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Peace Education

Philippines Hosts Asian Leadership Conference

Philippines-2019-06-09-Philippines Hosts Asian Leadership Conference

Manila, Philippines—The Philippines chapter of UPF hosted an Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) from June 7 to 9, 2019 at the Hotel Jen by Shangri-La in Pasay City, Manila, Philippines. Ninety-seven people, including representatives of different faiths, government officials, and members of academia, participated in the three-day conference whose theme was “Providing Vision and Leadership for Nation-Building and Peace.” The program featured nine lecture sessions and two special sessions; the inauguration of the Philippines chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD);  and an Interfaith Peace Blessing, which took place during the closing session.

Among the participants, five were international delegates, from Palau, Nepal and Myanmar. Representing Palau were the former president of Palau, H.E. Johnson Toribiong and senator Hon. Moises Uludong, and Nepal, Dr. Kali Bahadur Rokaya, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Nepal.

The local dignitaries included former chief director of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Mr. Jesus Dureza; International Grand Mufti of the Fil-Arab Alliance, Abdeljabbar M. Macarimbo; the board treasurer of the Married Priest Alliance of the Philippines, Mr. Samuel J. Yap; special envoy of the Philippines for Malaysia, Wencelito Andanar; and assistant secretary for Barangay Affairs of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Hon. Roosque Calacat.

A special highlight of this ALC was the inauguration of the IAPD, which was convened by religious leaders Archbishop Elias Soria; Archbishop Robert Sisa; Imam Aleem Said Basher; Bishop Nelson Go; Bishop Ramon Woo; and Bishop Ferdinand Lee. A “Water of Harmony” ceremony, a “Universal Prayer” and a signing of a resolution inaugurating the IAPD-Philippines took place.

Current presidential spokesperson of the Philippines, Secretary Salvador S. Panelo and congressman and mayor-elect of Pangasinan, Hon. Leopoldo Bataoil delivered the congratulatory remarks. This was followed by a special message given by regional group chair of UPF-Asia-Pacific, Dr. Chung Sik Yong.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to presentations on the programs and projects of UPF. These were presented by Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair of UPF- and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)-Asia-Pacific, and Dr. Julius B. Malicdem, regional president of UPF-Southeast Asia. Afterwards, an Interfaith Peace Blessing was held in which nineteen couples rededicated their marriages.

The conference concluded with five of the participants sharing their experiences and reflections on participating in the conference. Many of the participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude to UPF and its founders for their new learnings, the experience they had, and committed to working with UPF to realize its goals and vision.

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