INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Live from Hiroshima - 6th of August - WPPS Supports WDOP and IDP - Amb. Zara Jane Juan

72nd Anniversary of the first atomic bomb HIROSHIMA, JAPAN Sunday - 6 August 2017 JOIN US IN A Live WEBCAST from Hiroshima Peace Park The live event will broadcast between 7:45 am - 11:00am Japan Time The World Peace Prayer Society UStream Broadcast LIVE from HIROSHIMA Commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the  dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima Japan:  August 6th 8:10 am - 10:30 am USA EST: August 5th 7:10pm - 9:30 pm GMT: August 5th 11:10 pm - August 6th 01:30 am Watch Live on UStream Please visit The World Peace Prayer Society Register to send your Prayers to Hiroshima Click here to Register and for Program Information May Peace Prevail On Earth " PLEASE REGISTER HERE: http://www.worldpeace.org/activities_teleconference.php



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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pray for Peace in South Sudan: Thousands of Civilians fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region

Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, told reporters from Juba, the capital.

He added that while it is unclear which side began the fighting, the military advance by the South Sudan forces “is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire” declared by the Government in May.

Mr. Shearer said there has been “active military engagement” over the past week north of Pagak, and at least 25 aid workers have relocated in the area as a result of the insecurity.

The senior UN official, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country, or UNMISS, also voiced great concern about an orphanage near Torit, south of Juba, surrounded by Government and rebel fighters who are preparing to fight.

“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” Mr. Shearer stressed.

RELATED: South Sudan: UN, partners seek $1.4 billion for 'world's fastest growing refugee crisis'

Requests by UNMISS to access the Hope for South Sudan Orphanage have been denied “locally, on the ground.”

The Government forces central command in Juba yesterday gave UNMISS “the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to the orphanage. I’m hopeful that will happen today,” he added.

Mr. Shearer urged both sides to reflect on President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day message of peace and withdraw from the facility.

In addition to accessing the orphanage, a group of Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent to protect civilians and the UN base in Torit.

“The number of patrols we can undertake in the town will increase with the additional peacekeepers. In turn, that should provide more security and boost confidence,” said Mr. Shearer.

He noted that his deputy, Moustapha Soumaré, is travelling to Torit tomorrow and will report back."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - UN in South Sudan concerned about civilians fleeing clashes in Upper Nile: "Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region, a senior United Nations official today said, expressing grave concern about what is already the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Pray for Peace in Ukraine: More than 1.7 million people have been displaced since the start of the conflict.....UN chief Guterres urges full respect for ceasefire

"Speaking to the press in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on all sides to fully respect the ceasefire and underscored the Organization's support to the country and its people.

“You can be sure that for us this is something that we keep in the agenda. It is not a forgotten situation,” said Mr. Guterres at a press conference, alongside Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine.

“The human rights bodies of the UN are, of course, active in relation to the situation, and, as it is known, the High Commissioner [for human rights] will be providing also his report on the human rights situation in Crimea in due time,” he noted.

He added that the UN is ready to support all efforts, including those of the Normandy Four, the Trilateral Contact Group and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

In his remarks, the Secretary-General also highlighted the UN's support to humanitarian activities in the country and said that it would enhance its cooperation with the Government and that it will work to overcome any challenges in reaching the populations in distress.

More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Ukraine since the start of the conflict."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - In Ukraine, UN chief Guterres urges full respect for ceasefire:

Pray for Peace in Yemen: Increasing battles of attrition are extracting a terrible toll on the country’s women, men and children....calling for concrete action to end the fighting

“The country is not suffering from a single emergency but a number of complex emergencies,” said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, noting that more than 20 million across the country are affected, including almost seven million at the risk of famine.

Of most concern is the rapid spread of cholera across the country, with at least 300,000 suspected cases and over 1,700 deaths. Tackling the disease has become even more complicated with the Yemen’s health system tethering on the verge of collapse.

“Tens of thousands of healthcare workers have not been paid for many months, more than half of the country's health facilities have closed and supplies of medicine and medical equipment remain severely limited,” added Mr. Cheikh Ahmed.

In his remarks, the Special Envoy also commended the efforts of Yemeni civil society for peace in spite of many security challenges there and called on the political leadership to recognize that the continuation of the conflict would lead only to more human and physical loss.

“Yemen’s political leaders must listen and heed the calls of the Yemeni people demanding peace. History will not judge kindly those who have used the war to increase their influence or profit from the public finances, and Yemenis’ patience will not last,” he underscored.

