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March 2017
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Peace Education

Leadership Conference in Mindanao Promotes Interfaith Harmony

Davao, Mindanao, Philippines - An International Leadership Conference took place in Davao, the principal city on the island of Mindanao. The theme for the March 29-30 conference was "The Role of Interfaith Harmony and Good Governance in Peace and Development." The 263 participants included 130 international guests from 28 nations. Local participants included three governors and eight mayors from Mindanao.

Hon. Jesus Dureza, President and CEO of the Advocacy Mindanow Foundation, said that bringing an international delegation not only to Davao for the conference but also to Sultan Kudarat for the Interfaith Peace Blessing on March 31 for could make a significant impact on the image of Mindanao and help advance the peace process. He was appointed by the former President of the Philippines to head the Mindanao peace talks.

The official co-sponsor for the International Leadership Conference was the city of Davao, and the mayor hosted the opening banquet.

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After the two-day conference, participants traveled by bus to Sultan Kudarat to join thousands of couples for the Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival.

Programs educating people about UPF's principles of peace had been held throughout Mindanao, and representatives of 37 cities or municipalities attended the program in Sultan Kudarat. Religious leaders from many faith traditions lit candles representing new hope for peace. At the end, a resolution was signed to carry forward the work of interreligious and intercultural reconciliation and develop a culture and prosperity in Mindanao. Thirty-seven chapters of the Universal Peace Federation in Mindanao were inaugurated.

A press conference afterwards was attended by both local and national media.

Read conference reflections by Merekaraka Caesar, Wahine Maori of Queensland, Inc., Australia, and Rahman Ali ‘Jawed’, a human rights educator with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in Kabul.

 

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