INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE
UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 12:00 NOON IN YOUR TIME ZONE

Translate

Sunday, August 13, 2017

#Pray4Peace in #Guam as North Korea deadline looms

The Catholic faithful in Guam led prayers for peace Sunday in the shadow of North Korean missile threat, with the western Pacific island's archbishop appealing for "prudence" amid an escalating war of words between the US and Pyongyang.
The largely Catholic territory should pray for a "just resolution of differences, and prudence in both speech and action", said Archbishop Michael Byrnes, echoing a flurry of international calls for US President Donald Trump to show greater rhetorical restraint.
A "prayers for peace" lunchtime rally in the capital Hagatna drew around 100 people. But despite Guam having become the centre of a threatened showdown between the United States and nuclear-armed North Korea, many said they were unfazed.
"I am really not scared because if it's our time to die it is our time to die," added Sita Manjaras, 62, a retired teacher from Tamuning.
Father Mike Crisostomo said their response to the threat was to have faith and pray.
"This goes to show to the other worlds, to the other nations and the countries, that Guam maybe small, our faith and our trust is big," he said.
Dora Salazar, 82, who made the 14 kilometre (nine mile) journey from the village of Mangilao for the peace rally, said she was praying for the North's leader Kim Jong-Un.
"We pray that God will touch his heart," she said.
- 'Fire and fury' -
In response to Trump's threat of "fire and fury", North Korea has pledged to have plans ready in a matter of days to launch an "enveloping fire" of missiles towards Guam.
At the island's main church, the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Father Paul Gofigan told the congregation to be prepared in case North Korea does launch its missiles.
"What would you do if you have only 14 minutes left? The thing to do is pray and reflect," he said
"Prioritise your life. This is a wake-up call, no matter what happens".
Trump has been engaged all week in verbal sparring with the North over its weapons and missile programs, declaring Friday that the US military is "locked and loaded."
He has told Guam Governor Eddie Calvo that US military was prepared to "ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam."
While 85 percent of Guam's 162,000 residents are Catholic, with temperatures hovering around 31 degrees Celsius (88 Fahrenheit) many locals and tourists preferred to head to the beach rather than church.
"No one feels threatened. Should we? Definitely not," said Australian tourist Kirstie Bridgement.
"Guam is the most protected island. We feel safer than ever."
The island houses two large US military bases and is home to more than 6,000 US military personnel.
American tourist Bryan Sanchez said it was difficult to understand the threat "especially with the way culture is like with memes, anything is going to be turned into a joke.
"People just aren't, I guess, as aggressive or too worried about that kind of stuff in our day and age."
Meanwhile, two community groups opposed to the presence of the US military in Guam, Independent Guahan and Prutehi Litekyan, have organised a "People for Peace" rally in Hagatna on Monday.
"What's happening in Guam is a global issue, because if our island is attacked, it could be the catalyst for a global catastrophe," Kenneth Gofigan Kuper of the Independent Guahan movement said.
The rally organisers said in a statement that "Guam has been forced in the middle of other nations' conflicts, particularly as an unincorporated territory of the United States.
"As a result, many of Guam's people know the painful and horrific effects of war as World II survivors and as veterans.
"Thus, the members of Independent Guahan and Prutehi Litekyan, both organisations dedicated to the decolonisation and demilitarisation of Guam, feel it is imperative for the community to stand together in a call for peace."




Guam residents pray for peace as North Korea deadline looms:







'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

PRAY FOR PEACE in West Africa: Security Council cites terrorism, deteriorating humanitarian conditions as challenges for West Africa

