he Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly "as a common standard of achievement for all peoples of all nations," is the first thing that crossed my mind while listening to Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s vision for Peace for the first time in New York. He was not only speaking about peace in a theoretical way, but was practical about the road to that end. In fact, his speech was a lesson in inclusive thinking as "the" way to peace.
Before he started his speech, a beautiful singer graciously treated the audience to "This Is My Song," set to the tune Finlandia, by Jean Sibelius. The words of this song stayed as a background in my mind.
As his speech unfolded, I connected his essential message more in particular to the Preamble and Article 2.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to The Charter of the United Nations.
The concept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is about the dignity of every human being, and as such it is about moral rights. It embodies the principle of equality, recognized in natural law. The Charter of the United Nations states in Article 1 that one of the aims of the UN is to achieve international cooperation in "promoting and encouraging respect for Human Rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction...." The fundamental thought behind the Charter is that peace and stability among nations will be best achieved in this way.
The UN Charter as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are both means to an end: peace.
It was not because I was listening to Dr. Moon in New York with the UN just around the corner that I made the link to these two instruments for peace, but it was because of the content of his speech and my almost life-long involvement with these instruments. After the speech in New York I was eager to know more about Dr. Moon, so I set out to gather more information.
It is remarkable to learn that although Dr. Moon’s starting point is totally different from that of the "founding fathers" of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter, in the end the goal is the same: peace.
The road Dr. Moon takes to that goal is astonishing and innovative. He began at the grassroots level as an individual with a spiritual mission, later surrounded by his wife and a few followers. The evolutionary struggle of his mission is now expressed in the Universal Peace Federation, a movement spanning the globe and successfully mobilizing people to bring lasting peace based on inclusive thinking.
In the implementation of his vision, his road is concrete: to bring together not only religious, but also political leaders and people at a grassroots level from all walks of life. He has inspired them to reach out beyond their own national, religious, ethnic and social borders and affirm each other unconditionally as members of one human family. It is inclusive thinking in practice and at its best. It is the concept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights becoming reality.
What impresses me is that all of these activities go on without any formal bureaucracy or high degree of traditional institutionalization and outside the mainstream pattern of thinking about peace. The positive results are there for everyone to see and deserve respect.
It is amazing to experience how one person could make a difference and in his own unique way reach the hearts and minds of so many. "War starts in the minds of men," as the UNESCO Charter states, so reaching the minds of men with his essential message, Dr. Moon is contributing to a mental and spiritual innovation that lays the foundation for lasting peace.
As an expert in the field of human rights, recognized by UNESCO, I try very hard in my own way to implement the notion of human dignity for all. I do know how difficult it has been throughout history—and still is—to bring the concept of the human rights message from paper into practice, that all people are created equal in inherent dignity and are members of one human family, irrespective of one’s culture, religion, nationality, gender, language, etc., as stated in Article 2.1 of the Universal Declaration.
However, too many people have learned fallacious justifications to exclude others from human dignity. I could observe on a daily basis how people imprison themselves in nationalistic thinking, religious circles, cultural norms and values, gender and color superiority, social origin, etc., with the shameful result being the exclusion of others.
This exclusion "philosophy" is the basis of problems minor and great all over the world and in places big and small. This is what has shaped our world and still is shaping it up to this day. Contemporary examples of what this leads to are: Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and the never-ending atrocities in the Middle East.
But also in "war-free" societies one can observe the mobilizing of religious and cultural differences and the cunning exploitation of these for personal advantage or for getting or holding political power.
Dr. Moon does the opposite. His philosophy is one of "inclusion." What makes him in my view special is that he sticks to the principle of inclusiveness although the obstacles he has encountered in his life would be enough reason not to.
His mission is more needed and necessary than ever, for in this globalizing world defined by technological innovation, people are more aware of each other. This has great advantages, but at the same time it makes us more vulnerable if we do not organize a mental innovation raising us to the higher level of inclusive thinking, seeing what unites, instead of what divides us.
Recent research  of the human genome has revealed that genetically we are more than 99.1 percent the same. This is a hard scientific fact that should work as a catalyst to convince everyone. Nevertheless, too many in leadership and governance, as well as at the grassroots level, are still held captive in fear of each other, in the old frames of reference of exclusiveness.
Concerned, courageous and credible people are needed now to take the world to the next step in civilization, which is the freedom from fear of each other. Dr. Moon is such a person. With his principles of "living for the sake of others" and "without borders," he is putting into practice the very spirit of the Preamble and Article 2.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in his own unique but, most of all, credible way.
Drawing from my own experience in the field of human rights, I know how great an effort it takes to reverse the thinking of people and tear down all the different walls of separation built up in the course of time. It is easier to get the world to accept "hamburgers without borders," than it is to get "human dignity without borders," thus inclusive thinking, accepted.
It is the materialistic category versus the spiritual category. The first could be obtained in the short term; the latter category has to do with fundamental processes of the mind and needs long-term involvement and educational investment without any certainty of a positive result.
Notwithstanding that, Dr. Moon has made it his mission to challenge the human race to look beyond the materialistic and irrelevant aspects of life and search for common ground in the spiritual dimension. His goal is "that each may seek to love and build together, a world united, righting every wrong." ["This Is My Song," Finlandia]
Therefore, there is no better reason for me to pay tribute. I salute Dr. Sun Myung Moon for his challenging vision. In his mission, he has continuously shown character, courage and credibility.
My tribute is not complete without including Mrs. Moon. I pay tribute to her for her inspiring initiatives the world over to make peace happen in the hearts of mankind, thereby accentuating the indispensable role that the women and the children (the little angels) of this world should play.
Note: Dr. Eva Latham received a UNESCO award for the Teaching of Human Rights in 1990, the same year as Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic.