On May 14, 2022 UPF-Austria in cooperation with the Family Federation for World Peace and the Women's Federation organized a breakfast meeting to commemorate the International Day of Families, which was attended by more than 50 guests.
Peter Haider, President of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Austria welcomed everyone and explained the background of this special UN day: In 1993, a resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate May 15 annually as International Day of Families. The UN also uses this day as a way to recognise that family structures have undergone many changes due to social, economical and demographic factors. The annual event provides a way to highlight the important role that families hold in communities and raises issues that may affect families. Then he introduced the speakers and invited them to the stage. The UN choose “Families and Urbanisation” as the topic for 2022.
The first speaker was Mrs. Elisabeth Cook, President of the Family Federation for World Peace Austria. She mentioned urbaniation as one of the megatrends in today’s society, including technological change, migration, demographic and climate change, which all have impacts on family life. More than ever family-oriented policies are needed in order to harness the positive aspects of those trends and counteract their negative facets. Another point in her speech was that a mature and loving character of parents is the prerequisite to a happy and successful family life. Family relationships, though considered as private, multiplay themselves in society by the famliy members being active participants in many areas of public life.
Dr. Jan Ledochowski, President of the platform “Christian Democracy”, emphasized the importance of being clear about the existence of a creator and being able to convince people about it, as human beings derive their dignity from their creator, our Heavenly Father. As a father of four children, he sees his main task in strengthening Christian values in politics and in supporting Christian politicians to be successful.
Professor Ismail Yasin, a scholar of Islamic studies from Damaskus, spoke about the importance of the family in Islam. For Muslim believers family life is the foundation of human society providing a secure, healthy and nurturing environment for parents and for raising children. The best place to pass on and develop human virtues such as love, kindness, mercy and compassion is in a family. Families are considered to be at the heart of every Muslim community. The traditional Muslim family is an extended family. It usually includes parents, children, grandparents and elderly relatives. Most Muslims believe that extended families mean greater stability, continuity, love and support for each other.
Dr. Melinda Fabian-Herzog, representing „Elternwerkstatt“, an instituion which offers courses for parents to improve their parenting skills, explained how parents can learn to commuincate more effectively with their children at different stages of their development. „Elternwerkstatt (Parents‘ workshop“) has gained recognition by the Austrian government as an educational institution and therefore is partly funded by the Federal Ministry for Family and Youth. The official program ended with remarks and questions from the audience, moderated by Mr. Peter Haider, who then thanked everyone for coming to the event.
Universal Peace Federation - Familienföderation für Weltfrieden - Österreichische Frauenföderation
UPF is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations
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