In support of Human Rights Day: Let conscience and love defuse wars. SoCal NGOs cohost a peaceful celebration
In support of Human Rights Day, on Dec. 13, a peaceful celebration filled with the positive energy of conscience and love was held at the Arlington Library in Riverside, California. The event was organized by Amnesty International and Inland Empire Chapter of the Southern California Division of the United Nations Association, and sponsored by the organizers of the movement of An Era of Conscience: the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI, the Federation of World Peace and Love, and Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy. Attendees are from various walks of life, including NGO representatives, humanitarians, philanthropists, scholars, social workers, students, and people who care about human rights issues.
Since 1950, the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed Dec. 10 as Human Rights Day and urged the world’s people to promote human rights protection for each individual in the world and make "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "truly" the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day is "Human Rights 365, "which signifies that every person is entitled to the full spectrum of human rights every day of the year.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for this year’s Human Rights Day highlighted, "We denounce authorities who deny the rights of any person or group. When people enjoy their rights, economies flourish and countries are at peace. We are rallying in response to violations—before they degenerate into mass atrocities or war crimes. I call on States to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account. And I call for special protections for the human rights defenders who courageously serve our collective cause."
At the beginning of the event, a documentary entitled "No Fire Zone" was presented by Amnesty International. Through the personal stories of survivors of the 26-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka and graphic accounts of senseless and inhumane crimes on the battlefields in the last few months of the war, the film aims to reveal the cruelty of war and urge the government of Sri Lanka to improve human rights protection for its people and prevent such tragedies from happening again.
International volunteers for An Era of Conscience (ANEOC) shared the enthusiastic responses to the movement of An Era of Conscience from around the world with the participants and encouraged all people to exercise their conscience and use kind words, good deeds, wisdom, and courage to fight a victorious battle of conscience without bloodshed. By spreading love and peace around the world, people can defuse conflicts and wars, large and small, and thus change the world’s destiny. The volunteers also presented a song called "Love and Peace Song" and other performances full of peaceful and loving energy. Through their presentations, they expressed the aspiration for a world of love and peace in the depths of people’s hearts and inspired all human rights defenders across the globe to take actions to awaken the conscience in the world’s people so as to create a more beautiful world filled with love and peace. The participants were recharged with positive energy as the beautiful and peaceful songs filled their hearts. With this renewed energy, they felt prepared to continue to work for human rights protection in their respective positions.
Judith Harris, president of the Southern California Division of the United Nations Association, mentioned, "I feel that every individual is responsible for their actions and what they do and what they don’t do. So I try to live my conscience everyday and treat others as I want to be treated. It’s so important that we all care about each other. And I am very excited to know about this movement (of An Era of Conscience). I love that children are involved. I grew up in an environment where giving to your community and the world is very important. I truly believe that if every person does something for another person, an act of kindness, it could be a smile, anything, that it could change the world so quickly and so easily."
Brandon Fryman, representative of Amnesty International, said, "I think this planet does need to build their conscience, figuring out what it is that they are doing and do something in the right direction." He thinks the presentations by the ANEOC volunteers were "really great, getting people to be active and alive and feeling it. You feel it when they are presenting." "It’s not enough to hear about it and go home and not doing anything. After you hear something, be active and raising that conscience around you and in people. Take that one step further and action. Action is love. Not doing anything is not enough in my point of view," added Fryman.
Ike Khamisani, president of the Inland Empire Division of the United Nations Association, stated that he was very pleased to join hands with other NGOs to cohost the event. "We all love people. We all love humanity, and we are working for love and peace. We need to raise our voices, and we need to move to the platforms where we can call governments and other parties accountable and create harmony and peace in the world," said Khamisani. He thinks the ANEOC presentations were "fabulous, so touching and delightful" and the ANEOC movement is "good for future generation which is to come and the message has to be conveyed globally."
Munni Irone, author, educator, philanthropist, and TV host of the Green Positive Nanny, said that she has lived her life as a philanthropist all her life and practices what she preaches. As there are many wars and conflicts going on in the world, she encouraged people to join the movement of An Era of Conscience. "It’s so great, and I think everybody should join in because we really really need it. … I would love to see 2015 as my happy and kind and loving world. … I believe when you give energy in the universe, you get the same energy back," said Irone.
The organizers of the event also presented certificates of recognition to all participating organizations in recognition of their contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights.