Opening Plenary Keynote Address|
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman, IIFWP and IIPC|
January 26, 2004
Your Excellencies. Distinguished World Leaders from 160 nations. Current and Former Heads of State and Government. Religious Leaders from all Traditions. Scholars. Parliamentarians. Civic Leaders. Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, it is my honor to welcome you to this World Summit on Leadership and Governance, sponsored by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace and the Interreligious and International Peace Council. Thank you for your attendance here and for recognizing the importance of our coming together to consider the theme, ?Good Governance for a World in Crisis.?
On October 3rd of last year, the IIFWP launched the IIPC. At the Inaugural Assembly of the IIPC, Dr. Moon delivered an address on the ?elimination of boundaries.? In that speech, presented to a gathering of 1500 international delegates from more than 160 nations, he stated,
?When we love our enemies and make oneness with them, the boundaries between us will collapse. That is why God?s strategy and tactic has always been ?love your enemy.? There can be no greater strategy for peace than this. Throughout history this incredible fact has escaped humanity?s understanding, and it has yet to be grasped even in modern times. Today I tell you clearly that God?s strategy and tactic for human salvation is to love your enemy. You and the members of the Unification Church who have followed me until now are the representatives or history as well as of the current world who now know Heaven?s incredible secret. Our responsibility now is to inherit this principle, put it into practice, and become a true human being. If you accomplish these things, you are sure to become a key player in bringing about a world of peace.?|
As we consider the current world situation and the need for good governance I hope we can keep this quote in mind. The core principle that guides the work of IIPC is ?living for the sake of others.? Moreover, this principle can be the basis of a new methodology for peace and good governance.
At the outset of 2004 Rev. Moon proclaimed the dawning of the ?era of the Peace Kingdom.? The Peace Kingdom refers to the establishment of a realm of universal harmony, cooperation and prosperity among all people, beyond race, religion, nationality or culture. Within the Peace Kingdom all human beings belong to one family and one lineage of true love under God. The citizens of the Peace Kingdom are brothers and sisters living together in true love.
The foundation of the Peace Kingdom is God. Human history, due to the Fall, has not been an expression of God?s ideal. God has been seeking to establish relationships of true love with human beings. That is, God has sought to have an object partner of true love. At this time in history, this dream is becoming a reality and all humanity is destined to relate with God as object partners of true love.
Thus, Rev. Moon is also declaring the dawning of an age in which the eternal and living God can exercise full dominion, and particularly a dominion of true love, which is God?s most fundamental attribute. The Peace Kingdom is a realm characterized by true love as the basis for human relationships. Stated a bit differently, the Peace Kingdom is characterized by the practice of living for the sake of others.
The principle of ?living for the sake of others? is not the teaching of any single religion or moral philosophy. One can find it represented in the sacred writings of virtually all the world?s great religions, not to mention the great moral philosophers. Not only is it a great teaching, but it is a principle of action and a practice. We recognize this principle at work in the lives of Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, and Socrates.
Our greatest religious founders understood this principle to be as basic as the natural laws of the universe, such as the law of gravity or the laws of mathematics, physics or chemistry. When we violate this law, there are grave consequences. Peace itself has its foundation in the application of this principle.
Just as God is the author and origin of the most basic scientific laws of the universe, God is also the author and origin of the basic spiritual and moral laws of the universe. Just as we gain enlightenment concerning our physical circumstances through scientific knowledge, we can gain enlightenment concerning our spiritual circumstances through religion.
Peace, most fundamentally, has to do with the quality of relationships. Peace obtains when relationships are harmonious, even and cooperative. Harmony is obtained in the natural order as objects follow the laws of the universe. Harmony, and peace, can be obtained in the human order when we follow the spiritual and moral laws of the universe.
For this reason, without an understanding of God, and God?s principles, peace will never be achieved. As human beings, we are not merely physical beings, but we have been created also as spiritual beings. We are spiritual beings who exist in physical bodies throughout our lifetime on earth. At a certain point in time, each of us will pass out of our physical existence. However, we will continue to exist as spiritual beings, and we will each dwell in the spiritual world for eternity.
The reason the world?s great spiritual teachers have advised us to live according to spiritual principles and to avoid being too taken up with material pleasures and comforts is precisely because our physical life is so temporary. In fact our physical life is little more than a training ground or preparatory school for our eternal life. Just as life in the womb precedes and prepares us for our life on earth, our life on earth precedes and prepares us for our life in the spiritual world.
When we think of peace, we must think on many levels. Too often we associate peace with the administration of political power. That is, we often think that peace can be brought into being by an external force or by some external law. Peace, however, does not begin from the realm of politics or government. Peace begins with the individual.
Furthermore, peace moves from the most internal dimension to the external, from invisible to visible and from spiritual to physical. Thus, when we speak of the individual as the foundation of peace, we refer most fundamentally to the internal character and spiritual awareness of the individual.
The first challenge for peace is my own self. If I cannot establish peace within myself, by establishing harmony and cooperation between my mind and body, then I cannot expect to create a world of peace. For example, if I am troubled and conflicted within my own character, I will not be at peace, regardless of the situation in the external world. Thus the basis of peace is to solve the problem of my individual character. And, solving the individual character problem is primarily a matter of spiritual development.
