The Words of the Werner Family

Celebrating the International Day of Friendship in Buenos Aires

Miguel Werner
July 30, 2014

Buenos Aires, Argentina -- "The human spirit can be much stronger" is part of the message of the UN International Day of Friendship 2014, which is very similar to the feeling conveyed by UPF-Argentina on the celebration in the Buenos Aires headquarters on July 30.

On the occasion, 11 people from different areas were recognized as Ambassadors for Peace. This longstanding initiative regains an important significance in the current situation of abundant crisis and conflicts that affects societies and peoples in this globalized world.

The meeting started with a video on the theme "The World at a Transition Point: A Global Vision for Leadership and Good Governance," which contextualizes the emerging of the initiative that gained importance after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, which has been called a "clash of civilizations." After the Ambassador for Peace appointments, there was a minute of silence for all the victims of violence, and each one prayed and reflected according to their own tradition or belief for peace. This was a way of renewing the commitment for peaceful coexistence.

Carlos Laluf-Edith Paredes, Esteban Fauret-Amalia Daibes, Pedro Pacheco-María Calcagno, Martha Candioti, Alicia Berini, Alba Contardo, Graciela Licciardi, and Juan Romero were recognized as Ambassadors for Peace. All of them have a vast experience working in different causes, in areas related to education, culture, spirituality, ecology, solidarity, service, and peace. Words of gratitude and emotion were expressed after receiving the certificate and the UPF pin, which was put by one of their colleagues. Previously, each candidate poured a glass of water in a common bowl as a symbol of unity in diversity, commitment and shared work for life and peace.

Words of congratulation were given by Carlos Varga, director of the Unification Movement in Argentina, who emphasized the values the Ambassador for Peace network, including the building of friendship bonds, "sacrificing for the other," spirituality, taking responsibility and "doing things from the heart."

The UN message for this date was read by Donato Perrone, a member of the UPF-Argentina Peace Council. At the end, the director of the independent theatre Nilio Armas recited the "Ode to Joy", from Friedrich Schiller, expressing the intense emotions of brotherhood.

The good environment was added by the new Ambassador for Peace Esteban Fauret and the writer Nélida Pessagno, vice-president of the Argentinian Writers Society (SADE), with her individual delivery of poems. The fraternization continued during the snacks, honoring the cause of the meeting, celebrating friendship, not only interpersonal but between peoples and cultures. Greetings for the occasion and messages of support were received from the Permanent Forum on Education, Science, and Culture for Peace and the San José Home of the Messengers for Peace Association in Argentina.

The UN Resolution A/65/L.72, proposed in April 2011, established the International Day of Friendship, July 30, stating that "the friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and people can inspire peace initiatives and it presents an opportunity to create bridges between communities, honoring cultural diversity." The different activities mentioned include the International Crusade for Friendship, created by Dr. Ramón Bracho of Paraguay in 1958; and the Friend's Day, which was spread worldwide by Dr. Enrique Febbraro of Argentina, inspired by people landing on the moon in 1969.

Some messages and thoughts shared at the event

"Whatever the cause, and however powerful the forces that drive animosity and armed violence, the human spirit is potentially much stronger. It is our solemn duty to see that it prevails. In these difficult and unpredictable times, it is vital that we reach out to one another in order to prevent conflict and build the long-term foundations of lasting peace." -- Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Day of Friendship 2014

"There is diversity in ideas, but there are common ideals to all humanity. Beyond nations, the world is our home. Beyond our love for our homeland, now we feel how every human being feels, no matter where they are." -- Carlos Varga, Director of the Unification Movement in Argentina

"We are born to meet each other. Life is the art of meeting. We find each other to confirm that humanity is one family and that we live in a country called Earth. We are sons and daughters of love; therefore, we are born to be happy. Apart from happiness, the rest is pretexts, and we should also be happy for our sons and daughters, since there is nothing better than remembering happy parents." -- Facundo Cabral, Argentinian singer, composer, writer and philosopher

"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." -- 2 Corinthians 5:19-20, Bible

"An Ambassador for Peace represents peace itself, as the highest value of humanity. It is represented worldwide with the color white, and with this white we can say it is the synthesis of all the colors and banners. Peace is the synthesis of all freedoms. It works with prevention and its instrument is education. Educating for peace has to be our great challenge."

"Peace is a value, a right and a duty, a divine command in the books of knowledge, a necessary human institution, and a universal vocation. Peace is not an agreement or the absence of war. Peace is in man and nowhere else. Peace can also exist when it is part of our daily habits, customs, and the moral of peoples and nations." -- Dr. Alicia Berini, new Ambassador for Peace

"A mi hermano le cuento
del verdor de mi tierra, del fulgor de mi estrella,
que quisiera que beba de mi campo el rocío,
que beba de la sangre del ceibo de mi río,
que juntos batallemos por un mundo que llora,
que suframos la paz, que es la esperanza
que nos queda en el alma.

Para mi hermano, solo tengo un poema
de paz para su guerra,
y un cielo que es de lluvia
y unas manos que rezan."

Extract of the poem "Tengo un hermano" (I Have a Brother), recited by Esteban Fauret

"Be embraced, millions!
This kiss to the entire world!
Brothers -- above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.
You bow down, millions?
Can you sense the Creator, world?"

Extract of "Ode to Joy," by Friedrich Schiller, recited by Nilio Armas

"In these difficult and tough moments in which the world suffers, many people forgot the word 'friendship,' which involves love and knowing about each other. We make vows so as the new Ambassadors for Peace, from the places they have in our society, work to give their two cents in this essential task in which we are the protagonists, for a better society, and to be involved in the pain of our neighbors."

"Those who work for peace have the firm conviction that this is possible, that from anywhere it will start to shine the light that will allow all of us to live under the word 'love'. Loving our neighbors means friendship and peace." -- Message sent for this event by Elena Paniagua, President of the Asociación Ciudad Hermana San Clemente Argentina-San Clemente California

"I believe the world develops better societies when people have transcended race, nationality, and religion; and when, under a wide variety of opinions, they meet and discuss frankly about world peace." -- Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen

Translation: Yamila Gómez 

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