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ILC2020—Asia Pacific: Executive Summary

Asia Pacific—UPF held a three-day virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC) from September 11 to 13, 2020, under the theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.” The ILC2020 was designed to be carried out concurrently in three geographic regions: the Asia Pacific, the Americas, and Africa-Europe-Middle East. This report focuses on the Asia Pacific regional program, which was jointly organized by UPF chapters in Korea, Japan and the Asia Pacific.

The COVID-19 crisis has been deadly and destructive. However, a beacon of hope was shown amidst the darkness of the confusion and chaos currently cascading around the world. Delegates from the recently concluded ILC2020 caught a glimpse of a brighter tomorrow as crisis turned into opportunity and despair into hope.

Conference organizers targeted eight clearly defined audiences: heads of state, parliamentarians, religious leaders, first ladies and women leaders, media professionals, business entrepreneurs, academicians, and youth and students.

The keynote speaker at the Opening Session on September 11, Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, president of UPF-Korea, highlighted the importance of creating an Asia Pacific Union. This initiative was proposed by UPF co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, in Nagoya, Japan in October 2019, supported by Cambodian Prime Minister H.E. Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, Cambodia a month later, and endorsed by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Rally of Hope on August 9, 2020 in front of a worldwide audience of millions. During the ILC deliberations this idea was referred to by many speakers and recognized in the ILC2020 Resolution.

Prof. Moon noted that the Atlantic civilization prospered because of its Christian foundation but lost this by becoming a culture that “takes from others and conquers.” The Pacific civilization, she explained, is more spiritual and altruistic; it is less individualistic. Prof. Moon emphasized that “The ‘Asia Pacific Union’ is based on common cultural values of the Asia-Pacific region: filial piety, family, and faith.”

There were two defining outcomes for the ILC2020 in the Asia Pacific regional group. First, and most important, was the realization that today’s global crisis, though manifested in a variety of ways, has but one origin. It comes from a lack of universal values. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic became increasingly deadly and destructive because of a dearth of international trust and cooperation stemming from conflicting or competing values systems. The chaos caused by an absence of common values can be seen everywhere in: unfair business monopolies, despotic or tyrannical leaders, a polarized media, values-free academe, self-serving religions, narcissistic public servants, wanton youth and broken families. The need for a set of universal values, as called for by UPF, has become more apparent than ever.

Secondly, the breadth and depth of UPF’s global outreach was on full display, giving rise to hope in the midst of these challenging times. Participants could easily witness the worldwide foundation of UPF. The ILC2020’s program sessions were built around the seven core associations of UPF, namely, for heads of state, parliamentarians, religious leaders, first ladies and women leaders, media professionals, business entrepreneurs, and academicians, as well as on an affiliated international initiative focused on youth and students. Nearly every field of human endeavor was covered. Equally important, the speakers within each session were highly knowledgeable, well-established professionals in their respective fields.

This prompted Amb. K.V. Rajan, former member of the Indian Foreign Service and permanent secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, to state rather forthrightly, “UPF is possibly the one NGO which has the wish, the will, the vision, the means, and the institutional underpinnings to assist governments and international bodies like the United Nations in confronting the multiple challenges facing the world across the broad spectrum of human activity.”

ILC2020—Asia Pacific had more than 10,000 registered participants from 87 nations. There were 85 speakers from 27 countries, including: four former heads of state (Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Kiribati); four first ladies (Palau, Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji and Nepal); ten parliamentarians; five diplomats; and representatives from ten media houses, eight business enterprises, seven universities (including two senior fellows from Harvard University), and seven religious traditions. The proceedings were broadcasted into 10 languages allowing for over 150,000 viewers on social media. Press releases were sent to 1,539 journalists, editors, freelance writers, internet news outlets, magazines, radio and online TV shows.

The following is a summary of each session with a list of distinguished speakers.

Opening Plenary - Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: The ILC2020—Asia Pacific began with representatives of four faiths—Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu and Islam—offering prayers. Three speakers highlighted the importance of creating a union of Asian nations. The co-founder of UPF, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, first raised this concept publicly in Japan in October 2019 and referred to it as the Asia Pacific Union (APU). Since then, Cambodian Prime Minister H.E. Hun Sen has supported the notion as has former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Broadly, the APU would use the cultural, historical and geographical intersection of the Pacific Rim countries to form a common footing for larger multilateral cooperation. Specially mentioned were the values of filial piety, a dominance of moral and spiritual principles and a strong family-centered social underpinning.

Two other speakers addressed the UPF ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. This was called a “people-centric approach,” and the model used to explain this was the ancient Indian philosophical concept, vasudaiva kutumbakam, or “the world is one family” that requires a foundation in values and principles. This concept of universal values inevitably suggests a global ethics, a set of basic moral principles that are shared by virtually all cultures, religions and civilizations. Once again it became clear that such values originate in and emerge from family relationships since the family is the most fundamental, ubiquitous social institution in human history.

