A Convocation FOR PEACE – Security Council deadline Jan 1991 and message of hope for New YearFiled under Significant events & meetings
On 16 January 1991, shortly after the Security Council deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait had passed, United Nations staff gathered at New York headquarters for an emergency “Convocation for Peace,” organised by the Staff Council.
Staff Committee President Lowell Flanders told the standing-room-only crowd that the convocation had been called to
“express our support for peace, and what the Secretary-General has tried to do.”
The convocation began and ended with a moment of silence and included several songs by the UNSRC Singers.
Mr. Flanders requested Mr. Adhiratha Keefe, as Chairperson of the New York UNICEF Staff Association and UNICEF Representative to the United Nations Staff Council, to address the staff who were present.
Mr. Keefe, who is also Programme Coordinator for the Peace Meditation Group, ended his remarks with the following message of hope for the New Year by Sri Chinmoy:
The daring competition-success-might of the human mind is wisely going to surrender
to the caring illumination-progress-delight of the divine heart.
The inner voice is whispering the supreme Message-Light for humanity’s perfection-life.
Let us listen. We can listen. We must listen!
Hurtful is the outer adventure-capture-march.
Fruitful is the inner adventure-rapture-dive.
The outer world belongs to the supremacy fighters.
The inner world belongs to the oneness lovers.
God’s ultimate Perfection-World will bless and
embrace the oneness-lovers with fondness and pride,
and reject and forget the supremacy fighters.
God the Creation, in breathless Sound, asks God the Creator:
“0 where are You?”
God the Creator, in fathomless Silence replies:
“I am inside Your Oneness – Fulness – Peace – Blossoming Dream-Reality.”
Fuller text of Adhiratha Keefe’s remarks:
Convocation for Peace 16 January – Conference Room 2 UN NY
– Adhiratha Keefe, UNICEF Staff
It has been said that “God has Infinite Children, but the name of His fondest Child is peace” *1
Lowel Flanders, President fo the UN Staff Union, requested that I read something inspiring today. I thought about~and I looked around my office and Around the UNICEF Building. . From the Exhibit in UNICEF house (DC3) Lobby I was reminded that wars don’t just start, they are planned for. For every soldier in the World, the average expenditure is $20,000 per year. For every school age child the world average is $380 per year.
Many in UNICEF and the united Nations Secretariat joined in an effort that saw the Heads of State or Government from over seventy countries work together to produce a declaration of action at the World summit for Children. That was a moment of hope and promise. We know that war is the single biggest threat to that promise. For it is the Children, our collective future, and other civilians that will be the biggest losers in any war. Buckminister Fuller said “Either war is extinct or Man will be”
The preamble of the UN Charter says: “We the Peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of War, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold suffering to mankind…-
I began working here in my mid twenties, because I believed in that statement from the preamble. I am still here almost twenty years later because of the many individuals here whose dedicated service supports a common belief. Those of you who show here today by your example that there is no other option but to work for peace, there is no other option but to pray for peace, to meditate for peace, there is no other option but to give our working life for this dream.
David Burleson, our colleague who is UNESCO advisor to UNICEF developed an article concerning peace education for children. In it he gives an alphabet for Peace and for WAR. I would like to read seven words, from Letters A through G.
For War: Armaments, Bombs, Cruelty, Destruction, Evasion, Fighting, and Guns.
For Peace: Awe, Beauty, Care, Devotion, Elation, Faith, and Grace.
I close with a quotation from Sri Chinmoy who for more that two decades has been offering meditations for peace here. He offered this message of hope for 1991 in which he speaks of the eventual surrender of the human mind to the heart and encourages us to have faith in our dream. But we must listen to a higher voice.
“The daring competition-success-might of the human mind is wisely going to surrender to the caring illumination-progress-delight of the divine heart.
“The inner voice is whispering the supreme Message-Light for humanity’s perfection-life. Let us listen We can listen. We must listen!
“Hurtful is the outer adventure-capture-march. Fruitful is the inner adventure-rapture-dive.
“The outer world belongs to the supremacy-fighters. The inner world belongs to the oneness-lovers.
“God’s ultimate Perfection-World will bless and embrace the oneness-lovers with fondness and pride, and reject and forget the supremacy-fighters.
“God the Creation, in breathless Sound asks God the Creator:
“Where are You?”
“God the Creator, in fathomless Silence replies:
“I am inside your oneness-Fulness-Peace-Blossoming Dream-Reality.” *2
*1 Opening quote “God has infinite children…” from Sri Chinmoy, Rainbow-Flowers, Part 1 /Peace, Agni Press, 1973
*2 Message for 1991 also appears in Sri Chinmoy, New Year’s Messages from Sri Chinmoy, 1966-1973/1991, Agni Press, 1994
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