The 9th World Forum for Peace, which took place from 11 November to 12 December 2019 in various facilities in the city of Lugano, achieved great success for the ninth consecutive year, with the extraordinary participation of over 1200 participants.
Through workshops, concerts, shows, panel discussions and think-tank laboratories, situations of exchange and dialogue have been created to promote the culture of peace, human and children’s rights, as well as solidarity from different points of view.
Also this year the Forum received important patronage and support: including the City of Lugano, the DSS of the Canton of Ticino (Info Families), the Swiss Forum for interreligious and intercultural dialogue and the “gruppo20novembre” on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Monday 11th November 2019 from 9.00 to 16.00 the “Village of Peace” was held at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano, and it was also inaugurated the World Forum for Peace. The lawyer Roberto Badaracco, Municipal of the City of Lugano and Mrs. Margherita Maffeis-Natale, the president and founder of the Culture Ticino Network association, welcomed all the participating students and schools with the official opening remarks and with the traditional “ribbon cutting” which opened the doors of the “Village of Peace” and the entire ninth edition of the World Forum of Peace. All this was accompanied by the choral entertainment of the Middle Schools of Bellinzona 2, curated by Thomas Guggia, and the Tesserete School, curated by Valentina Londino.
This year, around 600 scholars and teachers from elementary, middle, professional and high schools in Ticino attended the event, exceeding our expectations with great pleasure and satisfaction. The students took part in interesting workshops held by associations and professionals in the sector from Ticino and from speakers around Europe, who shared their practical experience in the humanitarian field, through workshops that actively involved the children.
The following institutions collaborated with us in the realization of this memorable day:
COOPI Suisse; Amnesty International Switzerland section; Friends of Ecuador Association; Manishimwe Association; Dog Force Rescue; Bridges of Hope; Future and Hope Association; Bridges of Joy; the Swiss Forum for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Mrs. Suzanne Palermo, illustrator and author for children, and the teacher Ester Giner Cordero of the SUPSI Department of Environment, Construction and Design.
At 12.00, all the participants gathered to have lunch together. A special thanks goes to the members and volunteers of the Culture Ticino Network Association who organized on site the ‘maccheronata of solidarity’.
The students, afterwards, from 13.30, participated in the second round of the workshop. The day ended at about 16.00, when the participants left the Palazzo dei Congressi, enriched by the teachings that each Association present was able to give them.
Saturday 16 November 2019, at 19:00, at the wonderful Suitenhotel Parco Paradiso of Paradiso, the second appointment of the World Forum for Peace was held, entitled “Special solidarity evening dedicated to Peace and the Philippines”. It was a beautiful evening full of heart, fun and beautiful music, special thanks also to the musical entertainment by Francesca Parrotta who thrilled the participants with her beautiful voice.
Also this year we were honored with the presence of renowned guests, including the Philippine Ambassador Denis Yap Lepatan and Madame Lepatan, the Consul General Josephine Reynante and some representatives of the Philippine Embassy in Bern, the godmother of the evening Maristella Polli, of the Filipino community in Ticino and authorities and important figures of the Ticino scene, including the Municipal Avv. Angelo Jelmini and the Grand Councilor Roberta Passardi.
In the second part of the evening there was a delicious solidarity gala dinner prepared by the chef de cuisine Cristian Casati and his excellent staff who proposed an excellent menu. However, there were certainly moments of reflection and solidarity, thanks also to the presentation of the Association’s new sustainable project to help the children and families most in need of Paombong, in the Bulacan Region, in the Philippines, with particular attention to activities that will happen in the next humanitarian journey that our president Margherita Maffeis-Natale, e also Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Ticino, will take in January 2020.
Also on the occasion of the evening, our association decided to award the “Spyri Award” to Mrs. Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute in Manila, Philippines. This foundation assists and provides livelihood to abused and exploited Filipino workers around the world ensuring that their return to the homeland is legal and risk-free while offering training courses and seminars to enhance the employment opportunities of Filipinos and their families. Unfortunately Mrs Susan Ople was unable to attend and join us in Switzerland. For this reason, President Margherita Maffeis-Natale, during her next stay in the Philippines will take care of meeting her and officially awarding her the 2019 Spyri Award.
The important Panel Discussion entitled “Violation of human rights: let’s talk together!” Was held on Thursday 21 November 2019 at 18.00 in the multipurpose room of the Evangelical Reformed Church in via Landriani 10 in Lugano.
