Establishing a Global Culture of Heart and a World of Lasting Peace: Trends, Challenges and Change
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, International Chairman, IIFWP|
July 30, 2005
Your Excellencies. Distinguished Delegates. Ambassadors for Peace.
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, International Chairman, IIFWP
On behalf of the IIFWP Founders, the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, it is my honor to welcome you to this 7th Annual Assembly of the IIFWP on ?Establishing a Global Culture of Heart and a World of Lasting Peace: Trends, Challenges and Change?
Yesterday many of you attended the Opening Ceremony of the 11th World Culture and Sports Festival. In addition to our Assembly delegates, we have thousands of youth from every corner of the globe who have gathered for the Interreligious Peace Sports Festival, the World CARP Convention and the Mr. and Miss University Pageant. Moreover, on August 1 we will celebrate marriage and family through the World Peace Blessing and the Family Festival, which transcend all nations and religions.
And, just five days ago, we concluded the second Sun Moon Peace Cup Soccer tournament, which featured eight world-class teams from Argentina, Colombia, England, France, Korea, Netherlands, Spain and South Africa. The team from England, ?Tottenham Hotspurs? won first place, followed by France?s ?Olympique Lyonais.?
At the conclusion of the Peace Cup, Dr. Moon presented a check for one million dollars to the World Association of NGOs for the expansion of its dynamic ?Play Soccer, Make Peace? program, which promotes both soccer and character development among youth in developing nations.
When Dr. Moon initiated the WCSF series, back in 1988, he indicated that its mission was to create a world culture of heart and peace. In other words, the work for peace requires a transformation of human hearts, so that respect, love and good will characterize our attitude and feelings toward the entire human family.
There are various kinds of cultures in our world. There are cultures of greed, cultures of hate, cultures of complaint, cultures of selfishness. What is needed, however, is the creation of a culture of unselfishness and true love which dominates all human institutions, from governments to schools, from businesses to religions, from sports teams to families.
At the most fundamental level, peace has its source in the human spirit, the realm of the heart which is the center-point of the human need and capacity for true love, good relationships and joy. Lasting peace arises as the realm of heart within each human being is liberated and expanded to encompass families, communities, nations and the entire world ? yielding a culture of heart and a realm of lasting peace.
You may think this a nice vision, perhaps, but if we are to move from idealistic rhetoric to practical achievements, we must translate this high vision into practices and mechanisms that can lead us to peace. Such is the work of this Assembly.
As you know, the leaders of the G-8 nations convened in Gleneagles, Scotland, a few weeks ago. High on the agenda, even as bombs were exploding in London, were the issues of poverty eradication, debt relief and economic development. This is also a primary concern of those leaders who meet each year as part of the World Economic Forum.
And surely the United Nations places the effort to eradicate poverty high on its agenda, as evidenced in the work of the United Nations Development Program and the Millennium Development Goals outlined at their 55th General Assembly in 2000.
However, poverty eradication is not simply a matter of re-distributing money and material resources from one nation to another. Wealth, like technology, is a tool that is created and used by people. How those tools are used depends on the quality of the character of those who own the tools. This is one reason why current efforts to relieve debt and reduce poverty pay attention to the quality of governance within a given nation. Giving money to a nation run by corrupt and inept leaders will not alleviate poverty.
Throughout his life, Dr. Moon has worked to establish a universal culture of heart as the foundation for lasting peace. At the center of that work is the family. Through the World Peace Blessing, millions of couples around the world, from every race, religion and nationality, have been introduced to a vision of the God-centered family. On the foundation of a God-centered marriage, the family becomes the school of true love for children.
Then, on the foundation of ideal families, the principle of true love can be applied in the wider society. Ironically, this invisible, intangible dimension of human life -- the quality we call ?true love? ? is the primary determinant of the decisions we make in each moment and circumstance of our life. Furthermore, how we apply true love determines more than any other factor the outcomes and substantial ?fruits? of our lives. For this reason, based on this ideal of true love, Dr. Moon has pioneered programs in every area of human life, including religion, politics, the media, education, academia, the arts, sports and business.
In each area, he has introduced his vision and has inspired leaders of courage to take responsibility in helping to transform this world. It is this vision that underlies the work of the IIFWP and the Interreligious and International Peace Council (IIPC) initiative.
Only a few weeks ago we completed a series of meetings in all ten IIPC regions worldwide. On that foundation, representing the ten regions, an International Commission for the IIPC will deliberate on the charter and the overall plan of action for the peace councils.
