Pristina, Kosovo—From January to March 2022, UPF-Kosovo established Peace Councils in five cities.
Each of the five inaugural events was held in the city’s Municipal Assembly building under the auspices of the city mayor, who also was appointed as an Ambassador for Peace.
Mr. Binak Ulaj, the chairman of the UPF General Council of Kosovo, and Mrs. Ejona Icka, the secretary general of UPF-Kosovo, traveled to each city and spoke at each event.
Mr. Ulaj cordially thanked all the participants and especially the mayor who enabled the event to be held in the Municipal Assembly building. He emphasized that the UPF vision is necessary for the people of Kosovo to succeed in building a lasting peace.
Then Mrs. Icka gave a presentation about the UPF Principles as well as UPF activities organized in Kosovo in recent years.
A highlight of each event was a ceremony appointing prominent local citizens as Ambassadors for Peace.
Prizren, January 14, 2022
Mr. Bedri Çejku, the chairman of the Prizren District Peace Council, was the moderator of the event, which was attended by about 40 people.
Mr. Shaqir Totaj, the mayor of Prizren, Kosovo’s second-largest city, which is located in Prizren District, welcomed the participants. He stressed that Prizren is a city where several communities live together. Tolerance, harmony and living in peace are the virtues of his city, he said.
“UPF is welcome in our municipality, and we will work together for the smooth running of UPF activities in Prizren,” the mayor said.
The 12 new Ambassadors for Peace from Prizren District included:
- Shaqir Totaj, the mayor of Prizren;
- Emilija Redžepi, the deputy prime minister of Kosovo;
- Sejnur Veshall, the Kosovan deputy minister of culture, youth and sports.
Rahovec, February 4, 2022
Mr. Smajl Latifi, the mayor of the Prizren District town of Rahovec, was the host of the event, which had more than 50 attendees.
Mr. Ulaj, Mrs. Icka and Mr. Çejku again represented UPF-Kosovo.
The 12 new Ambassadors for Peace included Mayor Latifi and three university professors in the fields of teaching and engineering.
Dragash, February 18, 2022
Approximately 22 participants attended the meeting in this Prizren District town’s Municipal Assembly building.
Dr. Bexhet Xheladini, the mayor of Dragash, welcomed the participants, saying that he was very proud to host an activity that talks about the essence of human beings: love and peace. He also said he felt honored to be appointed as an Ambassador for Peace and promised to give maximum support for UPF activities in Dragash.
The mayor stressed that he has “started the path of peace today, because I have been invited to receive the title of Ambassador for Peace.”
The seven new Ambassadors for Peace included Mayor Xheladini; former Mayor Shaban Shabani; and Mrs. Duda Balje, a member of the Assembly of Kosovo.
Ferizaj, February 26, 2022
In Ferizaj, Kosovo’s third-largest city and the seat of Ferizaj District, about 25 participants attended the meeting in the Municipal Assembly building.
The event was opened by Mrs. Mexhide Mjaku Topalli. a member of the Assembly of Kosovo (2016-2020) and chair of the parliamentary group of women MPs, who is also an Ambassador for Peace. In her speech, Mrs. Mjaku stressed the importance of the UPF vision in peacebuilding and the need for each Ambassador for Peace to be involved as seriously as possible in the development of the country and overcoming challenges.
Thirteen prominent personalities of the Ferizaj District were honored for their work and contribution to society with the title "Ambassador for Peace." These included: Mr. Burim Meta, a member of the Assembly of Kosovo from the city of Ferizaj; and Don. Viktor Sopi, the general director of Caritas Kosovo.
The meeting also featured elections for the Peace Council:
Mrs. Mexhide Mjaku Topalli, chairwoman;
Mrs. Lindita Isufi, vice president;
Mr. Driton Ramadani, vice president;
Mr. Albion Sherifi, secretary.
Klina, March 18, 2022
About 12 participants attended the meeting in the town of Klina, which is located in Peja District.
Professor Dr. Fadil Millaku, a former rector of "Haxhi Zeka" University in the city of Peja, who is also an Ambassador for Peace, was the event moderator. He cordially thanked all the participants and expressed his appreciation for the work of the UPF founders.
Then the mayor of Klina, Professor Dr. Zenun Elezaj, offered words of greeting.
The seven new Ambassadors for Peace included a doctor, a university professor and a journalist.
Peja District Peace Council Planning Meeting, March 9, 2022
The meeting was opened by the council chairwoman, Professor Dr. Mehrije Hoti.
The Peace Council drafted a work plan for its activities in 2022:
- March - Establishment of the Peace Council in the Municipality of Klina
- April - Establishment of the Peace Council in the Municipality of Decani
- April - Establishment of the Peace Council in the Municipality of Junik
- May - Establishment of the Peace Council in the Municipality of Istog
- May – A conference at "Haxhi Zeka" University in Peja to commemorate International Day of Families.
- June – A “peace exhibition” of paintings
- September - A "Peace Road” bicycling event
Ferizaj District Peace Council Planning Meeting, March 17, 2022
The meeting was opened by the president of the Peace Council, Mrs. Mexhide Mjaku Topalli, a former member of the Assembly of Kosovo.
The council drafted its annual plan of activities:
- March - Meeting with religious leaders of the municipality of Ferizaj
- May – A conference at the University of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj to commemorate International Day of Families.
- September – A "Peace Road" event with bicycling and hiking.