On Monday 27th of April at 18 a clock at the University in Helsinki there was a seminar with the topic:

Religions as Resources in Peacemaking in Africa.

Peace Ambassador Mussie Hailu discussed with Mahdi Abdile (Development worker in Finn Church Aid, who received Christian Peace Price this year.) and with Abdihakim Aynte ( Peace activist form Mogadishu) about the theme. Also the role of women was introduced by Heidi Rautionmaa. Dr. Mika Vähäkangas was the chairman of the panel.
Here are some info about our guest from Ethiopia and also some info about the programm that we had during his staying. There was also a roundtable organized by the bishop Ambrosius.

About Mussie Hailu:
Mussie Hailu is an international advocate and activist for Culture of Peace, Interfaith Harmony & cooperation, reconciliation & dialogue, environmental protection and volunteerism. Among many international, regional and national organtions he works with his responsibilities are: Representative of world Federation of United Nations Associations to the Economic Commission of Africa(ECA) and African Union (AU), Lifetime Deputy Governor of the American Biographical Research Institute, Good will Ambassador of Burundi, Co ordinator of United Religions Initiative in Africa, Peace Representative of the World Peace Society, Chairman of Haile Selassie Aid Ethiopia, Special Adviser to Africa for World Peace and Love Federation, Good will Ambassador of Unity and Reconciliation Commission of Rwanda, Country Director of HOPE'87 an international organization which works to alleviate youth unemployment problem, Special emissary to his Majesty King Kigeli V of Rwanda, Patron of United World College National committee of Ethiopia, Board Chair of Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative, Representative of World Citizen Association for Africa, African Diaspora Foundation Chairman for Africa , Ambassador of Peace and Advisor of Center for Peace building International.
Time: Friday 24.4.2009 klo 12.00-15.00

Strategies in International Business –Seminar

Place: HAAGA-HELIA, Ratapihantie 13, auditorium
Seminar will be held in English
12.00 Opening Ambassador Viera Stupakova. Embassy of Slovak Republic
12.05 "Perspectives to Strategy", Europarliamentarist Anneli Jäätteenmäki
12.35 "Global Ethic to promote the sustainable strategy", Heidi Rautionmaa. Theologian. Interfaith actor
12.45 "Business strategies and co-operation in development", Mr. Mussie Hailu from Ethiopia, Ambassador, representative of African Union
13.00 "Strategies of Finnish Companies to Internationalize", Markku Vantunen, Finpro,Vice President, Foresight and Product offering
13.20 "Strategies to Succeed in Slovakia", "Strategies to succeed in Slovakia, current economic development, business opportunities and future trends? Michal Vrabel, Commercial councellor of Slovak Republic
13.40 "Cultural dialog in Business", Päivi Käri-Zein, Senior Lecturer, HAAGA-HELIA
14.15 "Strategy of using development banks in FDI", Kari Janhunen, Senior Advisor
14.55 Finishing words
Seminar is free of charge! Coffee is served at own cost in cafeteria!
Social Forum in Finland

Union for Christian Culture organizes a seminar on April the 25th in Helsinki at the Social Forum in Finland, at 13:45 - 15:30
The topic is Global Ethic as a Tool in Peacemaking.
The speakers are:
Peace Ambassador Mussie Hailu: Global ethic/golden rule in global context of peace and development.
Journalist Heidi Rautionmaa: Golden rule as a tool in interfaith work at grassroot level.
Professor of ethic Reijo Heinonen: Declaration of Global Ethic-from Chicago till today.
Meeting for NGOs working in Ethiopia and others interested in Ethiopia

- with the visiting speaker Mussie Hailu from Ethiopia
Time: Monday 27th 2009 April at 15-17
Venue: Kepa office, Dialogi-meeting room, address: Töölöntorinkatu 2 A, 00260 Helsinki
Ethiopia has recently approved a new law for charities and societies that has raised criticisms among many NGOs within the country and abroad.
Ethiopian peace activist Mussie Hailu will give a short presentation of the current situation of the Ethiopian civil society and the potential implications of the new law.
Welcome to hear more, discuss other current development issues in Ethiopia and share experiences with Finnish civil society organizations working in the country as well as representatives of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


Istanbul Forum :
The Second Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations
On 6-7 April 2009, the second Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will be held in Istanbul, Turkey.

