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UPF Founder Awarded Rare Doctor Honoris Causa Degree by Leading Venezuelan University
Michael Balcomb, UPF Communications Director
Seoul, Korea
September 12, 2006

Dr. Carlos Enrique Pena confers the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa on the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Universal Peace Federation, has been awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universitad Santa Maria, Caracas, Venezuela, in recognition of his life work for peace, education, human rights and religious freedom.

The ceremony was conducted by University Vice-President Dr. Carlos Enrique Pena, who traveled from Caracas for the occasion. The degree award was the culmination of a day of celebrations for the first anniversary of the Universal Peace Federation, founded September 12 2005 at the Lincoln Center in New York.

?When I learned about the life and work of Rev. Moon, said Pena, ?I felt that it was the sacred duty of our university to offer our highest honor to recognize an extraordinary contribution to the field of human rights.?

Such decisions are not easily made at Santa Maria. Moon is one of only a three or four luminaries to receive the Honoris Causa degree in the last thirty years,? according Pena. The last awardee was Dr. Mario Villarroel, then President of the International Red Cross.

The venue was the newly dedicated Cheong Jeong Goong Peace Palace, situated high in the mountains about 50km NE of Seoul, well on the way to the 38th parallel and the border with North Korea.

Putting an end to the continuing division of Korea after 60 long years remains one of the the 86-year old Moon?s final goals. ?Who will bring Kim Jong Il to embrace peace?? he asked 1,000 guests from 140 countries gathered for the anniversary. ?And how can it be done? There is only one way and that is to truly love the enemy until he becomes a brother.?

Since UPF was founded, Dr. Moon and his family have visited more than 180 countries on two world peace tours, and a third tour, featuring the Moon?s children and grandchildren, is currently taking place in 40 countries and 480 cities. It was Dr. Moon?s repeated call on tour for the rights of the individual and of the family, an end to war, and greater religious freedoms, which drew the attention of the Venezuelan school.

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