This message is to all my fellow peacemakers, sponsors and participants of the 2017 APMF Conference who share a common vision of peacemaking.
It is my honour as the member of the APMF Executive Committee and the convener of the 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF) Conference to be contributing towards the success of the conference in Da Nang Vietnam.
It is also an honour to be responsible for convening a global community of peacemakers to share ideas for professional development and good fellowship.
It is my belief that we must evolve a method of conflict resolution, if we as human beings are to evolve, and survive into the future. This method of dispute resolution must reject revenge, aggression and retaliation from the past and instead embraces peaceful co-existence for the future.
The theme for this conference is The Future of Mediation in the Asia Pacific Region
It is not a coincidence that I proposed the theme for the 2017 APMF Conference to be on the future and requested the venue be held in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Life teaches us that we look to the future it is prudent to remember what we learned in the past.
I have lived in Vietnam for the past 8 years and have come to learn that Da Nang symbolizes peace and re-unification for Vietnamese people. Da Nang is the city where the final U.S. ground combat operations in Vietnam ceased on 13 August 1972 ending a long and brutal war and unifying the country again.
It is my observation that both conflict and peace cannot survive without participation. Future wars cannot continue without warriors and a lasting peace cannot be achieved without peacemakers. Peacemakers are the guardians of human civilization.
I do believe that only through our continuous participation as peacemakers can humanity survive into the future
Thanks for your participation as global peacemakers.
Thomas G. Giglione
Member of APMF Executive Committee
Convener of the 8th APMF Conference