Introduction to the Universal Peace Federation
UPF UK Blog
International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace
Written by Jacques Marion
Dr. Sun Jin Moon gives a keynote address promoting the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace to a packed, historic UK House of Commons Committee Room. Politicians and others from Eurasia, Middle East, North Africa and Europe were gathered to attend a Universal Peace Federation conference.
Moderator: Dr. Thomas Walsh, International President, Universal Peace Federation
Keynote Address: Dr. Sun Jin Moon, International Chair, Universal Peace Federation (Address below) (video link)
Hon. Nina Novakova, Member of Parliament, Czech Republic
( Video Link )
Gen. Karlis Kreslins, Member of Parliament, Latvia
Mr Virendra Sharma MP - United Kingdom Universal Peace Federation Patron
Lord Rajinder Loomba CBE
Hon. Eleonora Bechis, Member of Parliament, Italy ( video link )
Hon. Silvio Parnis, Member of Parliament, Malta ( video link )
Hon. Hilik Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Israel ( video link )
Dr Sun Jin Moon: Keynote Address (video link)
Distinguished members of parliament! Participants in the UPF International Leadership Conference, from Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa. Ladies and gentlemen!
It is an honor for me to stand here today in this historic venue and to be with all of you.
Before I deliver the Founder’s Address, I would just like to say how deeply moved I was last night at the opening banquet of the ILC, to witness, in one room, so many participants from all races, religions, and schools of thought; men and women, young and old, people of all ages devoted to the realization of world peace, who are tirelessly working in all sectors to create sustainable global development and harmony as one united family under God.
Despite the constant news of a world drifting off into oblivion, where division, borders, walls, armaments, war, devastation, ignorance, self-interest, poverty, lack of human and moral rights and the outright destruction of life on this planet plague and darken our daily existence, I witnessed something completely different yesterday!
I saw a ray of hope and felt for the first time in a long while that change is possible when we are united as one under the divine light and truth of God, our Heavenly Parent, and when we work together to live in balance and harmony with all life.
I was truly inspired by the sincere heart and the passionate exchange of amazing individuals, leaders, teachers, heroes and saints who I believe are pioneering an enlightened way of life, based on a higher consciousness to live for the sake of others. Such people do not just talk about peace, rather they work to actualize peace in their homes, communities, societies, nations and the world.
To all the distinguished parliamentarians and organizers, volunteers and participants in the ILC here in London, gathered now in this historic Palace of Westminster, meeting place of the houses of parliament of the UK, I deeply want to thank you and convey my deepest respect and love to you all for bringing this dream of peace to life on this glorious day. Can we give a round of applause to all the great men and women in this room. Thank you!
With that said, I would like to deliver the Founder’s Address of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, True Mother, my mother and the Co-founder of UPF who truly wanted to be here with you today.
I know that she and my father, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, are here with us in joyful spirit.
I will do my best to convey the warmth of love and the hopes for peace that she has in her heart and I invite you to all pay close attention to her message:
UPF Co-Founder’s Address
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon
Your Excellencies. Distinguished parliamentarians from throughout Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa. Honored Participants in the International Leadership Conference of the Universal Peace Federation. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am pleased to address you today here in the historic Palace of Westminster, meeting place of the two Houses of Parliament for the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. I believe it is very significant that we have gathered here for this special session of UPF’s International Leadership Conference, and the launch, in this region, of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace. I am encouraged that
parliamentarians have come together from not only the United Kingdom, but also from many other European nations, as well as from nations of the Middle East and Eurasia.
My late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and I have always taught that individuals in every sector of society---including government, civil society, religion, business, academia, and so forth---have a responsibility to work to build a world of universal and lasting peace. This is especially true of parliamentarians. The parliament in any nation is the house of the people, a place where the voice of the people may be heard and the public good advanced by democratically elected representatives, parliamentarians.
Representative democracy is a noble tradition, with roots that date back many centuries, and now the most widely practiced form of governance. Although you have gathered here from nations around the world, you share a common appreciation and respect for serving as the representatives of the people who elected you. You are servants of the people, and, as such, are expected to serve the public good, guided by basic principles of good governance: accountability, transparency, inclusivity, and respect for human rights and the ruleof law.