“The Security Council strongly condemns all terrorist attacks carried out in the region, in particular in Northern and Central Mali and the Lake Chad Basin region, notably by Boko Haram and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” said the Security Council President for the month of July, Liu Jieyi, in a presidential statement. On behalf of the Council, Mr. Liu expressed particular concern over attacks on civilians – the primary victims of terrorist violence – while underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to degrade and defeat the terrorists in compliance with international law. “The Security Council encourages Member States and multilateral partners to lend their support to the MNJTF (Multinational Joint Task Force) to ensure its full operationalization, including the provision of modalities to increase the timely and effective exchange of intelligence to further the region's collective efforts to combat Boko Haram, whenever possible and appropriate,” said the statement. The Council underscored its commitment to work through the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) to strengthen cooperation in addressing cross-border security threats and curbing the spread of terrorism. “The Security Council notes the collaboration undertaken between UNOWAS and the Peacebuilding Commission and encourages continued close and effective cooperation in support of sustainable peace in the region,” the statement stressed. In tandem, it referenced the dire humanitarian situation caused by the terrorists' activities in the Lake Chad Basin region and called the international community to “immediately support the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance for the people most affected by the crisis in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria,” including by fulfilling the UN appeal for the Lake Chad Basin region. The Council also urged regional governments to facilitate humanitarian access and to work with the UN in developing aid delivery options. Turning to Côte d'Ivoire, the Council welcomed the progress made on peace, stability and economic prosperity following the 30 June closure of the UN Operation in the country (UNOCI) and emphasized the importance of UNOWAS' engagement during the transition period. Concerned about piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, as well as the trafficking of humans, drugs and other illicit goods, the Council stressed the need to strengthen the fight against illicit activities in the sub-region. The statement welcomed West African leadership in spearheading initiatives addressing terrorism challenges and encouraged collaboration between Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations, the UN and other stakeholders “to enhance social cohesion and to address challenges to good governance.” It also welcomed positive political developments in several West African countries, particularly the free and transparent legislative elections on 6 April in the Gambia – commending the diplomatic efforts by ECOWAS Heads of State that resulted in the peaceful transition of power to the democratically elected President Adama Barrow. The Council encouraged “bilateral and multilateral partners to provide appropriate support to the efforts of the Government of the Gambia to restore the rule of law, reconciliation, and development for the citizens of the Gambia.”"



'via Blog this'  United Nations News Centre - Security Council cites terrorism, deteriorating humanitarian conditions as challenges for West Africa: "24 July 2017 – The Security Council today welcomed recent positive political developments in some West African countries, but expressed concern over the threat of terrorism in the region.

PRAY FOR PEACE in Myanmar as independent UN rights expert says situation 'worsening'

In a statement from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee accused national authorities of “presiding over a worsening security and human rights situation” in the country. Ms. Lee said she catalogued a list of concerns during her 12 day visit to the country, which was held at the invitation of the Government, which also included the use of human shields by security forces and deaths in custody. “I am disappointed to see the tactics applied by the previous Government still being used,” said Ms. Lee, who wrapped up her visit on 21 July. “We are told not to expect Myanmar to transition into a democracy overnight – that it needs time and space,” she continued. “But in the same way, Myanmar should not expect to have its close scrutiny removed or its special monitoring mechanisms dismantled overnight. This cannot happen until there is real and discernible progress on human rights.” The independent expert also raised concern about the situation of the Rohingya people, and said that State protection and security extend “not only to the Rakhine but also the Muslim communities.” In Kachin and Rakhine states, some 100,000 and 120,000 people, respectively, have remained displaced for more than five years following the eruption of inter-communal conflict between Buddhists and minority Muslim Rohingya. Ms. Lee said she was particularly dismayed to learn that the situation in northern Shan State was deteriorating, with reports of more conflict, alleged rights violations by security forces and armed groups, and inadequate assistance for civilians. “There have been numerous reports of killings, torture, even the use of human shields by the armed forces, allegedly in some cases accompanied by threats of further violence if incidents are reported,” said Ms. Lee. The Special Rapporteur, who visited Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw as well as parts of Rakhine, Shan and Kayin States, said she had been “astonished” at Government attempts to limit her activities and movements. The Special Rapporteur also highlighted the confiscation of land to create so-called Special Economic Zones, where land has been confiscated but some farmers still have to pay tax on it. Ms. Lee will present a full report on her visit to the UN General Assembly in October 2017. Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work."



