Unification News for

December 1997


Report on the Fourth World Peace Conference

The 4th World Peace Conference of the Federation for World Peace was a total success! As part of the 3rd World Culture and Sports Festival, we were able to enhance the value and importance of the festival through the participation of the esteemed guests.

Held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. from November 27 to the 30th, the 4rd WPC was co-hosted by the Summit Council for World Peace and AULA (the Association for the Unity of Latin America). Under the theme, A World Vision for the 21st Century, the event was chaired by Dr. Aziz Sidky, Prime Minister of Egypt (1972-73). The keynote speakers were the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1970-74) and the Rt. Hon. Albert Reynolds, Prime Minister of Ireland (1992-94).

The international event brought together forty current and former heads of state, government and prime ministers, vice presidents and deputy prime ministers; and more than one hundred and sixty distinguished statesmen including ambassadors, senators, congressmen, cabinet ministers, university presidents and scholars from eighty-seven nations.

Opening Plenary

In the Presidential Ballroom of the Capital Hilton, Dr. Sidky eloquently introduced the Founder to the august gathering of 350 guests that included our conference participants, local dignitaries, embassy officials from the diplomatic community and members of the press. Dr. Sidky said,

"Since early youth in his native country of Korea, Rev. Moon has been a voice for justice and faith. He has championed true brotherhood man under the fatherhood of God. He has mediated conflicts and embraced those separated by different creeds. In so doing, he has created many organizations earnestly working toward the solution and elimination of conflict. His goal is nothing less than a totally unified and harmonious world."

In the founder’s address, Father gave a landmark speech on the unique times that we live in.

"Today I would like to share with you about the course that I have gone over the past 50 years in search of a common vision for humankind. After the devastating experience of World War II, all nations were searching for peace. God gave me the direction to build a global movement and help establish God’s Kingdom on the foundation of 2,000 years of Christianity. The central message of this revelation is to find the formula course for "True Parents" and "True Family," which means those who live for the sake of others. But the failure of Korean Christian leaders to receive this message brought great disappointment to God, and I had to go a suffering course of rejection and humiliation, which led to my being imprisoned many times even though I was innocent. This providential mistake by the established religions provided the spiritual foundation for evil to run rampant in Korea, beginning with the division of that nation, and for the other calamities that have plagued the world this past half-century."

Father addressed some of the problems of the developing countries and cautioned them not to follow the example of the developed countries that sought irresponsible self-centered satisfaction at the cost of the creation and environment. He said,

"Esteemed leaders! You need to know that God created all things for the sake of "True Love" and "True People." All creation is structured in pairs. Animals, plants, and minerals are arranged in subject-object relationships, and the harmonious give-and-take between them forms the base for all existence, for all energy for productivity, and for love and goodness. Humans were also created with this duality between the mind and body within the individual and between man and woman. God’s ideal was for an individual’s mind and body to be united, centered on His love, and then for perfected men and woman to unite in the family unit. In this way, Adam and Eve could become a true reflection of God’s divine nature and become an object of God’s love. Then they could bequeath to their descendants true love, true life, and true blood lineage emanating from God."

In an eloquent manner he expounded on the meaning of the blessing of the 39.6 million couples and invited the entire assembly to participate in the worldwide movement to restore the world. He said:

"I would like to personally invite you to a very special event at RFK Stadium on Saturday morning. Along with representative leaders of the world’s religions, my wife and I will officiate the blessing of 39.6 million couples in 185 countries around the world. The goal for this ceremony was 3.6 million couples, but we went far beyond that to more than 36 million couples. Many couples from your countries will be participating. More than 30,000 couples will be at the stadium, and ceremonies worldwide will be connected via satellite and video. These couples are dedicating their marriages to God, promising to remain eternally faithful to their spouses and to raise their children with commitment, fidelity, and strong moral values. These couples are of different religious backgrounds, languages, races, and national origins, but what draws all of them together is a love of God and a belief that world peace begins with stable, healthy, and God-centered families.

I would like you all to observe this history-making ceremony but, more than that, I strongly encourage all of you gathered here to also participate and renew your own wedding vows before God."

