BRUSSELS, Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 1st Vice President of the European Parliament, the Honorable Gianni Pittella, hosted an international conference titled: "Peace and Well-being, addressing the founding values of the European Union" on November 28.
Against a backdrop of international uncertainty, including riots in many European cities, government change and continued unrest in the Middle East, an audience of institutional representatives and MEPs joined academics and business people from more than 25 countries to explore the most pressing issues facing Europe and the world today: peace and well-being.
Gianni Pittella and keynote speaker Prem Rawat were introduced by Dr. Anthony Seldon, political historian, author, journalist, and current Headmaster of Wellington College (UK). Referring to Ambassador of Peace Prem Rawat, Dr. Seldon commented, "Peace—what a wonderful country to be Ambassador for."
Dr. Seldon then set the scene for the event by inviting the whole audience to pause for a moment of silent reflection, describing the feeling of peace as an "ineffable and indescribable experience, which is here now."
Ambassador of Peace Prem Rawat spoke from the heart and without notes, focusing on the personal need for peace, "one day at a time, one person at a time." He touched on the issue of conflict, pointing out that "wars happen because people lose respect for each other." Emphasizing the human connection people have with each other, he added, "Every single being on the face of this earth is your neighbor."
Referring to the recent low General Election turnout in one European country, Mr. Rawat commented, "Democracy is a few serving the many. Today, democracy has become the many serving the few. I'm not a politician, but I am a human being who holds very close to his heart the fundamental possibility of peace on this earth." He said that "peace is in the heart of human beings, not in the mind of human beings" and concluded, "Peace needs to be given the chance to happen. We have tried everything else."
Mr. Pittella and Mr. Rawat took questions from students from the Red Cross Nordic United World College, and then the EU representatives present were invited to show public commitment to peace and well-being by signing the "Pledge to Peace." Inspired by the lectures of Prem Rawat and his message of personal peace, the Pledge to Peace was created under the patronage of Gianni Pittella. It is a call to action to do something tangible for peace in 2012 and beyond.
Mr. Pittella explained, "the Pledge to Peace is based upon the founding principles of the European Union, the core principles of the Lisbon Treaty 2009, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It promotes the development of peace and peace education to enhance the well-being of its peoples."
After the Pledge to Peace was signed by Mr. Pittella and Mr. Rawat, the first signatory was Linda Pascotto, President of The Prem Rawat Foundation. The Foundation promotes Prem Rawat's message of peace and his vision of addressing fundamental human needs so that people everywhere can live with dignity, peace and prosperity.
Founding signatories of the Pledge included UN Peace Day creator, Jeremy Gilley from England; Mr. Seemanto Roy, son of Subrata Roy Sahara, Chairman of the Sahara Group in India; and the Honorable Nicolo Cristaldi MEP (Italy) and Mayor of Mazara Del Vallo, Sicily, who had recently invited Mr. Rawat to speak on the topic of peace in that region. Each took a few moments to explain to the audience why they were adding their names to the document, and their own projects in service of peace. Their signatures were followed by those of representative dignitaries from across Europe.
The Secretariat for the Peace and Well-being conference was provided by Associazione Percorsi.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation