Unification News for August 2003

Closing Ceremony for IIFWP Summit of World Leaders and "Lasting Love" International Youth Leaders Conference

August 15 is a day of national celebration in Korea, as it marks the anniversary of the regaining of independence from Japan. This year, another event of tremendous significance took place on this day. This was the Closing Ceremony for the IIFWP Summit of World Leaders and the International Young Leaders' Conference, held at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center.

Participating were the participants of the Summit of World Leaders, a conference that had convened distinguished leaders to discuss the theme, "A Global Vision of Peace and Good Governance." The group included heads of state and government, members of the diplomatic corps, major religious leaders from the spectrum of the world's faiths, distinguished academics and media representatives. They were joined by the 900 or so younger people who had, for the past two weeks, been attending the Lasting Love Conference for Young Leaders, which was also convened under a similar theme. They were from five nations -- The United States, Russia, China, Japan and Korea.

The Little Angels was full to the ceiling. With the distinguished leaders of religion and government occupying the seating in the front half of the main floor, the young leader contingent filled the rest of the arts center including the balcony levels. It was a union of two generations.

Following the invocation, three participants reflected on the events they had participated in. These were (representing statesmen) Hon. Sir Daniel Williams, Governor-General of Grenada, (representing the religious leaders) His excellency Sayyed Mohammed Musawi, President of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic League, and (representing the young leaders) David Hernandez, a history student from the University of California. Each expressed how valuable they had found participation to be, and their belief that the conferences would bear fruit in many nations.

Governor-General Williams, for example, spoke about how comfortable he had felt surrounded by so many religious leaders at the Summit, and that they represented a commonality of love and respect for God. Thus, we do not need to reinvent the wheel, as the message that can provide the solution to the problems humankind faces has long been in existence. He was certain that all the participants would go back to their nations with commitment to taking practical initiative for the cause of peace.

Following the briefest of introductions by Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Father came out to give the founder's address, which was a forthright exposition of the reality of the providence. Before beginning the formal content of his speech, Father spoke with great seriousness about the importance of re-establishing the family as it was intended to be, with three generations living together in the realms of the love of grandparents, parents and children. In embarking on his prepared speech, Father frequently departed from the set text to add comments and to emphasize certain points. He was utterly candid in his references to historical events such as the death of Jesus and the Jewish holocaust. No doubt the religious leaders (in particular) in the audience were challenged by some of what they heard. Nevertheless, all remained attentive to the end. True Parents received bouquets of flowers from a member of parliament from Malta and his wife.

After Father's speech, the Seoul Peace Declaration, which had been signed by the participants of the Summit of World Leaders, was presented to True Parents, who then signed it themselves to resounding applause. The Seoul Declaration was the final of three. The first -- the Jerusalem Declaration -- had been signed in Israel in May, and the second at a conference in Washington (representing the second Israel) in June. This third and final act of such reconciliation, taking place in Korea, seemed to portend, in particular, reconciliation and harmony between Judasim, Islam and Christianity in the era of the Second Advent.

A second declaration, which had been composed and signed by the young leaders at their respective conference, was then also presented to True Parents for their endorsement.

Next, Ambassadors of Peace were appointed: these included both statesmen and religious leaders. True Parents presented the certificates personally. Other Ambassadors for Peace were awarded a special prize for their efforts over a number of years.

As a final parting shot, Rev. Kwak came out and spoke very quietly from his heart about the existence of the spirit world and the importance of everyone making effort to research the reality of our eternal existence. He introduced to everyone some of the senior sisters who are blessed with religious leaders in the spirit world.

Finally, representing each conference, participants presented True Parents with a special gift. The evening concluded with dinner followed by a performance of the Little Angels of Korea dance troupe.

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