Istanbul, Turkey—Ambassadors for Peace and friends of UPF were invited to meet Jacques Marion, the UPF co-chair for Europe and the Middle East, on his visit to Istanbul.
The meeting on October 21, 2023, at UPF’s Peace Embassy was moderated by Binod Paudel, the president of UPF-Turkey. At the beginning of the meeting, he called on everyone to stand for a minute’s silence for all those in the Middle East region who had lost their lives in recent months, both to war and many natural disasters.
David Fraser Harris, the UPF secretary general for the Middle East, greeted the Ambassadors for Peace and new friends.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Fraser Harris pointed out that everyone in the room was “at the table” and thus could play their part in developing UPF in Turkey.
He gave a brief account of UPF’s efforts, working together with partners, to bring badly needed help following the earthquakes in Syria, Turkey and Morocco and the devastating floods in Libya.
Reiterating UPF’s commitment to never cease striving for peace despite the many, many setbacks, he concluded by reading UPF's Response and Call to Action on Israel and Gaza.
Following a video presenting the reach and impact of UPF’s Rally of Hope series, Mr. Paudel introduced Mr. Marion, who presented the UPF vision and key areas of focus.
Mr. Marion drew on a seminal address given by UPF’s co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon in 2001, at the time when the role of Ambassadors for Peace was first created. Highlighting several crucial steps that are necessary for bringing peace to the world, Reverend Moon elaborated on living for the sake of others, the fundamental role of the family, interreligious cooperation, and the vital role of the United Nations.
After Mr. Marion’s talk, each person present could offer his or her own perspective and ideas on contributing to the peace process at home and abroad, each bringing to the table their experience in their own field.
Those present included a journalist who played a key role in relief efforts in the epicenter of February’s earthquake; a lawyer who is active with NGOs helping refugee children; a political advisor; a lecturer in human rights and diplomacy; several authors; and more than one international business entrepreneur.
Five new Ambassadors of Peace were appointed: Professor Dr. Feyza Basar, Dr. Furkan Övündür, Professor Dr. Kemal Yildirim, Professor Dr. Ali Denizli and Zuhal Mansfield. Mr. Marion presented the Ambassador for Peace certificates.
In his closing remarks, Umberto Angelucci, the UPF co-chair for the Middle East, emphasized the important role Turkey can play for peace in the region.