Chairman?s Address, World Summit on Peace|
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman|
June 11, 2006
Your Excellencies. Distinguished spiritual and government leaders. Ambassadors for Peace. Ladies and gentlemen.
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman
Welcome to Korea, and welcome to this ?World Summit on Peace.?
As you know, the Universal Peace Federation is guided in its mission and work by two primary principles. The first is the principle of true love. True love has its origin and foundation in God. True love is an unselfish love, characterized by living for the sake of others. True love calls us to love not only our family, friends, and fellow citizens, but even our enemy.
The second core principle we may call the principle of unification; namely, bringing that which is divided or separated into harmony and oneness, through give and take actions such as dialogue, service, forgiveness, reconciliation, and cooperation.
At this Summit we will consider how these core principles apply to our topic of human development and peacebuilding.
The hope for peace is a universal human desire. Peace is a central teaching of all the world?s religions. And yet, we see that peace is not easy to achieve.
Despite the many advances in relation to science, technology, and communications, our world is still burdened by interreligious discord, global tension, conflict, terrorism, and poverty.
This is why Rev. and Mrs. Dr. Sun Myung Moon established the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005: namely, to create a model institution and peace movement that could effectively address and solve our most critical global problems.
Rev. Moon took up this mission at the risk of his very life, saying he could not sit back and watch as the windows of opportunity for peace were closing one after the other. ?Even if it costs me my life,? he said, ?I will not hold back.?
In the message he carried around the world to 120 nations, and which Mother Moon and members of their family are now taking to 180 nations, he defined this movement as an ?Abel UN,? as ?a UN whose efforts for peace are offered to Heaven, investing itself ceaselessly in living for the sake of others.?
The power of the UPF to change people and to change the world does not come primarily from political, economic or military instruments. Peace, after all, is not achieved through external means alone. The power to create peace is an inner power. Ultimately it is the power of true love.
Where do we find true love? God is the original owner and source of true love. We learn, experience and inherit true love from our relationship with God.
It is very important to know that our relationship to God is directly related to the effort to solve critical global problems. In fact it is essential.
Human beings are not simply material, biological beings. We are more fundamentally spiritual and moral beings. In this sense, we are different from animals. We seek not only to satisfy external needs such as food, shelter, comfort and security. We also seek internal values, such as goodness, beauty, truth, righteousness, holiness and true love.
This is the case because we have our origin in God, and we stand in relationship to God. God is the original, absolute subject. As human beings, we are to stand in the position of absolute object before God.
That is, God is the origin and standard of absolute values, including absolute truth, goodness, beauty and true love. As human beings, we are called to live in close relationship with God, connecting to the absolute standard.
To achieve peace we are to unite our mind and heart with God as the center of absolute value. In turn we are to live our lives in accordance with our conscience, centered on God.
If we fail to do this, we become centered on relative or selfish values. We become selfish and self-centered. Selfishness blocks the way to peace.
Often we hear people speak about the need to address the ?root causes? of humanity?s critical problems, such as poverty, disease, conflict, etc. Some associate ?root causes? with economic inequality, others with government corruption. Surely these are critical factors, and indeed they are part of the root system.
However, if we are to look even more deeply, we find that the most fundamental aspects of all human beings are related to the roots of ?love, life and lineage,? all of which have their foundation in the family, our ancestral, genetic and historical roots.
Father Moon says, ?Only when we are linked to God?s lineage is it possible to establish world peace,? referring to the importance of establishing God-centered marriages and families. This is the purpose of the Blessing.
By building families that embody absolute values and traditions of true love, we can establish a society, nation and world of true love and lasting peace.
A very important point of emphasis in the UPF?s Blessing movement is to understand marriage as an instrument of peace, especially when a man or woman marries someone from a different, and even from an ?enemy? religion, race, nationality or culture, with a commitment to building a family of true love that goes beyond barriers.
As we consider the issues of human development and peacebuilding, let us not lose sight of the profound significance of the family.
Another critical need at this time is for religions to take their proper position in guiding our world toward peace.
Of particular importance is the urgent need to restore and repair the damaged relationships that exist within and between religions. These broken relationships need to be healed if religion is to take its proper role and build a world of lasting peace.
