at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Between October 28th and November 2nd thirteen distinguished Nigerian VIP guests and Ambassadors for Peace participated in a dual program co-sponsored by Universal Education Foundation and Universal Peace Federation-International.  The Nigerian Guests along with students and guests from Las Vegas attended 6 days of discussions and adventures and a special UEF Assembly on the theme of “Building a Culture of Peace” through the family and through public service.

The Nigerian delegation included the head of a poly-technical institute, a congressional aide, the head of one mega-church, the owner of a pharmaceutical company and a number of other businessmen and women. These guests paid for their own travel and excursion expenses and accommodations.

On Monday the 28th the presentations and discussions began with an introduction to the Las Vegas Seminar Program by Mr. Kwon Jin Moon. This was followed by an introduction to UPF-International by the president of the world-wide organization, Dr. Thomas Walsh. Other presentations were made by Dr. Tony Guerra from UEF-Las Vegas and Mr. Kevin Winter from the Africa office of UPF in Nigeria.

Day 2 was devoted to a tour of the Grand Canyon at the world famous Sky Walk. This tour was surprised by the supprise appearance in their midst on the skywalk of “Zombies” – members of the Hualapai Tourism Dance Troupe recording a flash mob performance of the Michael Jackson’s Thriller which later appeared on Youtube.

Days 3 and 4 were spent in lectures and discussion on the principles of peace-making and reconciliation and the UPF perspective on history and the peaceful world of the future. On the evening of day 4 the entire group went to see the Cirque de Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio Theatre.

Day 5 was devoted to the special UEF Assembly at the UNLV Student Union Theater.  More than a hundred students and leading Las Vegas citizens joined our international guests for an event that included inter-cultural performances, a Bridge of Peace Ceremony, a panel discussion, an award ceremony for outstanding community servants and an inspiring presentation on the way forward to peace for human civilization.

International participants dressed in colorful traditional attire. The bridge of peace ceremony focused on reconciliation between traditionally conflicted ethnic groups, between races and between genders. The Panel discussion brought out intimate testimonies of overcoming devastating personal tragedy through public service and love for humanity and overcoming tribal and racial animosity by inter-ethnic and inter-racial married couples. Ambassador for Peace awards were presented to 9 leading citizens of Nigeria and the United States who have lived exemplary lives of service. And Mr. Kwon Jin Moon presented a stirring oratory canvas of the process for reaching what some futurologists call a “level one planetary civilization”.

The Nigerian delegation was treated to one more day of excursions and a farewell dinner offered by the Universal Educational Foundation.

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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.

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.