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Executive Summary of ILC 2020—The Americas

USA-2020-09-13-Executive Summary of ILC 2020—The Americas

The Americas—The successful ILC 2020 for the Americas, under UPF Chairman Dr. Thomas Walsh, was organized by Regional Chairs Dr. Chang Shik Yang (Central America and the Caribbean), Rev. Dongmo Shin (South America) and Dr. Michael Jenkins (North America).

The sessions included 92 speakers and about 1,000 attendees, bringing a wide range of perspectives and experiences representing North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. The session structure, including the creation of panels and themes, was organized around the UPF associations and assigned coordinators: International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP, Dr. Walsh) and its important project, The International Association of First Ladies for Peace (IAFLP); International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP, Dr. Jenkins); Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD, Dr. Taj Hamad); International Media Association for Peace and International Association for Peace and Economic  Development (IMAP and IAED, Mr. Tom McDevitt); and International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP, Dr. Tom Selover).

Session topics reflected the conferences’ main theme: “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values.”

Predominating in almost every presentation were concerns and first-person testimonies of the disruptive impact of the coronavirus: in business, media, politics, religious expression—every sphere. And yet it was often expressed in nearly every session that the pandemic was a dark cloud with a silver lining. People were paying more attention to their families, being more grateful for the small things in their lives, practicing better hygiene, and so forth.

Also, widely prevalent was a feeling akin to a sigh of contentment that thought leaders in North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean were interacting among our continents. There was a palpable sense of this being a camaraderie that happens too seldom. Many expressed the affirmation that the countries of North and South should act more like family than we have been—a notion that was enthusiastically embraced by all participants. Congressman John Doolittle concluded his remarks saying, “We all have the same name. We are the Americas.”

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of UPF, received widespread credit from participants. “Nobody anywhere is working harder or has done more than Dr. Moon to bring about peace in our world.” Congressman Burton said.

The ILC2020 Americas September 11–13 developed our foundation significantly in terms of core UPF leadership, technical teams and Ambassadors for Peace from each and every association. Respect for True Mother grew tremendously.

Key Points of Development:

  1. Speakers and UPF core teams gained a direct and personal experience with UPF’s co-founders. They understood them from the World Summit, ILCs from the past, the Rally of Hope and earlier developments. However, this was different. The focus that occurs on a webinar is more precise, and the eye-to-eye contact with the panelists, presenters and hosts gave a heartfelt experience with the heart of Mother Moon. We left feeling inspired and well informed by some of the highest-level speakers we can imagine. We also had an experience of coming much closer together in a working relationship.
  2. Working together as a team across continents was a fast track for strengthening our global unity to achieve the purpose and goals of UPF.
  3. The associations’ development was very tangible. For former U.S. Congressman Dan Burton, the members of parliament are becoming friends and familiar to each other with a bond of commitment. All believe that the work with UPF is extremely relevant and valuable. The associations allow the concentration of each panelist to be in the field they represent. Conferences available to the public with heads of state and First Ladies are unheard of. Through this, we are being strengthened through our pillars of Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Shared Values.
  4. The fact that South and Central America are primarily Catholic and North America Protestant came through strongly when the co-founders spent most of their ministry in the Americas with a most life-risking time in South America. As Mother Moon said, the Americas are like the backbone of the world. Unity here means a spiritual foundation has created a breakthrough of unity overcoming all division.
  5. The cooperation of all sectors with the most prepared leaders allows a new level of influence to strengthen the long-term ongoing relations between the nations of the Americas. The God-affirming democracies can be brought into more cooperation. The God-denying or socialist nations are being supported on a global scale by nations who don’t want to see the Americas united. Some ISCP and First Lady presentations directly addressed this in no uncertain terms.
  6. UPF is developing an in-depth network in each field of the associations. Before, it was totally dependent on a few core leaders of UPF. However, now the core leadership ranks now include heads of state, parliamentarians, religious leaders, First Ladies and key women, academicians, media and business leaders.
  7. The media is identified strongly as not a “free press” but a media that has been coopted intentionally by people who have a God-denying or materialist-type view. The God-affirming media advocates printing all sides of the issue so that informed people can make their decision rather than having the media make the decision for them. IMAPs mission is serious—however, networks of journalists that share our founders’ values are being secured.

At the closing session, Congressman Burton introduced the ILC 2020 Resolution, which reads in part, “At a time of serious global challenges, and on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Universal Peace Federation by the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, UPF convened its first virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC) on September 11–13, 2020.” The resolution calls on the formation of working committees “for the Asia Pacific, for the Americas and for the Africa-Europe-Middle East to support and cultivate partnerships with multilateral institutions, including the United Nations in honor of its 75th anniversary.” The resolution was passed unanimously by all conference participants.


Individual reports for each session:
Session 1: “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis”“Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis”

Session 2: Perspectives From Current and Former Heads of StatePerspectives From Current and Former Heads of State

Session 3: Strengthening Ties in the Americas Through Building New Bridges and Opportunities to Increase Mutual CooperationStrengthening Ties in the Americas Through Building New Bridges and Opportunities to Increase Mutual Cooperation

Session 4: Religious Leadership Addressing the Critical Challenges of Realizing Peace in the Family, Nation, and WorldReligious Leadership Addressing the Critical Challenges of Realizing Peace in the Family, Nation, and World

Session 5: Women’s Leadership in Times of Global CrisisWomen’s Leadership in Times of Global Crisis

Session 6: Finding Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: The Role of MediaFinding Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: The Role of Media

Session 7: Breaking Down the Walls—Pursuing Interdependence for a Community for Peace

Session 8: Perspectives from business leaders

Closing Session: Summary of Sessions and Call to Action


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