Dublin, Ireland—UPF held its first meeting of the year, inviting new and veteran Ambassadors for Peace for a review of 2022 and planning for the new year.
The group then joined a commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day that was being held at the Lord Mayor’s residence.
At the meeting at Unity House, the UPF national headquarters, on January 29, 2023, UPF-Ireland Secretary General Colm Ó Cionnaith gave an overview of the UPF mission and its work in areas such as marriage and family, UN relations, the environment, economic development, and education.
He also reviewed the Irish chapter’s 2022 activities, such as the celebrations of the United Nations’ International Day of Families in May and UN International Day of Peace in September—in the latter of which the now annual “Peace Road” event was held in the city of Armagh in Northern Ireland.
Maryam Temile was appointed as the new Global Peace Council member for Ireland, and Zeinab El Mustafa was thanked for her representation in the previous term.
Mr. Ó Cionnaith outlined the UPF founder Father Moon’s vision for the Global Peace Council, as that of an upper chamber in the UN for faith leaders, community leaders, people of conscience and those with a motivation and remit beyond narrow national political affiliation, a “UN Senate” comprising those who aspire to “live for sake of others.”
Refreshments were provided by Ambassador for Peace Sudhansh Verma of the Hindu Vedic community. The group introduced each other and heard plans for 2023. Many participants proposed ideas for upcoming projects, collaborations, and other suggestions to help UPF-Ireland grow and achieve its goals in peacebuilding on the island and in supporting Ambassadors for Peace in their communities with their own project ideas.
After the meeting, the group attended the National Holocaust Commemoration at the Round Room of the Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, where the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar gave the keynote address to an assembly of Holocaust survivors and their families, faith leaders, program participants and the public.
The speakers reminded us of the importance of “Never Forgetting” the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust and of our responsibility to oppose hatred, Holocaust denial, Nazism and ethnic cleansing in all its forms and manifestations today. After the solemn, poignant, and very moving event, Ambassadors for Peace mingled with the large crowd, talking informally to political, NGO and other community and faith leaders.