The Universal Council for Peace of Nations and Continents organised a conference in Istanbul on 6 July 2022, at which the leadership of the global NGO appointed a new “Ambassador for Peace”. To mark the occasion, we speak to Daniel Santu Biko, Director General of the organisation.
Q: Mr Director-General, please tell us a little about what this organisation is. When was it created, what is its purpose and how does it work?
Answer. In the early 1980s, so-called “popular recreation bodies” were created. These bodies organise programmes aimed at bringing people together without discrimination, through healthy, educational, cultural, sporting and social leisure activities, thus promoting the peaceful coexistence that is particularly needed in African countries. Our leisure and popular youth celebrations are aimed above all at supervising young people’s leisure time and educating them to be peaceful and non-violent. Our organisation has been actively involved in UNESCO Clubs programmes since 1984. Since the year of its creation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our organisation, as a founding member, has carried out numerous cultural, sporting, social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities to promote peace, human rights and development. In the early 2000s, we launched a University Humanitarian Peace Mission. In 2004, we launched the Universal Peace Council of Nations and Continents project, which aims to establish CULPAC branches around the world through the World Tour for Peace programme.
Q: I understand that a “Universal Peace Conference” was organised in the European Parliament in September 2018, with the participation of international humanitarian NGOs, human rights and peace and representatives of the European Parliament. What was the central theme of the conference?
Answer: Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education and fundamental human rights, the application of and respect for the rights of the child, the fight against dictatorship, injustice, racism, discrimination and violence in all its forms, war between peoples and nations, terrorism, the pollution of our ecosystem, hunger, disease, epidemics, unemployment, poverty and misery, deforestation, the preservation, conservation and protection of nature, the environment, animal and plant species and, above all, human security. We reviewed the efforts of the UN and its agencies, continental, regional and sub-regional organisations, governments and democratic parliaments in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific to maintain and strengthen peace and security. All our activities are aimed at enabling all peoples, without distinction, to create a world united in true love, mutual assistance and solidarity, and in the service of peace, justice, happiness and mutual respect. Incidentally, we will be holding another peace conference in the European Parliament this November. The theme of this meeting will be “International solidarity against human suffering and misery”.
Q: What other programmes do you have?
A: First and foremost, to promote the CULPAC programme of the Universal Peace Conference, which aims to unite, bring together and unite men and women of all horizons, without discrimination, in the promotion of peace. Through CULPAC’s “One Nation’s Vision” programme, Heads of State or international leaders share their global vision of peace, human rights and development in their countries, continents and the world, in order to promote good governance, democracy and harmony among peoples. These high-level personalities are appointed according to the CULPAC criteria.
Q: At the Istanbul Conference, one person was appointed as an “Ambassador for Peace”. Who can receive this honour and what is the role of an “Ambassador for Peace”?
A: An “ambassador for peace” can be a natural or legal person who works for peace in different sectors or areas of life for the benefit of humanity throughout the world. On this occasion, Mr Dani Al Achkar was honoured to receive the title of International Ambassador for Peace and Dignitary of the High Humanitarian Council of the United Nations. The ambassador we have just appointed in Istanbul will be responsible, among other things, for contributing to the preparation of the peace conference that will take place next March in New York at the United Nations.