The Words of the Lacej Family
Tirana, Albania -- UPF-Albania's National Peace Council met November 18-20 to review the past two years of UPF activities in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. New council members were welcomed and a plan was adopted for activities during the coming two years. The Assembly culminated intensive UPF activities during the month of October, which included meetings of local peace councils to elect their representatives for two-year terms on the National Peace Council.
Unlike the assembly in 2007, which convened for one day in the meeting room of the UPF headquarters, the assembly took place at a hotel on the Adriatic shore (50 km from Tirana).
The assembly was opened by Mr. Gani Rroshi, a member of the UPF Board of Directors, who express his delight in hosting this important conference that would determine the path of UPF Albania for the coming two years. Mr. Flamur Shehu, chairman of National Peace Council from 2009 to 2011, welcomed the Ambassadors for Peace with a short speech. After thanking each one for their dedication and work during the previous two years, he quoted a recent speech by UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon: "We are living in a historic time of a great cosmic transition. It is time of a great cosmic revolution to change history, to unite the physical world and the spiritual world and to establish the ideal kingdom of Heaven that God has envisioned since the beginning of time."
These words of greeting were followed by a short video presentation introducing UPF's international activities in 2010, followed by a report from Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, special advisor to UPF-Albania, about her efforts to support the work in Albania through her contacts with the Albanian Embassy in Washington, DC.
After dinner, Ambassadors for Peace organized for a cultural evening featuring karaoke singing of some Albanian and international songs by Mr. Apostoli, Mrs. Ruci, Mr. Rroshi, Mr. Rexhepi, and others.
The first session of the second day continued with interesting presentations about UPF activities in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Mr. Shehu summarized the activities of Albanian Ambassadors for Peace from 2009 to 2011 and closed with some interesting figures, including the appointment of 120 new Ambassadors for Peace and more than 40 Ambassadors for Peace attending international events.
Mr. Hydajet Hyseni, chairman of UPF-Kosovo, gave a report starting with the first UPF conferences in 2006 and culminating with plans to distribute Dr. Moon's autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, in Pristina on November 25. Many former and current officials of Kosovo have been appointed Ambassadors for Peace.
Mr. Nail Draga's presentation about UPF activities in Montenegro caught the attention of the audience; on November 26, Dr. Moon's autobiography translated into Albanian will be distributed to ethnic Albanians living in Montenegro, followed by appointments of new Ambassadors for Peace.
In the second session, participants listened to several reports from local peace councils; speakers included Mr. Bajram Ibraj, chairman of the Tirana Peace Council; Mr. Ferit Kola, member of the Shkodra Peace Council; Mr. Niko Faber, chairman of the Korca Peace Council; and Mr. Niko Veizaj, chairman of the Vlora Peace Council. In his report, Mr. Ibraj announced the establishment of Elbasan Peace Council, whose chairman is professor Jani Dode.
In the last session before noon, Mrs. Duggan spoke about the founding vision of UPF and how it is expected to develop in the near future. She also reported about some of her international experience, including her involvement in media outreach activities in past decades aiming the fall of communism.
In the last session of the second day Mr. Ali Lacej, chairman of UPF-Albania, presented his ideas on the future growth of UPF. His speech was entitled "The Vision of UPF for the Coming Two Years: Development Steps and Strategic Concepts." This presentation was highly welcomed and appreciated by the audience. Mr. Lacej emphasized the strengthening of the identity of UPF nationwide using the mass media and organizing public activities that will attract broad participation.
"UPF is not satisfied with the status quo, which includes many systemic and subjective defects in family and community life as well as in private and public life," said Mr. Lacej. "We hope that many Ambassadors for Peace will take on civic and political responsibilities and seek to improve life for Albanians and all humankind. UPF-Albania will work to spread good will and divine love and to liberate families, communities, and nations from legacies of hatred and resentment."
All these ideas were summarized in the form of a joint declaration that was approved after consideration by the members of National Peace Council, with some changes.
The evening meal included not only delicious food but also a singer who uplifted everyone's spirits with national and international folk songs.
The third and last day of the assembly featured reflections by selected Ambassadors for Peace about As a Peace Loving Global Citizen: Mr. Bilal Shkurtaj, the new Vlora Peace Council Chairman; Mr. Niko Faber, the new Korca Peace Council Chairman; Mr. Gaqo Apostoli; and Mrs. Lindita Nikolla, member of the UPF Board of Directors and mayor of one of Tirana's 11 municipalities.
The last session focused on the electing new officers for 2011-2013: Mrs. Lavdie Ruci will chair the National Peace Council, supported by Mr. Dionis Kotmilo from Korca and Mr. Niko Veizaj from Vlora. The Directing Committee elected Mr. Bajram Ibraj as chairman, assisted by Dr. Saemira Pino and Mr. Flamur Shehu. Mr. Sokol Rexhepi will continue to hold the position of UPF-Albania Secretary General. Everyone expressed their best wishes and support for the new leadership.