Unification News for
Youth Federation for World Peace - Third World Congress
From November 27 through November 30, over 300 delegates and observers from 140 countries gathered at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill for the 3rd World Congress of the Youth Federation for World Peace. The theme of the conference was "Youth for the Family, Nation, and World."
A spirit of family was created the first evening when, after dinner, Dr. "Jin Sung Nim" Park-Moon, President of YFWP/USA, shared a deep and personal testimony, entitled "Love, Sex, and Marriage."
Jin Sung Nim began by relating how he maintained his purity through high school and college. He then shared anecdotes of his matching and blessing to Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moons daughter, In Jin Nim Moon. His account was poignant, touching, and laced with humor. The audience listened intently.
"Fourteen years have gone by. Now, I find that every day my wife and I are bursting with joy in our marriage."
Offering advice on how to become men and women of peace capable of fulfilling the broad mission of YFWP, Jin Sung Nim said, "Follow your conscience. Do the right thing."
In conclusion, he shared insights on True Parents and ideal family gained through living with Rev. and Mrs. Moons family. The True Parents embody Gods love. Rev. and Mrs. Moon are assuming responsibility for world problems, national problems, societal problems, and family problems and are constantly finding ways to solve these problems with a true love approach.
General Assembly Meeting
Proceedings began in earnest the following morning at the General Assembly. Mr. Thomas P. McDevitt, Secretary General of YFWP, introduced Mr. Dong Moon Joo, World President of YFWP, to share his welcoming remarks.
Mr. Joo outlined the vision of YFWP as the organization that would solve the worlds problems in the coming century. He reviewed the growth of YFWP and explained the criteria for the World Youth Service Awards. Mr. Joo and Mr. McDevitt also explained the basis of the International Peace Fund Scholarships. These scholarships, endowed by the Co-Founders of YFWP, are conferred on selected organizations from around the world "for exemplary conduct to support and inspire the next generation of world leaders in service to God and humanity."
Reverend John Gehring, Conference Program Coordinator, announced the seven World Youth Service Award winners: YFWP/Korea, YFWP/United Kingdom, YFWP/Japan, YFWP/Kenya, Pure Love Alliance/USA, YFWP/Taiwan, and YFWP/Zambia. Mr. Joo presented to individuals representing these award-winning organizations with a beautiful crystal globe together with a leather-bound certificate. Certificates of honorable mention were awarded to YFWP/Ivory Coast, YFWP/Malaysia, and YFWP/Ghana.
Reports by Award Winners
Participants heard reports from Korea, Kenya, Japan, Zambia, and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Bong Tae Kim, President of YFWP/Korea showed a moving video of a Friendship Seminar between North and South Korean students in Beijing and outlined Koreas development of 3,768 chapters performing a variety of educational, cultural, sports and service activities.
Mr. Yufnalis Okubo, Vice-Chairman of YFWP/Kenya, told of Kenyas nationwide AIDS education program in the schools, 100-day leadership training seminars, service projects, and participation in a conference on the Constitution of Kenya.
Mr. Ichiro Inamori, President of YFWP/Japan, gave an extensive report on friendship seminars with Korea, Pure Love Alliance activities, and Japans educational and volunteer programs.
Felix Muzungu, Secretary General of YFWP/Zambia, explained how YFWP in Zambia researched the Internet to find out what activities other youth groups were doing, and then developed a series of conferences, fundraising pageants, environmental projects, and service activities in six out of seven of the provinces of Zambia.
Rev. Marshall D. de Souza, National Director of Religious Youth Services in Great Britain, and Dr. David E. Earle, Project Coordinator of Religious Youth Services in Great Britain, together gave a moving presentation including a slide show detailing the many Religious Youth Services projects which have been held in the United Kingdom.
These reports not only demonstrated the substantial results which YFWP is achieving throughout the world, but inspired the delegates from all of the countries with a standard of excellence to guide their development.
Opening Plenary Session
The Congress was so fortunate to have Dr. Robert Muller, Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and currently Chancellor of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, as its keynote speaker. Dr. Muller knew the horrors of World War II, of being a refugee, and of Nazi occupation and imprisonment. After the war, an internship with the United Nations led to a forty-year-long career focusing his energies on world peace. He has been called the "Philosopher" and "Prophet of Hope" of the United Nations.
In his address Dr. Muller shared his optimism that, for the first time in human history, true peace is possible for mankind. He said that his perception of events and his hopes have led him to a conclusion that is strikingly similar to Rev. Moons thinking. Love, he announced is the next step in mans development. We are going to enter an age of love. We need new wisdom and new values. Dr. Muller said that he was especially pleased to learn of the work of the Pure Love Alliance. He advised young people to love themselves, keep a journal, be faithful to their dreams, and never to complain or consider anything to be impossible.
"If you render service, the invisible forces of the universe will recognize and assist you," he told the audience, and concluded with the comment, "People like Rev. Moon and I never grow old."
After finishing his speech and just about when the next speaker was to be introduced, Dr. Muller jumped back to the microphone with his harmonica and played to the delight of all participants a lively rendering of Beethovens "Ode to Joy."
Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, President of the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut), and a highly distinguished American theologian and educator, introduced The Rev. Sun Myung Moon to deliver the Founders Address entitled "Youth for the True Family, Nation, and World."
Rev. Moon shared his conviction that it is the pure-hearted young people of YFWP who will put into practice the results of all the conferences taking place as a part of the World Culture and Sports Festival III. He praised the participants who, together with Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), Womens Federation for World Peace (WFWP), and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) members and friends, helped to exceed the goal of the 3.6 and 36 million couples. Rev. Moon encouraged the members of YFWP to work even harder to achieve the victory of the 360 million couple blessing.