Moderator: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair, UPF-Asia Pacific

Interfaith Invocation:

Buddhist: Ven. Sobitha, president, International Buddhist Education Center, Myanmar

Catholic: Father Eliseo R. Mercado Jr., OMI, PhD, director, Institute for Autonomy and Governance, Philippines

Hindu: Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, current seer, Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, India

Islam: Mr. Minuarov Kuat, PhD, naib imam (deputy imam), Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Kazakhstan


Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, chair, UPF-Korea

Rev. Masayoshi Kajikuri, chair, UPF-Japan

Dr. Chung Sik Yong, regional group chair, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-Asia Pacific

Hon. Bhubaneswar Kalita, member of parliament, India; chairman, International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)-South Asia

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, chair, UPF International

Session Two - ISCP: Perspectives from Heads of State and Government: Session Two featured the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) where five dignitaries from five countries addressed the world’s critical problems focusing on the theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Leadership and Governance.” In this time of the pandemic, they stressed that a new development model should be built and social and that economic development must go hand in hand. As the quest for peace is important, they commended UPF for giving a platform for leaders to express their respective views and work together. One dignitary notably supported how UPF can unite people and bring lasting peace as well as happiness throughout the world.

Moderator: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair, UPF-Asia Pacific


H.E. Anote Tong, president (2003-2016), Republic of Kiribati

H.E. Parmanand Jha, vice president (2008-2015), Nepal

H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, president (2015-2019), Sri Lanka

H.E. Mari Alkatiri, prime minister (2002-2006; 2017-2018), Timor Leste

Hon. Hiroshi Kumagai, former chief cabinet secretary of Japan

Session Three - IAPP: Perspectives from Current and Former Parliamentarians: Session Three featured the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) where prominent current and former parliamentarians shared their perspectives on the  theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Leadership and Governance.” There were seven lawmakers from six countries. The speakers highlighted the important role of parliamentarians as lawmakers to find solutions and lead with the highest standards that have impact on the local, national and global level. They noted how UPF gives opportunities for world leaders to interact and have an international system where they can cooperate beyond borders. Moreover, one speaker said that a possible project of IAPP members could be the creation and development of a global pandemic early warning communication system between nations to help one another in times of crisis.

Moderator: Mr. Santosh Kumar Paudel, regional coordinator, IAPP-Asia Pacific


Dr. Michael Jenkins, international coordinator, IAPP; president, UPF International

Hon. Dr. Agung Laksono, former speaker, People's Representative Council, Indonesia

Hon. Samuelu P. Teo, speaker, Parliament of Tuvalu

Hon. Veena Bhatnagar, deputy speaker, Parliament of Fiji

Hon. Katsumasa Suzuki, former vice minister of internal affairs and communication, Government of Japan

Hon. Gyuhwan Kim, former National Assembly member, Republic of Korea

Hon. Chitralekha Yadav, member of parliament and former deputy speaker and minister, Nepal

Session Four - IAPD: Perspectives from Religious and Spiritual Leaders: Session Four featured the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) where religious and faith leaders gathered to engage in an interreligious dialogue and shared their insights on their roles to promote peace-building and interfaith cooperation, centering on the theme, “The 75th Anniversary of the UN: The Role of Religious Leaders.” There were 10 religious leaders representing 10 religious traditions, and in unison, they emphasized that religious leaders must work with the authorities, be an example of living for the sake of others by uniting with other religions and proactively speak about interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, despite nationality or religion. One speaker underscored that in this time of the pandemic, religious leaders need to work together to help nations find love, which is the ultimate vaccine. The speakers acknowledged the programs of UPF wherein religious leaders can have more opportunities to work together for this cause.

Moderator: Mrs. Ursula McLackland, regional coordinator, IAPD-Asia Pacific


Acharya Dr. Shrivatsa Goswami, head priest, Sri Radharamana Temple, India; chairman, IAPD-Asia Pacific

Rev. Hyun-young Lee, chairman, IAPD-Korea

Samdech Khy Sovanratana, acting president, Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University, Cambodia

Dr. Tong Yun Kai, president, Hong Kong Confucian Academy, China

Prof. Dr. Nasaruddin Umar, grand imam, Istiqlal Grand Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia

Rt. Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, chair of the board, International Shinto Studies Association, Japan

Ven. Ho Myung, general secretary, Taego Buddhist Order, Korea

Pastor Suman Kim, co-chair, Korean Clergy Leadership Conference, Korea

Rev. Jenny Chalmers, Anglican priest, New Zealand

Dr. Tageldin Hamad, vice president and director, Office of UN Relations, UPF International; international coordinator, IAPD

Session Five - A Tribute to the Universal Peace Federation (2005-2020): The second day of the conference started with Session Five, “A Tribute to the Universal Peace Federation” for its 15th anniversary, having been founded at the Lincoln Center in New York on September 12, 2005 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. There were six notable speakers from six countries who shared their testimonies centering on the “Contributions of UPF in Building a World of Peace.” UPF was founded to build a global community of peace, and the speakers commended that for the past years this has become evident with the different programs of UPF that advocate the value of public mindedness; stable families and marriages; interreligious, interracial and international dialogues; and mutual prosperity of communities and nations. Thus, UPF can become a cornerstone to build lasting peace around the world.

