Copenhagen, Denmark—The first UPF meeting of the year focused on developing a peaceful attitude that is conducive to peaceful actions.
A total of 35 Ambassadors for Peace and friends of UPF attended the meeting, which was held in the UPF Peace Center on February 14, 2019.
After the opening remarks, a Christian minister, Bente Pihl, read a prayer of St. Francis.
Author and opinion-maker Birgitte Baadegaard spoke on the topic “Empathy and Compassion—The Premise for Peace, Inside and Around Us.” She said, “The inner consciousness of compassion in me is so crucial to whether I can live it further in the outer world.
“To activate empathy, we must remember to activate two other feelings, namely: gratitude and reverence. … In continuation of the reverence and the spiritual requirement of this word lies a mindset inspired by an Indian philosophy of life:
- Is it good for me?
- Is it good for my loved ones?
- Is it good for the next seven generations?
“These thoughts force us to maintain a balance in ourselves—to look both inward and outward.”
She emphasized that “we are all connected with each other and with the environment and … we must avoid losing contact with ourselves and the world around us.”
Elizabeth Bramsen of UPF sang beautifully the song “Imagine,” and afterward UPF-Denmark Secretary General Karsten Nielsen introduced the mission and visions of UPF, namely, universal peace and universal values.
“Peace is not only something we should desire or dream about; it is a condition we must realize,” he said. “It does not descend from heaven; it is something we must work for. Peace must necessarily apply to all people; we must leave NO ONE behind.”
A PowerPoint presentation gave an overview of UPF’s activities worldwide and in Denmark during the past year. A short film showed the UPF celebration of the International Day of Peace in the Danish Parliament in September: FNs Internationale Fredsdag 2018
Thorkil Christensen, the co-chair of UPF-Denmark, introduced UPF’s Ambassador for Peace program and the Peace Principles, and the other UPF co-chair, Nobuhiro Igarashi, presented certificates to nine new Ambassadors for Peace.
As a greeting to the new Ambassadors for Peace, Ulla Sandbaek, a member of Parliament, told a short fable about human nature. At the end everybody sang together “Amazing Grace.”
After the program the participants enjoyed a delicious dinner. There was a very happy atmosphere with lively conversations and networking. The new Ambassadors for Peace expressed gratitude and said their appointment was a great honor.