The Words of the Samko Family
UPF-Russia organized celebrations of United Nations Day, Oct. 24, in Moscow and Novosibirsk. This annual commemoration reminds the global community of the huge contributions that the United Nations has made to preserving peace and supporting common progress. In 2013, Russians acutely recognized the important role of the UN especially during this year's crises on the neighboring Korean peninsula and in Syria.
UPF-Moscow organized a celebration of UN Day at the Peace Embassy on Oct. 26, 2013. The meeting brought together representatives of public and youth organizations, science and arts. Guests and organizers took the opportunity to identify key issues and challenges facing the modern community. The chair of the meeting, secretary general of UPF-Moscow Dmitry Samko, emphasized that the efforts of each individual could be extremely important, and every voice will be heard, especially if it is backed up by concrete action. Honored Artist of Russia, Ambassador for Peace Vladimir Frolov quoted great thinkers and philosophers of the past who left a huge wealth of knowledge and wisdom that are relevant today, such as "Slow and steady wins the race."
Great interest was aroused by the speech of Konstantin Krylov, secretary general of UPF-Eurasia. He shared about the latest trends in the work of the UN. In particular, he talked about the proposal to create an inter-religious council or council of religious leaders within the UN structure made by UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon at the UN in August 2000. One promising step in this direction is the UN's designation of the first week of February as World Interfaith Harmony Week.
In a solemn ceremony at the end of the event, students of Kazan Federation University, Timur Kurmaev and Eugenia Kildyusheva, were appointed Young Ambassadors for Peace, along with a participant of the movement for healthy lifestyle, social activist Sergei Nepsha. The young people promised to continue creating new projects and make their albeit small but important contribution to creating world peace.
Youth Ambassadors for Peace marked UN Day with an event on Oct. 23, 2013 in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city and the unofficial capital of Siberia. Dmitry Oficerov, the head of UPF-Siberia, presented a brief background of the UN, focusing on the causes of the two world wars and the role of the League of Nations. To support UN activities and prevent another war, he said, we should develop harmonious interfaith relations. He gave a brief analysis of the relations between believers of different traditions, their attitude to each other, and concluded that we can reach mutual understanding by using the model of family relations.
Maria Lelekova shared about the "Peace Park" built at a veterans home by participants in a 2011 Religious Youth Service project. [See report]
Xenia Kolpakova was appointed a Young Ambassador for Peace. This touching moment inspired all.
The meeting ended with a discussion of the upcoming UN Day of Tolerance (Nov. 16). It was decided to measure the "tolerance temperature" in the city and to conduct training sessions for the public.