That is why interreligious dialogue and the fostering of good relations among people of all faiths are so important. In all the sacred scriptures we find statements in support of interreligious harmony, so let us build on that foundation.
Religious leaders or believers who encourage or promote prejudice or bigotry toward peoples of other faiths, cultures, races or nationalities will ultimately decline. Such behavior is in violation of universal law. Our God-given conscience can recognize this point.
In reality, religion and government have complementary and overlapping concerns. Religion and government are alike in being dedicated to serving the well-being of humanity and creating the good society. Both religion and government are accountable ultimately to God. Both religion and government have their legitimacy only when centered on absolute values and universal principles. Moreover, both religion and government require leaders who apply those principles and who embody virtues such as true love, compassion, wisdom and courage.
Good governance requires harmony between both the internal aspects of our lives, including both spiritual and moral values, and the external aspects, such as social, political and economic concerns. The two should be harmonized.
Governments should act in constructive partnership with faith-based NGOs and faith-based organizations. In particular, the United Nations should waste no time in establishing an interreligious council that can work in cooperation with the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN organs, commissions and entities.
Father Moon continually reminds us that, within each one of us, our mind and body should always be harmonized, centered on God. This principle also applies to institutions. It is the foundation of good governance. That is, the corporate or institutional ?mind? of a government, a religion, a business, or an NGO, should be centered on core principles and absolute values. The actual work of the institution should be guided by and carried out in accordance with these principles and values. This principle applies at every level; from the individual to the family, all the way to institutions of global governance such as the UN, or even the UPF.
When Father Moon refers to the scripture story of Cain and Abel, he has this principle in mind. Cain and Abel are the sons of Adam and Eve, born after their parents had fallen away from God and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Abel was a filial son whose mind and body were united to serve the will of heaven. Cain?s interests were external, materialistic and self-centered. Cain killed his brother, Abel.
This pattern?Cain killing Abel?needs to come to an end at this time, through the power of true love. Ultimately, Cain and Abel are to reconcile and unite as brothers and work together in accordance with the principle of living for the sake of others.
What distinguishes the UPF, as an ?Abel UN,? is not simply its focus on the critical issues facing our world, for it shares this focus with the UN and other international organizations. What distinguishes the UPF is its focus on internal principles that guide its methodology and best practices
As you work together during this Summit, please consider how the principle of true love, living for the sake of others, and the principle of unification, can be applied to human development and peacebuilding.
Throughout this year, the UPF will be coordinating a series of peacebuilding programs, in partnership with a wide range of organizations. In his Inaugural Address for UPF Father Moon called for the formation of a ?peace kingdom police? and a ?peace kingdom corps.? Each is to work both to prevent and to resolve conflict, building stable societies and nations based on God-centered families. The age of violence and war must come to an end. It is a legacy of humanity?s primitive, fallen history that must be overcome. Rather, we need to create an interreligious and international ?peace corps,? made up of activists and volunteers guided by the principles of true love and unification. These volunteers will serve in trouble spots around the world. Already the UPF has developed several peace initiatives: in the Middle East, in Northeast Asia, and in South Asia. The problems of conflict, however, are not unique to those areas. As such, we will be expanding our peace initiatives in the coming year, and beyond, and welcome your recommendations and support.
At the present time, Mother Moon, along with several of her sons, is leading a 180-nation tour, taking Father Moon?s message of peace to the entire world. As she visits your country I hope you will welcome her and her son as they represent Father Moon and the UPF.
In two days, we will have a very special opportunity to go to Cheong Pyeong to participate in the opening of the Peace Palace that is dedicated to God, and God?s everlasting ideal of peace. Father and Mother Moon, as the True Parents and as King and Queen of Peace, will formally open the Peace Palace, and each of you are invited as a most honored guest.
Thank you for your support for the work of the Universal Peace Federation. We have a great opportunity, and we have a great responsibility. Let us support one another, living for the sake of others, and providing vision and leadership for a world of lasting peace.
Never forget that there is a great providence that stands behind our work. We are not alone. Truly the living God is with us. Let us be ever mindful of this as we move forward in the next few days. Thank you very much.
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