BLIA’s attendance at the United Nations Civil Society Conference to spread compassion, wisdom and equality

The United Nations Civil Society Conference took place at the United Nations Campus in Nairobi, Kenya from 9-10 May. BLIA was invited to attend the conference and the representatives from Nan Hua Temple in South Africa attended: Venerable Jue-Kai, BLIA African Fellowship Director Mrs Dumann Ying, and BLIA Pretoria Secretary Anny Wei-Lee.

During the two-day conference, our representatives attended various meetings and workshops, as well as set up an exhibit showcasing Fo Guang Shan, BLIA, and the Nan Hua Performing Arts Group to more than 3600 participants from around the world. They also distributed uniquely designed USB cards with the participants to shed more light on the work done by BLIA and to promote the four objectives of Fo Guang Shan.

The main focus of this conference includes issues that civil society would like to bring to the attention of United Nations member states at the upcoming Summit of the Future in New York this September. The five major themes and focal points which this conference is based on are as follows:

The United Nations would like to take away the advice and opinions of civil societies, youth groups, academia, and researchers who are in attendance at the conference and present these opinions at the Summit for the Future for consideration by member states and governments in order to establish sustainable goals for our future. This way, we are able to attain a multilateral global opportunity to engage and shape the future to achieve an inclusive society for all and establish humanitarian empowerment by working with governments.

During an inter-faith workshop, Mrs. Dumann Ying shared with fellow attendees that the foundation of Buddhism is based on compassion, wisdom, and equality, together with the humanitarian work which our Founding President Master Hsing Yun has done for charity and education.

At the end of the conference, Mrs. Dumann Ying, expressed that she is very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the conference and to learn with other organisations based in Africa on topics relating to the eradication of poverty, violence, war, and equality. As a Buddhist, she wishes to spread further the humanistic Buddhism which our Founding Master Hsing Yun has been propagating his whole life.

Mrs. Anny Wei-Lee engaged with various attendees at the conference and topics such as teenage pregnancy, single-parent households, and equality for women, kept surfacing during the conversations. It really brought to her attention that many African youths wish to create a better society for these young women through education. This resonates closely with Founding President Master Hsing Yun’s idea of “education is the key to change in society”.

Overall, this conference attracted the attendance of 2 750 organisations, including 3600 participants from civil society, 64 countries, 7 international governmental organisations, 400 representatives from 37 United Nations Organisations, and over 100 media personnel.