'via Blog this' United Nations News Centre - Back from visit to Myanmar, independent UN rights expert says situation 'worsening': "24 July 2017 – While no one expects an overnight transition to democracy in Myanmar, there has to be real progress on human rights, an independent United Nations expert today said, highlighting reported killings, tortures, and an “ongoing humanitarian crisis” for the Rohingya people and other minorities.

PRAY FOR PEACE in Jerusalem: UN Sec Guterres urges political and religious leaders to refrain from 'provocative actions and rhetoric'

“I reiterate my concern over the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is essential to fully respect the status quo at the holy sites as before 14 July,” the Secretary-General said in a statement. The statement comes in the wake of a series of deadly stabbings, other violent incidents and rising tensions in and around Jerusalem's Old City since mid-June, particularly near the holy site known as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif. Mr. Guterres welcomed the dialogue between Israel and Jordan, in line with Jordan's special and historic role, and encouraged continued discussions on how to ensure security for both worshippers and visitors. “I am particularly concerned about the potential risk of escalating violence; urge all political, religious and community leaders to refrain from provocative action and rhetoric; and call on Israel to demonstrate restraint,” the UN chief concluded. Just yesterday, during a previously scheduled briefing to the Security Council, the UN Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, warned that Swift, decisive action was required to revive negotiations and end the crisis in Jerusalem before rising tensions dragged both Israelis and Palestinians into a crisis that could impact the wider region. Commending decisions by Israeli and Palestinian authorities to restore access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and services to Gaza, he called upon both sides to refrain from activities that could exacerbate tensions. “We must not lose focus on the need to restore a political perspective, on the need to bring Palestinians and Israelis back into an environment that is conductive to negotiations on a final status arrangement and avoids turning the national Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one,” stressed Mr. Mladenov."



'via Blog this'  United Nations News Centre - Jerusalem: Guterres urges political and religious leaders to refrain from 'provocative actions and rhetoric': "26 July 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, concerned by the potential risk of escalating violence over the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem, today urged all political, religious and community leaders to refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric.

PRAY FOR PEACE in Venezuela: UN rights office urges all parties to refrain from violence amid protests

 According to media reports, President Nicolás Maduro declared victory in elections for a Constituent Assembly convened by him. The new body could replace the current legislative body, the National Assembly. “The Office also expressed concern that the Venezuelan authorities continue to violate the right of peaceful assembly by violently dispersing demonstrators,” Mr. Dujarric said. OHCHR calls on the authorities to cease the use of excessive force to repress demonstrations, and to ensure the right of peaceful assembly is respected, and it calls on all parties to refrain from the use of violence, he added. Ahead of Sunday's elections, OHCHR spokesperson Elisabeth Throssell told reporters in Geneva Friday that the Office urged the authorities to manage any protests against the Constituent Assembly vote in line with international human rights norms and standards while calling on those opposing the election and the Assembly to do so peacefully. With regard to the legitimacy of the vote itself, the spokesperson noted that it is “a hugely controversial issue” amplified by the fact that there had been an unofficial consultation by the opposition on the constituent assembly. “[Our] Office is concerned about the environment in which the elections are to take place and believes that a constitutional process can only be successful if based on a broad consensus and the participation of all sectors of society,” Ms. Throssell said. "



'via Blog this'  United Nations News Centre - Venezuela: UN rights office urges all parties to refrain from violence amid protests over weekend polls: "31 July 2017 – The United Nations human rights office has expressed regret that at least 10 people died in Venezuela over the weekend amid clashes between security forces and protestors opposing the Constituent Assembly elections, a spokesman for the Secretary-General said today. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) “calls for the investigations into the deaths to be prompt, effective and independent, and urges the Government to cooperate fully with such investigations,” UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at the daily Headquarters briefing in New York.

