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Visions of Peace initiative shines during the UN 67th commission on status of women COMMISSION ON STATUS OF WOMEN


Pictured: Princess Cheryl Halpern (VOPI) presenting the Art for Peace Book in celebration of Visions of Peace 5 Year Anniversary during the 67th Commission on Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City


The 67th Commission On Status of Women took place from March 6-17, 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with the theme: Innovation and technological change, education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Visions of Peace Initiative (VOPI), Co-Founders, Princess Cheryl Halpern and Princess Natasha Demantra were special invited delegates of New Generation In Action and main initiative A.F.I. World Peace Initiative, an organization that is supported by the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and uses the arts in order to promote world peace and tolerance. It is a unique approach to tackling issues today that has created long standing partnerships and collaborations. In addition to the conference, the organization, Visions of Peace Initiative (VOPI) was the main partner of the parallel event hosted by invitation through NGOCSWNY. The special program titled “New Generation of Story Tellers,” took place on March 10th between 10:30 am and 12:00 pm at the Salvation Army Auditorium and according to the NGO CSW NY, the event received a “Highly Attended Session,” ribbon. 


Co-Founder of VOPI, Princess Cheryl Halpern whose track record inspired others, delivered the keynote address. The former Chairman of Public Broadcasting Corporation is an award winning filmmaker while her production company, HQ Creative LLC has also won an Emmy award. Princess Halpern’s humanitarian work is global and has received many accolades. In her address, she pointed at concerns of safety and security for girls and women in a digital era which was also reaffirmed at the end of the conference on March 17th with call to create initiatives to promote innovation and technological change with agreed conclusions adopted by Member States. This is to provide a blueprint for all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society,and the youth to promote the full and equal participation and leadership of women and girls in design, transformation, and integration of digital technologies and innovation processes that fulfill the human rights and needs of women and girls. 


“It is an honor to have been invited by Her Majesty Queen Angelique-Monet of Eti-Oni and the New Generation In Action. It is most appropriate that this event is focused on Story Telling. It is reflective of the relationship that Her Majesty and I have shared throughout the years from our visual medium at Cannes Film Festival to New York City and the United Nations. We have presented award winning documentaries in order to raise awareness. Our organization is celebrating 5 years and the Art of Peace Book that was presented to Queen Angelique-Monet is a token of our appreciation for her support and work to help make this world a better place. Every page of the book includes a heartfelt visual of hope for a better future and peaceful co-existence.” She then added, “In order to promote Civil Society it is essential to teach tolerance at an early age. Since the founding in 2017, Visions of Peace Initiative has inspired several hundreds of thousands of children through the main medium of the arts.”


The Visions of Peace Initiative (VOPI) embraces the Ethics and Reciprocity, also known as the Golden Rule, a universal value that is included in all faiths and traditions, “Do Unto Others As You Would Want Done To Yourself and Do Not Do Unto Others As You Would Not Want Done To Yourself.” The organization received commendations from the Chairman of the House of Regional Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, also known as the Senate House and also nominated the organization for the Nobel Peace Prize. 


The high level event also screened the film “Holy Prostitution” which she produced and co-directed with Princess Natasha Demantra. The film documented the experience of a young woman in a Mut'ah marriage which is also known as a ‘marriage of convenience’. The practice of Mut'ah marriage is regarded by many as an exploitative form of legalized prostitution and is widely banned. This film explored this young Indonesian woman's experience in the Puncak region through her own testimonial and re-enactments and was endorsed by the Department of Religious Affairs of Indonesia who recommended the film to be used for ''continued screenings and inspiration.'' 


To follow the theme of the CSW, and giving youths a voice, the organization also highlighted and honored the Co-Director Princess Natasha Dementra with the New Generation In Action “Lady Youth of the Year 2023” Award which was a statue of the globe over joining hands as a symbol of unity and peace. In her remarks after receiving the Award, Princess Natasha stated “Today I am humbled to receive the New Generation In Action Lady Youth Award of the Year 2023 (Youths Under 25 Years of Age). I never imagined how much this film could have an impact and great responses from the audience. The easy use of technology today has made it very convenient to show this film to people all over the world. I want to thank Princess Cheryl Halpern for giving me the opportunity to make this film. I want to also thank members of the Jury and the committees on the Commission on Status of Women as well as NGIA World Peace Initiative who is helping to promote this film. In addition, I want to thank all the interviewees, the cast and crew, especially my father Prince Damien Dematra who made the film possible and lastly, this film would not be where it is today without the courage of the girl child whose story was told in the film. We acknowledge her bravery and courage to tell her story and also want this to be an example for other girls to use their voice,” stated honoree Princess Natasha Demetra.  Princess Natasha Demetra has been working in the arts for promoting peace since age 11. 


During the event, Her Royal Majesty Queen Angelique-Monet of Eti-Oni presented Princess Cheryl Halpern with The City of New York Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Eric Adams who congratulated her on her work and the five year anniversary of Visions of Peace Initiative at the Forum during the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and film screening. 

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