Unification News for September 1996
The Role of Peninsular Nations in the 21st Century
by Reverend Kwan Hyun Chang
On August 20-22, 1996, 75 political leaders and academics from 27 nations joined together at the Sheraton Walker Hill in Seoul, Korea to inaugurate the Federation of Peninsular Nations for World Peace. This was the second of three organizations of nations founded by Reverend and Mrs. Moon this summer; the Federation of Island Nations for World Peace was organized in Japan in June and the Federation of Continental Nations for World Peace was organized in the United States at the end of August. The conference was sponsored by Professors World Peace Academy, the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, the Women's Federation for World Peace, the Family Federation for World Peace, and the Summit Council for World Peace.
The purpose of these meetings was to create federations of nations based on geographical similarities and common roles of similar nations in the world family of nations. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Andrei Kozyrev, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation from 1990-1996, noted that during the Cold War period world organization was based on the bi-polar power dominance of the United States and the Soviet Union. Now that the world is changed, the creation of such federations based upon natural characteristics rather than force might yield some very fruitful insights for world peace and development.
The first session was an Inaugural General Assembly in which the Right Honorable Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada from 1984-1993, gave the keynote address, "The Role of Peninsular Nations in the 21st Century." This was followed by an introduction to the Founder, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, by Professor Tor Ragnar Gerholm from Sweden. Professor Gerholm is the current Chairman of the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS) and was the Co- chairman, along with Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak, for this conference. The Founder's address was then read by Reverend Kwak.
The first plenary session, on Geo-Political Issues, was chaired by General Saiyud Kerdphol, Supreme Commander General of the Royal Thai Army, 1983-1986, and a Senator in Thailand (1975-1991). It contained a speech by Dr. Kozyrev on "The Geo-Political Issues Facing the World," Dr. Anirudha Gupta, Professor of International Studies at Jawaharal Nehru University in New Delhi, on "Issues facing South Asia," and "Geo-Political Issues from a Turkish Perspective," given by the Honorable Deniz Baykal, Chairman of the Republican People's Party in Turkey.
The second plenary session, on Economic and Development Issues, was moderated by Mr. John Arentoft, a member of the Danish Parliament from 1973-1987. Dr. Stoyan Ganev, Former President of the UN General Assembly, Former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, and Director of the New England Center for International and Regional Studies at the University of Bridgeport, spoke on "The New UN Rationale for Development for Peninsular and Geographically Similar Countries and the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations." Dr. Hassan Al-Alkim, professor of political science in the United Arab Emirates, next spoke on "Issues Facing the Arabian Peninsula."
The third plenary session looked at "Social Issues and Challenges of Modernity to Peninsular Nations," and was chaired by Dr. Baharudin Bin Ahmad, professor at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, in Malaysia. The first speaker was Ki-Shik Hahn, Professor of Political Science at Sun Moon University of Korea who developed the concept of masculine and feminine cultural elements and the role of Korea in the creation of global culture as many of the major cultural traditions are meeting on the Korean peninsula today.
Next Mr. Arne Bonde, former editor of Olso Norway's largest daily newspaper and current editor of the magazine Kulturelt Perspektiv, spoke on the contributions to global culture being made by global communications and media networks. He also emphasized the importance of moral values being transmitted by the media. The third speaker, Dr. Luigi Brunamonti, Secretary General of the Research Center for Human Evolution in Rome, spoke about the need to ensure that all human beings fully develop their educational potential and conscience. Finally, Mrs. Eugenia Roman Danuta, of the Harmony Foundation in Romania, spoke about how ethnically mixed families provide the model for world peace and understanding.
The closing session was moderated by Professor Gerholm, who explained how the conference had enabled him to develop a new perspective on the important historical role of peninsula nations and the value of the conference. The moderators each summarized the highlights of each panel.
Summary of Confernce
Then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gave his summary of the conference, which will conclude this report:
This has been a stimulating conference that has benefitted not only the delegates from peninsula states but others from countries like Canada which share most of your values and many of your challenges. I'm especially grateful to the organizers of this conference, Neil Salonen and Gordon Anderson and Reverend Kwak. I have organized a number of conferences in my time, and I know how tough and difficult it is particularly on short notice and I know that on your behalf that we thank them for their thoughtfulness and their concern that has made our participation here both intense and enjoyable.
I suppose that a brief summary of what we've been talking about before I try and place it in a larger context is in order. It might be that peninsular nations, despite their being, of course, in different parts of the world, they share a common feature in that they fostered many of the world's great civilizations. Today, in the view of many of you, they should pool their resources to provide leadership in the creation of a new 21st century civilization. With the breakdown of bipolar politics after the Cold War, there are, in the minds of some of you, new global conditions that make global alliances of island and peninsular and continental cultures a creative approach to world affairs. You can be absolutely certain that there is only one super power left. All you have to do is turn on your television set every night and all roads lead to Washington and anybody who fails to understand that, fails to grasp the reality of the new international politics. I'm not saying that's good, bad or indifferent; it's simply a fact of life. And in some way, as many of you have pointed out, this has to be dealt with.
