Tirana, Albania—UPF held a European Leadership Conference under the theme “Mutual Understanding and Cooperation for Peace, Security and Human Development in the Balkans.”
The event, co-hosted by the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) in Europe, also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the visit to Tirana of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, the founders of UPF and WFWP. The purpose of their 2005 visit was to inaugurate the Albanian chapter of UPF, and they also launched the Ambassadors for Peace movement and the UPF Balkans Peace Initiative.
About 130 participants attended the event, which took place on November 21 and 22, 2015, in the Tirana International Hotel. Speakers came from 12 nations, including seven Balkan countries: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Greece. Ambassadors for Peace from UPF-Albania also used the opportunity to convene their yearly General Assembly.
The Balkans were the last area of conflict in Europe in the 20th century, and their ethnic and religious diversity makes the region a training ground for peace in the 21st century. In the context of international conflict in the Middle East and the rise of terrorism, the event began a new cycle of the UPF Balkan Peace Initiative.
Author: Mr. Jacques Marion
President, UPF Europe and the Middle East
Mr. Marion is a French citizen, born in Cameroon. He worked for twelve years with Unification Movement programmes in Northern, Central and Southern Africa. Between 1998 and 2006, he worked in China as a Vice President of the International Educational Foundation, based in Beijing. From 2006 to 2013 he served as Secretary General of UPF Eurasia, based in Moscow. He is currently the co-chair of UPF Europe and the Middle East and the president of UPF France.