The Words of the Walsh Family

International Leadership Conference Came To New York

Thomas Walsh
February 8, 2007

On February 8th, 70 distinguished delegates of the International Leadership Conference came to New York for a special luncheon at the UN celebrating the conclusion of a 10 day conference on the topic "Peace and Security in Northeast Asia: Toward a Global Alliance." The conference was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and the Youth Federation for World Peace. Once at the UN, the distinguished delegates were joined by 16 ambassadors and representatives to convene on the issue of Northeast Asia and share with one another the insights they gained throughout the conference.

The luncheon began with a warm welcome from Mr. Jehangir Khan, the Deputy Director of the Department of Political Affairs, South Asia/East Asia and the Pacific Division. He welcomed the delegates and expressed his gratitude for their work toward a peaceful Northeast Asia by saying:

There is no doubt that increasingly the partnership between the United Nations and civil society groups is crucial to both the prolongation of peace, but even more importantly, the challenges of implementing peace agreements.

After lunch, representatives from each of the nations involved with the Six-party talks, a series of meeting which aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns raised by the North Korean nuclear weapons program, gave a personal report on their experience at the conference as well as their comments on the issue of peace and security in Northeast Asia. The speakers included Dr. Takashi Kato, Professor at Gakauen University, Mr. Yeqing Li, President of the China Society and Secretary General of Youth Federation for World Peace, Dr. Vladimir Petrovsky, Professor at Moscow State University, Honorable Jung Hoon Kim, National Assembly member for the Republic of Korea, Honorable Ragchaa Badamdamdin, member of Parliament and chairman of the Mongolia and North Korea Committee, Mr. Gary Spanovich, Executive Director of the Holistic Peace Institute. Each speaker clearly articulated their nation’s perspective on the issue of Northeast Asia and expressed hope for a peaceful future.

After the six representatives spoke, the Luncheon participants were honored with an impromptu message from the Ambassador of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Lauro L. Baja, Jr. He spoke eloquently of the Philippines’ efforts for peace including the Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, which was initiated by Dr. Sun Myung Moon and brought fourth by the Philippines.

The conference concluded with messages from the co-sponsors, Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation, Dr. Thomas Walsh and President of the Youth federation for World Peace, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon. Dr. Moon spoke very articulately on his feelings towards the UN both personally and as a Korean person. He shared his vision for the UN in becoming a major forerunner for peace and also his hopes to continue the International Leadership Conference that it may become a vehicle in which countries can form the relationships needed as well as share political ideas in an effort to create lasting peace.

The program ended on a very high note with the Director of UN Relations for the Universal Peace Federation, Mr. Ricardo de Sena, performing "We Are the World" on guitar. The delegates, ambassadors, and distinguished guests were smiling and even singing along. The performance was spirited, and the participants left with nothing but praise for the event.

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