Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman|
New York, United States
September 21, 2007
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates from 192 nations and the world's great religions, NGO Leaders, Ambassadors for Peace.
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman
On behalf of the Founders of the Universal Peace Federation, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon; and on behalf of the Presiding Council members, the Global Peace Council members and the Regional Affairs Council: Welcome to the Universal Peace Federation's Assembly 2007.
UPF is providing vision and leadership at a time of global crisis. This is not merely a slogan. It is a reality. Just two years, here in New York at Lincoln Center, we launched UPF.
The past two years have passed by at an amazing speed, and the UPF has developed, expanded and advanced in ways that few of us imagined.
Days after UPF was launched, our Founder took up a tour of 120 nations, which at his age was really at the risk of his life. Three months later, Mother Moon and several of their children and grandchildren took UPF's vision to 180 nations.
Programs and projects expanded, including the Middle East Peace Initiative, the Northeast Asia Peace Initiative, Peace Initiatives in the Balkans, in South Asia, and in Africa. Then there are the UPF's Character Education programs, the Interreligious Peace Sports Festival, Play Soccer Make Peace, the Global Peace Festivals and the International Leadership Conferences. The list goes on.
Globally, the vision, mission and work of the UPF are being recognized and appreciated more and more. Ambassadors for Peace are actively at work in every corner of the world.
There is a hunger and thirst in the world for new vision and leadership. There is receptivity to innovative thinking and especially to a universal vision that allows us to see our way forward to a world that we all desire.
Search the heart of any child. Be they black or white, red or yellow; Muslim or Christian, Jew or Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh. You will find a heart that hopes for peace. A heart that hopes for love. A heart that hopes for joy.
This is not foolishness or wishful thinking. This is our original nature as given to us by God, our Heavenly Parent. Peace is not a fantasy or vain utopia that only the foolish dream of.
The desire for peace lies within our hearts and minds and conscience of each one of us. Just as the desire and need for food, sunlight, and air are desired and needed by every human being, the same is true of peace.
To use a contemporary expression, we can say that "peace is in our genes." That is, it is not a human creation. Rather it is a reflection of the nature of our creator. We aspire for peace, because that is God's greatest aspiration.
However, even God cannot simply declare peace. Peace is a term that describes the quality of relationships between at least two beings, such as a man and a woman, a father and a son, a teacher and a student, a government and the people, etc.
Peace is a term that applies to relationships characterized by respect, harmony, cooperation, and ultimately love, or true love.
Due to the Fall of Adam and Eve, God's ideal of peace was destroyed and the ideal of true love and true family was destroyed. In that first family the parents violated God's commandment and grew distant from God. In that state of alienation and guilt, they bore children.
Living in separation from God, Adam and Eve could not provide true love to one another and could not provide true love for their children, Cain and Abel. As a result, they watched in shock and horror as their first son Cain killed the younger son, Abel.
How do you think God felt as He looked on and observed this horrible breakdown of the social and moral order within the first family? God's heart was broken.
God's original ideal was to establish a family of true love, beginning with and multiplying from the family of Adam and Eve. The core of that ideal is found in four essential relationships: the relationship between God and man, between husband and wife, between parents and children, and between brothers and sisters. Adam and Eve were to grow to become True Parents, and to create a True Family, centered on True Love.
The Fall was destructive of all these relationships. The violation of true love through infidelity was destructive of this family ideal. The murder of Abel by Cain became the archetype and pattern for human relationships.
Throughout history, God has had one goal in mind, namely, to restore the Fall and to re-create the original ideal by establishing the True Parents and a True Family.
Today, we stand at a turning point in world history. However, we must understand history is not merely a record of the external, social affairs of physical human beings. History does not unfold simply as a result of the decisions and actions of individuals or as a result of the patterns of social behavior. At a deeper level, there are internal principles that guide history. Like the laws of physics or mathematics, there are also internal principles that guide history.
Ultimately there is a goal and purpose to history. That goal and purpose has not been determined by any man or woman, but by the one, universal God.
What is that purpose? Is it to create religions? Races? Nationalities? God's ultimate purpose is to establish one universal realm of peace, unity, freedom and happiness for all people as true sons and daughters of God.
The end goal of history is to realize the ideal of building one family under God. This is God's original ideal and purpose.
We gather today in honor of the mission and work of the Universal Peace Federation. Our Founder refers to the UPF as a "Peace UN" or an "Abel UN." The term "Abel UN" is a new concept. What do we mean by this term?
Father Moon's life course has been intertwined with the United Nations. It was the 16-nation UN Peace Force that liberated him in 1950 from the Communist prison camp at Heung Nam. Had it not been for the UN, he would have been executed.
As much as the Founder loves and respects the UN, he also sees that it has serious limitations. These limitations have to do primarily with its adoption of an entirely secularist approach to world affairs.
For that reason, Father Moon has strongly proposed that the UN quickly develop an interreligious council within its system, thereby allowing religious and spiritual perspectives to be included in the most serious work of resolving conflict and establishing peace in this world.
According to God's providence, the ideal of establishing the UN was not merely the result of a moral vision that emerged from the insight of some political leaders like Roosevelt and Churchill in the years after World War II. Actually, the ideal of the UN lies within the original mind of human beings, for it is fundamentally an ideal of peace that has its origin in God.
What was unique about 1945 was not simply the idea of the UN, but the possibility to fulfill God's original ideal to establish one family under God. The UN was to play a role in that divine mission. It was an idea whose time had come in accordance with providential history.
This is always how Father Moon viewed the United Nations, even at the time of its founding. He always wanted to see the UN function as an agent of God's will. This is the mission that UPF was created to fulfill.
Then, what is an Abel UN?
An "Abel UN" aligns itself with God's original ideal of peace, and with the providence of restoration.
An "Abel UN" is not only to be an elder brother to the people of the world, but, first of all, a filial, elder son to our Heavenly Father.
An Abel UN is "God-centered" and respectful of all our world's great faith traditions, as partners in the quest for peace and as resources of vast treasure stores of wisdom, insight, and knowledge of universal values that are absolutely essential to peace.
Most importantly, an Abel UN is rooted in the principle of living for the sake of others, and its trademark is service. Members of an "Abel UN" are not guided by the principle of national, racial, or religious self-interest, but by the principle of service to others.
An Abel UN seeks to establish one family under God. An Abel UN builds bridges of dialogue, reconciliation, harmony and peace among all the world's races, religions, nationalities and cultures.
An Abel UN affirms not only a universal human family under God, but also works to strengthen individual families, encouraging intermarriage among all peoples, regardless of race, religion, nationality or cultural background.
An Abel UN recognizes the central significance of the family as the basis of a good society.
An Abel UN recognizes that we can only achieve peace if we establish a culture of heart, a culture of true love that links us together as one family.
It is this culture of heart that serves as the foundation for not only a respect for the rights of others, but also the sacred value and dignity of each person.
Finally, an Abel UN affirms the ancestors and the reality of the spiritual world where the ancestors dwell.
As we prepare to hear from our Founder two days from now, please pay close attention to his peace message, as a roadmap for our lives.
Let us all become Ambassadors for Peace, representing the Abel UN.
Let us be patriots of universal peace.
Assembly 2007 is a landmark moment for UPF and world peace. As we launch the "Abel UN," we are providing a new paradigm for peacebuilding. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will continue to develop our International Leadership Conference series, our Character Education programs, the Middle East Peace Initiative, and the Global Peace Festivals.
Let us work together. God bless you, let us all build one family under God.
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