Unification News for October 2003

IIPC Consultation

by Robert S. Kittel

Three weeks after the Inaugural Assembly of the IIPC, that was held Oct. 3, 2003, over twenty-five distinguished advisors with experience in international organizations gathered in New York at the4 New Yorker Hotel, October 28-30, 2003, for a special planning consultation. Together they worked to outline and create working documents to support the progress of the Peace Council.

The IIPC Consultation had four sessions. The first dealt with "Global Governance in Crisis." This, however, was not a what-are-the-problems session. Instead it looked for ways the IIPC could help resolve the urgent crisis facing international governance. One of the important contributions that the United Nations has made, it was noted, was in fostering international cooperation among member states and this should be acknowledged and strengthened.

In the second session, titled, "Toward a 'Concept Paper'," delegates explored the vision and the strength of such a peace council. The fact that the IIPC was not a government body was seen as a possible strength. This was because the UN, although an international body, nonetheless has no jurisdiction in sovereign nations unless invited. On the contrary, the strength of IIFWP's grassroots foundation could be seen from the fact that it held seminars this summer in 151 countries where 194 nations were represented.

When issues dealing with organizational structures were discussed in the third session, delegates pointed out a number of successful models of international organizations, i.e. the Red Cross and the Rotary Club, which should be considered when setting up the legal structure of IIPC.

The fourth session dealt with "Developing a Plan of Action." A number of proposals were on the table, including:

* Fostering dialogue between the Maoist and Nepalese government leaders

* Supporting such programs as the UN's Dialogue Among Civilizations initiative

* Developing a conceptual framework for IIPC

* Continuing efforts in Israel, Palestine (Gaza) and even consider inviting Israelis and Palestinians to Cyprus for talks

* Researching resources of the world's religions that support the idea of peace

* Establishing peacemaking institutes for the education of peacemaking tactics and methods

* Creating educational literature on peace that can be published for daily readings by families, thus educating for peace along with developing literacy skills

At the conclusion, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, the Chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, explained that peaceful relationships are developed when people think more about giving than receiving. Challenging each delegate Rev. Kwak said that the IIPC movement should be a model of peace to both the secular world and the world of religion. Each person, he emphasized, "must overcome the religious barriers of ritual and doctrine, since God exists in a realm beyond religion. Then the IIPC can truly serve the world and foster peace."

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