Basic values like family and freedom and pluralism and honor and integrity which have been nourished by traditional cultures must be sustained in this new global culture. The role of the family is basis of society, must not only be recognized, it must be strengthened and enhanced. Some of you pointed out that you live in a world that transcends the sovereignty of the nation state. In the information age, the age of global air transportation, global economies, modern states can no longer control ideological uniformity, the so-called ethnic purity, nor economic development and isolation from other states. We should adopt policies that recognize these realities. And lot of you felt as well that we should endorse the effort to create the federation of peninsular nations and continue and support and nourish this founding spirit. There is a resolution on your tables that I'm sure expresses gratitude to those with the foresight to convene this meeting and also resolves to follow through and perhaps bringing about some structural changes that will ensure that this requires a degree of permanence.
In some important ways, this convention is really about a very simple question. How do we, peninsular states and others, improve the human condition economically, socially, environmentally and spiritually, to an extent that wars of any kind become unthinkable options at all times. James Joyce, that great Irish poet, once remarked that the past is consumed in the present and the present is alive only because it gives birth to the future. We were considering the future. And if we take heed from the brilliant analysis and recommendations heard from political leaders and others who have addressed this conference, I think we will have taken another small step on the way toward a more secure and bountiful future. If we in this room and thousands of rooms like this around this region and around this world, fail to learn the devastating lessons of 50 years ago, then world affairs could again tailspin out of control with consequences to horrible to contemplate. Remember the comment of President Truman, a page of history is worth a volume of logic. And so our collective agenda remains extraordinarily complex and difficult, very difficult of attainment. Just consider some of the problems that we and our children and grandchildren have to deal with. The control of nuclear weapons and nuclear technology, globalization, competitiveness, international trade, social dislocation, the growing disparity between rich and poor in our societies, within our societies in Canada and in the United States, and north and south in our world. The rise of fundamentalism, the dangerous effects of environmental degradation to our atmosphere, our forests, and our streams and our oceans.
Yesterday's media, to show that hope springs eternal, carried a report from a bipartisan committee of the Council of Foreign Relations of Americans that states flatly that the United States, quote, "is damaging it's own interests by crippling the United Nations and using it for partisan, political purpose," unquote. But then, the study makes important recommendations that will no doubt help the United States to remedy this problem, thereby, I think, replicating a formula used by this conference and others sponsored by this organization. Namely, that progress on great problems is made incrementally by bringing thoughtful people together with a well-considered agenda and inviting their reflections and their recommendations for solutions. That's what the organizers of this conference have done. That's what the Council on Foreign Relations did, and that's why solutions emerge. Who knows where the good ideas and the generous perspective provided by this conference will end up. I have no idea and neither do you. I know only that the ideas that we've heard summarized by our three moderators, will contribute towards the cause of greater peace and harmony throughout the world without which no economic progress or prosperity is possible and without which no social justice is possible in any way. I ask you if you've considered the list of the nations, where would the peninsula nations be without these great multi-lateral institutions. At the mercy of the super powers who can act unilaterally when it is to their advantage to do so, that's where. That's where you'd be. That's where we'd all be. And so our agenda is intimidating, but remember the comment that there are no brave men. There are only ordinary men who rise to meet great challenges.
I can remember the G-7 meetings that I was privileged to attend with President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl and Nakasone and the others. These people were there by and large because their economies represented 63 percent of the wealth of the world, not because there was anything special about them. It could have been someone from Denmark or Portugal or Malaysia or Turkey. And I would have agreed with that, provided that you kept me there, too. My point is that it has with these conferences at that level, the G-7, that these conferences have infinitely more to do with the strength of your economy, where you happen to be born, than with the quality of leadership. Although I must say, that in those days that leadership was very high class. And so my point is that this group is not a G-7 organization, but it has its own dynamic and will make its own unique contribution to the well-being of the world. Remember as well that these important issues will be resolved only when the greatest challenge of all, namely how we insure the survival and flowering of the family, society's most indispensable cornerstone, and most evident golden opportunity--how this is effectively dealt with. Remember the words of the prophet Joel that young men have visions and old men dream dreams. Most societies are entitled to most of their visions and their great dreams, because without them the nation will perish. And a nation that is not built squarely on the fundamentals of the family has no chance whatsoever of durable success. So I think that if we focus on this priority, solutions to other problems will fall into line. With leaders of your skills, and with the enthusiasm and resolve of participants from this conference, I am confident of a promising outcome. I leave you with a line from Yeats, who once wrote, "Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say that my glory was that I had such friends." The cause of peace and prosperity in the world has been well served by friends such as yourselves. I commend you for your commitment. I salute the leadership you continue to provide. I congratulate you and thank you and I say au revoir.
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