The Federation of World Peace and Love Celebrates the International Day of Peace with Love and Conscience

“Conscience is the key to global peace and sustainability.” ~ Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze

A message of conscience from Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of the Federation of World Peace and Love, delivers remarks, emphasizing the importance of conscience in achieving peace.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21. “As a human family, we face a stark choice —Peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres states in his message commemorating the day.

As an avid peace advocate, the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) hosted a virtual forum in celebration of this meaningful day, and it marks the 36th webinar that FOWPAL has organized in support of various UN days to awaken the conscience in more people and foster world peace since the pandemic began. In this forum, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL, nine influential leaders, and other promoters of peace shared their thoughts on how to make the world a better and more peaceful place.

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze emphasized, “Now is a critical time as the world needs to recover quickly and global solidarity and dialogue are urgently needed. Only by providing mutual support and care and uniting with love and conscience will we create a win-win situation to enhance our collective well-being and to usher in true peace.”

Dr. Hong also stated, “The key to peace lies in promoting the purest form of human love and practicing it with perseverance. Actions based on love and conscience will be the strongest force for peaceful reform and the best way to maintain long-term peace in the world.”

“There is no peace without love. Peace needs love, and love needs to be balanced,” Dr. Hong further explained, adding, “Conscience is like a compass, guiding people onto the right path and unleashing their boundless potential. Conscience enables people to become compassionate and courageous and empowers them to use wisdom to resolve conflict. When people act in accordance with their conscience, they benefit both themselves and others. By handling people and things with conscience, we will know how to tolerate and forgive each other, love and care for others, shorten the distance between people and between nations, and promote an all-round stable and peaceful society.”

Teburoro Tito, former President of Kiribati and current Ambassador of Kiribati to the UN, encouraged everyone to cultivate an abundance of love, peace, kindness, care, and happiness within. He said, “I firmly believe that an international cooperation involving the collaboration of national, regional, and international organizations headed by persons who are richly endowed with the aforementioned positive human attributes and who are powered and driven by human conscience as I have explained, and who will put people before profits and human values before dollar values, and the ‘we’ before the ‘I,’ we will surely have a good chance of winning the fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic and in liberating the world out of such crisis as soon as possible.”

Rosy S. Akbar, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts of Fiji, pointed out, “We must encourage and support one another, as well as push ourselves to act in good conscience all the time, for the benefit of everyone now, and for our future generations to come.” “If we create a conviction within ourselves to do what we can to support our fellow humans, and work together as one, we will surely have a more equitable and sustainable world to look forward to,” she added.

Rosalia Arteaga Serrano, former President of Ecuador, stated, “I value a lot the initiative of FOWPAL to celebrate 21 of September, the Day of Peace. And they are working through consciousness. I really support this initiative because I believe on peace and consciousness on the world.”

Justice Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, former President of Trinidad and Tobago, said, “I wish to propose once more, that world leaders and citizens advocate for and support the establishment of an environmental Court, that is, the International Environmental Court (IEC), without prejudice to the mandates of existing institutions. The International Environmental Court (IEC) will be telling violators of environmental impunity, you can run but you cannot hide.”

Reema Harrysingh-Carmona, former First Lady of Trinidad and Tobago, emphasized women’s role in fostering a peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world, quoting a UN statement: “Without women’s participation, we will not achieve lasting peace; and without the stability of peace, we will not achieve sustainable development.”

Stjepan Mesic, former President of Croatia, said, “All wars always end with peace, so why to wage them at all? This is a thought to be considered by everyone, especially those who are in position to lead and decide about war.”

Filip Vujanovic, former President of Montenegro, said, “We need to recall the necessity for solidarity, understanding, consciousness, mutual respect, and humanity. We can only do that by powering our international community and strengthening our bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations. More than ever in our history, we need the strong and proactive UN to lead our global society in times of uncertainty. Failing in this joint goal shall not be an option whatsoever.”

