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Representatives of UPF and WFWP (left to right): Franco Ravaglioli, Elisabetta Nistri, Gabriella Mieli, Giuseppe Calì, and Carlo Zonato
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Franco Ravaglioli, the secretary general of UPF-Italy
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Giuseppe Calì, the chair of UPF for southern Europe
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Don Valentino Cottini and Gabriella Mieli of UPF during the afternoon session
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The panelists of the session on religious cooperation, with Carlo Zonato of UPF in the center
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Elisabetta Nistri of WFWP
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Rome, Italy—The potential of Mediterranean nations in building peace was discussed at a UPF seminar held in the Italian Senate.

“The Mediterranean Sea as a Bridge of Peace: Building the World of Co-Prosperity, Universally Shared Values and Interdependence in the Mediterranean Rim” was the title of the seminar, which was held on November 13, 2019, in the Senate’s Santa Maria in Aquiro Hall.

The participants were top-level politicians, religious leaders, ambassadors, university professors and leaders of the civil society.

The conference was organized in two sessions: The morning was devoted to the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and the afternoon to the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).

The morning session, led by Giuseppe Calì, the chair of UPF for southern Europe, focused on the topic “Cooperation and Sustainable Development.” The speakers were Sen. Roberto Rampi, a member of the Senate committees on European Policies, Human Rights and Immigration; Giuseppe Calì; Ambassador Enrico Granara, coordinator for the Euro-Mediterranean and the Gulf relationship; Professor Marino D’Amore, a university professor; Dr. Marco Ricceri from the European Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies (EURISPES); and economist Dr. Nino Galloni.

The IAPD session in the afternoon was led by Carlo Zonato, the president of UPF-Italy, and focused on the topic “Cooperation among Faiths in Building Peace in the Mediterranean Rim.” The speakers were Carlo Zonato; Raffaella Di Marzio, the director of the Study Center for Freedom of Religion and Conscience (LIREC); Marco Fornerone, pastor of the Valdese Church; Don Valentino Cottini, a Catholic priest, director of the Christian-Moslem Dialogue magazine, and a university professor; Nader Akkad Ph.D., a Muslim imam and university professor; and Dr. Franca Eckert Coen, a prominent member of the Jewish community in Italy, vice president of Religions for Peace, and coordinator of Women in Dialogue. Several comments from the audience followed the end of each session.

Especially worthy to mention was the participation of Senator Rampi, who offered a speech in the morning and the final remarks in the evening. It is thanks to him that we could use such a prestigious hall for our meeting.

Our amazing team from UPF and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an affiliated organization, worked hard for the success of this event. Carlo Zonato, Elisabetta Nistri, Gabriella Mieli, Franco Ravaglioli and Giorgio Gasperoni contacted several new top-level people in the days before the event. Even those who couldn’t come expressed interest in receiving information about our future programs. The event was broadcast live via web TV and national radio, as well.