Greetings of peace and blessing from URI-Africa. This is to inform you that I had a fruitful meeting with the President and management team of ROTOTOM Sunsplash (a well-known Reggae Festival in the world) to foster a working partnership among URI, Unity Earth & ROTOTOM. This partnership will promote cultural exchange, solidarity, unity in diversity, peace, social justice, human dignity, interfaith harmony, and environmental preservation through the power of music.
For the last 25 years, ROTOTOM was working very actively in promoting people-to-people relationships, peace, equality, human rights, social justice and cultural-exchange programs through a yearly, grand music festival lasting for a week with over 25,000 participants every day.
In addition to promoting music in its different forms, the organizations also made a special effort to raise social awareness about the values that enable a society to advance in the justest and most equitable way possible in our world.
Over the years, ROTOTOM developed different kinds of actions to demonstrate the convergence of different cultures and peoples from around the world, beyond race, religion, borders or physical barriers and ideologies, to support the effort of creating a better world for all.
In this regard, the organization had the honor to be recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an Exemplary Event for the decade 2001-2010 for promoting a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence.
All of this has allowed the organization to grow and to become one of the international benchmarks as an alternative festival model to promote a culture of peace.
In addition to the music festival, ROTOTOM also organizes conferences, workshops and cultural events. Each year, the 8-day festival of ROTOTOM is attended by 222,000 people from around 98 different countries. More than 4,191,000 visitors viewed ROTOTOM's website. Over 2,000,000 followed the livestream via ROTOTOM's five channels. Ninety accredited media sources covered the event from Europe, South America, Africa, Australia and the USA.
For many years now, ROTOTOM's organizers have promoted the concept of a ‘gathering’. That is, a gathering designed to address the public's musical, entertainment, cultural, social and political agendas. In effect, it is this unique and valuable opportunity of socialization and connecting people from different parts of the world, cultures, religions and ideologies that led to the popular explosion of the ‘sunsplash phenomenon’.
This gathering of people takes place alongside the promotion of an agenda focusing on: Peace, Tolerance, Respect, Solidarity, Brotherhood & Sisterhood, Non-violence and Environmental Preservation, which URI fully endorses.
ROTOTOM is also unique in that the festival is an all-day-long event. The concerts start at dusk, the dancehall fills up at night, and the mornings and afternoons are dedicated to interaction, relaxation, cultural activities and social concerns. Every year, a little village appears out of the blue through the festival. In this village people easily make new friends, courtesy and cooperation are the rule, and acts of solidarity sprout spontaneously amongst the village`s inhabitants. This reality is often described by the festival goers as a sort of ‘parallel world’. That is, it promotes the notion that, thanks to the co-operation and goodwill of the masses, there actually is “another world possible.”
I am also so thrilled to wittiness that out of the reggae city of ROTOTOM Sunsplash rises Pachamama and its unmistakable dome. It is a space for personal growth and reconnecting with Mother Earth through the values of sustainable development, agro-ecology and health, which has consolidated itself within the daytime cultural program of the festival, and which grows from year to year. Natural therapies, yoga and mindfulness, dialogue, permacultural, conscious food, medicinal plants, and the value of biological seeds, are some of the many elements that form the backbone of Pachamama that takes place in the festival every year.
With all the above adding to the value of the festival, the partnership which URI is working to foster with ROTOTOM will give a very good visibility to URI Cooperation Circle member groups all over the world and will enhance URI's mission and vision internationally.
I am also happy to inform you about URI-Africa's plan to present its Africa Peace Award to ROTOTOM, in acknowledgement of the 25 years' exemplary work in developing different kinds of positive actions and humanitarian work through music.
URI-Africa fully recognizes the contribution of ROTOTOM in promoting intercultural harmony and dialogue as a fundamental tool in the peaceful resolution of conflicts through the power of music.
URI-Africa also highly appreciate the motto, vision, mission and philosophy of ROTOTOM and the humanitarian work which ROTOTOM is doing through the foundation it established under the name of EXODUS.
May Peace Prevail on Earth.
In peace and gratitude,
Ambassador Mussie Hailu