The Words of the Moon Family

Interview of Lan Young Moon President of Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP)

June 2012

Mrs. Moon (her nameplate includes her husband's name "Park") at the UN, with Mrs. Motoko Sugiyama who heads the WFWP UN Office, and (right) Mrs. Hanifa D. Mezoui, then head of the NGO Office under UN DESA, at a UN forum on the eradication of poverty.

Question: You are the head of an international women's organization that has done truly good work. What will the Global Women's Peace Network Assembly add to that?

The Women's Federation has done a lot of work over its twenty years. We have come into contact with and built good relationships with many good women. Father is asking us to go one step higher. He is asking us to go out and network with woman leaders all over the world.

Although WFWP representatives are active the world over in support of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, some people believe (and say) "Oh, WFWP is just an organization of Unification Church women." So we are aiming to go beyond that and hold occasional assemblies that will allow woman leaders to network globally. A network of global woman leaders can accomplish the work of a women's "United Nations."

We are just at the beginning. The March 26 assembly in Muchangpo was the first GWPN Assembly. We would like to hold an assembly annually in each region or continent, ideally.

Dr. Annette Lu, the former vice-president of Taiwan who participated in the March 26 assembly, was interviewed by the Chosun Ilbo, a national daily newspaper. She told them, "I came to speak at the Global Women's Peace Network Assembly," rather than at a WFWP conference. I thought, Oh that's good!

We invited the chief of the NGO Branch under UN DESA, Mr. Andrei Abramov, and he came. In that position he is our main point of contact with the UN. Six hundred delegates came from all parts of the world. Seventeen came from Africa, even. We didn't provide even one penny for their expenses. I introduced all the delegations from the world's regions. Mr. Abramov was surprised.

The WFWP 1% Love Share Project sending food to North Korea in September 2010; Last December a similar donation was sent to institutions in the vicinity of True Mother's hometown.

Question: I saw he gave a detailed keynote speech, not just welcoming remarks.

Yes, what he said was very helpful in letting delegates understand the challenges women face in times of conflict and how organizations such as ours can work together with the UN to help empower women globally. We asked if he would speak for thirty minutes but he spoke for more than forty.

Every four years, WFWP is reevaluated on its NGO consultative status. We first received general consultative status in 1997. Since then, the Women's Federation has been evaluated a number of times and each time that status has been renewed.

Question: So it appears WFWP is supporting the UN's priorities worldwide in manner that is appreciated.

We have volunteer workers active in some 120 nations, working very hard for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The WFWP UN Office makes a full report to the UN every four years. Mrs. Motoko Sugiyama, formerly president of WFWP Japan, is leading the WFWP UN office in New York. Mrs. Carolyn Handschin is vice-director of the WFWP UN Office and is based in Geneva. Both she and Mrs. Sugiyama are doing excellent work and have built very good relationships.

Incidentally, after the GWPN Assembly, Mr. Abramov suggested that our organization could translate the official UN NGO Handbook into Korean and Japanese, which we accepted to do. The translations will be used by the UN, including on their web site. Several hundred copies will be printed in each language.

The first Global Women's Peace Network Assembly, held in Korea on March 26: Fourth from left is Mr. Andrei Abramov, current head of the NGO Office under UN DESA. Mrs. Lan Young Moon, president of WFWP International, is in yellow, and between them is Annetta Lu, former vice-president, of Taiwan

Question: In your inaugural statement for GWPN Assembly, you mention becoming "true daughters, true wives, true mothers and true woman leaders." Is there not opposition over your looking at women in terms of roles in the nuclear family (even if you also include "true leaders")? Moreover, doesn't including the word "true" imply a standard of behavior that some women might disagree with?

Even if some have questions about this ideal, this is God's original plan for human beings; it expresses people's original nature. We must go this way. Women intuit that this perspective is right.

As people, we have two purposes, the individual purpose and the purpose of the whole. We must harmonize maintaining our individual self with the purpose of contributing to the whole. I find almost all woman leaders agree with this. We must also make a beautiful, true family. This is most important. Next is becoming a good leader. But without a family, a core value of our life, it is impossible to become a good leader Amazingly, women agree. Even feminists understand and approve of the idea.

Through developments in IT we are gradually becoming a global village. Women must take on leadership roles with a mother's love. Mothers must do this. Not just loving our own children, but transcending our own family and loving all people. Since we have to have that kind of leadership, this is the kind of leadership education we are giving.

True Mother visits the WFWP International Headquarters in Seoul. With her are (Choi) Yeon-ah nim, Mrs. Moon and members of the Women's Federation staff.

Question: I think you're emphasizing the supremacy of motherly love.

A mother's love is one of tears. A mother must have a compassionate heart, and then children will feel the love of their mother. We need that kind of leadership and we are educating people to develop it. We also have to change the politics of the future.

Some politicians criticize and judge. I tell them that people are tired of the critical nature of politics. I say to woman politicians, "Please try motherly leadership." A mother does not keep an account of the love she has given; a mother never says "I have given so much! Why don't you give back?" True Father always emphasizes giving and forgetting.