Rev. Moon emphasized the power of sacrificial love. He explained that the strength of a nation is not measured in political, military, or economic might, or the degree of cultural influence, but in the temperament and patriotic loyalty of its youth. The ultimate problems of all countries are the problems concerning youth. The solution to all of these problems is true love.
"When young people acquire a new outlook on their country that is centered on true love, then that country will discover new possibilities for advancement. When diverse groups in the nation adopt an attitude based on true love, they will be able to rise above the limits of their conflicting interests and bring about a society of cooperation, harmony, and progress," said Rev. Moon.
He pointed out that the world is becoming one community through the global revolution in communications technology. In this situation, true love is the key to unlocking the problems of the individual, the family, the nation and the world. It is youth who are to be the principle actors in putting such true love into practice and creating a new age.
Rev. Moon concluded his address by encouraging all of the participants to return to their countries, to create supporting organizations, and to work enthusiastically for this effort.
Filial Piety Program
Following Rev. Moons speech, participants visited three senior citizens homes. The Mayor of the District of Columbia, Mr. Marion Barry, Jr., issued a special Proclamation declaring Friday, November 28, 1997, A Day of Filial Piety in the city of Washington, DC, as a day of appreciation and recognition by youth for the elders. Introductions were made, and conference participants and senior residents enjoyed a time of fellowship and friendship as conference participants presented gifts from their native countries to the senior citizens and shared their stories and refreshments.
After dinner, Dr. Stoyan Ganev spoke on the central peacekeeping role of the United Nations. Dr. Ganev was President of the United National General Assembly from 1992 1993, and is currently Vice President for International Affairs and Director of the New England Center for International and Regional Studies at the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut).
Blessing 97 at RFK Stadium
Conference participants devoted this entire day to attending the International Blessing Ceremony at RFK together with all the other events scheduled for the day.
As Blessing 97 took place, participants of the Youth Congress rose and shouted "Yes!" to each of the four vows.
Conference participants attended the Celebration Banquet at the Washington Hilton and Towers, which provided an opportunity to share with those who had been attending other WCSF III conferences and to hear a profound talk by Rev. Moon on the essential principles of absolute sex and a public minded lifestyle.
On Sunday morning, participants attended the closing ceremony of WCSF III and heard the final remarks of its Founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Youth Federation representatives arrived in time to see the procession of 1,000 athletes from around the world and hear Mr. Jin Hun Park, the President of Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), introduce Rev. Moon.
Rev. Moon described his experience at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, inspiring him to create the World Culture and Sports Festival that would bring together leaders from all sectors of society in a spirit of true love to seek a peaceful world and a new culture. Rev. Moon spoke of the value of the Pure Love Movement. Once the ideals of the Pure Love Movement become the standard, then the True Family Movement will emerge as the central standard for mankind. Rev. Moon encouraged everyone to become more active so that the ideal of Pure Love could become the root for the world.
After Reverend Moon concluded his remarks, YFWP participants witnessed an exciting performance of step dancing, a sample of world class double dutch, and a thrilling demonstration of martial arts.
Sundays sessions were devoted to practical presentations on "Youth for the Family," "Youth for the Nation," and Youth for the World." Speakers included Dr. Marie-Pologne J. Rene, President of the Haitian Academy and of the University of the Haitian Academy: Rev. Nancy M. Burton, Ed. S., an educator and Mother of the Year from the State of Georgia (1994-5); Dr. P. Bertrand Phillips, President of Bermultinational Limited, and Acting President of the U. S. Committee for UNICEF; Mr. Tatsuya Matsumoto, Vice Chairman of Kinki Area Policy Guidance Committee in Japan; Mr. Godwin Hlatshwayo, an Organization Development and Management Consultant and Global Ministries Partner-in-Residence; Dr. Anthony J. Guerra, Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and Vice Provost of Academic Affairs at the University of Bridgeport; and Mr. Massimo Trombin, Director of the International Relief Friendship Foundation in Italy.
Mr. Robert L. Woodson, Sr., was the Sunday luncheon speaker. Mr. Woodson, Founder and President of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE), is a leader in the effort to empower low-income communities through faith-based action. Mr. Woodson testified that the attacks against Rev. Moon in the Washington Post strengthened his conviction to attend the Congress. "Only the planes flying over the target get shot at," he told the participants.
Mr. Woodson emphasized that the root of societys problems is spiritual and must be solved by people of faith living and working within the neighborhoods themselves.
Sunday afternoon, delegates met by region to discuss strategies for development of YFWP within their nations. Each session elected a committee chairperson who reported their conclusions in the evening to the Congress.
The conference concluded with joyful celebration. Mr. Joo opened the evening by encouraging participants to work together with CARP, to build their national chapters, and to lead the way into the 21st century.
A representative of the District of Columbias Mayors Office shared a testimony that he saw his involvement as a way God is guiding his life and expressed his eagerness to work with YFWP in the future.
And then ... joyful entertainment and dance. Entertainment was provided by four vocalists from Maxim Sound; namely, June Maxim, Jeff Benson, Patsy Casino, and Yoshimi Kadota. A number of participants offered lively and moving songs from their native countries in their native languages. All joined hands and began dancing around the room as June Maxim led everyone in singing "Love Can Build a Bridge."
Secretary General Mr. Tom McDevitt offered a moving prayer of gratitude and determination. In the words of Mr. Joo, "We had truly become one family in the eyes of God." We had been blessed with a taste of Heaven. Now we were ready like seeds exploding from a pod to go forth and make the vision of true love that we had experienced a reality in the world.
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