This summer witnessed the birth and first steps of the ambitious new inter-religious council, that aims to strengthen cooperation and security in and between the tumultuous Middle East – North Africa regions. How to utilize religion as a positive method for building peace? Heidi Rautionmaa follows-up.

Religious leaders in the MENA region commit to promote shared security

"Common responsibility for solving problems needs to be recognised", said Dr. Ismail Serageldin, the visionary director of the library of Alexandria. He hosted the meeting at the library that launched the Religions for Peace MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Inter-religious Council. This religious council was established to forge peace with justice at a meeting of 30 Muslim, Christian and Jewish representatives on 15 July 2008. The launch of the Council with representatives from more than 20 countries in the region is a significant step to mobilize the spiritual, moral, and social assets of the religious communities in the region for common action. Today, there is a moral imperative to cooperate.
"There has been a crucial need to establish multi-religious structures in order to promote shared security. There is interfaith work in the region but it is not systematic", says Dr. Aly Elsamman, the president of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Egypt. A number of inter-faith initiatives exist in the Middle East, and the new council will work to reinforce these efforts and, when helpful, facilitate cooperation among them. Elsamman believes that the council will engage in a number of activities aiming at greater understanding between religions and communities.
Also Dr. Serageldin expressed his great optimism about the serving role of the new Council: Amid the wealth, poverty, and injustice in the MENA region, the Council will make a difference. Multi-religious partnerships are needed to mobilize the moral and social resources of religious people to address their shared problems. As His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem noted: “Dialogue is the choice of some, but needs to be the reality for all of us, to promote peace in the Middle East.”
The third roundtable meeting in Alexandria was organized by the Helsinki Process and the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Ilari Rantakari, the Ambassador of the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy, sees that the cooperation between the Helsinki Process and Religions for Peace (RfP) provides a new platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to find feasible solutions to global problems. One of the key questions has been how to mobilise the political will and resources required to implement the commitments agreed upon by the international community, such as those outlined in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals. Helsinki Process has formed several other multi-stakeholder roundtables to devise new action plans on specific issues under the broad themes of poverty and development, peace and security, human rights, governance and the environment. The cooperation between the Helsinki Process and RfP has concentrated on how to involve religious communities and other stakeholders in the Middle East in contributing to shared security in the region.

Shared security takes globalization seriously
Rantakari sees the concept of shared security to go beyond the concept of human security. Shared security respects the value of national sovereignty, and builds upon an expanded notion of human security that includes the concern for basic human rights and needs. It takes the globalization of the world seriously: no nation can truly be secure until all nations are so; the security of one is dependent on the security of the other. Each sector of society such as governments, international organizations, and all organs of civil society, including our religious communities, has a role and a responsibility to ensure shared security.

"Shared security shifts the focus of security to the most vulnerable, to those who cannot secure themselves. We live in a more and more interdependent world and remain vulnerable - but we cannot safeguard our security through walls and isolation. Only by understanding and realising our common vulnerability and applying the shared security we may achieve desired peace. Therefore multi-stakeholder mechanisms are needed to advance cooperative approaches to shared security", Rantakari says. One of the reasons that the Helsinki Process has partnered with RfP is to offer possibilities for religious actors to discuss the unique ways in which religious communities can advance security, by mobilizing their moral and spiritual heritages around security challenges. Rantakari also points out, that religious communities have the tremendous additional advantage of being the largest social networks in the world.

A concrete notion of shared security can be based upon the moral values held in common by all faith traditions. Each religion has its own version of the golden rule recognizing that we are obliged to care for one another. Today, however, a need has arisen for the religious communities to come together to express a positive shared notion of peace. As a multi-religious vision, this shared notion of peace must be expressed in “public terms.” Shared security attempts to outline a positive vision of human flourishing and to emphasize the responsibility to care for the other. Concretely, shared security calls people of faith, their religious communities and religious leaders to reject the misuse of religion whenever it is abused in support of violence.

