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International Day of Peace Forum in Southern California: Conscientious Suggestions to Shape a World of Peace

The honored guests light up the globe with a smiley face, symbolizing that everyone is an angel that saves the world with conscience.

 

      September 21 is International Day of Peace, and this year's theme is the Right of Peoples to Peace. The United Nations has invited all nations, organizations, and people around the world to celebrate the day in various ways. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his speech to commemorate this day of peace, "We urge fighters to lay down their arms…Let us take this moment to hold peace in our hearts and minds." On September 21, the 2014 International Forum on the Awakening of Conscience was held in Diamond Bar, California, with nearly 200 people from 11 nations participating in the event. The forum was co-organized by 17 organizations in 7 countries, including Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, the Federation of World Peace and Love, and the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI. A series of related events have also been held in over 11 cities around the world, which is the continuance of the positive energies of the global movement of An Era of Conscience. The event in Diamond Bar was graced by honored guests such as Mayor Nancy Tragarz of the City of Walnut; Council member Antonio "Tony" Cartagena of Walnut; Robert "Bob" Pacheco, Council member of Walnut; Y. Tony Torong, Board Member of Walnut Valley Unified School District; Council member Jack Tanaka of Diamond Bar; Nelson Huang, chair of APAPA-SCR; Cary C. Chen, Board Member of Rowland Unified School District; James Tsai, president of Chinese American Association of Walnut; Director Yu-kung Hsu of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in LA; etc. Many influential leaders also sent their best wishes through videos or congratulatory letters, including Senator Bob Huff, Senate Republic Leader of California Senate; State Assemblyman Curt Hagman of California, and the mayors of nine cities such as Los Angles, Torrance, Arcadia, San Marino, Azusa, Walnut, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga, and Milpitas.

      The honored guests and Dr. Hong Tao-Tze, the initiator of the movement of An Era of Conscience, lighted up a globe with a smiley face, symbolizing that the angel in everyone's heart has been activated to save the world with conscience.

      The activation ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on the awakening of conscience from different perspectives. The panel consisted of experts in many fields, including Dr. Hong Tao-Tze; James Geiger, representative of the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI; Dr. An York Lee, former chair of California Acupuncture Board; Council member Antonio "Tony" Cartagena of Walnut; Alberto F. Pernudi, director of the department of Radiology at Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Council member Jack Tanaka of Diamond Bar,; Nelson Huang, chair of APAPA-SCR; etc. The panelists specializing in medicine, technology, architecture, music, politics, law, etc. shared their conscientious suggestions to make our world a better place.

Experts provide wise and conscientious suggestions for improving the world from their professional perspectives. The panelists include Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, President of the Federation of World Peace and Love and Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men (3rd from right); James Geiger, representative of the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI; Council member Antonio “Tony” Cartagena of Walnut (first from left); Dr. An York Lee, former chair of California Acupuncture Board (second from left); Alberto F. Pernudi, director of Radiology at Children’s Hospital LA (first from right); Council member Jack Tanaka of Diamond Bar; Nelson Huang, chair of APAPA-SCR; etc.

 

      Dr. Hong Tao-Tze, President of the Federation of World Peace and Love and Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men stated, "The reality we face today is escalating geopolitical tensions, frequent occurrences of natural and man-made disasters, and outbreaks of wars; consequently, people's hearts are surrounded by anxiety and uncertainty." He also remarked, "Through the 'awakening of the conscience' in each of us, we listen quietly to the calling in the depth of our souls and bravely do what is right. Then we will be able to find opportunities as we face the challenges before us." He also encouraged all people to bravely do what is right by saying, "When we act according to our conscience in our respective position we can become a hero/heroine, a "superman/superwoman" that helps improve the world's destiny. Those with the bravery to voice their suggestions and words of conscience today are important helmsmen that guide humankind towards a safe future. Your kind words and good deeds are the cornerstone of the world's sustainable future."

      Nancy Tragarz, mayor of the City of Walnut, shared her thoughts about the awakening of conscience: "It's so wonderful about world peace and our conscience. You know it's our conscience that's telling us what the right thing to do is." She mentioned that sometimes we may be doing the wrong thing, but our conscience will tell us that we need to be doing what is right. "It's so important for us to have conscience and listen to our conscience," added Mayor Tragarz.

      Jack Tanaka, Council member of Diamond Bar, commended the event by saying, "It was a very good program where we had from different walks of lives expressing their opinions and their ideas about raising conscience and creating world peace for a better world. One of the things I can do as a city council member is to make sure that the residents of Diamond Bar know the importance of the movement."

      James Geiger, representative of the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI and a computer scientist at NASA, said at the forum, "Your thoughts and actions affect your family, your co-workers, the products you produce, the services you provide, and that affects your entire community, the entire state, the entire country, the entire world. So when you go out there, you want to have positive energy, encourage everyone you work with, encourage everyone in your family to do their best, and that spreads out and affects everyone."

Nearly 200 people from 11 nations, including the U.S. Canada, and other countries in South America and Asia, attend the event. 

 

      As the director of the department of radiology at the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, Alberto F. Pernudi was very impressed to see so many conscientious people at the forum and around the world working for the same ideal of love and peace. He mentioned that at the hospital he saw a lot of suffering, pain, and anxiety in kids and their parents, and it's so important to be conscientious about their needs and to get them healthier. He said, "You have to tolerate a lot and be able to get through the day and to get through year after year with a healthy conscience. I think it's going to make the world different for everybody."

      The performance of an inspirational song "An Era of Conscience," presented by a group of people from various walks of life and the Alma Tica Costa Rica Folk-Dance Group, brought a fresh wave of energy to the event. Since Sept. 21, 2014 also marked the 14th anniversary of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Los Angeles, a group of young Tai Ji Men members electrified the audience with their energetic dance entitled "Power of Love" to convey their best wishes for the academy's anniversary as well as their care and concern to the society.

      Since"An Era of Conscience"started in the beginning of this year, people in 185 countries and over 2000 organizations worldwide have participated in the movement. International volunteers have been actively promoting the movement in different communities, schools, and organizations in Southern California, and leaders in all circles such as heads of government agencies, principals, business owners, etc. have shared their words of conscience. For more information about global updates and ways of participation in the movement, please visit the movement's website at www.aneoc.org/en. You are cordially invited to share your words of conscience and to endorse online the "Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience." We hope that all people can exercise their positive influences and spread the seeds of kindness in all corners of the earth to create an era of love and peace together.