The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
Panama, the geographical bridge between the North and South American continents, is a critical component of the global economic infrastructure, and control of the Canal Zone, transferred from the United States in 1999, has spurred economic growth in the nation of three million. Today Panama is a strategic transportation link and financial hub, and the largest free-trade zone in the Americas. On the other hand, some 40 percent of the population is mired in poverty, and an astonishing 80 percent of children born in the country are to single mothers.
The disintegration of the family has engendered serious drug-abuse and social problems among the youth. Because of these growing problems, many government and civic leaders are anxious to work with GPF and YFWP, specifically the crucial character education component that provides a clear explanation of the importance of self discipline, respect for one's body, and the sacred character of marriage and family life as the building block of a peaceful society. These are the messages brought to the people of Panama by Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, president of the Global Peace Federation.
"Panama should concentrate on education," said Moon, before an assembly of Panamanian senators, mayors, civil society leaders, and Ambassadors for Peace. "Education is the key to saving this nation. However, education of the mind is not enough. It is important to educate the heart. The family is the first line of defense against the destruction of society. As a father of eight children, if I do not live by family principles, what will happen to my family and children? It´s time to establish the value of the family and strengthen it as the foundation of society."
Moon described Panama as a bridge that connects both East and West and North and South. He urged Panamanian leaders to realize that "if a nation has abundant resources but still experiences poverty and corruption; it is because of problems with the leadership. If leaders make One Family under God their platform, a completely new nation can emerge." He envisions Panama as a spark for igniting the vision throughout the American hemisphere and challenged the leaders to open the way for a new world beyond the walls of religion, race, and culture. "If Panama advances with this type of vision, then your nation can influence your neighbors, your region, and your entire continent."
One significant youth leader, Fabio Perez, president of Panama's Martial Arts Association which numbers 20,000 students, described how he teaches the principles of peace to martial arts students. Realizing that education in family values is critical to the country's future, Perez agreed to take on the national leadership of Panama's Youth Federation for World Peace.
Hyun Jin Moon pointed to the success of the Panama summit and said that "with the commitment of leaders like Fabio Perez, we can continue to ensure that the Americas are united as one family under God."
Led by president Hyun Jin Moon, Global Peace Festival (GPF) promotes and celebrates persons and programs that contribute to reconciliation, mutual respect, harmony and cooperation among the members of the whole human family, as "One Family Under God." In partnership with a variety of faith-based organizations, NGOs, government agencies, educational institutions, and members of the private sector, GPF encourages programs that strengthen God-centered marriages and families, facilitate intercultural and inter-religious cooperation, and foster a culture of peace and service. Ongoing programs are implemented throughout the year and culminate in a biennial Global Peace Festival that consists of an international leadership conference, a social impact program, and a public celebration.