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Martin Luther King III Addresses Universal Peace Federation Assembly 2007
New York, United States
September 23, 2007
Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., today appealed to more 400 leaders of the Universal Peace Federation gathered in New York City to make a new commitment to fulfilling the humanitarian promises of the United Nations, especially the Millennium Development Goals. The UPF, founded by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon in 2005, is an international network of individuals and organizations dedicated to peace.
"History will judge our generation," King said, recalling the words of his father, "not by whether we did what was popular or safe, but whether we did what is right." King said that the tools of faith and non-violent action, so successful in his father's civil rights campaign, could also prove effective in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals, which are aimed at solving the urgent problems facing the world's children, including hunger, disease and the need for education for all.
"As my father often said, the question is not whether we have the technology or the ability, but whether we have the will and the heart," King said. "I believe we can do most anything with faith."
King was joined by other experts in the field of service. Mr. Paula Sototu, the director of Habitat for Humanity in Fiji and a long time senior Fijian diplomat, said that it was not enough for the wealthy and developed nations to simply offer foreign aid as a 'hand-down" to poorer nations. "It is important to form partnerships with equal dignity for all parties," he said.
Rev. Mark Farr, director of Faith and Service at the Points of Light Foundation, founded by former President George Herbert Bush, challenged the audience to think of the MDGs as a spiritual problem, not simply a humanitarian matter. "We in the West are used to think of our work as helping those in the need solve their problems," he said. "But in fact the problem starts here at home. It is our moral failure that has created the need for the MDGs. It is not just the task of some government agency, but it is our task. We are the solution."
Rev. Moon addresses the UPF General Assembly this evening on the topic of "The United States and the Future Direction of the United Nations and the World." More than 1200 people will represent all 190 nations present at the UN. Letters of support from Heads of State from many nations will be read, as well as messages of support from local political leaders including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and from religious leaders, NGO directors and other others.
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