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The International Leadership Conference and Summit on New Vision for Cooperation between Europe and Africa

Introduction

The Conference was convened the by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Women’s Federation for World Peace. The night of arrival the organizers organized a dinner for the participants and UPF International President Dr. Thomas Walsh welcomed all the guests.

The next day, the Official Opening plus all day sessions were held at the Presidential Palace of Malta on November 5 and the participants were welcomed by an Honor Guard of soldiers in colorful medieval costume on behalf of the Maltese Ministry of Tourism.

The use of this venue throughout November 5 for the leadership conference was a big honor from President George Abela; of the Island Nation of Malta. Another rare honor was that the Malta Presidential granted the Presidential Dining Hall to be used too.

 Khimulu’s participation

  • Presented a Paper entitles: “ Women: A bright future for Africa and Beyond.” 
  • One of the presenters on the second day at the High Level Panel session, held at the Le Meridien St. Julian Hotel
  •  The panel consisted of 3 speakers from Africa and 3 from Europe each giving a short presentation of their personal insights on key ways in which Europe and Africa can draw closer in years to come, centered on the 'Culture of Peace' as propounded by UNESCO. The High-Level Panel discussion, were chaired by Mark Brann; Secretary General of UPF-Europe. After presentations there was question and answer sessions and inputs from the floor further rejoinders by panelists to the issues raised from the floor.
  •  The other panelists were as follows:

The Hon. Pascal Gayama, Minister Plenipotentiary and adviser to the President of Congo, former UN Ambassador and Security Council President, Former Deputy Secretary?General of the Organization of African Unity, and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

-          Baroness Gloria Hooper, Current Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords (UK) and former UK Government Minister

-          H.E. Mr. Malimba Masheke, former Prime Minister of Zambia

-          H.E. Robert Vandemeulebroucke, former Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Benin, and Togo

-          Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Former Speaker of the Austrian Parliament and  Defence  Minister

Other participants included

  • The Hon. Michael Frendo, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta, opened the conference and welcomed participants in Malta
  • H.E. Davidson L. Hepburn, President of the 35th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, gave the perspective of UNESCO's mission and its guiding principles in relationship to the conference theme.
  • H.E. Agbéyomé Kodjo, former Prime Minister of Togo (2000 to 2002), spoke on the need for ethical and religious principles as a ground for good governance.
  • H.E. Dr. Abdelaziz Hegazy , former Prime Minster of Egypt
  • H.E. Mr.Malimba Masheke; former Prime Minister  of Zambia (1989 – 1991)
  • UPF International President Dr. Thomas Walsh, UPF Secretary General Taj Hamad UPF-Japan’s Chairman, Rev. Hideo Oyamada; Dr. Yong Cheon Song, UPF-Europe’s Chairman and other UPF Regional Leaders.
  • Ms. Carolyn Handschin, Vice President WFWP- Europe.
  • Mr. Therese Nlandu, was a Presidential Candidate in DRC
  • Dr. Afred Sant; former Prime Minister in Malta.
  • Former Head of State  San Marino, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Kosovo in addition to other Ministers and senior dignitaries.( 25 European and 7 African nations, Middle East)

 Main Discussion

Discussions were on A New Vision for Cooperation Between Europe and Africa and The Culture of Peace and Europe’s relationship with Africa in the context of the Arab Spring revolutions, the emerging powerful economic relationships with China, India, and Brazil, the need for gender equality, development, and aid effectiveness were assessed by the group in attendance that included politicians, diplomats, economists, and religious experts from both continents.

The Malta Declaration

At the conclusion of this historic conference assessing “A New Vision for Cooperation between Europe and Africa and the Culture of Peace,”

We propose that the relationship of Europe and Africa be fostered, for the sake of peace and development, through mutual respect, dialogue, and "people to people" interaction, guided by the principle of living for the sake of others. In this way, we can build a culture of peace.

Just as Malta has sustained its neutrality under many trials and embraced its neighbors to the north and south, Europe and Africa should hold to a relationship that recognizes their common interest in cooperation for prosperity and peace. By engaging in ongoing, constructive dialogue both Europeans and Africans can achieve greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of one another.

Conclusion

This was a very good conference and issues were discussed freely. Africa was not viewed as a receiving Continent but a continent that has a lot to contribute to other continents.

It was very interesting too on the conclusion of the first day’s sessions for the participants to be taken for a walk through Mdina; the ancient capital of Malta where the apostle Paul ventured after being shipwrecked on the shores of Malta while en route to Rome and where he met and converted to Christianity the Roman Governor of the time. It has massive fortified walls, beautiful residences, and a public building within. Participants took a leisurely and absorbing one-hour guided tour around this ‘Silent City’ and marveled at the panoramic view over Malta from the highest point on the island before returning to the conference hotel for dinner.

Participants also got a chance for the UPF General Secretary to introduce UPF’s understanding of the necessity to consider universal principles, which can be accepted by people of all traditions and cultures, as the basis for a global culture of peace. In his PowerPoint presentation, UPF-Europe Vice?Chairman Timothy Miller pointed out two fundamental principles: the dual-purpose principle and its relevance to good governance and the pair-system principle as the key to establishing the family as the school of love and lasting peace.

H.E. Mary Mbiro Khimulu, Ph.D

Ambassador/Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO

 

 

 

 

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