Dr. Moon launched the IIPC on October 3, 2003 in New York, referring to this initiative as the beginning of a new ?Abel United Nations,? or a ?Peace United Nations.? The term Abel is taken from the book of Genesis, which speaks of the son of Adam and Eve whose offering, because it was offered purely, faithfully and unselfishly, was blessed by God.
By coining the term ?Peace United Nations,? he wants to convey the need for a world-level institution focused on good governance that is itself an embodiment of peace. That is, the members themselves not only talk of peace but they embody the ideals of peace as well ? as individuals, families, nations and the world. A ?Peace United Nations? is one whose members are ?Peace Nations.?
The vision of a ?Peace UN? has guided the global movement that Dr. Moon has been building over the past 60 years. It is not a new idea for him. All along, he has been working systematically to establish God?s ideal Peace Kingdom ? a world of universal harmony, cooperation and co-prosperity ? a world without borders, where all people live as members of one worldwide family. He sees God?s entire providence as dedicated to this one goal, and therefore has devoted his whole life to this as well.
The strategies Dr. Moon has pursued since the very first organization he founded have been to unite the scattered subsets of what should be a unified whole.
For example, in 1954, he founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity to create solidarity and unity among all Christians. He knew that the work for peace could only be accomplished if all Christians, indeed people of all faiths, unite and become true leaders of peace and reconciliation rather than pursuing sectarian interests and remaining divided. Division only weakens the divided entities and renders everything ineffective.
Dr. Moon?s vision for the United Nations, which was formed just 60 years ago right after World War II, was a vision of the UN member states truly united and working cooperatively for the well-being of all people. It was also a vision of all religions united in harmony and cooperation. A unity that is both interreligious and international has its founding in our common origin, God. God?s global vision has always been at the forefront of Dr. Moon?s efforts to build a worldwide foundation able to embody this vision.
The work of the IIFWP is the highest expression of this effort thus far, but there is still much more work to do. The IIPC represents the shift to the next level, building on the foundation of the Ambassadors for Peace. Since its Assembly 2000, five years ago, IIFWP has guided global discussions and dialogue about United Nations reform and the governance mechanisms we will need in the 21st century. The IIPC is the emerging substantial result of these efforts to date and represents a serious response to our current global needs.
IIFWP?s work in the Middle East is a good example of the kind of work the Peace Councils will carry out. There we are bringing together Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims ? building bridges of understanding, trust and cooperation where there had been hatred and mistrust ? by actively reminding us all of our common values and our common purposes and by re-living these together. We are making our common roots and origins, our needs and desires a shared experience and not just a ?nice idea.?
Through conferences, service projects, fact-finding tours, peace marches, films, publications, people-to-people meetings, and, most of all, through the leadership and example of the Ambassadors for Peace, this work is having an impact. Minds and hearts are being transformed. Hope is on the rise. Even when we experience resistance in some places, we realize that is because we are beginning to touch the core of some very fundamental points where change is needed. How can peace come without challenge and change?
God did not create the world randomly but according to several universal principles that we see manifested in all things. One of the most basic is that God created all things to exist in relationship, according to a ?pair system.? The pair system underlies the fact that all species and all entities are made up of male and female aspects, both of which are absolutely essential.
The ?pair system" principle means that the existence and development of anything or anyone has its foundation in give and take relationships between two entities. Another way to speak of the pair system is to speak of partnership. That is, no being lives in isolation. Also, the fulfillment of the function and the quality of existence of any being is related to the quality of the partnership and the unity of heart which that being has with its subject or object partner. This is cosmic law. This is why we speak about a ?culture of heart? as the foundation for lasting peace.
For example, when we think about conflict resolution, we should recognize that we are talking about healing, repairing or restoring a broken partnership or relationship between subject and object. The broken partnership can be between a husband and a wife, a boss and an employee, a Muslim and a Hindu ? or Israel and Palestine. Peace-building, and even human development, are ultimately about establishing correct, constructive and mutually beneficial relationships.
A second core principle is the ?dual purpose? principle. Every entity has its own individual purpose for existence, well-being and fulfillment. At the same time, however, each being also serves a larger purpose. These dual purposes are the ?purpose of the individual? and the ?purpose of the whole.?
For example, as an individual, we each want to have security, happiness and prosperity. However, none of us exists in isolation. Our fulfillment as individuals is directly linked to our relationships with others ? with our spouse and family, for example. If I selfishly live only for the sake of my own personal well-being, my family will break down, and in the end I would even fail to achieve my individual happiness.
Likewise, family members must not live for the sake of their family alone but must serve the higher purpose of the society and the nation. Similarly, nations must focus not only on the well-being of their own citizens. They must be concerned about the security and prosperity of the citizens of other nations as well. True love cannot be established on a foundation of selfishness.
