Peacebuilding necessarily involves cooperation between all sectors of society. While the world looks in anguish at the horrors of multiple conflicts in the home of the Abrahamic faiths, the evidence on the ground suggests that such conflicts are stoked by an array of other factors, not least a dearth of civic values and near-absence of the rule of law. In what way has—and in what way can—religion play a positive role in bringing peace to the peoples of the Middle East?

Throughout the world, religion continues to play a very significant role in guiding the development of individuals as well as the wider society.

Lasting solutions to the critical challenges of our time call for both the skills and experience of politicians and the global vision provided by religious leaders. How can parliamentarians and leaders of faith-based organizations, transcending national, religious and political affiliations, cooperate to develop comprehensive strategies for peace and development? Panelists will offer their perspectives on the complementary roles of political and religious leaders and propose policies and action steps to address specific challenges affecting Europe and the Middle East.

This session provided an introduction to the UPF Founders’ vision and the peacebuilding principles, featuring the two projects recently launched by the Universal Peace Federation: the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).

Building a peaceful world of co-prosperity and shared values has long been the goal of religion, politics and educational institutions. In a stable, loving family, individuals may naturally develop capacities for love, respect, communication, cooperation, service, conflict resolution, forgiveness and other social skills that are relevant to life in the wider society. How can this universal principle be applied and extended to encourage harmonious social relations and partnerships for peace in our communities and in the family of nations?

Ms. Manjola Vasmatics, Secretary General, Tirana UPF Peace Council, Albania

Intervention of Ms. Manjola Vasmatics, Secretary General, Tirana UPF Peace Council, Albania, at the international leadership conference in Vienna, Austria.

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