Also at today’s Security Council briefing, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, noted the work done by UN and humanitarian agencies but warned that they “cannot replace State functions.”


José Graziano da Silva (left on screen), Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), addresses via video conference the Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen. Next to him Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (centre on screen), Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debeb
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Underscoring the need to ensure payments to the country’s public servants and ensuring operations of its health services, Mr. O’Brien called for predictable and stable access for both humanitarian and commercial imports through Yemen’s land and port routes.

In particular, he stressed the need to ensure that Yemeni people and critical infrastructure are protected.

“For as long as military actions continue, all parties must comply with their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law, and all States must exert their influence to ensure the parties do so. Today, they are not doing so. This must change,” he said.

“As I have said before, this is a man-made crisis, and the sheer scale of humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people is a direct result of the conflict and serious violations of international law. Humanity simply cannot continue to lose out to politics,” he underlined.

Also briefing the 15-member Security Council today, via video conference, José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that the conflict in Yemen had disrupted agricultural livelihoods, exasperating food insecurity.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification conducted in March this year, registered a 20 percent increase in the number of people estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above). Seven million are in IPC Phase 4 meaning they are a step away from being classified to be in Famine (IPC Phase 5).

Furthermore, in addition to dwindling agricultural produce, meat and livestock products have also sharply declined on the back of disease surveillance and vaccination programmes have come to a halt pushing the risk of disease outbreaks higher, noted the UN agriculture agency.

"



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - Senior UN officials urge concrete action to end Yemen conflict, ease ‘appalling’ humanitarian situation:

Pray for Peace in Central African Republic (CAR): Children increasingly targeted for murder, rape

: "Renewed fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) is increasingly targeting children, while there are concerns that the humanitarian needs in the country could escalate to levels not seen since the crisis four years ago, United Nations humanitarian officials today said.

Months of renewed fighting have led to an “increasing number of violent acts” targeting the youngest population, including murders, abductions, rape and recruitment into armed groups, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.

Christine Muhigana, UNICEF Representative in CAR warned that “armed groups and parties to the conflict must cease these flagrant violations of children’s rights and make every effort to keep children safe.”

The exact numbers of attacks on children is unknown because fighting prevents humanitarian access to many areas, the UN agency said, but “is almost certain to be much higher than officially reported figures.”

In addition to brutal crimes, the intensified violence is preventing children from going to school or even getting basic vaccines.

In the southern areas of CAR, the fighting is driving people to flee into remote areas of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where they are nearly out of reach of the humanitarian community.

As of the end of June, some 103,000 CAR refugees were registered in the DRC, said William Spindler, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Refugees are staying everywhere they can – in churches, in buildings used as schools, in the only health centre, or sleeping in the open. People desperately need more healthcare, food and shelter,” Mr. Spindler told journalists in Geneva about the situation in Ndu, which is barely more than a village.

Also today, the UN’s top humanitarian official expressed extreme concern about the upsurge in fighting since the start of the year, and warned that it puts at risk the gains made since 2015.

“If we do not act now and keep the faith, we will see increasing need and even greater vulnerability of already weakened people. We risk seeing even greater stress on the capacities of humanitarian actors and funding mechanisms,” said the UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien.

Speaking to reporters in Bangui on the last of his three-day visit, Mr. O’Brien urged the international community to sustain its efforts for the sake of CAR’s people and the future of the country.

The continued deterioration has led the humanitarian community to revise its Humanitarian Response Plan, which now requires $497 million, but is only 24 per cent funded, he said."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - Children increasingly targeted for murder, rape in Central African Republic – UNICEF

Pray for Peace in West Africa and Sahel region: Terrorism and violent extremism, which aggravate humanitarian crises and erode the integrity of the region's States, have exacerbated traditional threats in Mali, Mauritania, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria and Niger and Chad

"Amid rising terrorism and violent extremism in West Africa and the United Nations envoy for the region called on the Security Council to further support national and Regional efforts to combat this "serious threat", including strengthening the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

The efforts of the region's States towards broader development, increased investment, improved infrastructure and job creation are being undermined by factors of insecurity “both traditional and new,” warned Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWAS).

Terrorism and violent extremism, which aggravate humanitarian crises and erode the integrity of the region's States, have exacerbated traditional threats in West Africa and the Sahel region, which includes Mali, Mauritania, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria and Niger and Chad.

“These factors, combined with climate change, youth bulge and unemployment and unchecked urbanization constitute veritable push factors underpinning the surge in irregular migration and human trafficking,” he explained to the Council.