Dr. Akkan Suver, president of the Marmara Group Foundation in Turkey, said, “In order to reach peace and approach a culture of peace, we first need dialogue, then tolerance and then love.” He also illustrated the difference between war and peace by quoting the words of Herodotus: “In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.”

Dr. Kuiljeit Uppaal, the world’s first image scientist and impact strategist and a recipient of the prestigious Karmaveer Chakra Award, instituted by the UN, encouraged everyone to have compassion and do good deeds, saying, “Let’s stand in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people in our environment and society, and as good human beings, to do whatever we can, no matter how big or small, to ensure that we all live in peace, good health and mutual respect as global citizens of the world.”

Prior to the pandemic, FOWPAL would co-organize events with various Permanent Missions to the UN at the United Nations. Dr. Ada Okika, UN coordinator of the Africana Women Working Group at the UN, attended one of such events and was very impressed by the powerful and peaceful energy of the Bell of World Peace and Love. She invited Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze to deliver a speech and video presentation of the ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love to calm people’s hearts and pray for the world during the First Ladies International Day of Peace Forum hosted by the Africana Women Working Group on September 21, 2021. Injecting more energy of peace into the world by presenting FOWPAL’s bell ringing ceremony at such an event was very meaningful as it is tradition for the UN Secretary-General to ring the UN Peace Bell on the International Day of Peace each year.

The webinar, moderated by Princess Tshepi Motloung, founder of the FutureLift Foundation, was joined by Dr. Hong and other distinguished guests, including Princess Siphokazi Simandla, managing director of Bolunga Systems & e-Waste Social Enterprise; Pauline Soberanis Tillett, a City Councilor in Belmopan, Belize; Dr. Samuel Jacobs, executive director of Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies; Suzanne Harvey, executive director of the Peacemaker Corps; Princess Gabo Moroka, founder of the Princess Gabo Foundation; Bea Baylor, author; Dr. Diana Kenoly, youth leadership mentor; and others.

“Every woman is their first lady,” said Dr. Ada Okika, emphasizing the value of each woman. She also noted, “We cannot just be talking about world peace when the major aspects that are inclusive into the issue of peace are neglected and that is the issues about women.” She reported that the event was celebrating both the International Day of Peace and the Independence Day of Belize.

Pauline Soberanis Tillett, a City Councilor in Belmopan, Belize, expressed her delight at her country’s Independence Day and International Day of Peace being commemorated simultaneously. She spoke about how women in her city are empowered by providing opportunities for them to learn, grow, and gain confidence.

“Without action on our part, no success is going to be possible,” said Dr. Diana Kenoly, youth leadership mentor, stressing the significance of personal efforts. She encouraged everyone to keep sharpening their skills and improving themselves to have a brighter future.

Dr. Samuel Jacobs, executive director of Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies, highlighted the importance of self-reflection and solidarity, saying, “The pandemic will also encourage us to have a serious assessment of how we have lived our lives as humans and how important it is to connect around the world and build synergies and efforts in order for us to overcome challenges and situations that we found ourselves in.”

In the face of the world’s various problems, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze pointed out that the heart is at the root of everything: “From the moment they are born, humans are confronted with the five poisons hidden in their hearts: greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and skepticism. The selfish pursuit of power, fame, and wealth has led to jealousy, suspicion, comparison, bullying, and even discrimination and hatred among people.” He noted that if people realize that they all belong to the same human family and that the source of happiness is one, more conflicts and tragedies can be avoided. He also highlighted the importance of conscience in achieving world peace: “Conscience is innate and guides us onto the bright path. Only when conscience is activated can global citizens respect and care for one another and realize a peaceful world as with conscience comes a peaceful world and with happiness comes a joyful family. Conscience is the key to global peace and sustainability.”