Our theme for this conference is concerned with good governance. Good governance is not simply related to governments. The term good governance refers to the way in which we manage or govern a given area or realm of responsibility. We may therefore talk about global governance, for example when we consider the United Nations, or individual governance, when we think of a particular human being.
Just as peace begins with the individual, good governance also begins with the individual, and has to do primarily with the way in which any given person manages their own desires, interests, appetites, passions, duties and obligations. If a person allows selfish desires to dominate them, or if they become enslaved by physical appetites or passions, we may say that a given person is not capable of good self-governance. Moreover, and this is a very important point, such a person is not likely to be able to practice good governance in other social contexts, for example in a family.
Governance of a household or family is the responsibility of the husband and wife, the parents. If a husband or wife has not been able to successfully practice self-governance, they will be ill-equipped to function well as either a spouse or a parent. Stated a bit differently, a person who cannot master his or her own desires and who cannot become a person of good character, is not able to become a good spouse, and cannot in turn become a good parent. A true parent is one who has gained self-mastery, established a loving and harmonious partnership with their spouse, and ?governs? the family in a responsible, loving and productive way. Furthermore, the governance within the family that is exercised by the parents is not merely external, as in providing basic material needs for all members of the household, but is fundamentally internal in nature, that is, providing an environment of true love, respect, compassion and care. Thus, governance in the family, includes physical care, spiritual care, education, and the practice of true love. Successful parents are parents who practice the principle of living for the sake of others.
Governance also applies to a wide range of social contexts, including businesses, schools, civic organizations, and religions. Often we associate governance with boards that have the responsibility of overseeing the leadership and work of a given institutions, such as a church, a university, an NGO or a business. In such cases, good governance is associated with qualities such as transparency, accountability, fiscal responsibility, honesty, etc. Directors and trustees take responsibility to assure that a given institution is performing in accordance with its mission and purpose. A good director or trustee, once again, is one who acts for an unselfish purpose, and who has achieved a level of self-mastery that allows them to live a public life.
We all are aware of institutions that are not governed according to moral principles. There are many cases, for example, the profit motive has caused corporations to function immorally, violating the trust and the investments of shareholders, not to mention customers and other stakeholders. In the realm of politics, we often note individuals who are more concerned with fame, power and privilege than with the public good. Whether at the corporate level or the political level, moral corruption is manifest as corruption.
These principles also apply to governments. Good governance, even in the political realm, is rooted in good character. As we lose sight of this principle, and as we entrust people with power who are not persons of good character, we invite corruption, which in turn destroys trust, and leads to disharmony and, ultimately conflict.
Although we tend to see religions and non-profit organizations as exempt form corruption and moral failure, the history of bad governance within religions institutions and within non-profit institutions is also rife with failure. When religious leaders guide their followers according to narrow or self-centered principles, they are not practicing good governance. When non-governmental organizations become special-interest groups that only seek the immediate and narrow success of their particular community, we are witnessing a breakdown of public trust, making peace so much harder to achieve.
In the era of the Peace Kingdom, self-governance is the primary responsibility of each citizen. The key to self-governance is the development of a true moral character which is based on a heart of true love. Moral character emerges as the conscience develops through a relationship with God?s love and truth. Moral character also is strengthened by a deep awareness of the reality of our spiritual life and the spiritual world around us.
Thus, good governance is not brought into being by external force or power. Rather, as we mature and perfect ourselves in the true love of God, good governance will emerge naturally and according to God?s original ideal, without coercion or force,
A peace kingdom is a kingdom of self-governing men and women. It is not a realm ruled by any single dictator or leader, or through any external power or military force. Through the practice of true love, all citizens of the peace kingdom are to be owners and leaders of the peace kingdom. Peace proceeds from the individual, to the family, the society, the nation and the world. Likewise good governance proceeds from the individual to the family to the society to the nation and the world. Good governance, like peace, has its foundation in the principle of living for the sake of others.
The peace kingdom is established as we each come to inherit the true love of God, applying the principle of living for the sake of others in our families, our religions, our associations, and in our governments. We inherit the true love of God on the foundation of harmony, unity and cooperation.
This inheritance has two dimensions. The first refers to the internal tradition and culture of true love that we pass on from one generation to the next through our lineage. A second dimension refers to the external system of governance that we come to embrace with a heart of responsibility and ownership and that is rooted in true love.
During the course of this Summit, we will have the chance to celebrate and honor the birthday of the Founders of the IIFWP and IIPC, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Rev. Moon is celebrating his 84th birthday, and Mrs. Moon her 61st. Their entire lives have been devoted to the realization of a universal Peace Kingdom centered on the true love and principle of God. They have worked to establish a world without boundaries, a realm that is beyond race, religion, culture or national boundaries.
As we participate in this World Summit we will have the opportunity to study and learn of the Founder?s vision and the core principles, values and peace strategies that underly the work of the IIFWP and the IIPC.
This is not an ordinary conference or summit, for truly we are standing on the threshold of the age of universal peace, the age that all humanity has longed for. As we gather here let us reflect deeply on our world, its critical problems, and the ways in which we can work together as a worldwide community of peace activists to promote peace. Dr. Moon has called the IIPC a Peace United Nations. A Peace United Nations is one that lives according to the principle of true love, living for the sake of others. Let us work together to build precisely this kind of institution.
In this 21st century we will witness many dramatic changes. In particular, the coming new era will be characterized by three primary developments.
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