Moderator: Rev. Gregory Stone, secretary general, UPF-Oceania


Ambassador Chung Tae-ik, advisor, Korean Council on Foreign Relations, Korea

Gen. Terdsak Marrome, retired general, Royal Thai Army; president, UPF-Thailand

Hon. David Clarke, member, Legislative Council of the Parliament of New South Wales (2003-2019), Australia

Prof. Masahisa Hayashi, professor emeritus, Waseda University, Japan

Prof. Thomas Hwang, president, Chinese People’s Federation for World Peace

Ambassador K.V. Rajan, former Indian ambassador, India          

Session Six - IAFLP: Perspectives from First Ladies and Women Leaders: Session Six featured the International Association of First Ladies for Peace (IAFLP) showcasing the role of women leaders in global problem solving and peace-building. There were eight dignitaries from seven nations who shared their valuable insights on the theme, “Women Leadership at a Time of Global Crisis.” Parallel to the words of UPF co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the speakers reiterated that women can bring peace and harmony using the heart of a mother’s unlimited love. One speaker recapitulated that a global consciousness is key to educating the next generation. Moreover, as peace starts from one’s heart, it expands to the family, community, country and world.

Moderator: Mrs. Merly Barlaan, international vice president, Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)-Asia


Dr. Julia Moon, president, WFWP International

Mdm. Debbie Remengesau, first lady, Republic of Palau

Mdm. Diann Mendiola Tudela Torres, first lady, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Mdm. Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau, first lady (2009-2015), Fiji

Hon. Sujata Koirala, deputy prime minister (2009-2011), Nepal

Prof. Mieko Ikegame, former director, UN’s Office of the Under Secretary General, Japan

Mrs. Blessie G. Dhakal, international coordinator, IAFLP

Mrs. Moriko Hori, coordinator, IAFLP-Japan

Session Seven - IMAP: Perspectives from the Media: Session Seven featured the International Media Association for Peace (IMAP). This session had eight speakers from eight countries representing eight major media outlets with the theme “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Role of Media.” Speakers highlighted various attributes of a good leader in describing the social role of the media. They also spoke about the qualities of responsible media: building trust, creating connectivity and advocating freedom. One speaker said the role of the media is to inform, educate and enlighten, i.e., to be a good teacher. The presenters highlighted that the media needs to be a watchdog, an educator and a peace-builder, i.e., act in the role of a good parent.

Moderator: Dr. Robert S. Kittel, regional coordinator, IMAP-Asia Pacific


Mrs. Shova Gyawali, director, Nepal Republic Pvt. Ltd. (Publisher of the Republica daily newspaper, in association with the International New York Times)

Mr. Hee Taeg Jung, president, The Segye Times, Korea

Mr. Masahiro Kuroki, president, The Sekai Nippo, Japan

Ms. Naziah Ali, publisher & editor-in-chief, Fiji Time Magazine, Fiji

Mr. Zhu Xing Qing, former chief correspondent in Hong Kong, Radio Free Asia (USA); former deputy editor, World Economic Herald, Shanghai, China

Mr. Alok Mehta, former president, Editors Guild of India

Mr. Vasilii Fokin, founder, Eurasia News Group, Kyrgyzstan

Dr. Thomas P. McDevitt, chairman, The Washington Times; global coordinator, IMAP

Session Eight - IAAP: Perspectives from Academicians: Session Eight featured the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) where distinguished academicians and scholars shared their valuable perspectives and addressed the current critical issues centering on the theme, “Breaking Down the Walls: Pursuing Interdependence in a Community for Peace.” There were seven speakers from six nations representing several universities and academic associations. They highlighted that human communities in this world have to live together as a global home and that the seeds of conscience for the whole purpose starts within the family. Another speaker emphasized that academicians are entrusted with the task to promote goodness to all mankind. They also challenged and stimulated the academe community to fulfill their vital role and break down the “walls” of individualism, between fields of profession and between nationalities through interdependence in order to make the best contribution to the great work of building a world community of peace.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas Selover, president, Sun Hak UP Graduate University        


Dr. Sung Bae Jin, chairman, HJ Academy of Arts and Science, Korea; international coordinator, IAAP