In the Sahel, the envoy continued, instability in Mali continues to spread into north-eastern Burkina Faso and western Niger, as evidenced by the recent deadly attacks in the border areas between these three countries. In the Liptako-Gourma region, which links Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, the past month has been marked by an intensification of terrorist activities and violent extremism, including coordinated cross-border attacks on border crossings.

The leaders of those three countries met in Niamey on 24 January, and announced the formation of a multinational security force. The announcement came in the context of ongoing discussions on the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S), an initiative that also includes, in addition to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, Chad and Mauritania. He called on the Security Council to further support the national and regional initiatives of the Sahel States against violent extremism and terrorism.

Turning to the situation in the Lake Chad Basin, Mr. Chambas said that despite the remarkable efforts of the Multinational Joint Force against Boko Haram, recent attacks demonstrated that the terrorist group remains a “serious threat” to the region. The mode and sophistication of these attacks, he added, suggest that the terrorist group has benefited from reinforcements.

The attacks, the UNOWAS chief stressed, have “devastating humanitarian consequences” in the Lake Chad Basin, where 5.2 million people, many of whom are displaced, are in a vulnerable situation.

At the same time, the threats posed by extremists and terrorist groups should not obscure other traditional threats to security in the region, such as the rise of inter-communal tensions in several countries, including clashes between herders and farmers. Also of concern is the intensification of smuggling, cross-border crime and human trafficking in areas where State structures are scarce.

“This insecurity,” he said, “also extends to the Gulf of Guinea, where piracy is increasing.”

In view of these threats, he considered that the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel presents an effective multidimensional response to streamline efforts and reduce duplication between the various initiatives in the Sahel.

In that context, Mr. Chambas said he is ready to continue working with the States of the region to strengthen justice, the rule of law, security reform and national reconciliation"



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - UN envoy calls on Security Council to further support fight against terrorism in West Africa, Sahel:

Pray for Peace in DR Congo: Violence on rise amid little political progress

"The security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be a major source of concern, with violence in the Kasai provinces, in the western part of the vast country, reaching “disturbing” levels, the United Nations Security Council was told today.

Presenting the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the DRC, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who recently visited the country, urged the Council to support the Government and the people to preserve the gains of the past 17 years.

“The current political impasse, the rising insecurity, and the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in the DRC require a concerted response from regional and international partners,” Mr. Lacroix said.

“This response must aim to help to create the conditions for a successful transition and the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections, in accordance with the Constitution,” he stressed, with a nod to a political agreement signed last year which specified that elections would be held by the end of this year.

The agreement – facilitated by Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) mediators, and reached in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, on 31 December 2016 – allowed President Joseph Kabila to stay in power beyond the end of his term.

In today’s statement, Mr. Lacroix said implementation of the Agreement “remains largely inadequate.”

“At a time when the DRC is at the mid-point of its transition, it is more necessary than ever for national political actors and international partners, including the members of the Council, to remobilize the political agreement of 31 December 2016,” the senior UN official stressed.

Supporting the implementation of the Agreement – in addition to paving the way for elections and protecting civilians – remains a key priority of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUSCO, Mr. Lacroix said.

He underscored his commitment “to ensuring that MONUSCO delivers on its core mandated objectives as efficiently and effectively as possible” while responding to the changing situation on the ground.

MONUSCO is currently undergoing a strategic review, which will likely result shifts in its structure and mandate, based on options presented to the Security Council by 30 September.


Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefs the Security Council on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: UN Photo/ Manuel Elias
‘Reports of daily human rights violations and abuse’
Amid the political impasse, the focus in the country faces rising insecurity, with particular concern over violence in the Kasai provinces, and a recent increase in inter-ethnic violence there.
“Disturbing reports of human rights violations and abuses continue to be received on a daily basis,” Mr. Lacroix said.

Dozens of mass graves have been reported so far, and the national investigation efforts are “slow,” he said, adding that “MONUSCO has also received disturbing reports of summary executions and rapes including of civilians by the security forces.”

Between May and June, the number of displaced persons in the DRC increased by 26 per cent to 1.3 million, according to UN figures.

Noting that he visited the country last month, Mr. Lacroix said he had stressed the need to prioritize political means to address the situation in the Kasais and emphasized the urgency of ensuring accountability.

He also stressed UN’s continued focus on ensuring that those responsible for the killing of UN human rights colleagues, Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, are brought to justice.

Despite the insecurity, MONUSCO has been able to support pockets of stability, such as in the town of Tshimbulu, where some schools and churches have reopened.

