"We must go on working until the power of love is greater than
the love of power."
I am very grateful to Dr Prem Sharma OBE, Chairman, Magna Carta, World Peace and Sustainability Foundation for attending our 2022-2023 Academic Year Commencement Event on 28th September, 2022. I am honoured to publish his congratulation message with his pre-recorded video in the President Blog.
Professor Richard Li-Hua
6th October, 2022
ELITE Innovation College Cambridge (EICC)
2022-2023 Academic Year Commencement and Welcome event on 28th September 2022, Wolfson College, Oxford.
Message from Dr Prem Sharma OBE, Chairman, Magna Carta World Peace and Sustainability Foundation
Dr Prem Sharma OBE
I am glad to bring you a message of greetings and good wishes on this important occasion. ELITE Innovation College Cambridge intends to offer holistic education through reframing Oxbridge model via Agora O2O Innovative Structure. It enhances student journey along with its 4 ELITE Colleges, including Innovation College, Technology College, Entrepreneurship College, and Leadership College, which are remarkable educational resource for innovation and developing global talents and entrepreneurs. I congratulate your President, Professor Richard Li-Hua, and his colleagues, and I wish you all success in your studies and work together.
I am a retired Veterinary Surgeon and Chartered Biologist. I studied in India, the UK and the USA, and I have worked in North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the UK.
I am passionate about PEACE and have always been a campaigner for PEACE and better understanding at every level – PEACE between communities within our diverse nations and PEACE between nations.
In 1979, when I first moved to the Reading area I pioneered the concept of Community Centres for minority communities. We lobbied hard on behalf of the local Asian community, organising petitions and making representations to the local council. As a result a community centre was set up and it continues to flourish today.
In August 2002 I spoke at a conference in London on human rights in Gujarat, India. This led to bridge building, healing and inter faith understanding between Hindu, Muslim, Christian and other communities. It was followed up by a conference in New Delhi in January 2004.
In November 2005 I spoke at the conference “A South Asian response to the London Bombings” (of 7th July 2005). I then organised a series of conferences on the theme “7/7 and Beyond – PEACE for our Communities” in Reading, Birmingham, Leeds and London, from 2006 to 2008. These PEACE conferences addressed constructive ways forward following the 7/7 London Bombings. Young people were actively involved.
Following this I began to work for PEACE more widely, exploring issues through the voices of children. Women and children are the worst affected by conflict and yet often the least heard. Two conferences in 2012 and 2018 were led primarily by children and women from conflict affected countries around the world. The audiences of children, scholars, politicians, diplomats, business people and community leaders truly heard the voices of children in conflict situations.
One girl summed it up in these words:
"We must go on working until the power of love is greater than the love of power."
All these efforts have been linked with on-going work with communities in the UK, as the issues are global. What happens in conflict areas affects the UK and vice-versa. So we have been working with government Departments and educators to produce appropriate materials to bring people together for open-ended discussion.
In the last three years we have brought this work together under the Magna Carta World Peace and Sustainability Foundation www.themagnacarta.org . We work through research (in partnership with Henley Business School), conferences, workshops and training on all aspects of world PEACE. Our aim is to investigate the causes of conflict and promote national and international conflict resolution and reconciliation.
We are also committed to recognise and respond to other factors that contribute to PEACE. So care for the environment is vital for PEACE. So is equality, between men and women, between racial and ethnic groups. The Magna Carta Foundation works for the empowerment of women, especially in those parts of the world where their rights are less regarded. It emphasises the value of diversity and opposes the oppression or marginalisation of any group by the majority.
PEACE is precious. It is a gift given to us from God. But we each have to work at promoting and maintaining it, first within ourselves – it begins with each of us. Then in our families, communities, and wider society. We also have to strive for PEACE between nations. Our late Queen Elizabeth II was a wonderful example of peacemaking through her humble service and wise leadership, visiting over 100 countries in her lifetime, developing relationships of friendship and trust with world leaders, and always demonstrating faith and hope.