Ordino, Andorra—UPF-Andorra celebrated the 2016 International Day of Peace under the theme “Play Football Make Peace.”
A mini-football (football 7) tournament was held on September 4 in a National Football Camp in Ordino, a beautiful parish in the north of Andorra.
The competitors were four amateur football teams representing Andorran resident groups from Chile, Peru, Spain and Portugal. It was the first time the four teams played together, so it was a very meaningful and happy time for all the participants, as well as commemorating the International Day of Peace.
After finishing the football matches all the participants went to Hotel Babot, overlooking the beautiful village of Ordino, for a presentation about the International Day of Peace.
About 55 people attended the event, including a member of Andorra’s Parliament from the St. Julià de Lòria Parish, His Excellency Josep Majoral.
Mr. Lluis Babi, the director of UPF-Andorra, explained about the history of the International Day of Peace. He read the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the statement from the Universal Peace Federation, and spoke about the UPF founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and his vision and projects for world peace.
A short film was shown which introduced UPF and gave an overview of its work in 2015.
H.E. Josep Majoral presented the trophies to the teams that won the first, second and third places, and he also gave certificates to all the team players.
The first-place winner was the team of Peruvian residents of Andorra. The second prize was earned by the team of Spanish residents, and the third prize went to the team of Portuguese residents.
The day ended with a nice lunch at the hotel.
It was a very successful and happy day, as all the participants felt very good to participate in the commemoration of this International Day of Peace. It was not just playing football together. They could get to know each other and were very happy to spend the day together. All the players expressed appreciation for being invited to take part in the program to promote peace. They promised their support for the next UPF event.
We are thankful to one of our Ambassadors of Peace, Mr. Carlos Leandro, who brought the teams together.
Following this “Play Football Make Peace” tournament, the newspaper Bondia reported on the event and the results of the competition. In addition, the national newspaper El Periodic d’Andorra on September 7, 2016, published an interview with Mr. Lluis Babi, director of UPF-Andorra and a former member of Andorra’s Parliament from Ordino Parish.
Interview with UPF-Andorra Director Lluis Babi in the newspaper El Periodic d’Andorra
LLUÍS BABI: He Wanted a Better Constitution for the Country
The Universal Peace Federation has several Ambassadors to Andorra. One is Lluis Babi, a former member of Parliament. Not satisfied with politics while not yet retired, he spends part of his time in the Casamanya Choir of Ordino.
By ESTHER MARTIN JOVER
What does the Universal Peace Federation do in Andorra?
The Universal Peace Federation was created in 2005, and those who take part are Ambassadors for Peace from the religious sphere, sports, politics, and so on. In Andorra we are 15 who are Ambassadors for Peace. The first was Mrs. Rosa Mari Sorribes. This year we organized a football tournament under the theme “Play Football for Peace.”
But you do something …
We take part in various fields, one of which is interfaith dialogue. A couple of years ago we met with representatives of different religions, which is one of the foundations of our federation, and an initiative of UNESCO. Another is the foundation of our family as a school of love and a base through which we can promote peace. In addition, education and human development, service to others and giving to others.
You sing in the Casamanya Choir.
Yes, it is one of the activities I do to keep music in Ordino, but I do not have a great voice! When I retire in a few years, if I am healthy, I will dedicate myself more to these activities.
Your family has a political tradition; the name “Babi” is known.
My grandfather, my father and I were members of the Parliament; my brother was the mayor of Ordino Parish, and another, older brother was a member of the Mayor’s Hall of Encamp Parish. Our family has been involved in politics for a while.
A family wanting to do things for people.
Yes, but I was disappointed in politics after the Constitution. I participated a lot in politics and I was very critical of the Constitution, so the people thought I would not vote for the Constitution, but I did because I wanted a better Constitution for Andorra.
However, it was better to have the Constitution than not to have it! After that, I was not active in politics because I think it was not the way it should have been done.
But politics is the key to help foster peace.
Yes, and in London, from September 7 to 9, there is the first meeting to create the [European, Eurasian, Middle East and North African] branches of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace. I invited Andorran parliamentarians to participate, but due to the celebration of National Day on September 8 [Our Lady of Meritxell Day], it was not possible for anyone to participate in London.
No, I could have gone as a former member of the Parliament, but since there were no current members of Parliament participating, I did not feel it was necessary to participate. I left politics in 1989; it was a long time ago, and Andorra has changed a lot in politics.
If someone is interested in contacting representatives of the Andorran Universal Peace Federation?