Events Calendar

International Day of Families 2019
Tuesday 14 May 2019, 08:00am - 07:00pm



Dear Sir, dear Madam,

To commemorate the 27th anniversary of the International Day of Families, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in joint sponsorship with the World Council of Churches (WCC), Women’s Federation for World Peace, Intl. (WFWPI), the Geneva Interfaith Intercultural Alliance (GIIA) and the Fribourg Peace Forum (FPF), will convene a special one day program of debate and discussion on the topic “Interreligious Cooperation for Peace and Human Development – Creating an Environment for Thriving Families”.

In this year’s commemorative event, the organiers have decided to focus on the special challenges that families face in an increasingly difficult environment caused by war and conflict, human trafficking and mass-migration, climate change as well as the scourge of widespread substance abuse by youth.

Facing these critical challenges key experts of civil society, the interreligious community, representatives of academia as well as politics and governments would like to join hands to offer innovative solutions and ideas to empower, celebrate and support families in these difficult times.

The conference venue for the event will be the Vissert’Hooft Hall (main hall) at the Ecumenical Center of the World Council of Churches.

We would like to invite you to join us and contribute to this very significant event.

You will find the draft program below.


Heiner W. Handschin  (For the organizers)

Director, UPF Office for UN Relations – Geneva


Tuesday May 14, 2019- Tentative Programme

09:00              Welcoming Remarks by the Organizers                            

09:30               Session I:Interfaith Youth Panel:  What can families contribute to faith, social stability and human development?

Youth representatives argue for positive social outcomes  rooted in the core family values of their traditions and their own life experiences. This session builds on the GIIA “Model UN Youth Interfaith Council” programs held over the last decade. 

11:00              Break: War and Crisis Zones: Maintaining Familial Resilience

Families in zones of crisis are particularly vulnerable, while at the same time critically important to healing and a return to normalcy.  What coping systems arise when families are unable to meet the needs of their members? ( street children, gangs, families without parents) In the absence of thriving families, what weight goes to social institutions? How can faith-based and other cooperative efforts contribute to solutions?

13:00               Lunch break

14:30               Session III: Thriving Families and Social Wellbeing

Speakers will present programs where strong families have become the mechanism to help cure societal problems, support healthy development of youth and effectively combat social ills. This session will also look into specific challenges of dysfunctional families from outside threats as well as from within. What are some of the initiatives that have successfully allowed families to fulfill their role in cooperation with the good work of supportive institutions.

16:00               Break

16:30               Concluding session and action plan

In light of the day’s contributions, the organizers identify and propose action steps to be considered (interactive debate).

17:30               End of Conference

18:00              Reception and Cocktail



Address of the Ecumenical Center :

From the airport : Bus nr 5 direction Thônex-Vallard, stop: Crêts-Morillons. You can get a free bus ticket at Geneva Airport with your boarding pass

From Geneva central station (Gare Cornavin) : Take bus number 5 direction Airport, stop : Crêts-Morillon 

Location Ecumenical Center, 150 Route de Ferney 1218 Le Grand Saconnex
Conference Secretariat: Universal Peace Federation - Switzerland
Category 1 NGO in General Consultative Relations with UN ECOSOC
Rue Anne-Tolcapel 10, 1202 Genève
Tel. +41 79 308 9891 ; Fax +41 728 8812 ; e-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. web:
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