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Letter from the publisher, Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chairman, UPF Europe & Middle East

Dr Katsumi OtsukaDear Readers,

This special edition of our Newsletter covers the main events surrounding the UPF World Summit 2019 held in Seoul, South Korea, in February.

The inaugural ceremony of the International Summit Council for Peace, the third Sunhak Peace Prize award ceremony, the International Conference on Peace in the Korean Peninsula, the 30th anniversary celebration of the Segye Times newspaper, the 25th International Conference on the Unity of Sciences, and other events brought together many world leaders as well as high officials of the Korean government.

This is a significant time in the history of the Korean nation. The World Summit commemorated the centenary of the March 1st Independence Movement, when the Korean people in 1919 rose against Japanese occupation. This is also the time for a possible turning point on the Korean Peninsula, when reunification at last may be envisioned.

Dear Readers, the recent Summit opened the year 2019 in grand fashion. We are now moving toward World Summit 2020, one year from now. It will be a milestone in the history of UPF. Let us work together for a successful year.

Letter from the publisher, Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chairman, UPF Europe & Middle East

Dr Katsumi OtsukaDear Readers,

At the dawn of 2019, let me express my sincerest wishes for good health, prosperity and success in all your endeavors.

We closed the year on December 12 in Strasbourg with a conference at the European Parliament on “Europe and the Future of Human Rights”. The act of terror that preceded it, shaking the whole nation, was a tragic reminder of the seriousness of our peacebuilding mission, notably concerning the dialogue among religions.

UPF’s focus on interreligious dialogue and cooperation began in 2018 with inaugural meetings of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) in Vienna and Geneva. It continued with inaugural meetings in Kiev, Jerusalem, Moscow and Paris, as reported in this edition.

In the Middle East and North Africa other significant events were the inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) at the Moroccan Parliament and the participation of UPF in the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai.

The series of World Summits organized in 2018, beginning in Senegal and Brazil, continued in South Africa, where UPF honored the legacy of Nelson Mandela on his centennial year, and in Nepal, where the Asia Pacific Summit gathered six current heads of state and many other dignitaries.

A culminating event will be the World Summit 2019, to be held in February in Korea, with a large delegation of world leaders - a prelude for many high-level activities this year.

Dear readers, I wish that you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and that you will have a safe and successful new year.

Dr. Katsumi OtsukaDear Readers!

This second edition of the UPF Europe & Middle East Newsletter features activities that took place throughout our region mainly between July and October 2018.

Two large international events were held during that period, attended by Ambassadors for Peace and other leaders from our region: the Latin America Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which gathered 500 participants from throughout Latin America and around the world; and the 32nd International Leadership Conference in Seoul, South Korea, commemorating the sixth anniversary of UPF founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s ascension.

A recent project in the Balkan Peninsula pioneered a new avenue for peacebuilding: From October 1 to 11, the 2018 Balkans Peace Road brought together young people, parliamentarians, city mayors and other officials on a tour linking seven nations that share a history of conflict: Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece.

Crossing borders often involves crossing barriers of minds and hearts burdened with painful memories. The Peace Road project is a global ideal envisioned by the UPF founders to connect nations beyond ethnic, religious, political or economic divides. The Balkans Peace Road project will continue annually and will make a headway for peace in this historical crossroads of cultures in the heart of Europe.

May this newsletter convey the dedication of UPF Ambassadors for Peace and volunteers who are actively involved in peacebuilding activities in this significant year of 2018.

Dr. Katsumi OtsukaDear Readers!

We are pleased to introduce the first edition of the UPF Europe & Middle East Newsletter, featuring some of the programs held by UPF chapters in this large region of 72 nations—from Dublin in the west to Vladivostok in the east, from Reykjavik in the north to Sana’a in the south.

Because several nations are holding many programs on the city level, we have room to highlight only a few of the activities held by Ambassadors for Peace and volunteers throughout the region.

An important focus of UPF in 2018 has been the launch in every region of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), a UPF project initiated in Seoul in November 2017 in the presence of 400 religious leaders from around the world. The European inauguration of IAPD, held in April 2018 in Vienna, Austria, was attended by prominent political leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations and civil society, searching in collaboration for lasting solutions to the critical problems of our time.

In 2018 UPF initiated a series of large Summits for Peace, Security and Human Development throughout the world, beginning in Senegal in January, when 1,200 leaders from across Africa gathered for a UPF summit co-hosted by President Macky Sall and the Senegalese Parliament. Upcoming summits will be held in Latin America, Asia and South Africa, and will be reported on in the next edition of this newsletter.

We hope that this newsletter will fully convey the dedicated spirit of UPF Ambassadors for Peace, volunteers and partnering organizations, and the vision that inspires them to build a peaceful world.

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