Distinguished Guests, Ambassadors of Peace, Ladies & Gentlemen, on behalf of the Founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and the members of the Board of Directors and the Presiding Council of UPF International, it is my privilege to address you today here in Paris for this conference on Cooperating for a Culture of Peace and Human Development.

Cet article a pour vocation de questionner l’engouement actuel de l’Occident pour l’Orient. D’une part cet article constitue une présentation des principales cultures, philosophies et religions d’Asie et d’autre part il met aussi en lumière les enjeux géopolitiques, économiques et sociétaux entre l’Orient et l’Occident. Cette démarche recouvre tout le champ théorique des sciences humaines, tout en laissant une place à des aspects plus pratiques, notamment à travers des exposés d’élèves. L'article convoque de manière transversale l’ensemble du champ des sciences humaines en privilégiant une approche à la fois culturelle, spirituelle et géopolitique.

The global agendas for the 21st century are marked by an enhanced focus on the human being, on the citizen and on societies in addition to the traditional addressing of issues related to governments and states. Peace is not any more the achievement of governmental armament, defended borders and related policies but, as the title of our meeting indicates, the result of value structures of societal cultures carried by the human being and by societies.

I want to start with a practical example of volunteering. This summer I was part of the Religious Youth Service (RYS). It took place in Estonia, Johvi, from the 1st to 10th of August. The project was supported by the Lutheran church of St. Michael, which provided us with accommodation, food and work support. 20 representatives from 13 different countries participated at this RYS projects, such as Germany, France, Austria, UK, Japan, USA, Canada, Italy, Greece, Estonia, and Philippines.

Consisting of young people as well as a professional working with youth, the Youth Panel aimed to explore the role that youth volunteering can have in enhancing a culture of peace between Europe and Eurasia. The opportunities and challenges of organising joint Europe and Eurasia youth volunteering projects as a way of enhancing peace between the regions was looked at through discussing existing projects, the impact these have, and through proposing possible new initiatives.

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