Dr. Hong also shared some useful tips for the fight against COVID-19: “During the SARS outbreak in 2002 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in the end of 2019, we produced disease prevention guidelines (videos): three don’ts, five do’s, and six tips, as well as a trilogy of videos on epidemic prevention, which we have presented to heads of state and the world, hoping that everyone will stay safe, healthy, and happy and that the pandemic will end soon. The pandemic is in fact a warning to the world: Who can be without flaws if they are not saints? There is no greater benefit than being able to correct one’s errors. In the face of nature’s backlash, only through sincere self-reflection, repentance, and atonement, and by doing more good deeds with conscience to make up for our mistakes, can we have a chance to turn the corner.”

Following Dr. Hong’s insightful speech, FOWPAL shared a ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love. The clear sound of the Bell resonated in the hearts of the participants. Princess Tshepi Motloung said effusively, “Thank you for that peace bell. Let it keep on ringing in our lives, in our families, in our communities, in our societies, in our continents, globally, wherever we are. Thank you so much!”

“All that we are doing is working towards agenda 2030,” she said at the end of the event, encouraging people to make meaningful contributions in their communities and continue to recover and rebuild better in the post-COVID era.

About the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL): Established in 2000 in the United States by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, FOWPAL is an international love and peace organization, with members from around the world. Guided by the principle of “Changing the world for the better starting with one good thought,” it aims to promote world peace and love through various activities such as world summits of love and peace, ceremonies of ringing the “Bell of World Peace and Love,” and cultural exchange performances. To date, 399 prominent figures from 122 countries have rung the Bell, made their wishes for love and peace, and pledged to work for the world’s sustainable future. Among them are 43 heads of state and government, seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, UN ambassadors, and other visionary leaders.

Media Contact:
Lily Chen

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Hanoi views strong disbursement of public funds as major growth driver

Amid the complex COVID-19 situation, accelerating the disbursement of public investment is one of the focal tasks Hanoi will carry out in the remaining months of 2021 to achieve the best possible economic outcomes.

The municipal People’s Committee has demanded district-level People’s Committees take drastic actions to implement measures for promoting economic growth, public investment disbursement, and sustainable export in line with the Government’s Resolution No 63/NQ-CP, according to the Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) newspaper.

The Hanoi administration asked all-level authorities and sectors to effectively manage and use the budget, reduce regular expenditure to increase local budget reserves, focus on COVID-19 prevention and control, and invest more in performing security – defence tasks and important and urgent activities of the city.

So far, Hanoi has disbursed just 31 percent of this year’s public investment capital assigned by the Government, lower than the rate in the same period last year and the national average.

Given this, the municipal People’s Committee requested leaders of agencies and localities to keep paying attention to the task while tackling difficulties and quickly completing procedures for the projects funded by public capital.

They need to speed up the disbursement progress so as to disburse 100 percent of the assigned public capital, the committee said, asking them to view the disbursement of public funds as one of the important solutions to fuel the city’s economic growth in the remaining months of 2021.

The People’s Committee of Hanoi has also identified some other focal tasks, including piloting the urban administration model, developing five suburban districts (Dong Anh, Gia Lam, Thanh Tri, Hoai Duc, Dan Phuong) into urban districts, and carrying out the Government’s Resolution No 97/NQ-CP, issued on August 28, on reducing power bills and prices for the fifth time since the start of the pandemic.

In August, many local businesses suffered from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many indexes declining from July and the same period last year.

Hanoi recorded about 1.28 billion USD in exports in August, down 0.7 percent month on month and 34.6 percent year on year. That added up to an eight-month turnover of over 9.78 billion USD, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

The index of industrial production (IIP) fell by some 8 percent from the previous month, with the processing and manufacturing sector down 8.8 percent, and electricity production and distribution down 2 percent.

Nevertheless, the index increased 6.3 percent year on year during the first eight months, statistics show.

Total retail sales of goods and consumer service revenue were estimated at 25 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD) in August, down 32.2 percent month on month and 51.2 percent year on year. The sum stood at around 349.5 trillion VND in the reviewed period, down 6.3 percent from the same period last year.

However, the capital city also recorded encouraging outcomes in several aspects.

