Unification News for October, 2001

International Leadership Seminar: New Vision for Peace

Interreligious And International Federation For World Peace
by Prof. Eliezer Glaubach-Gal.

Initiated and sponsored by the IIFWP in partnership with the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), the World Media Association (WMA), and the World University Federation (WUF), the conference, "A New Vision for Leadership through Public Service: Toward Peace in the Family and Peace in the Nations" was held July 13 - 15, 2001, in Istanbul, Turkey

While the Middle East is immersed in hostility and belligerence, with blood shed daily in the Holy Land, a large group of Peace activists courageously met in Istanbul to talk Peace. Over 100 delegates came from countries close to the core of the Middle East conflict, i.e. Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians, Lebanese and Iranians, as well as from countries including the Gulf Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Tunisia, Morocco, Somalia, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Malta. Also in attendance was a distinguished delegation from the host country - Turkey.

A central purpose for the Seminar was orientation and leadership training for those actively leading IIFWP national chapters.

This Seminar continues in the line of three types of preparatory meetings. First were the International Education Programs sponsored by IIFWP and WANGO for more than 180 countries in the last two months of the year 2000. These conferences focused on moral renewal, the reinforcement of the family structures, responsible citizenship, and the development of a global attitude and consciousness of caring for the fate of others. These are the basic goals, vision and ideals of the IIFWP and its Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

Secondly are the major conventions in New York and the United Nations. In January of this year, the IIFWP sponsored the "Convocation of World Leaders", convening 800 world leaders at the United Nations and dedicated to the theme of "Dialogue and Harmony Among Civilizations".

Finally, are the series of conferences of which this Istanbul seminar are a part. IIFWP leaders have convened core national leaders in 6 previous meetings covering every major region, and all nations. Thus this seminar explored through 5 major areas of consideration the essential vision, guiding principles, and current programs activities of the IIFWP.

Sessions featured panel debates, training workshops, and discussion groups all carried out with the end goal of information and guidelines for carrying out IIFWP work at local centers of activity.

IIFWP Chairman, Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, delivered an inspiring speech stressing such universal values as the family as the school of affection and morality, and furthermore the wellspring from which people learn to care for the fate of others. This essential impulse makes it possible to overcome the selfishness and barriers that separate people along lines of race, nationality, religion, language, ethnic groups and culture. Herein lies a unique take, and a genuine key to taking up world problems at their very root of origin.

History teaches us how tragic these deep-rooted divisions can be, it is imperative at this stage to evolve a global consciousness capable of underlying a Global Culture of Peace.

The IIFWP conducts its affairs in the context of a wide range of institutions and branches whose goal is the advancement of peace among nations, such as:

* Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace - IIFWP

* The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification

* Women’s Federation for World Peace - WFWP

* Youth Federation for World Peace - YFWP

* The Professors’ World Peace Academy - PWPA

* The World Media Association, including United Press International, The ‘Washington Times, ’ The ‘Middle East Times’ in addition to a wide range of publications

* The World University Federation

The activities within this framework carry an unrivaled vitality and intensity driving such projects as Peace Zones; Humanitarian Service Projects ; International Education Programs towards Democracy and Peace; Environmentalism & Ecology Seminars; The Renewal of the United Nations; launching of The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO); Training Seminars for Ambassadors for Peace; A major AIDS initiative and other projects of international scale.

Following the IIFWP overview offered by organization Secretary General, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Dr. Frank Kaufman, director of the World Peace Institute expounded upon the interreligious aspect of international conflicts. WANGO director Mr. Taj Hamad explained the inner nature and mission of NGO’s in world affairs. Fulbright Fellow Professor Kenneth Gray of Al Akhawayn University in Morrocco presented on scholarship and education, Dr. Jeoung Myoung Kim, from the Mohammad V University in Morocco, presented on Media in that session.

Most inspiring at the Istanbul Seminar, in sharp contrast with the ongoing bloody conflict in the Middle East, was the profound brotherhood and unity of purpose concerning the need for reconciliation and peace between nations, for the benefit of the present and future generations. As customary in international conventions, business was conducted via plenary sessions and discussion groups; the striking thing was that in the Middle East discussion group all the participants upheld unanimously the view that "we all have more in common than we have differences." A friendly and favorable atmosphere prevailed.

Bearing in mind that President Saadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel were assassinated by murderers from among their own people by reason of their dedication to the cause of Peace, it is more than ever befitting to undertake this series of conventions in the Middle East , bringing together delegates from both government and non-government sectors.

There can be no question that the attendants at this assembly coming from the hostile countries have shown great personal courage even at the minimal level of even participation. Surely these very people will rise to become the best and most dedicated emissaries for the long- awaited Peace.

The European delegates in turn devoted much attention to solving conflicts on the continent. These delegates hoped to transcend the failures following the seeming end of the cold war, with a new and workable vision for peace in Europe.

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