The practical significance and depth of Father’s message was complemented by Sir Albert Reynolds who spoke on "The Significance of the Family Unit Toward Making a Cohesive and Contented Society." Sir Albert challenged the conference participants to improve the world. He said,

"The current drift towards individualism, materialism and unrealistic expectations of science and progress to provide the fulfillment and social harmony need to be counteracted… While technology provides new possibilities in communication through the information superhighways and the rapid dissemination of information, it does not provide key solutions to the central search for meaning, contentment and harmony."

"If the political will exists, the war will be won. All generations will be judged by the kind of world they leave behind."

Plenary Sessions

There were three plenary sessions. (1) "The Restoration of the Environment in the 21st Century" and was chaired by H.E. Steingrimur Hermannsson, Prime Minister of Iceland (1983-87 and 1988-91), who is one of the world’s foremost experts on the environmental issues.

Human activities have damaged the earth's environment throughout the 20th century in unprecedented and tragic ways. This coming century must be dedicated to cleaning up and restoring the wholesomeness of the earth's resources while improving the quality of life for all humanity, by avoiding the environmental mistakes already made. Can our water, air, and land-based resources be restored and used to secure a legacy for future generations? The fears of overpopulation in the face of a perceived limitation of food production and resources dominate our concerns. What are the bases for optimism that this world can adequately address and resolve these concerns as the 21st century unfolds?

Speakers included: Dr. Terry R. Galloway, President of Intellergy Corp. and Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, Meteorologist, Lawrence National Laboratory (1963-86).

(2) "Bridging the World Cultures through New Technologies" and was chaired by H.E. Michel Rocard, Prime Minister of France (1988-91). As the surge of global information technologies, including satellite links, the Internet, and long-distance learning; bridges communities throughout the world – from the Amazon jungles to the U.S. Library of Congress; from the heartlands of Russia and China to the data banks in Paris, Tokyo and New York – what impact does this have on culture? Will nations inevitably lose their distinctive identity? Or is a supra-culture emerging that embraces and preserves ethnic and national characteristics while fulfilling the needs of all? How will distance-learning and utilization of present technology connect developing nations and the developed world and how can we counter the aggressiveness of the merchants of vice from Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and advertising who are perverting world culture and traditions?

Speakers included Michael Medved, author, "Hollywood vs. America," and Dr. Charles Sheffield, author, "Earthwatch" and "Man on Earth."

(3) "Worldwide Economic Empowerment Through Broad-Based Capital Ownership" and was chaired by H.E. Amine Gemayel, President of Lebanon (1982-88). The 21st century will welcome an era of economic justice through a third option, transcending the limits of both socialism (the politics of "envy") and capitalism (politics of "greed") to creatively overcome global poverty. The fact that the majority of people are left out of participating in their local or international economies is due to the lack of productive credit. What solution will be applicable to specific conditions of workers and employees around the world in developed as well as in developing countries? What kind of economic security and participation can they envision in a world that is marching toward one global economy? How will central banks and international financial institutions regard the challenges of world poverty and development for billions of people in the next century?

Speakers included: Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., former special assistant to President Reagan for National Security Affairs, the White House, and Norman G. Kurland, Managing director, Equity Expansion International.

At the conclusion of the two-day conference, many motions and resolutions were passed. The participants unanimously adopted the Fourth World Peace Conference Declaration.

The Blessing

We are happy to report that 100 attendees at the Fourth World Peace Conference were pre-Blessed on Friday, November 28. Among them were former heads of state, prime ministers, ambassadors and current congressional leaders from around the world. It was a joyful moment to see dear friends and champions who have dedicated their lives as public individuals at the national and international level to embrace the eternal quest for physical as well as spiritual peace in their communities and the world under the inspiration of our True Parents and the ideals of the Unification Movement. The ceremony was officiated by Antonio and Kyoko Betancourt.

All of this was to help in preparation to bring a victorious conference. By all accounts the Conference was a total success. We brought top leaders from around the world. They surrounded True Parents and gave the Festival an important dimension of authenticity and people with credentials.

A Word of Gratitude

An event of this magnitude required enormous efforts and cooperation on the part of the entire movement. It is the result of countless hours of witnessing and prayers by brothers and sisters around the world. We thank you all and especially Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, and the countless people who all supported this tremendous effort. With a sense of deep gratitude we offer this conference to Heavenly Father and our True Parents.

William Selig is the Administrative Director of the Federation for World Peace.

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