The January – August State budget revenue was estimated at 164.48 trillion VND, equivalent to 69.8 percent of the target assigned by the Government and 110.3 percent of the figure in the same period last year.

The IIP of some industries still grew strongly during the eight months, including the production of motorised vehicles up 21.6 percent, apparel 18.2 percent, beverage 16.1 percent, timber processing and wood product manufacturing 10.9 percent.

Meanwhile, domestic revenue, except for oil, managed by taxation authorities increased 9.7 percent from a year earlier, with the revenue from production and business activities up 28.9 percent.

Amid complex developments of COVID-19, enterprises in Hanoi have made efforts to sustain operations. Many of them have applied the “three-on-site” model, which involves workers eating, sleeping, and working at factories and taking rotational leave.

Many districts have recorded good progress in public capital disbursement such as Thanh Xuan, Phu Xuyen, Ha Dong, Hoan Kiem, and Cau Giay.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam sees surges in pepper exports to France in 7 months

Vietnam exported to France 2,860 tonnes of pepper for 8.18 million EUR (9.6 million USD) in the first 7 months of this year, up 28.6 percent in volume and 44.3 percent in value against a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade.

France has remained one of the largest pepper buyers in the EU that does not only import pepper for domestic consumption but also for re-export to other European countries.

From January to July, Vietnam’s pepper accounted for 37.2 percent of France’s total imports, an increase from 30.72 percent over the same period last year, and the Vietnamese product fetched higher prices in the European country, the agency quoted data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, as saying.

In Vietnam, black pepper was sold at 76,000 – 80,000 VND (3.34-3.51 USD) per kg in mid-September, up 2 – 2.7 percent from the end of August. White pepper fetched 119,000 VND in the middle of this month, up 1.7 percent from the end of August and 77.6 percent year-on-year.

Pepper prices are likely to rise further in the coming time as Vietnam is gradually relaxing social distancing measures, prompting traders to increase buying to meeting demand for exports.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

PM, business circle discuss ways to tackle pandemic-caused difficulties

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on September 26 presided over an online meeting with representatives of the business circle and localities to discuss measures to continue supporting firms in the context of the COVID-19.

According to the leader, since the start of the pandemic, the government has worked out various policies in support of the company. The National Assembly recently joined the government in the effort, and the government is currently building measures to help companies recover and develop their operation and has asked the NA to amend many laws to help the firms.

Representatives of the business circle thanked the government and the PM for their support, and welcomed the advocate of shifting from the “zero COVID” goal to flexibly and safely responding to the pandemic. They also expressed their determination to join the government and the people in winning over the pandemic, recovering and developing production and business.

Participants raised proposals to the government and the PM such as giving firms the initiative in fighting the pandemic and developing their production; continuing to prioritise vaccinating workers; re-opening firms whose workers are fully vaccinated; allowing domestic and foreign tourism conditionally. They also asked the PM to instruct sectors and localities to remove hurdles in the transport; be flexible in implementing regulations on entry for experts; continue the reform of administrative procedures, especially those for firms to get support from the government; continue to work out policies on capital, taxation and fees; and prepare industrial zones for the new investment wave.

The PM took note of the proposals and thanked the community for joining the Party, State and people in the pandemic fight and their efforts in socio-economic maintenance and development.

He asked the firms and businesspeople to continue giving their ideas and joining the government in making institutional breakthroughs; taking a more active part so as to improve the quality of the human resources; accelerating the digital transformation; restructuring firms; and joining the technology transfer.

The leader called for joint efforts among the firms, the State and the people to overcome the current difficulties.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Biendong POC’s gas production crosses 15 bln cu.m mark

Bien Dong Petroleum Operating Company (Biendong POC) has produced 15 billion cu.m of gas since its Hai Thach and Moc Tinh gas fields were put into operation in September 2013.

Biendong POC, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), has also produced more than 24 million barrels of condensate over the last eight years.

It demonstrates the company’s effort to safely run the fields, apply advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in operation and surmount difficulties caused by the COVID-19.