Good governance is secured not only by the policies and laws of the political system. It is also necessary that those who hold positions of power be people of good character, guided by their conscience and universal moral principles. Good governance also depends upon a well-educated and morally responsible citizenry. It is for this reason that, throughout history, religion has been an important factor in contributing to the moral and spiritual development of both the political leaders and the citizens. It is imperative that, within modern democratic systems, we do not lose sight of God, our creator and Heavenly Parent, nor of the spiritual principles and laws that have been taught throughout the ages.
My husband and I have dedicated our lives exclusively to building a world of lasting peace. This has been our lifelong mission. We have always taught that peace is not merely an absence of violent conflict. Peace comes into being whenever relationships are characterized by harmony, balance and mutual respect. Such relationships are created when we practice unselfishness, living for the sake of others. This is the essence of True Love.
True Love is the essence of God, who created all things, as our Heavenly Parent. We all have a nature that derives from our common origin. That is why we are capable of practicing True Love, toward one another, and toward all things in the world around us.
Our purpose and responsibility as the sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Parent, is to become individuals of True Love, with mind and body united; on this foundation we can build marriages and families of True Love, as the foundation for the society and the nation; and in turn we should care for the planet and all the forms of life that make up our environment. If we fulfill this responsibility, we can establish a world of peace.
My husband and I have applied this ideal, and the principle of living for the sake of others, in every sector of society. We have always honored individuals who applied these principles in their spheres of professional life, appointing them as Ambassadors for Peace. Many parliamentarians around the world have been appointed as Ambassadors for Peace and they work closely with UPF and other affiliated organizations of our movement.
In addition, I recently inaugurated the Sunhak Peace Prize to honor individuals and organizations who have dedicated themselves to serving the well-being of others and of future generations. The first Sunhak Peace Prize was presented in August 2015, and the second Prize will be awarded in February 2017.
When I spoke at the United Nations in Vienna in May of last year, 2015, I called for a spiritual awakening. The member states of the United Nations should not merely follow their national interests. Each member state should seek to serve the whole purpose, the larger purpose, looking beyond national self-interest. When we observe the world from God’s point of view, we see the world from a larger perspective. No matter what our field of endeavor---priest, parliamentarian, or professor---we should be committed to and guided by universal moral and spiritual principles. Whether we are the mayor of a small town, the pastor of a small church, or the president of a nation or the secretary general of the UN, this is our eternal responsibility. This is the responsibility of each parliamentarian gathered here.
In the year 2000, my husband and I spoke at the United Nations in New York, calling on the United Nations and the member states to consider an innovative proposal, namely, that the United Nations build within its system an interfaith council, consisting of religious, spiritual and moral leaders who could advise, collaborate and deliberate with the representatives of the member states. Such a council could serve as the voice of universal values and principles. The UN emerged in the World War II era, more than 70 years ago. Whereas there are UN Headquarters offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, there is no such office in Asia, even though we are living increasingly in an Asia Pacific age. In many ways, the geopolitical, economic and social center of gravity of our world is shifting toward Asia. With this in mind, UPF and other affiliated organizations of our movement, are advocating for consideration of a 5th United Nations office to be established in Korea.
I hope you will reflect on this proposal. I believe a 5th UN Office on the Korean peninsula, perhaps in the DMZ, with support of both Koreas, would go a long way toward establishing peace on this peninsula and toward peace in the Asia Pacific Region.
In closing, I want to emphasize the importance of the role of parliamentarians. You represent the people. You are entrusted by the people with a great responsibility. If parliamentarians of the world join together in harmony and cooperation for the sake of peace, we can transform the current reality of our world, creating a world of joy, harmony and lasting peace. With this in mind I encourage you, on this day, to form the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, centered on the principle of living for the sake of others, and centered on God, our Heavenly Parent. You are the representatives of the 7 billion people of the world. If you join together in this way, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Let us work together to build a world of lasting peace.
Thank you for allowing me to share these words with you today. May God bless each one of you, your family and your nation.
This concludes the Keynote Address of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Namaste!
