NEWS: The Forgiveness Project at the United Nations

Report by founder/director of The Forgiveness Project, Marina Cantacuzino:

“On the 13th September I had the privilege of speaking in the UN’s General Assembly Hall. The resolution under discussion was “strengthening the role of mediation”. I was there because an upcoming documentary called Beyond Right and Wrong was also being shown to delegates and since I feature in the film I was invited to speak after the screening to help put the stories into context. Lord Alderdice, another expert voice in the film (having been a focal point in the peace process in Northern Ireland) also addressed the Assembly, as did political psychologist, Dr Eileen Borris.

I feel a strong connection to this film. It is, in my view, by far the best documentary feature yet to be made on this complex subject of forgiveness. I also feel personally connected to it, as all but one of those stories featured are also part of The Forgiveness Project – Robi Damelin, Rami Elhanan, Bassam Aramin, Jean-Baptiste Ntakirutimana, Jo Berry and Pat Magee. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode and Lekha Singh, Beyond Right and Wrong succeeds in hitting just the right note when it comes to forgiveness. It doesn’t sentimentalise, spiritualise or push but simply presents forgiveness as a possible transformative tool when it comes to resolving conflict and moving beyond pain.

At the UN we were fortunate that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was able to attend the screening. Afterwards he commented that the greatest barriers in life are not walls around buildings, but walls around hearts. ‘Societies cannot grow until those walls come down,’ he stated.”

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