PRAY FOR PEACE to Settle Conflicts Because Cost of Feeding Hungry World Surging due to Conflicts and Instability

 “More than anything else, the world needs to wake up, and end these wars and these conflicts, so we can make real progress in ending hunger,” said David Beasley, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme in a news release today. “Around 800 million people – one in nine around the world – go to bed on an empty stomach. But man-made conflicts and other strife make it difficult to help those who need it most. Reducing these roadblocks would ease the path towards long-term solutions.” In its report, World Food Assistance 2017: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead, WFP notes that its costs spiked by more than 140 per cent over a seven-year period – from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $5.3 billion in 2015. The need for additional resources come amid significant changes to the international food assistance sector since 2009. Within WFP, the share of assistance delivered as food declined from 54 per cent to less than 40 per cent. Conversely, the share of cash-based transfers surged from less than 1 per cent in 2009 to 20 per cent in 2016. In this scenario, the WFP report argues that improvements such as more accessible and safe humanitarian access could reduce costs by almost $1 billion each year. Furthermore, if the roughly 80 countries where the UN agency operates were better able to cope with climate-related, political, and economic shocks, another $2.2 billion annually could be saved. And if food systems – the networks responsible for producing food, transforming it and ensuring that it reaches hungry people – could be improved in these countries, another $440 million could be saved annually. “If solutions or improvements to these challenges were found, cost savings to WFP could be as high as $3.5 billion per year,” noted the UN agency."



'via Blog this' United Nations News Centre - Cost of feeding hungry world surging due to conflicts and instability – UN agency: "20 July 2017 – Improved aid access, strengthened resilience and advances in food system networks could provide as much as $3.5 billion in annual cost savings at a time when humanitarian needs are skyrocketing in multiple complex emergencies across the globe, a new United Nations study has found.

PRAY FOR PEACE in Libya: UN Security Council urges all Libyans to support calls for national reconciliation

The United Nations Security Council today welcomed the Joint Declaration issued after a meeting between two Libyan political figures and urged all Libyans to support its calls for a negotiated political solution, national reconciliation, and an immediate ceasefire. The Joint Declaration was issued after a meeting on 25 July between Fayez Al Sarraj, President of the Presidency Council of Libya, and General Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the LNA, hosted in Paris by President Emmanuel Macron. In its statement, the 15-member Council praised “recent efforts to strengthen an inclusive political dialogue among all Libyans, supported by Libya's neighbours, international partners and regional organizations.” The efforts are done within the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement endorsed by UN Security Council resolution 2259 (2015), which endorsed the Rome Communiqué to support the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate Government of Libya. The statement also stressed the “importance of the United Nations' central role in facilitating Libyan-led political dialogue,” and Secretary-General António Guterres's “personal involvement” in helping to build stability, security, and national unity in the country. The Council also welcomed the appointment of Ghassan Salame as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, succeeding Martin Kobler. Mr. Salame will head the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which was established in 2011 by the UN Security Council at the request of the Libyan authorities following six months of armed conflict to support the country's new transitional authorities in their post-conflict efforts."



'via Blog this' United Nations News Centre - UN Security Council urges all Libyans to support calls for national reconciliation: "27 July 2017 –

Be the Peace Leader

Be the Peace Leader
Pray for Peace by Amb Zara Jane Juan

Come & Join Inter-Faith Prayers & Inter-Cultural Dialogue for Peace

Come! Share your Peace! - Ambassador Zara Jane Juan, Sailing for Peace

2012 Video International Day of Peace Vigil by Sailing for Peace

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil
Prayer Vigil for Vatican as Pope expresses sorrow over terrorist attacks and prayed that God will sustain all men of goodwill who courageously roll up their sleeves to deal with the plague of terrorism and this bloodstain which is gripping the world in a shadow of fear and bewilderment

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador
I choose to be a Missionary of the Interfaith, Interracial, Intercultural Sailing for Peace Program inspired and guided by the discipline and life of the Virgin Mary of the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic, a Lady Datin of the Muslims, a Buddhist in my Healthy Lifestyle and a Hindu in Purifying my Soul. With Free Thinking and Scientific Approach to my Peace Work, my life on the over-all is a whirlwind of Faith and Fate. I refuse donations to my peace work to prevent corruption but rather I decided to live a very simple so that I can fund it personally through my own personal income as Professional Resource Speaker, Author, Visual Artist, Playwright and Director

JESUS CHRIST - 7 LAST WORDS - Lenten Recollection for Christians