Introduction to the UN International Day of Peace Conference
UN International Day of Peace Conference - VIC
This one-day conference brings together people of different communities and faiths to discuss current strategies to establish Peace at the local community level.
When: the closest Saturday to Peace Day which is held Internationally on September 23rd.
Reflections from Participants
“Living for the Sake of Others; to build peace is about loving your enemy and engagement.”
“This event is sending its message heart to heart. There is no push/pretence on the subject. Your peaceful approach made the day easy.”
“A wonderful opportunity to engage in global sharing – sharing of ideas, sharing of smiles and sharing of energy. I loved every minute of the day. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in an interesting and inspiring day.”
Bridge of Peace
Anne Bellavance, WFWP International Vice-President (Oceania) and Charlotte Mukamuberwa, WFWP Vic. Vice-president conducted the signature Bridge of Peace Ceremony together. The Bridge of Peace seeks to build real and lasting friendships between people from different cultural, religious and national backgrounds.
The motto of the ceremony, coined by the founder of WFWP International
Dr Hak Ja Han Moon is:
"If the women of the world can be sisters, the men of the world won’t go war."
The purpose of the Bridge of Peace is to enable healing and reconciliation between people who may have been enemy nations in the past. Hatred is generational, passed on by the attitudes and conversations that children learn from their parents. The Bridge of Peace seeks to break this cycle of mistrust and prejudice. By becoming sisters (and brothers) who share each other's stories and develop true friendship, then our world view changes. This brings about a change in how we think, communicate and act; resulting in healing and reconciliation from the grassroots level.
Bridge of Peace
New Effective Way of Healing the Wounds of Abuse, Misunderstanding, Intolerance, Prejudice and War
The physical and emotional pain of war, crime and bigotry is and has been inflicted on so many throughout human history. The violation that is a result of intolerance and rage acted out is demeaning and destructive to both victim and perpetrator. Victims or their loved ones often become perpetrators as they exact revenge, only creating a vicious cycle of more conflict and resentment.
A New Beginning
"Perhaps if the President of America and the Japanese leader had crossed the Bridge (of Peace) fifty years ago, the war between Japan and America would not have happened."
- Former President George W. Bush
Ending the cycle of conflict by gaining a new perspective is essential to achieving world peace. Women's Federation for World Peace International is committed to utilising the remarkably powerful Bridge of Peace Ceremony to further peacemaking efforts. The Bridge of Peace Ceremony provides opportunities for individuals to take a meaningful series of steps that result in the creation of a new partnership dedicated to and actively working for peace.
Ceremony participants meet a peer from a former enemy nation, a different faith, culture or race and commit themselves to bridge the gaps of heart between them. They see beyond collective hurt and determine to reconcile and heal through their one to one friendship. This stops the cycle of conflict, cuts chains of resentment and anger, and frees the newfound sisters to experience a new beginning.
Each of us has the power to make a difference
"If women all around the world take one another's hands as sisters, their men would cease to fight and kill one another ... parents would no longer mourn the loss of their sons and daughters. "
- Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Founder of WFWP - International
This belief is empowering and challenging because it places the power to affect world peace in each person's hands. We cannot leave the task to governments alone. Governments are systems formed to act for the public good and they have their responsibilities. However, most of us live our lives in the day-to-day moments, affected by our own perspective and approach to life and change. This is what WFWP focuses on through the Bridge of Peace.
Solutions to conflict have little to do with the human tendency of faultfinding. Through the Bridge of Peace Ceremony, WFWPI emphasises finding solutions by taking responsibility for ourselves and making sincere effort to care and take responsibility for one another. By taking this approach to conflict resolution, we draw out the best in one another, ennobling and strengthening each person in remarkable ways.
The 4 Steps for Peace Making
We break the chains of our resentments and anger by realising these emotions poison and debilitate us. Our attitudes, thoughts and mind-set are more essential than our external circumstances. As we take responsibility for our mind-set and determine to begin anew, we can be liberated from the effects of past or present hurt even if our basic circumstance is unchanged.
By recognising the rights of the other, no matter who they are, we are able to open our minds to the possibility of a solution. Without respect, the only answer is death of one kind or another and the perpetuation of the cycle of conflict.
A Personal Cease-fire: As we take responsibility, we have the strength to see our own shortcomings and our capacity to disregard the needs and situations of others. To end conflict in our own lives, we need to hold a personal "cease-fire" precipitated by self-awareness, honest assessment of our own actions and a willingness to see from the viewpoint of the other.
As we embrace our partner of peace, whether new sister, spouse, friend or family member, we seal our personal commitment to one another and the tasks of self-development and peace building.