The concept of shared security was first developed at the RfP Eight World Assembly in Kyoto, August 2006. Encouraged by the Kyoto Roundtable, both the RfP and Helsinki Process have convened three roundtables in Alexandria. The previous roundtable with the theme of Multi-stakeholder approach to shared security: The role of religions joined in the search for a mechanism that can mobilize religions and religious assets for peace, and connect them with governmental and other sectors. The main aim of this roundtable was to gather ideas and suggestions to help initiate the work of the Inter-religious Council in Middle East.
In the aftermath of the meeting, senior religious leaders established the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, and some of its members later helped create the MENA Council.

Multi-religious identity is a unique strength
“Peace will only come in the Holy Land when the legitimate political and religious aspirations of Jews, Christians and Muslims are reconciled through honest dialogue and cooperation", says chief rabbi David Rosen. He recognizes the importance of the neutral actors that have facilitated the meetings in Alexandria, in particular the Helsinki process and RfP. Interfaith dialogue is a long- term process that requires commitment and trustful coordinators.
In its initial plan of action, the MENA Council identified its priorities: development of principles for true dialogue; promotion of education for better understanding of the three Abrahamic religions; and carrying out solidarity actions that may promote reconciliation. The participants agreed to prioritize building inter-religious platforms in the countries of the MENA region.
The new council is led by the representatives of diverse religious communities, interfaith NGOs and scholars around the MENA region. The council is designed to provide a platform for cooperative action throughout the different levels of these communities; from grassroots to the senior-most leaders and secular institutions. Multi-religious identity is a unique strength, because peace initiatives are best implemented on a multi-religious basis. Religious communities are familiar and trusted institutions that may provide social cohesion and spiritual support, helping people to face the most agonizing pain and suffering and to forgive the unforgivable.
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, says that the resources of religious communities are still often overlooked by governments and NGOs. However, when different religious communities work together, they possess an enormous capacity to promote peace. Inter-religious councils and groups formed and supported by RfP have played key roles transforming conflict and rebuilding peaceful societies in the Balkans, West Africa and the Middle East. In the past decade, RfP has engaged its prominent international religious leaders to bring together Bosnian religious leaders in the aftermath of civil war, and to support multi-religious peace-building efforts in West Africa. Currently, RfP is facilitating emerging efforts for peace-building collaboration among religious leaders in Sri Lanka, Iraq, Sudan and the Korean Peninsula.
Founded in 1970, RfP is active in more than 70 countries, working with national affiliates and regional organizations. Some of RfP’s recent successes include building a new climate of reconciliation in Iraq; mediating dialogue among warring factions in Sierra Leone; organizing an international network of religious women’s organizations; and establishing an extraordinary program to assist the millions of children affected by Africa’s AIDS pandemic: the Hope for African Children Initiative. RfP enjoys a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, UNESCO and UNICEF.

Multi-religious cooperation’s five guiding principles
Multi-religious cooperation carries five guiding principles. The first guideline of RfP is to respect religious differences, and to honor other communities’ right to hold other religious beliefs. The second principle is to act on deeply held and widely shared values and moral concerns, the most powerful and effective issues for multi-religious collaboration. Building peace, resolving violent conflicts, working to eliminate poverty and protecting children are all such widely-shared concerns of the world’s religious communities.
The third rule is to preserve and strengthen the identity of each religious community. The fourth principle is to honor the ways religious communities have organized themselves. The RfP network is guided by the principles of representativity and subsidiarity. Each religious community must be represented based on the way it organizes itself locally, nationally, regionally and globally. The religious communities themselves, not RfP, determine who will represent them in inter-religious dialogue and cooperation. Inter-religious collaboration should engage, not seek to alter, existing religious structures.
The fifth indication is to support locally-led multi-religious structures, including autonomous inter-religious councils and networks of women and religious youth organizations, making room also for the women and youth in the MENA Inter-religious Council.

We were at tv, in Good morning Finland - show this
morning to talk about Women and Religions: