It was my first time to attend a Global Peace Convention where world leaders join together to discuss and share ideas and strategies about education, health care, environmental sustainability and other topics. Held at the Marriott Hotel Convention Center last February 28th, involving multisectoral leaders and members of different countries.

Global Peace Foundation

The convention was organized by Global Peace Foundation (GPF), an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-profit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace-building.

“We believe that the starting point is a vision for a shared future that uplifts universally recognized principles and values as essential tools for building a cohesive global economy of genuine peace, freedom and high ideals,” said Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon, Chairman and founder, Global Peace Foundation.

Global Peace Convention Dr. Hyun Jin Moon

Operating on the theme, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: New Models for Peace and Development,” the convention brings together leading global experts and practitioners who will share best practices in important tracks that include interfaith collaboration, innovation in education, community development and empowering women and youth.

James Flynn, International President of the Global Peace Foundation, said, “The special focus on youth leadership and service will ensure that the spark we ignite in this convention will grow with positive momentum for years to come.”

Global leaders in the Convention

In her opening remarks, the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and incumbent deputy speaker of the 17th Congress and a member of the House of Representative representing the 2nd District of Pampanga said she was happy to have the Global Peace Convention back to the Philippines. The first Global Peace Convention was held in 2009 during the incumbency of Arroyo.

Global Peace Convention World Leaders

Vinicio Cerezo, the former president of Guatemala spoke on ways to stop the war and further promote peace. “Despite the differences, we should build bridges, not walls, build solidarity, because we are but One Family Under One God.” During his term as president, Cerezo established respect for human rights, economic recovery, and sustainable development. Today, he promotes the process of regional integration through the Latin American Presidential Mission, an association of former heads of state committed to greater regional integration, effective and transparent governance, and sustainable and equitable development.

Other global leaders attending this Convention are Dr. Amani Abeid Karume, former president of Zanzibar; H.E. Nicolas Ardito Barletta, former president of Panama; Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda and Honorable Jin Pyo Kim, member of the Korean National Assembly and former Deputy Prime Minister.

Why the Philippines?

With more than 600 million people, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) represents one of the most dynamic economic blocs in the world. “As a rising Southeast Asian nation with unique geographic, cultural and historic connections, the Philippines is ideally positioned to play an important role for peace in this region and the world,” explained Dr. Moon.

Moon further described that given the principles and values-based perspective of the Global Peace Convention, “it is natural that we are convening here because of the God-centered, family-oriented heart of the Filipino people, as reflected in the Philippines national motto: “Maka-Diyos, maka-tao, maka-kalikasan, at maka-bansa – For the love of God, people, nature and country.”

It is almost ten years when the GPC first started in Manila.

“We at GPF have been learned many lessons from our many initiatives around the globe and want to share these best practices that will enrich participants to think globally, act locally,” said Flynn.

Interested parties can participate in the ongoing online conversations on the Global Peace Convention thru #GlobalPeace

Global Peace Foundation

It’s an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-profit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace-building. Its work in 23 countries is progressing with support from the government, business, the faith, community, educational institutions, industry and commerce and a corps of committed volunteers. Each year, GPF’s strong field network reaches more than 235,000 people through programs and projects across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.