Its net revenue from the two fields has reached over 3.94 billion USD.

In July, the company reported that its revenue in the first six months of 2021 exceeded the set plan by 4 percent.

Its gas exploitation output reached 41 percent of the yearly plan.

Biendong POC’s total accumulated revenue hit 3.88 billion USD in July, 311 million USD higher than the combined investment and operation cost

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam-funded bridge and road project launched in Cambodia

A bridge and road project, the construction of which was funded with donations from Vietnamese expats and businesses in Cambodia, was launched in Troey Koh, Kampot city, the capital of Kampot province, on September 26.

The project comprises of a bridge, embankment and a 50-m road leading to Thao Kong Ta Ang Communal House, a place for cultural and religious gatherings of local people.

The Vietnamese Consulate General in Preah Sihanouk has raised a total of 18,000 USD from Vietnamese people, businesses and organisations in Cambodia for the construction of the project which started in early August.

The project will benefit more than 600 local households, many of which are Vietnamese, and help shorten travel time to school for about 200 Cambodian students.

Vice governor of Kampot city Men Vannara highlighted the significance of the project, saying it will enable students to safely travel to school, particularly during the rainy season.

He thanked the government of Vietnam, the Khmer-Vietnam Association and Vietnamese missions in Cambodia for their contribution to the project.

Vietnamese Consul General to Preah Sihanouk Vu Ngoc Ly, for his part, said the project demonstrates the unity and humanity between the peoples at the time of COVID-19. He expected it will help recover the local economy and strengthen relations between Vietnamese expats and local authorities.

The launch of the project was among a series of events to mark the 55th anniversary of the Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic ties (June 24, 1967 – 2022).

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Special working groups to be set up to assist businesses, people

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered ministries, agencies, and localities to set up their special working groups for tackling difficulties facing businesses and people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Government Office, on August 30, the PM issued a decision on the establishment of his special working group for addressing difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused on businesses and people.

To carry out solutions relevant to each ministry, sector, and locality in a timely manner, the PM asked ministries, ministry-level agencies, Government agencies, and provincial-level People’s Committees to quickly set up their special working groups headed by their leaders.

These working groups have to direct the effective implementation of tasks and solutions stated in the National Assembly and the Government’s resolutions, as well as the PM’s directions; proactively coordinate with related ministries, sectors, localities, and agencies; actively grasp information and take timely measures to handle difficulties, obstacles, and proposals; and assist enterprises in their production and business activities to safely and flexibly adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also need to cut unnecessary administrative procedures while not creating “sub-permits” so as to not adversely affect enterprises’ operations and people’s life, thereby helping to promote socio-economic development and achieve the best possible socio-economic outcomes.

The PM also demanded them make reports on the settlement of difficulties on a monthly basis or when necessary, and propose solutions to the issues beyond their jurisdiction to the Cabinet leader, according to the Government Office.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

National Day celebrated in Slovakia

The Embassy of Vietnam to Slovakia has hosted a ceremony to celebrate the 76th National Day of Vietnam in Bratislava, gathering representatives from local authorities and businesses, diplomatic corps and Vietnamese people in the European country.

Speaking at the September 24 event, Ambassador Nguyen Tuan highlighted September 2, 1945, as a glorious milestone in Vietnam’s history.

He briefed his guests on what Vietnam has achieved during the “Doi Moi” (renewal) period over the last 35 years and its efforts to fight COVID-19, and on some basic points of Vietnam’s foreign policy set by the 13th National Party Congress early this year.

The diplomat took the occasion to thank the Government and people of Slovakia for donating 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam and committing to more deliveries in the future.

He expressed his delight at the comprehensive development of the long-standing relations between the two countries, saying he expects the bilateral ties will grow further and bear more fruits in the coming time.

Tuan also showed his gratitude towards the Vietnamese community in Slovakia for raising a total of 11,710 EUR (13,724 USD) for Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine fund.

Source: Vietnam News Agency