Hon. Eleonora Bechis, Member of Parliament, Italy
Mrs. Bechis was born in Turin, where she pursued graduate studies. Elected to the Italian Parliament in 2013 in Turin’s First District, she registered with the Parliamentary group Alternativa Libera – Possibile. She is a member of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, the Committee on Regional Issues, the Commission on Childhood and Adolescence and the Parliamentary Committee for the Inquiry into the Soldier Emanuele Scieri’s Death. She focuses on issues relating to minors, civil rights, immigration, the protection of families, child sexual abuse, social welfare, the fight against poverty, social inclusion and the right to health.
'Today in this institutional setting I’m going to talk to you with humility and passion about the reasons why I consider essential, for my country and for the whole world, the establishment of a worldwide association of parliamentarians, whose purpose is to weave a rich, continuous dialogue in order to build peace and the awakening of human consciousness.
As a mother and a parliamentarian of a Mediterranean country, historically the theatre of strong migration flows, I face problems daily due to the massive landings of migrants on our shores. In particular, I concentrate my energy on those unaccompanied minors who, once arrived and checked, vanish into thin air. To give you an idea of this phenomenon, I’ll tell you that, in 2015 alone, the number of unaccompanied minor migrants who vanished through the meshes of a collapsing system was more than twelve thousand.
The reasons for migration are, simply put, two: poverty and wars.
The technological solutions for both exist but what is lacking is a common political will, a will capable of going beyond national interests to look at the world-wide interest of peace and prosperity. These conditions are necessary but not sufficient for the awakening of human consciousness. It is in fact necessary to ensure that the immediate results of peace and prosperity are made lasting through the self-determination of individuals and the awareness of everyone that they are part of the same community, the same big family called humanity.
I conclude with what for me is the main lever for the construction of peace, namely, the family in its many shades.
Support for families will be the guiding light of my mandate in this association, because a healthy family holds within it all the elements of peace, among which I love to cite these three: compassion, understanding and love.'
Hon. Hilik Bar, Member of the Knesset, Israel
MK Bar is Secretary General of the Labor Party and a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He is the founder and chair of the caucus for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict (two-state solution caucus). He previously served as a member of the Jerusalem City Council holding the Tourism and Foreign Relations portfolios. Actively involved in pro-Israel advocacy, he has taken part in advocacy and coexistence missions around the world, in the course of which he met with US President George W. Bush and senior officials in the Arab world and the West. In 2003 he was involved in the establishment of the “Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation” (YIFC), an organization that was awarded a special prize by the EU’s Minister of Education. He holds a MA in political science and international relations from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Married to Edit and father of two.
Hon. Hilik Bar MK: Outline of Talk
1. Working assumptions
· The “conflict management” policy of the Israeli Right – an abject failure.
· Two states for two peoples – the only possible solution.
· The “no partner” approach – a defeatist approach, evading responsibility.
· An Israeli-Palestinian agreement is possible and most of its parameters are known.
· After the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel will have defensible borders.
2. Lessons from the failure of negotiations thus far
· Generating “positive momentum” during negotiations, toward an agreement.
· Including regional stakeholders in the Israeli-Palestinian process.
· Dealing with both tangible and intangible issues.
3. Principles of the outline: Innovative ideas alongside familiar ones
· Regional dialogue in parallel with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and subsequently.
· Mutual recognition of two nation states.
· Prosperous minorities – in both states.
· Mutual privileged access for worship and travel.
· Mutual privileged access for business, economics, and academia.
· Proposed framework on borders.
· Proposed framework on Jerusalem.
· Proposed framework on refugees.
4. Generating “positive momentum” toward an agreement – shaping a “two state reality on the ground”
· Israeli recognition of the Palestinian state, including at the UN. How, and why is this desirable?
· Implementation of existing commitments and “shaping a two state reality on the ground.”
· A first official Israeli response to the Arab Peace Initiative.
· A diplomatic and security “prescription” for Gaza.
· A diplomatic and security “prescription” for East Jerusalem. Consulting with the religious leadership on both sides.
· Israeli Arabs.
· World Jewry.