Dr. Heung-soon Park, vice president, United Nations Association-Republic of Korea; former dean, Graduate School, Sun Moon University

Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Japan

Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, biologist and fisheries scientist, Sun Hak Peace Prize laureate; recipient of the World Food Prize in 2005, India

Dr. Raymundo Arcega, chancellor, Lyceum of the Philippines University; chairman of the National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies (NNQAA), Philippines

Dr. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, senior fellow, Harvard University; president, Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand

Prof. Dr. M. Shamsher Ali, former president, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences; founding vice chancellor, Bangladesh Open University, Bangladesh

Session Nine - IAED: Perspectives from Business Leaders: The third day of the conference started with Session Nine featuring the International Association for Peace and Economic Development (IAED). The eight speakers from eight nations representing eight business enterprises addressed the current global economic crisis, centering on the theme, “The Role of Business Leaders in the Post-Covid Era.” A new type of leadership is one in which business leaders would never neglect their corporate social responsibility. One speaker called for key economic countries to strengthen cooperation with one another and dialogue with small nations to bring about prosperity and sustainability in the world. Thus, all stakeholders need to give importance to global cooperation based on mutual trust, mutual support and mutual assistance.

Moderator: Rev. Masatate Kajikuri, regional coordinator, IAED-Asia Pacific


Mr. Thomas P. McDevitt, chairman, HJ Magnolia Global Foundation and The Washington Times

Mr. Seog Byung Kim, chairman, HJ Magnolia Foundation, Korea

Mr. Hirofumi Sato, chairman, International Highway Foundation, Japan

Mr. Henry Lee, honorary consul, Consulate of Malaysia in Toronto, Canada

Hon. Danai Ishemkulov, secretary general, Eurasian Council for International Cooperation and Security, Kyrgyzstan

Dr. GP Doraisamy Govindasamy, senior board advisor, International Business Academy of Switzerland; senior education business consultant, Bright Newstar, Malaysia

Mr. Jim Philippo, acting general manager, Tobolar Copra Processing Authority, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Dr. Tan Monivann, vice-chairman, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, Cambodia

Session Ten - Closing Session and Call to Action: Session Ten featured two parts: i) the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP), and ii) the Closing Session. There were four speakers for the IAYSP session who delivered presentations on programs and projects, under the theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Role of Youth and Students.'' Speakers gave a call to action for young people that can transcend beyond individualism and nationalism to create hope in this global crisis.

Subsequently, for the Closing Session, the ILC Resolution was introduced and explained. It aimed to affirm the deliberation of the conference and be a road map for the future. The Drafting Committee was composed of eight UPF chairs, seven coordinators from UPF associations and nine dignitaries from the Asia Pacific regional group.

Moderator: Mr. Koji Matsuda, international president, IAYSP


Mr. Kim Dong Youn, regional president, IAYSP Korea

Mr. Hiroaki Takeuchi, regional president, IAYSP Japan

Mr. Richell Jalipa, regional president, IAYSP Asia Pacific

Presentation of ILC2020 Resolution:

Moderator: Dr. Robert S. Kittel, international chair, IAYSP

Special Recognition:

Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, chair, UPF-Korea

Rev. Lee Gi Seong, president, FFWPU Korea

Dr. Julia Moon, president, WFWP International

Dr. Eiji Tokuno, president, FFWPU Japan

Rev. Masayoshi Kajikuri, chair, UPF-Japan

Dr. Chung Sik Yong, regional group chair, FFWPU Asia Pacific

Resolution Drafting Committee:

Dr. Robert S Kittel (Chair), Amb. K.V. Rajan (India), Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul (Thailand), Mr. Gregory Stone (Australia), H.E. Ek Tha (Cambodia), Dr. Venus Agustin (Philippines), Prof. Masahisa Hayashi, (Japan), Dr. Milan Ratna Shakya (Nepal), Dr. Jin Choon Kim (Korea)

Resolution Reader:     Dr. Eiji Tokuno, president, FFWPU Japan; president, International Highway Foundation

Closing Statement:      Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair, UPF-Asia Pacific

Individual reports for each session:

Opening Plenary: Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis

Session 2: Perspectives from Heads of State and GovernmentSession 2: Perspectives from Heads of State and Government

Session 3: Perspectives from Current and Former Parliamentarians

Session 4: Perspectives from Religious and Spiritual Leaders

Session 5: A Tribute to the Universal Peace Federation (2005-2020)

Session 6: Perspectives from First Ladies and Women Leaders

Session 7: Perspectives from the Media  

Session 8: Perspectives from Academicians

Session 9: Perspectives from Business Leaders

Session 10: Closing Session and Call to Action

Participants’ reflections

Media coverage

ILC 2020 Resolution

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