The vision behind the IIFWP is one that calls us always to the larger vision, the larger purpose. That is why we continually emphasize two core practices:
First is the practice of true love, living for the sake of others. This is the application of the ?dual purpose? principle.
Second is the practice of unification that calls us to always act so as to restore broken relationships. This is the application of the ?pair system? principle.
As we look to the future, if we do not see significant changes in consciousness about these two core practices emerging at the global level of today?s main international institutions, global crises will continue to proliferate.
Even the United Nations may decline in terms of its authority and effectiveness. Just as the current United Nations emerged out of the ashes of World War II, we are at a pivotal moment in history when new standards of global governance need to be installed. We need to contribute to this process for the sake of lasting peace.
When I think about Dr. Moon?s life and his work that began 70 years ago, I cannot help but sense the loneliness he must have felt. He began completely on his own ? alone with God. Hardly anyone at that time could understand the scope and depth of his vision and teaching. He faced, and still faces, persecution, misunderstanding, ignorance and selfishness. And yet, he has prospered. Why?
There is a providence that guides the currents of history. There is a living God whose principles are unshakable and absolute. Only by living in accordance with those principles will the world be changed. In this respect, Dr. Moon clearly understands God?s providence for the direction and purpose of history.
I remember very well, for example, that in the 1960s he spoke about communism as having only 70 years to prosper, from 1917 to 1987, after which time it would decline rapidly. In 1984 he asked me to convene an international conference in Geneva on the theme, ?The Fall of the Soviet Empire.? Many leaders advised him not to use this title. But he insisted, and the conference on that theme was held. A few short years later, communism was turned upside down.
I want to mention one other very important matter: The development of history is not driven only by those of us who are alive here on the earth. There is also the living reality of the spiritual world and our ancestors and all the great saints, sages, patriots and righteous people of the past who now dwell in the spiritual world. These persons are increasingly empowered to intervene in human history and support the work of righteous people here on the earth.
As a result, those who act selfishly and who are corrupt will not thrive in this world, but rather they will decline. This is a phenomenon that you will see with increasing clarity as time goes on.
Before I conclude, I want to mention that each of the committees of this conference -- on the Media, on Human Rights, on Economic Development and on Peace Education ? is crucial to the ongoing development of the IIFWP. I encourage each committee to adopt a ?headwing? approach ? not leftwing or rightwing. Be innovative and go beyond ?business as usual.? The critical problems facing our world are not being effectively resolved by relying on standard analyses rooted in special interests or stock ideologies. A ?headwing? approach moves beyond polarized political thinking to a constructive, balanced approach that applies the principle of living for the sake of others and recognizes that the purpose of the individual must be balanced by recognition of the purpose of the whole.
Yesterday I convened the members of IIFWP?s Presiding Council. It was the first formal meeting of the Presiding Council. We discussed a variety of matters at this meeting, such as budget and finance, public relations, the strategic vision for the IIFWP, etc. Increasingly, we feel called to upgrade our capacities and move to a new level. This increased sense of urgency is driven both by the crises the world is facing and by the growing realization that IIFWP is making a difference around the world.
In closing, I want to mention one important outcome of our Presiding Council meeting. That is, in response to the advice of the Founder, IIFWP will convene the First Assembly of the Global Peace Council in September, near the time of the opening of the 60th General Assembly of the UN and the Summit of Heads of State and Government.
At our convocation, which will bring together IIFWP Peace Council delegates from every country around the world, we will launch a new initiative, the coalition of ?Peace Nations.? One of the first efforts of the newly formed Peace Councils will be to gather a coalition of nations who subscribe to a set of core principles of good governance and commit to essential protocols of peace and good governance. I hope you will help us in the effort to have each of your nations send its highest level delegation to this convocation and to become a part of the ?Peace Nations? coalition.
In conclusion, the development of the IIFWP and the IIPC as an innovative model of good governance has profound significance for human development, world peace and the Kingdom of God. It is a very serious and important matter. Please be confident that God is behind this initiative, and please reflect on, study and put into practice the principles I discussed here today.
There are enormous tasks that lie ahead if we are to build a world of lasting peace. These include building a coalition of Peace Nations, the World University Federation and an international highway system that spans the globe. Maybe you have heard, Dr. Moon is working to build a Bering Strait Peace Bridge Tunnel to unite east and west for the sake of peace and economic development.
In every field and area of endeavor, there is work that needs to be done, for the sake of lasting peace. We need resources, of course, but most of all we need a culture of heart. For this we need your help. We need you as partners. The world needs you.
Thank you and God bless you.
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