Unification News for March 2000

Convocation at WCSF

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh—Louisville, KY

On February 10-14, 2000, as part of the World Culture and Sports Festival 2000, approximately 700 delegates, representing more than 140 nations, gathered for a Convocation of World Leaders. The Convocation was chaired by Dr. C.H. Kwak, and sponsored by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, along with numerous co-sponsors: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Federation for World Peace, Federation of Continental Nations for World Peace, Federation of Island Nations for World Peace, Federation of Peninsular Nations for World Peace, International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, International Relief Friendship Foundation, Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, Martial Arts Federation for World Peace, Professors World Peace Academy, Religious Youth Service, Unification Thought Institute, Women’s Federation for World Peace, World Media Association, World University Federation, and the Youth Federation for World Peace.

The central theme for the Convocation was, "Building a Culture of Peace, Heart and True Families." In his founding statement on September 27, 1988, at the time of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Reverend Moon said, "Humanity is faced with the historical task of coming to grips with the devastation of spiritual culture and building a new culture of peace in which harmony exists among God, humankind and nature. The Olympics of World Culture should contribute to this task by gathering major figures from the arts, sciences, news media, religions and the spheres of politics and economics, as well as athletes and youth leaders." In carrying out this vision there are several dimensions to the WCSF: 1) the International Blessing Ceremony dedicated to the ideal of "World peace through ideal families;" 2) conferences and seminars which bring world leaders from all fields to deliberate on matters of critical importance for our world; 3) cultural performances and exhibitions; 4) sporting events. WCSF 2000 Chairman, Dr. C.H. Kwak stated the following, "The WCSF has come to be recognized as an "Olympics" of heart, emphasizing the highest strivings of the human mind and spirit."

WCSF 2000, the 6th in the WCSF series, was unique in that is was convened in honor of True Parents birthday, and especially Rev. Moon’s 80th birthday. As such all convocation delegates participated in the celebrations which took place on February 10, including events at the Olympic Gymnasium, the cultural performances at the Sejong Culture Center, and the VIP Celebration Banquet on the Lotte Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.

The Convocation program consisted of a variety of plenary speakers and panels, each arranged by one or more of the sponsoring organizations. Among the most notable speakers were, H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid, recently elected President of Indonesia; Vice President Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States; Sir Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of the Unitd Kingdom; H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, founding President of Zambia; the First Lady of the Marshall Islands, Mrs. Mary Note; and over thirty former heads of state and government.

Prominent religious leaders included Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, Vatican Pontifical Council for the Care of Migrants and Displaced Persons; Rev. Igumen Antoniy, Director, Department of External Affairs, Ukrainian Orthodox Church; and Rev. T.L. Barrett, 3rd District Superintendent of the Church of God in Christ.

Panel and Conference themes included the following: "Dialogue Among Civilizations" (IIFWP); "The Two Koreas at the Millennium: Prospects for Reunification" (FWP); "The Future of Religion at the Dawn of the 21st Century" (IRFWP); "Globalization of the Economy: The Effects on Politics, Society and Family" (PWPA); "Searching for Absolute Values and Unity in the Sciences: Science for the Benefit of Humanity" (ICUS); "The Globalization of Information: Regional Perspectives" (WMA); "The Unique Contribution of Women to a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence" (WFWP); "Unification Thought at the Leading Thought for the New Millennium" (UTI); "Youth in the 21st Century: Fulfilling the Standards that Characterize a Culture of Peace" (YFWP); "The Changing Face of Development" (YFWP); "Education for Global Citizenship," World University Federation; and, "World Peace in the New Millennium" (FCNWP, FINWP, FPNWP). Finally, delegates were also treated to a viewing of a special Exhibition on the history of True Parents and the Unification movement.

The participation of so many diverse organizations made for an extremely rich program. Seldom do even such distinguished delegates have the opportunity to meet, deliberate, learn from and be stimulated by each other. The WCSF series has provided a welcome and needed opportunity for a coming together of not only world leaders but of the various sponsoring organizations. In this way, unity, mutual appreciation, and cooperation are encouraged and enhanced.

Of special importance, at the closing Celebration Banquet for WCSF 2000 and the Convocation of World Leaders, held at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center, the Founder inaugurated two new organizations: Cosmic True Parents Federation (CTPF), dedicated to the promotion of the vision of True Parents, and Family House for Cosmic Peace and Unification (FHCPU), focused on education of world leaders for the sake of world peace.

It is truly an inspiration to observe the ongoing, successful development of the WCSF series. WCSF 2000 was a landmark, in terms of the quality of both the delegates and the content of their presentations. It is indeed fitting that this success be made so evident on the occasion of the Founder’s 80th birthday.

Dr. Walsh was Chairman of the Organizing Committee for WCSF 2000’s Convocation of World Leaders.

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