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Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, France—A diverse audience from all over France gathered to study the UPF Principles of Peace.

The seminar, "UPF's Vision and Principles of Peace," was held on July 6 and 7, 2023, at the Domaine Saint Paul conference center in the town of Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse in north-central France.

The two-day seminar was held jointly by the French chapters of UPF and Women's Federation for World Peace, an affiliated organization.

The nearly 30 participants represented a dozen nationalities and a wide variety of backgrounds. In addition, 10 persons followed online, from as far away as Johannesburg and Kinshasa.

The first session, "The Founders: A Life in the Service of Peace," was presented by Hugo Veracx, the UPF chair for Western Europe.

The second session, "Realizing a World of Love: Vision, Strategies, Human Responsibility," was presented by Jacques Marion, the UPF regional co-chair for Europe and the Middle East.

The sessions that followed were given by Laurent Ladouce, director of the Culture and Peace Project, who offered basic introductions to the Unification Principle, the message that underpins the two federations' actions for peace.

On the first evening, an after-dinner gathering was enlivened by exchanges and songs offered by some talented participants.

The final presentation, on Friday afternoon, was given by Jacques Marion on the theme "A Philosophy of Peace for Our Times."

The seminar concluded with a reflection session, during which several participants offered a "word of closure."

Among them, Mbeugue Dieng from Senegal, an Ambassador for Peace and the president of CAP SN - REFEM / Diappalante, a network of Muslim women acting against poverty, highlighted the importance of our peace federations in her nation. She recalled the visit of founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to Dakar during the African Summit in 2018.

Another moving testimony came from Ramesh Chander Vohra, the founder and president of the Interfaith Shaheedi Commemoration Association (https://www.ifscfr.org), who recently met UPF through one of our active Ambassadors for Peace, Faiza Chaker.

After he retired, Mr. Vohra dedicated himself to the memory of the Indian soldiers who died for France during the First World War without receiving a proper burial or commemoration. A total of 140,000 Indian soldiers, of all ethnicities and denominations, fought in northern France and Belgium, and over 74,000 gave their lives between 1914 and 1919, he said.

Mr. Vohra spoke of his goal of establishing an international, interreligious Peace Garden, with universal peace at its heart. He testified how significant his meeting UPF was at this turning point in his commitment.

At the end of the seminar, the attendees expressed their regret at parting from each other, and they wished for future opportunities for such enriching and cordial encounters.

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