I teach the leaders of local Women's Federation chapters in the provinces to embrace and forgive the members, and to serve them. If you want to be a great leader you have to be humble, with a motherly heart, and then everyone -- not just those who are younger and less experienced -- will respect you.

At the Women's Federation's twentieth anniversary celebration, Mother presented awards for excellence to regional representatives

Question: You have built relationships with woman leaders in North Korea. In these times when the relationship between North and South Korea is strained, are you still keeping in touch?

When I first went to North Korea and met the woman leaders, it was very difficult for us to share and communicate freely. Over the ten years we have been in contact, their hearts have opened more and it has become easier. They say they miss us. I miss them. The trust has deepened.

We are working with the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (between North and South Korea; known in Korean as Min Hwa Hyup). This organization also exists in North Korea and people are working with it from both sides. The group is an umbrella for about two hundred NGOs, of which the WFWP is a major one. The common objective is North-South reconciliation.

We have gained the trust of certain women's organizations in the North, for example the Choson Women's Association and North Korean representatives of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation. In 2007, we held our annual International WFWP convention at the Mt. Kumgang Resort. It went very well. Because of True Parents' work for peace in North Korea -- for example the joint business venture of Pyeonghwa Motors -- they like us. We are also continuing the "1% Love Share Project," and they are grateful for that. WFWP is one of many NGOs that have worked hard to support North Korean women and children. They trust us more because they feel our hearts.

I would like to hold a second inter-national woman leaders convention in North Korea. After some years with no communication, the North Korean women's association sent me a fax last August 15. "We still remember the beautiful conference in Mt. Kumgang and we would like to continue that relationship." I showed their letter to the South Korean government and on that basis they gave me permission meet them in Gaeseong.

So a small group from the WFWP offices visited Gaeseong in October last year. They were so happy to see us again. I was very happy to see them. We discussed the idea of a second conference, and the North Koreans would have welcomed us. But then our [South Korean] government would not give permission. I have great hopes, but the relationship between the governments of the North and South is not easy at present.

But at least we were able to send some aid to the Anju area. I was actually due to go to Anju in December last year but on December 17 Kim Jong-ill passed away and the visit was postponed. Even so, the Women's Federation is working to improve relations between the North and the South.

Question: Can you say something about being with True Mother, WFWP's cofounder?

I joined the movement when I was thirteen years old, with my mother. I received lots of fatherly love from True Father. When I entered university, Father gave money to support my education. When True Mother joined True Father, at first I did not find it easy to relate to Mother, because she was so young. Calling her "Mother" was at first very difficult, frankly speaking. But Mother related with me so naturally, calling me by my given name, as if I were her daughter, so it became very easy to be with her.

I have had many chances to attend True Parents; I feel so happy that we have such a wonderful mother -- graceful, beautiful and warm-hearted. Even if I make a mistake, she talks with me quietly without others knowing. Because I am doing activities overseas, I have the chance to report to True Parents regularly. She is so supportive and encouraging.

They say that a mother who gave birth to three children is different from a woman who has given birth to one. True Mother has given birth to so many children, fourteen in all. She has such a warm heart, but she has also suffered greatly.

She has so much love. For example, when I received an invitation from the Choson Women's Association in North Korea in February 2001, I visited North Korea for the first time. I felt I was going to a dangerous place. True Mother called me and gave me a ring as a good luck charm.

Since the 1990s, Women's Federation members in the region, notably Japanese volunteers for the Middle East, have been organizing a Middle East women's conference on issues to do with that region. The Japanese members had been organizing the conference each year. One day, when the fourth Middle East conference was in preparation, Mother said to me very naturally, "Please go and participate, and see the situation." So I went. At that time I was the WFWPI secretary-general. I was able to explain True Parents founding vision and ideology for the Women's Federation and explain the role of the WFWP International headquarters in Korea. I was very grateful to True Mother for her intuition and wisdom in sending me to contribute this understanding.

The outstanding WFWP chapters in Japan, Korea and the UN Office also received Mother's recognition.

Question: Would you say a concluding word?

Women have had the burden of indemnity for so long, and have been on the periphery rather than in the mainstream of history. Feminists coined the phrase "herstory," which is seeing history from a woman's perspective. But we must combine "his story" and "her story" as the "whole story." Not men and women competing, but cooperating. If there is no woman, a man cannot be a man. But with a woman, a man can become perfected. And vice versa.

Why do we encourage intercultural exchange marriage? To break down barriers. To balance and equalize culture. This is Father's desire. Women must be involved with this. So this is a role the Women's Federation can play.

According to the Gospel of John (chapter 4) Jesus stayed two days in the village in Samaria, and taught there. Many came to believe in him. He exemplified that we must bridge the gap between rich and poor, upper and lower class, and so on, if we are going to build God's kingdom. Jesus invited people to come!

The Seoul Women's Association recently invited me to speak to more than six hundred woman leaders representing the twenty-five boroughs in the city of Seoul. The organizers said to me quietly, "Don't talk too much about Rev. Moon!" Well, I did tell them that Rev. Moon is far beyond being just a religious leader, and I spoke about the real work that we are doing. "Without action," I said, "our words are without value." 

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