The URI European Assembly “Together Creating Heaven on Earth by Cultivating Peace, Justice, and Healing” was held in Lienz, Eastern Tyrol, Austria, from Thursday, 28. September to Monday, 2. October 2023. Finally after the covid years of mostly meeting on line 58 attendees from Europe with guests from the U.S. and India came together in person.

This was a long journey for all participants but worth it for the hospitality and the stunning views of the mountains. Lienz is a small town with a population of 11,600 and is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains of about 2,000 m in height at the small river Isel, which flows into the Drau right along the city.

URI Netherlands was well represented by board members Morgana, HannaMitra and Carola, plus Anita from the CC Ken je Kracht Steven from Kleurijk Segbroek and Duncan who is on the board of URI Europe.

Our host was Elisabeth Ziegler-Duregger  who had founded a URI Cooperation Circle called “Education Brings Peace“ and invited URI to host their summit for 60 people at her home town of Lienz. She is also involved with a project in Syria with a group of 600 displaced people, supporting a school and small scale farm to grow food for the group.

Having worked in the library of the town for many years she was interested in education. One of her projects was the book “The Little Owl“ was edited then. It has now been translated into more than 60 languages from Arab to Urdu. It’s the story of a little owl that collects wisdom by discovering the world of the different animals. It can be downloaded at:

So the Dutch team set off by plane and train arriving the 2nd of October at a lovely hotel situated next to the Franciscan Monastery who invited us to use part of their monastery and gardens for the Conference.

The aim of this Assembly was for European CC leaders and URI Europe team members to come together, to meet, exchange insights, to build and deepen relationships and work on a plan for joint action.

We also  wanted to see where we stood at this moment in time, what our collective energy is to discover what each of us could offer for creating positive changes in the future.
We also used this time together to identify the most critical issues for peace, justice, and healing on the local, European and global levels and how we can tackle them on a collective basis.

It was an intense 3 days, with workshops and lectures. Finding out what we were all doing, young and old. In between we walked up a mountain to ring the Peace Bell, the bell has the symbols of major world religions on it. Underneath there is room to leave a stone from your country, which we did and then each of us rang the bell.

We also visited the Cossack Graveyard which is an important piece of history in Lienz. We planted a peace tree at the cemetery.

We were all treated to delicious vegetarian food in the Monastery cooked by volunteers and each mealtime we sat with different people and met new and old friends.

This was an invaluable experience to connect and find out what all the different Cooperating circles were working on. URI is very active with youth organisation across the globe and it was so interesting to hear their views after all they are the future.

After heading home we immediately got to work on our event for the 25th November we hope to see you there!

To learn more about URI Lienz CC please visit
To learn about Bell for Peace and Friendship, please visit

Here you can find some of the media coverage of the event in the German language