Some of the members of parliament attending the IAPP launch. Danish MP Ulla Sandbæk (third from left) leads the meeting. Dr. Steen Hildebrandt from Denmark is second from left.
The Danish Parliament building, site of the IAPP inauguration
Conference participants and UPF representatives from four Nordic nations
The participants are given a tour of the Danish Parliament building.
Danish MP Ulla Sandbæk signs the IAPP resolution.
Participants and UPF representatives with the signed IAPP Proclamation after the program

Copenhagen, Denmark—Current and former members of parliament from Norway and Denmark attended the regional inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

The one-day roundtable conference, which represented well the characteristic sense of equality that is enjoyed in Nordic countries in general—and Denmark in particular—was held in in the Danish Parliament building.

Youth political leaders and UPF representatives from the Nordic countries also attended the September 23, 2017, meeting.

Danish Member of Parliament Ulla Sandbæk was the chair of the meeting, which, as it brought together participants from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, was conducted in the English language.

The morning session began with three presentations that focused largely on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their contribution to peace in the world, and the betterment of a society in which there is “no one left behind.”

Dr. Steen Hildebrandt from Denmark, a professor at Aarhus University who is an expert and published author on this topic, presented his findings in a scholarly and heartful way that set the tone for some excellent discussions. As we sat around a circle of tables, a person's turn to speak was acknowledged by having the previous speaker throw them a softball with bells on it. Democracy in action!

Ambassador for Peace Marion Pederson, a former member of the Danish Parliament, was present, as was Sonja Mandt, a member of the Norwegian Parliament. It was particularly good to have some youth representatives of Danish political parties actively present.

After lunch, two short films were shown that introduced the laureates of the 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize. Their work was upheld as examples of what just one person can do—and to show that the UPF and IAPP goal of world peace should not be thought of as too idealistic.

Before the final afternoon session, participants were treated to a private guided tour of the Danish Parliament building with interesting stories and insights into the Danish style of government.

We closed with the signing of the IAPP Inaugural Resolution. When read out, the wording conveyed a powerful vision of a call to work together across party and national boundaries to realize our deep human aspirations for a peaceful world.

Copenhagen, Denmark—Current and former members of parliament from Norway and Denmark attended the regional inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

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