Tirana, Albania—European-level leaders of UPF completed a very productive tour of Albania, meeting both high-level dignitaries and grass-roots supporters.
Dr. No Hi Pak and his wife, Dr. Lan Young Moon, the UPF special advisors for Europe, visited Albania from May 10 to 17, 2017.
From May 16 to 19, Mr. Jacques Marion, the UPF secretary general for Europe, also visited Albania and the neighboring nation of Kosovo.
On May 11 Dr. Pak and Dr. Moon traveled to the city of Korça to present awards to high school students who had written the best essays inspired by As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, the autobiography of UPF co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. On behalf of the UPF founders, Dr. Pak gave the congratulatory message to the 300 people in the audience.
The next day, the special advisors met with UPF supporters in Korça and also met the director of the Muslim high school who had offered the hall for the event.
On the way back to Tirana, they met with UPF supporters in the city of Elbasan.
The main purpose of their visit to Albania was to officiate an Interfaith Peace Blessing in Tirana on May 14. Around 30 married couples took part in the marriage renewal ceremony in the main hall of the Tirana International Hotel with an audience of around 300 people.
On May 16, together with Mr. Marion, the special advisors met with several members of parliament who had attended the UPF World Summit in Seoul, Korea, in February 2017.
On May 17, before departing for the airport, Dr. Pak and Mr. Marion met with former Albanian President Alfred Moisiu to discuss the coming Balkan leaders’ conference in September in Kosovo.
The next day, Mr. Marion visited the city of Fier, where a Peace Road event was being held. It was the third year that a Peace Road event was taking place in the city, and the City Hall and police offered their support.
Very early on the morning of May 19, Mr. Marion traveled to the neighboring nation of Kosovo together with Mr. Gaqo Apostoli, the chair of UPF-Albania. The purpose of the visit was to prepare for the September conference. Although the nation’s political leaders were focused on the general elections scheduled for June 11, because of the investment of UPF staff and close Ambassadors for Peace, we could have a day full of important meetings.
The UPF delegation met Hon. Jakup Krasniqi, the former chair of the Assembly of Kosovo and also the former acting president of Kosovo, who attended the World Summit in February in Korea.
The UPF delegation had a meeting with the archbishop of the Catholic Church of Kosovo at the Cathedral of Pristina, followed by another meeting at the Islamic Community of Kosovo. These meetings with religious leaders were very warm, and Mr. Marion had the chance to explain the UPF founders’ vision of interreligious cooperation and harmony as key to world peace.
Later on, the visitors had a heartfelt meeting with members of the Kosovo Peace Council at which Mr. Marion explained about the upcoming Balkan leaders’ conference and requested everyone’s input.
The last meeting of the day was with former President of Kosovo H.E. Fatmir Sejdiu, a very close Ambassador for Peace and good supporter of UPF, who gave very valuable advice about the conference.
One can say that the UPF leaders’ visits were very intense, but also very successful.