The third appointment of this great Forum was also a great success! We talked about human rights, what they are, how they were born, but above all what are the current challenges between the rights of the children, religious freedom and humanitarian aid in some poor areas of the world.
The interventions and reports by Roberta Wullschleger, philosopher and collaborator of Pro Juventute in Ticino, by Markus Krienke, professor of modern philosophy and social ethics at the Faculty of Theology of Lugano, and Federico Prelates, former Head of Mission INTERSOS LIBYA / TUNISIA and current Head of INTERSOS Kandhar Afghanistan created interesting ideas for the debate.
The moderator of the evening was Mr. Giuseppe La Torre, president of the Swiss Forum for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.
At the conclusion of the Panel Discussion, the ladies of the Philippine Community in Ticino delighted us with a delicious dinner based on Filipino specialties and delicacies, much appreciated by the participants.
On Sunday 24 November 2019, at 16:00 at the Studio Foce in Lugano, the solidarity concert “Artists for Peace” was held. Internationally renowned artists such as the highly successful Italian-Ticino singer-songwriter Umberto Alongi, the winner of the 2019 Swiss Music Grand Prix Marco Zappa, and the established singer and songwriter Rino Dilugano performed. Special guest was Mrs. Lucia Bramieri, a famous television personality from the Italian show business.
It was a beautiful concert in which a lot of heart reigned, and important messages of solidarity were shared, transmitting in the minds of those present a simple and fundamental value, which is nothing but peace and love for one’s neighbor. In addition to the artists, special thanks also go to the concert host, Maristella Polli, a well-known figure on the Ticino scene.
On Sunday 1 December 2019, at 15.30 at the Multipurpose Room in Paradiso, another magnificent solidarity event entitled “Dances and surprises for Peace” took place. The show ended leaving us in our hearts so much joy and serenity thanks to the performances of the street dance school “Free Beat Dance Studio” with their energetic hip-hop performances, and also thanks to the magic, mentalism and “mind reading” numbers of the magician Mattia Minelli, and to the beautiful country dances of Eva Vicente and the Country Smile group that involved the entire audience in an exceptional ending! Also of this event, Maristella Polli was the godmother.
Saturday 7 December 2019 from 13.30 to 18.00 the Culture Ticino Network association of Lugano organized a very important Think-tank Laboratory with the central theme “Human rights and climate change”. The event, which we intend to repeat in the next editions of the World Forum for Peace, has left us with the awareness that we can no longer wait and, only by joining our forces, can we save our planet and its inhabitants! On the occasion of this afternoon, the first steps were taken in this direction: it was a high-quality meeting where interesting proposals were born and a working group that will meet in the coming months to begin developing concrete solutions to combat climate change.
We sincerely thank the speakers: Marco Gaia of Meteosvizzera, Daniel Heusser of WWF Italian Switzerland and Boris Pezzatti of the WSL Federal Research Institute who, with their precious interventions, have made us aware of the worrying reality of our planet and importance of our work to save him. There was also no lack of fundamental messages of solidarity from our president, as climate change will lead to a further increase in poverty and migration!
The ninth edition of the World Forum for Peace concluded with the usual Christmas concert, held on Thursday 12 December 2019 at 20.00 at the Church of Sant’Antonio in Lugano. The evening was opened by a profound welcome speech given by the president of the Association, in which the public was made aware about the importance of spreading the values of peace and love, explaining the beneficial power of the events organized by the Association.
The talented Canterini of Lugano, Le Voci di Canobbio, the Philharmonic Society of Agno, the soloist Nelsy Perolini and the concert director Alessandro Benazzo, have given us, with their songs and their symphonies, a magnificent emotion, immersing us in a magical and spiritual atmosphere typical of Christmas.
The “Concert for Peace” and the church full of beautiful people filled our hearts with joy!
The 9th World Forum for Peace was also a great success this year, during which important messages were disseminated at different times and to all generations!
The Culture Ticino Network Association will continue its work and is already working on organizing the important 10th edition of the World Forum for Peace. The year 2020 will be a special year for our association as it will celebrate its first 10 years of activity, and in January 2020, during the visit of our President, our sister association “Culture Ticino Network. and Philippines Association” in Paombong will be consolidated and officially established in the Philippines.