The Universal Peace Federation is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace in which everyone can live in freedom, harmony, cooperation, and prosperity.Peace is not simply the absence of war or a term that applies only to the relationships among nations. Peace is an essential quality that should characterize all relationships.
We apply these principles in our key areas of focus: interfaith peacebuilding, strengthening marriage and family, peace and security, a culture of peace and service, and UN relations.
World peace can be fully accomplished only when the wisdom and efforts of the world’s religious leaders are combined cooperatively and respectfully with the endeavors of national political leaders. Absent the recognition of spiritual principles, the world has drifted increasingly toward analyses and prescriptions that are materialistic and secular in nature. In so doing, we have lost sight of the profound wisdom to be found in humanity’s spiritual heritage.Global institutions must be built on a foundation that takes into account the full potential of the human being, not only as a political, economic, and social being, but also as a spiritual being with spiritual needs and a capacity for spiritual wisdom and insight. The legacy of the world’s great saints, prophets, sages, and spiritual leaders cannot be denied or discounted without ignoring what is most fundamental about the human being.In too many ways the history of religion has been marked by narrow sectarianism, strife, and competitive struggle with other faiths, all to the detriment of the cherished goals and teachings of the founders and scriptures. This cannot continue. The need to eliminate corruption, selfishness, and bad governance applies not only to all nations but also to all of the world’s religions.Lasting peace depends on cooperative partnerships between governments and religions, as well as NGOs and representatives of the private sector. The United Nations can benefit from a council of religious and spiritual leaders to bring broad vision and wisdom to the effort to address critical global problems. International conferences, publications, networking, and on-the-ground activism are mechanisms for interfaith cooperation and lay a foundation for spiritual renewal at the United Nations.
The Universal Peace Federation acknowledges that the family is a microcosm of the global community. If the world is to finally come to an era of sustainable peace and harmony among civilizations, that peace must be founded on this basic, most intimate social unit of humankind. In other words, the family is the central building block of society, as well as being an instrument for peace and reconciliation.The family is universal. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, and religious affiliations, we are all members of families. Most importantly, the family is the school of love and ethics. Through experiences in our families, we learn to embrace and value all relationships in our wider human family; with friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues and strangers.Marriage, parenting, and the family are the basis of human development and the core institutions for education in character, ethics, social relationships, and citizenship. Strong, healthy, loving parents and families help protect society from the moral decline of its youth, increase in crime, drug abuse and corruption, as well as the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. In addition, they can help break down the age-old resentments that have fueled religious, tribal, and civil conflict.Throughout history, the family has experienced economic and social unrest, and its adaptability is now being threatened by a wide range of social, economic, cultural, and political developments. UPF chapters around the world are focusing on projects to overcome poverty and social exclusion within families and have been mindful to include underprivileged or marginalized groups in their programs. UPF includes wide representation of the various faith groups in its policies and projects.Lasting peace is secured not merely through laws, backed by the power of government enforcement, but by a rising awareness of our universal solidarity as one human family, brothers and sisters who share a common spiritual and moral heritage. We are one family under God.
A core principle of UPF is living for the sake of others. Experiential-learning programs can lead to mutual understanding and respect as participants work together to meet community needs and gain a sense of being part of one large human family. Sports and cultural programs have unique capacities to touch people's hearts, helping transform a "culture of conflict" to a "culture of peace."
In many parts of the world addressing security issues is a necessary step toward peace. UPFpeace initiatives use “track two” diplomacy and build people-to-people bonds in Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Baltics, and the South Caucasus. Peace and Security forums draw on the wisdom of diplomats, government officials, think tank officers, academics, and international NGOs.
As an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Universal Peace Federation promotes interfaith understanding, sustainable development, marriage and family, mediation of conflict, women's empowerment, and revitalization of the UN. UPF chapters organize events onWorld Interfaith Harmony Week (first week of February),International Women's Day (March 8),International Day of Families (May 15),International Day of Peace (September 21), and other UN commemorative days.
UPF Areas of Focus
• Conferences• Learning from each other• Interfaith councilsReligious leaderswelcomeparticipants to aWorld InterfaithAssembly in Korea.
Sharing insights andbuilding understandingamong people of variousfaithsIndiaSri LankaMoldovaGermany
• Cultivating good character• Strengthening marriage & family• Holding World Peace Marriage BlessingsMalaysian families enjoyan outing at a park onthe International Day ofFamilies.
Relationship skills,character building,commitment to fidelityArgentina:honoring parentsKazakhstan:parenting adviceZimbabwe:character educationKorea: mass wedding
• Offering humanitarian aid• Organizing Religious Youth Service projects• Sports and cultural programsDonations of clothingand bedding in Pakistan
Working together toimprove communitiesand promote goodwillThailand: flood cleanupNepal: freedental clinicJapan:Hauling away debris after the tsunamiSt. Lucia:painting homes for elderly people
Bringing peopletogether throughmusic and the artsUkraine: balletMalaysia:school muralGeorgia:Learning African dancesNew York:Africa Day celebration
Making new friendsand practicing goodsportsmanshipEstonia: teams fromnearby nationsChad:civilian and military teamsIn friendly matchesJordan:refugees competewith Jordanian youthItaly: Peace Cup
• International Leadership Conferences• Forums• ConsultationsHeads of stateandgovernmentaddressedUPF’s WorldSummit 2013 on“Peace,Security, andHumanDevelopment.”
Addressing issuesof broad concernAlbania:European integrationIsrael:Israel and its neighborsIndonesia:ecological safetyTurkey: Arab Spring
• Holding meetings at the UN• Supporting UN initiatives:• Partnering with the UN and NGOsWorld InterfaithHarmony Weekcelebration inthe UN GeneralAssembly HallUPF is an NGO in special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.
Offering insights atthe UN and helpingto promote UN goals UN Offices in Geneva:Model UN Interreligious CouncilVenezuela:Day of PeaceMarshall Islands:Prayers for peaceBrazil: Rio+20People’s Summit