The Words of Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

Global Governance at a Turning Point

Chung Hwan Kwak
July 11, 2003
Chairman, WCSF 2003 and IIFWP
Sun Moon University
Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace
Global Governance at a Turning Point: Innovative Approaches to Peace in a Changing World
Assembly 2003 Opening Assembly 2003
Opening Plenary: Keynote Address

Distinguished world leaders. It is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to Assembly 2003, part of the 9th World Culture and Sports Festival, and sponsored by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Gathered here for this Assembly are representatives from around the world, including religious leaders, political leaders, young men and women, scholars, educators, representatives of the media, and leaders of non-governmental organizations.

The World Culture and Sports Festival was first announced in 1988 at the time of the Seoul Olympics. At that time, the founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, saw the need for a global gathering for peace, that included not only sports competition among athletes representing the world's nations, but a gathering which celebrated the wider, and more internal, cultural ideals and best practices of humanity. At the time of its founding, Dr. Moon described its purpose as that of establishing a "new culture of peace." Moreover, this new culture of peace is to be grounded in a new culture of heart and true love.

How do we go about establishing a new culture of heart, or true love and peace? Can it be imposed by a government, or through the enactment of new laws? Can the United Nations declare the beginning of a new culture of peace and everyone will automatically follow? What kind of change will be necessary for a new culture to be established, and how would this change be carried out? It requires the transformation of human minds, hearts and concepts. This is our challenge. This is also the challenge of establishing a new or renewed model of global governance.

The world situation at the present time is filled with both danger and opportunity. On the one hand, the shocking and tragic events of September 11, 2001 rudely awakened us from any illusion that the world is at peace in the post-Cold War era. It also made us very aware that we cannot understand the security of a given nation outside the framework of the international situation. Both global terrorism and nuclear proliferation are serious matters that threaten our security. Recent tensions in both the Middle East and the Korean peninsula evidence the dangers we face at this time.

But while there are profound challenges and threats, our time is also one in which we can hope for a brighter tomorrow for our children. Human history does not follow a course laid out by fate or total predestination, but, rather, human history unfolds according to the ideas and actions of human beings. When good people, who live according to wisdom and principle, act courageously and righteously, the course of history can be set on the correct path to peace and universal well-being. In this way, goodness and peace may prevail, where evil and tyranny might otherwise have ruled.

Within human history, even after decades and centuries of noble accomplishment, there can be no time of moral relaxation. Surely this principle applies at the present moment.

Historically, most civilizations have embraced worldviews that affirm a divine and guiding force in human history. This divine power does not seek to totally control the outcomes of human history, but does seek to fulfill the divine will.

At the center of the IIFWP's vision, indeed, at the center of our vision of governance, is the recognition that human beings are most fundamentally living in a cosmos that has been created by God, and that God has created this world and each of us in accordance with certain basic laws. Unless we are rightly related to God, and unless human beings come to reflect the harmony and goodness that is within God, we will not be able to achieve peace.

God's most fundamental characteristic is love, or we can say true love. True love is unselfish and thinks always of serving the well being of greater spheres of existence. In a word, true love is characterized by "living for the sake of others." This is God's nature, like loving parents who think and act always for the well being of their children. Moreover, God created human beings to inherit this kind of character. That is our responsibility. It is also what is required if we are to achieve world peace.

In other words, ultimately, to meet the challenge of our day, and to achieve world peace, we must first undergo some form of internal transformation or consciousness and heart, and not merely an external transformation. We must change our hearts and minds, sometimes even our cherished beliefs, and, on that foundation, change the way we view the world and those around us.

How are we to develop a heart of true love? According to God's original ideal, we are to learn true love within the family. The family is the school of true love. Our heart grows through the experience of true love within the family. We develop our hearts, as children, through the love we receive vertically from our parents. In this way, we begin to learn to love. Then, as we relate to our brothers and sisters in our family, we ...

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