by Karsten Nielsen, UPF Denmark

Among thirteen very committed and dedicated people appointed as new Ambassadors for Peace in Denmark was Anja Ringgren Lovén, founder of Land of Hope, an organization that is leading the fight to save the thousands of children being accused of witchcraft every year in Nigeria.

Anja’s face became recognizable worldwide when a photo of her with a malnourished Nigerian “witch” child went viral on social media in 2016. In the photo, Anja is seen giving the boy some crackers and water, which he drank carefully. She then took him gently up in her arms and went to the hospital. Anja did not think that he would survive.

“When we got him in the car, I looked at my husband and told him we should name him Hope,” she said. “I didn’t want him to die without a name. I wanted him to die with dignity.”

In 2016 OOOM Magazine chose Anja as # 1 on their list of “The World’s Most Inspiring Person” (with President Obama and the Pope as # 2 and 3).

After it again became possible to meet physically UPF Denmark assembled some 50 Ambassadors for Peace and leaders in two events. The first meeting was held in a local community center August 27th, 2020 while the second meeting took place in UPF Peace Center in Copenhagen to report about World Summit 2020 and share UPF’s vision for a new paradigm and hope in this time of many challenges and disruption.

In his speech UPF Secretary-General, Karsten Nielsen, pointed out that “universal peace includes everyone and everything including care for the environment as well as the past, present and future, most importantly, we are responsible for what we pass on to our children and future generations. Human beings can learn much from the nature where everything exist for a higher purpose and where peace, harmony and beauty are inherent based on laws and principles. UPF believes we are at the dawn of a new age where humans will realize a peaceful world with Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Shared Values”, theme of the World Summit 2020 in Korea.

In a video from the recent Rally of Hope former UN Secretary- General, Ban Ki-Moon commended UPF for setting good examples, “I believe that UPF and its broad set of partnerships in the realms of politics, religion, academia, media, economy, arts, women and youth serve as a good model. I believe the UPF will become a cornerstone to build lasting peace around the world.”

Another five participants at the World Summit 2020 in Korea shared their impressions and reflections.

It was former MEP and MP, Ulla Sandbaek, the Chief Editor of MediaWatch and human rights activist, Bashy Quraishy, author, coach and women’s voice in leadership and the corporate world, Birgitte Baadegaard and founder and director of Land of Hope, Anja Ringgren Lovén, Assistant Professor at Aalborg University and one of leading experts in discrimination in Denmark, Mira C. Skadegard

Everyone praised the World Summit for being extremely well organized and for being very international, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. It gave ample opportunity to meet people you would not normally encounter. The fact that each continent stayed in their own hotel, just as at the large plenary sessions were divided by continents, unfortunately set limits for cultural exchange and networking across continents.

It was also noteworthy that there was a large under- representation of women, especially in the large delegations from Asian countries. Therefore, our Danish participants suggested to work on both more female and young participants. They also missed a more active participation with more workshops, more opportunities for Q&A and general even more exchange of views and ideas between all the participants.

In the second session UPF Chair, Nobuhiro Igarashi, introduced the vision and core values of UPF as well as recent major international and local events. He emphasized serving others and living for the sake of others by introducing the five peace principles. He also explained about the recent structural innovation within UPF, the 6 pillars of ISCP, IAPP, IAPD, IAAP, IMAP and IAED.

At last he introduced UPF’s Ambassador for Peace® program and read the text with the commitment of an Ambassador for Peace on the certificate.

Thirteen new Ambassadors for Peace had been selected with eight appointed in the first meeting and five in the second meeting. Several of them had requested to be appointed as Ambassador for Peace. The daughter of an early Danish Ambassador for Peace, Nigar Mobaraki, assisted with presenting the certificates.,

Among the new Ambassadors for Peace were Anja Ringgren Lovén, founder and director of Land of Hope, Lene Gammelgaard, mountaineer, the 35th woman and the first Scandinavian women to climb Mount Everest and founder/CEO of Human Innovation

founder of a NGO People United Generating Aid for Development, imam in the Albanian Community and director of Muslim World League Denmark, spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Community Denmark, a youth representative and two Jewish women leaders.

In her congratulatory speech Ambassador for Peace, Ulla Sandbaek pointed out the importance of living with the high ideals described on the certificate, which she illustrated with a little anecdote she had heard from Amma in her ashram in India.

The new Ambassadors for Peace in the second event were all women, a representative from ’We make Peace, an NGO rising peace awareness in schools, a Chief Physician and three academicians.

At the end of the events Elizabeth Bramsen moved everyone’s heart with two beautiful songs “Fix You” and “The Rose”.

Both events finished with dinner, togetherness and networking. There was a great familiar atmosphere and many participants expressed their desire to become more involved in the activities of UPF. Surely we all felt that we wanted to move together. As humans we have the same desires and aspirations to live in peace as one global family and that now the time has come to believe in, work together and invest ourselves for that common dream.

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