To further build on the significance of the Global Peace Convention to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, I have been looking through the news on the Global Peace Festival site and I am inspired by the events that have been ongoing in the last couple of months in other parts of the globe. The events have included the Global Peace Festivals and the Global Peace Leadership Conferences held in South Asia and Paraguay. I am convinced that the Global Peace Convention that will be held here in Nairobi will be a culmination of the momentum built through these events as people from different parts of the globe came together to share various innovative approaches in the achievement of peace and development.
Think of it this way, in a period of less than three months, there has been events calling on and speaking on the message of peace and gathering thousands of global participants. In each of these events, a fire ignited towards advancing peace and development through the various innovative approaches shared. Is it not right then to believe that the Global Peace Convention in Nairobi Kenya will be the recipient of all the experiences that have been shared and carried from one part of the globe and finally landing in Kenya? That those participants that have been part of all the events and who are expected to join the Convention in Kenya, will be bringing along with them the inspirations and spirit built from these events. I personally share the deep and sincere hope that Kenya will be the crown of all these events!
Below I share a glimpse of these events, the powerful messages shared and some of the innovative approaches unveiled. Towards the end is a highlight of Global Peace Service Alliance’s initiative to capture the spirit, ideas, and a focus on their long term development into actionable programs.
Nepal marks the kick off of the Rivers of Peace Campaign and the Swell Peace Walkathon
During the festival in Nepal, there was the kick off of the Rivers of Peace Campaign that focused on the clean-up of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu and that mobilized 10,000 youth volunteers. The festival in Nepal also brought together nearly thirty thousand Nepalese from different religions, ethnic and political backgrounds joined together to celebrate peace. The festival sought to celebrate diversity with a unifying vision for Peace.
Also in Kathmandu was the Swell Peace Walkathon that mobilized an estimated 40,000 participants, who united in one long procession carrying banners with the message of peace and reconciliation. This was a significant message and action, taking note that Nepal has been going through a difficult transition from a monarchy to a democracy while also dealing with the effects of a long and violent Maoist insurgency. The country has also been working towards the draft of a new constitution.
The theme of the Nepal conference was peace process and development. During the Global Peace Leadership Conference, Dr. Moon emphasized on the need for innovative leadership that would be seeking to advance the greater good of the larger society.
The ‘Power of Rupiah’ and an Interfaith Initiative
In Jakarta, there was the launch of a fundraising campaign that was termed as the ‘Power of Rupiah’ and was designed to create a culture of giving among students at all levels. The campaign encourages students to give small amounts of money on a regular, even daily basis, to help less fortunate children, especially street kids. It was a launch that attracted over 200 guests, among them ministers, politicians, corporate figures, NGO representatives and students.
Jakarta also had a significant highlight having for the first time collaborated so closely with a major Muslim organization (Nahdlatul Ulama) during the interfaith initiative. This was an important step towards advancing the interfaith component of GPFF’s program.
It is also important to note that the Interfaith Initiative concluded with a joint declaration.
Seoul marked by the ‘Korean model of development’ and a Youth Resolution to Global Peace
In Seoul , Korea, the opening of the Global Peace Leadership Conference was marked by an overflow of a crowd that confirmed to the organizers that they had hit on the right topic for a conference that was themed ‘Effective Models of Balanced Development: The Korean Experience’.
Korea is expected to host the G-20 summit next month and there has been question on the role Korea would play in providing lessons to be learnt based on the Korean model of development. During the opening banquet, the president of GPLC Korea Hon. Ki-taek Lee, president of GPLC Korea 2010 in reference to the conference stated ‘This event is to introduce the Korean development model to the world”, In all the speeches presented, the messages were accompanied with a message of peace and reconciliation.
The Seoul conference was also marked by a resolution among the 500 youth participants from over a dozen countries, who committed to building a global peace community.
Paraguay seeks to offer the road map for Latin America
In Asuncion, Paraguay, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon during the Global Peace Leadership Council (GPLC) called for the creation of a Latin American union of nations that would seek to meet the challenges of globalization as he also referenced to Asia’s growing economic power and influence. Dr. Moon reiterated the need to have forward thinking leaders.
The conference that was themed “Opportunities, Difficulties and Challenges for Latin America in this Era” was also graced by three former Latin American Country Presidents, each of whom shared on the experience of their countries and on lessons that can be learnt for the future development of Latin America.
In Itaugua, Paraguay, it was a moving moment as a park designed to have the blind and visually impaired walk through unassisted was unveiled. The park, which is considered the first of its Kind in Paraguay and perhaps Latin America is a partnership project between the local municipality, the Global Peace Foundation of Paraguay, and A Todo Pulmon, an environmental group dedicated to reforestation in Paraguay.
Does any or all the above provide an overwhelming expectation for the Global Peace Convention Nairobi?
For me it truly does. And if it is the same for you, I do invite and encourage you to register and plan to be a part of the Global Peace Convention.
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