Global Peace Convention 2014 Hosts World Leadersfrom 40 Nations in Asuncion, Paraguay
Paraguay’s President, Vice President Join 14 Former Heads of State at Global Assembly and Latin American Presidential Mission Summit
More than 3,300 government, civil society and faith leaders from 40 nations addressed peace and development priorities in Latin America and around the world at the Sixth Global Peace Convention in Asuncion on November 19-21, 2014.
The first Global Peace Convention hosted in Latin America, it was also the first to bring into focus the Global Peace Foundation’s comprehensive, values-based efforts to advance national renewal though grass-roots social development projects and political reform.
The three-day convening, “Roadmap for National Transformation: Liberty, Prosperity an Integrity through Moral and Innovative Leadership,” underscored the importance of shared principles and values and their practical applications in advancing social cohesion and human development.
Paraguayan President Horatio Cartes, Vice President Juan Afara, Speaker of the Parliament Hugo Velazquez and fourteen former Latin American presidents joined GPF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon at the historic opening session.
In his keynote address, GPF Chairman Dr. Moon said that while many developing nations today are experiencing economic growth and greater democratization, they also face challenges of instability, inequitable development, and governments tainted by corruption. “How these challenges are met will have great significance for global peace and prosperity,” he said.
“Paraguay shows the foundational importance of principles and values, and their translation into initiatives that promote social transformation, leading to greater political and social stability. This in turn opens the door for sustainable economic development.”
Noting the social costs of material prosperity in many developed countries, Dr. Moon said many nations are looking for “new models of national transformation that can stimulate economic development and material prosperity without having to compromise spiritual and moral traditions or their roots in strong family values.”
Paraguay, he said, “shows the foundational importance of principles and values, and their translation into initiatives that promote social transformation, leading to greater political and social stability. This in turn opens the door for sustainable economic development.”
The Convention also highlighted the Global Peace Foundation’s ongoing initiatives in Paraguay. Panels on education examined GPF’s signature Character and Creativity Initiative and GPF Paraguay’s extensive character education programs in primary and secondary schools, supported by the Ministry of Education.
In a major assembly of women leaders, more than 1,000 participants affirmed women’s significant role in community-building and capacity to balance responsibilities and relationships, which have often been overlooked in political and economic spheres.
GLOBAL PEACE CONVENTION 2014 “Roadmap for National Transformation: Liberty, Prosperity and Integrity through Moral and Innovative Leadership”
The Convention also highlighted the significant impact of the Instituto de Desarrollo del Pensamiento Patria Soñada (IDPPS), a GPF-backed research institute, in advancing national renewal in Paraguay. The IDPPS has provided expertise for the development of Alto Paraguay, the nation’s least developed state. It has also been instrumental in furthering political reform and transparency in Paraguay, and in developing a “roadmap” for national development by identifying challenges and opportunities in the globalized economy.
Summit of Presidents
The Global Peace Convention also hosted the Second Summit of the Latin American Presidential Mission, a historic gathering of democratically elected former presidents from Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
Putting aside political differences, the former presidents offered their perspectives in Presidential Panels including “Leadership for National Transformation: Integrity and Innovation”; “Republican Democracy: Freedom with Responsibility”; Prosperity, Equal Opportunities, and Social Integration; and “Regional and Global Blocs: Where Are We Heading? ”
The former presidents also served as panelists in convention sessions addressing interfaith cooperation and peacebuilding, the role of business in fostering peace, community and regional development, support for families and youth, and the responsibility of media is democratic society.
A Global Service Panel: “Building Regional Youth Service Partnerships for Peace and Development,” highlighted volunteering models of practitioners and leaders from Latin America, Asia and Africa, including GPF-supported Africa Alliance for Service and Peacebuilding, and an emerging international service partnership of government and civil society in Southeast Asia.
The Global Peace Convention also hosted the Sixth International Young Leaders Assembly: “Vision, Service, Entrepreneurship,” drawing some 1,000 youth from Latin America as well as Bangladesh, Australia, United States, Great Britain, and Nepal.
In an address delivered by his regional representative, United Nations Special Envoy of Youth Ahmed Ahlendawhi told the assembly, “This is the moment in time that nations should be investing in adolescent development. Our common future will be determined by how we provide opportunities for youth to have access to freedoms and opportunities.”
Concluding special sessions highlighted some of the significant work of GPF around the world that engage partners from government, civil society and the faith community.
Projects such as Action for Korea United, a grassroots coalition of some 400 NGOs working to advance Korean unification, place special emphasis on universal principles and shared values as a basis for peace and economic and social development.
The 2014 Global Peace Convention concluded with a gala celebration honoring distinguished leaders in the fields of interfaith, family, service and scholarship. Dr. KH. Said Aqiel Siradj, Executive Council Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in the world; Hon. Marlene Ocampos, the current Governor of Alto Paraguay State in Paraguay, Dr. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC; and Dr. Isabelita M. Borres, Regional Director of the Department of Education in the Republic of the Philippines were presented with the 2014 Global Peace Awards.