“Through a combination of human rights monitoring and political outreach, supported by a light but increasing military presence, the Mission is helping to bring back some measure of stability wherever it can,” Mr. Lacroix said."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - Security Council warned DR Congo’s violence on rise amid little political progress:

Pray for Peace in East Africa: Worsening Hunger amid third consecutive failed rainy season

"The third consecutive failed rainy season in East Africa has seriously eroded families' resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required, the United Nations agricultural agency has warned.

According to an alert released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), poor rains have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead.

“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO's Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon in a news release. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”

Families are simply running out of ways to cope
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.

Increasing humanitarian need
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in these five countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 per cent since late 2016.

In Somalia, almost half of the total population is lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Read more on: UN urges 'reboot' of drought responses to focus more on preparedness

The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.

“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Mr. Burgeon.


AUDIO: Hunger rising sharply across East Africa due to third failed rains.
Poor crop prospects
In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.

In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation.

Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - UN warns of worsening hunger in East Africa amid third consecutive failed rainy season:

Pray for Peace in Syria: Despite some improvements, food security remains dire in Syria

"In spite of improvements in wheat production in war-torn Syria – about 12 per cent more than last year's record low – the overall food security situation remains far worse than before the conflict, the United Nations food security and emergency food relief agencies have said.

According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), total wheat production estimates for 2017 stand at 1.8 million tonnes, in part due to an improved security situation. The estimate is, however, less than half of the pre-conflict ten-year average.

“The small improvement in the availability of food for Syrians is promising, but the needs remain high and more must be done to provide food for families affected by the crisis,” said Jakob Kern, WFP Country Director in Syria, said in a joint news release from the two UN agencies.

“With the evolving security situation, more farmers are expected to have access to cultivate their land again. Now is the time to step up our support, as agriculture is more important than ever for the livelihoods of many,” added Adam Yao, Acting FAO Representative in the country.

The improvements are also in part due to better rains which have increased water flows and water levels in many reservoirs, benefiting crops like wheat and barley, however high cost or unavailability of inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer, and the destruction of irrigation and storage infrastructure have added to the already complicated challenges before food growers.

Furthermore, opening of some supply routes have allowed trade to slowly recover but in many parts such as in eastern Aleppo, where the entire infrastructure and markets were devastated, the recovery has been at a very slow pace.

In the news release, the two UN agencies also noted that humanitarian access to some besieged areas has improved compared to last year but access to some places such as Deir-ez-Zor and Raqqa remain severely constrained.

Across the country, food prices continue to remain at record highs and an estimated 6.9 million Syrians are still food insecure and an additional 5.6 million people are likely to become food insecure without the regular food assistance they receive every month, they added.

The information provided by the UN agencies was gathered during their latest Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), which visited Syria in May, this year. This is the fourth food security mission to the country since the onset of the crisis and each mission provides an impartial and balanced assessment of the agricultural and food security situation."



'via Blog this'United Nations News Centre - Despite some improvements, food security remains dire in Syria – UN agencies

Pray for Peace in Marawi: Displaced Marawi residents find ways to earn for their daily needs... "We have no source of income. That’s why we think of something to help us survive..."

 "Some evacuees are selling junk foods and other basic needs at evacuation centers to earn money.

Another evacuee, Mercy Dibay,  said she’s doing it so that her family won’t always have to depend on the aid the government gives.

“If we will not do this, we will have no money.  We have children who go to school. . We have no source of income. That’s why we think of something to help us survive,” said Dibay Other evacuees are now asking for additional capital from donors.

“We are calling on those who want to help us improve our mini store,” said evacuee Zenaida Mesama.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is glad with the initiative and positive outlook of the “bakwits”.

DSWD noted this is an indication that they are rising up from the tragedy they have experienced.

“I am happy that the displaced people have creativity and resourcefulness. We really need to act. What the IDPs (internally displaced persons) are doing is a positive step. I believe and I trust that the people of Maranao, that they can stand and build back their lives better,” DSWD Undersecretary Hope Hervilla said.

DSWD assured the Maranaos that the government will do all it can to bring back their lives to normal. – Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

The post Displaced Marawi residents find ways to earn for their daily needs appeared first on UNTV News."



'via Blog this'Displaced Marawi residents find ways to earn for their daily needs:

Monday, July 3, 2017

UN: PEACE VIGIL: HEADLINES: June 2 - July 3, 2017 from UN News Cent...



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UN: PEACE VIGIL: HEADLINES: June 2 - July 3, 2017 from UN News Cent...: 3 July 2017 UN health agency declares end to latest Ebola outbreak in DR Congo Deputy UN chief highlights stronger AU-UN partnership ...

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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