Hon. Gaqo Apostoli, Minister of Transport and Public Works (1997-1998), Albania
Hon. Gaqo Apostoli holds a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and completed postgraduate specializations in Italy. He worked as professor at the Polytechnic University of Tirana. He was elected a member of the Albanian Parliament in three legislatures from 1992 to 2005, and served as member of the Culture, Science and Education Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2001-2005). He served as Minister of Transport and Public Works (1997-1998). An Ambassador for Peace, he was the first Chair of UPF Albania and served as a member of the UPF Global Peace Council (2008-2009). He is the current Chair of UPF Albania, following his appointment in 2015.
Ambassadors for Peace,
Peace Loving Citizens,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very much honored to be invited to be part of this very important and historical International Leadership Conference held on the occasion of 15th Anniversary of the founding of UPF. And it is with great pleasure that I will share with you the journey I have been on from the founding day until today.
I want to testify from the beginning that for me being part of UPF during these 15 years has been like graduating from the best existing University, the University of Peace, with Father and Mother Moon being the best ever existing teachers and professors. As I go though my presentation, I will accompany it with photos related to those milestones.
- It was an honor for me to represent Albania at the Founding event of UPF in New York in 2005 together with Former President Mediani and a few other VIPs. Being introduced to the vision of UPF and its universal principles made it clear to me that it was a movement whose time had come and I had a very positive feeling and strongly wanted to be part of it.
- Father and Mother Moon started right away a world tour to establish UPF in 100 countries and they visited Albania on October 30th They were welcomed as state guests by the President and Prime Minister of Albania at that time and the inauguration of UPF was held in front of 3000 people at the Congress Hall of Albania.
- Right after the establishment of UPF in Albania, following the guidance of Father and Mother Moon, we started to educate leaders of Albanian society with the Principles of Peace and within 2 years we held over 20 conferences, workshops and symposiums and appointed 1200 Ambassadors for Peace.
- In 2006, on the initiative of UPF Europe, we launched the Balkan Peace Initiative to foster peace in the Balkans and, during the past 14 years, we organized 24 National, Balkan and European Leadership Conferences to build bridges of peace between Balkan countries. Top level VIPs from all Balkan countries participated in our events and we believe UPF has made an important contribution to foster peace processes in the Balkans.
- One of the projects UPF launched to support the Balkans Peace Initiative was also the Balkan Peace Road. In 2018, a group of 28 young people and Ambassadors for Peace from 16 countries traveled 1500 km and organized events in 12 cities in 7 Balkan countries, involving over 1700 people.
- Another initiative UPF Albania undertook was to involve the Diaspora of Albania and Albanians living in neighboring countries in the activities of UPF and identify and appoint as Ambassadors for Peace people with notable contributions to society and encourage them to work harder. So far, we have established 16 Albanian Peace Councils in 8 other countries, the USA, UK, Italy, Greece, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. We have now over 5000 Ambassadors for Peace who are proud to be part of UPF.
- In the last couple of years, UPF Albania took upon itself another challenge, to establish Peace Councils in all 61 Municipalities all over the country and, at the beginning of last year, 2019, we completed it. This became a foundation to invite Mother Moon to Albania and, in close cooperation with the UPF leadership on the European Level, in March 2019 we organized a Balkan Leadership Conference with the participation of 8 Former Presidents and Prime Ministers, who at the end of the conference signed a letter of invitation to Mother Moon to attend the Southeast Europe Peace Summit in Tirana , Albania.
- Albania was blessed to host last October the Southeast Europe Peace Summit, which was honored by the participation of the Mother of Peace. The Summit was organized under the Patronage of the Prime Minister of Albania, and many other institutions and organizations were partners in the Summit. We had over 400 VIPs from 55 nations. Part of the Summit was the Opening Plenary of the Summit with the participation of the current President of North Macedonia and the President of Kosovo, and 12 other Former Heads of State and Government. There were 1800 VIPs participating in the event. Another part of the Summit was the gathering of 2000 young people from 40 different countries. Also, a Family festival was held at the end of the Summit, where 1200 couples attended to demonstrate the need to strengthen family values.
- At the end of the Summit, Mother Moon declared Albania to be HEAVENLY ALBANIA by giving it the mission to become a model nation of Peace for the Balkan countries, and all of the Ambassadors for Peace in Albania are determined to work hard to fulfil this mission by becoming Peace Loving people and Peacemakers.
The Universal Peace Federation has done so much during these past 15 years and I am convinced that even bigger accomplishments are waiting ahead of us, and I would encourage everybody to join us and dedicate ourselves to making this world a better place for the coming generations.
Thank you very much for your attention and God Bless you all!