Articles From the March 1994 Unification News


International Students Gather In Moscow In The Name Of World Peace

By Jack Corley
February 11-16, 1994

Despite the most frigid temperatures that Moscow has experienced all winter (minus 27 degrees Celsius) students and professors from six Pacific Rim countries gathered from February 12 to 16 for an important international Conference. Participants represented China, Japan the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia.

The theme of the conference, "New Values and Reassessment of Existing Values for the 21st Century," was given by True Father who had asked World CARP last November to begin preparations for this historic meeting.

The conference was sponsored by the International Leadership Council and was co-sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic Academy (Moscow), the Russian State Committee for Higher Education, and Moscow State University.

North Korean Representatives

We were constantly reminded of the importance that Father placed upon this conference as a vehicle for the reunification of Korea. Students from these same countries had been invited to two previous Pacific Rim conferences, one in Russia (May 1992) and the other in America (March 1993), but, despite our best efforts, we had been unable to bring representatives from North Korea. On this occasion, we all could feel True Parent's prayers, thought and spiritual support very directly. The result was that among the participants were four professors from Pyong Yang, North Korea.

The preparation for the conference gave us a better understanding of the spiritual and even the political importance of this program. For example, we were supported very much by the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At one point the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Mr. Panov (who until recently was Russia's Ambassador to South Korea), was approached by the South Korean Ambassador to Russia, who tried to discourage the Foreign Ministry from supporting the program. The Korean Ambassador gave several reasons for his opposition: one, that Rev. Moon was the inspiration and sponsor of the program; two, that the South Korean student participants were anti-government; and three, he did not like the idea of North Koreans mixing with South Korean students, Mr. Panov, however, strongly defended the decision and rejected the attempt of the Korean Ambassador to interfere.

Upon their arrival in Moscow on February 11. The participants were taken to the Ukraine Hotel, this hotel is located directly across the Moscow River from the Russian White House, the site of the October 1993 conflict. The next day the participants toured the center of Moscow, including Red Square and the Kremlin, and visited the famous Pushkin Museum of Art.

International Flavor

The conference section of the program began on Sunday, February 13, at Moscow State University. We began by extending warm wishes from Dr. Sadovnichi, Rector of Moscow State University then an address by Mr. Yuri Senchenko, president of the Student Council of Moscow State University and the Eurasian Union of Student Councils, was given. Mr. Senchenko encouraged the participants to increase International student exchange programs in order to create better understanding between young people of various nations and cultures.

He was followed to the podium by Mr. Takeshi Furuta, President of Japan CARP, who encouraged the participants to use their energy and talents to break the barriers that have traditionally divided people.

Next was, General Nikita Chaldimov, the Vice Rector of the Higher Military Humanities College in Moscow, who explained that the future role of the Russian Army would be purely defensive, He stressed the importance of young people having moral values as a basis upon which to build their future.

Also speaking were Professors from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the People's Republic of China. These were followed by student presentations from leaders representing each of the participating countries, including CARP member Sergei Komarov, a fifth-year mathematics major from Moscow State University. All of them emphasized the need to transfer the idealism of young people into substantial activities. The evening finished with a banquet hosted by Russian students who are members of CARP.

Message from Father

The following day the Diplomatic academy played host to a very distinguished list of speakers. These included: Ambassador Sergei Romanovsky, the Diplomatic Academy Rector; Ambassador Alexander Dzasokhov, member of the Duma, Chairman of the Committee on International Organizations and former Soviet Ambassador to Syria; Dr. Yuri Krasin, the Director of the Gorbachev Foundation; Dr. Vladlen Sirotkin, Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic Yearbook of the Russian Foreign Ministry and a Russian television commentator; and Professor Vladimir Myasnikov, member of the Russian Academy of Science and a leading Russian Scholar on Asia and the Pacific region. True Father and Mother sent a joint message of greeting, as Founder of the Federation for World Peace, and International President of the Women's Federation for World Peace, respectively, which was read by Dr. Joon Ho Seuk.

Their letter of greeting allowed True Parents to point out that "as young people from East and West, you represent the future of our world. It is our hope that this future will be one of true peace, as humankind moves beyond the prejudices of the past. To this end, we encourage your consideration of the theoretical and practical implications of the conference theme, 'New Values and Reassessment of Existing Values for the 21st Century.'

"We pray that this conference can ignite a new and energetic creativity to transform this world. Cross the traditional lines of division with the greatest power on earth, that of sacrificial true love, exemplified in life lived for the sake of others."

Dr. Seuk then offered his keynote address, stating that "first, peace within the individual must be established through a quiet inner revolution from selfishness to unselfishness. Then, peace within the family will follow. On this foundation will come peace within societies, nations, finally encompassing the entire world. This is because the individual is the basis of the family, which is the basis of any society or nation." He concluded by encouraging the students to realize that the bonds of friendship and trust made during the course of this conference must develop into mature forces for peace in the coming century.

Message from the U.S. Embassy Mr. Bong Tae Kim, Vice President of World CARP and President of Korean CARP, also spoke. He stressed that "the central roles in the new student movement preparing for the 21st century must be filled by conscientious young students. Young people must live a valuable life, and all of you gathered here today are the ones who should take a central role."

The conference was also addressed by Mr. Paul Smith, cultural attache of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, as well as by Mr. Sui Qim, the charge d'affaires and acting Ambassador of the People's Republic of China. Embassy representatives from Japan and South Korea attended the conference, as did media representatives from Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Great Britain.

Afternoon sessions allowed participants to choose from five committees: Traditional Culture Vs. Modernization; Prospects for a Pacific Community: the Role of the New Generation for the Establishment of World Peace; Future Trends in Higher Education; and, Moral and Ethical Values as a Foundation for Leadership. Students discussed these issues in various rooms of the Diplomatic Academy, which were decorated with photos, posters, statues and paraphernalia commemorating the Communist Revolution of the former Soviet Union.

The chairpersons of the five committees reported briefly about their discussions at the closing plenary session. The conference was concluded with the signing of a joint communique calling for the realization of the ideals of international peace and harmony and the determination to establish a Youth Federation for world Peace. Participants then moved on to the closing banquet at the House of Scientists, one of the most prestigious meeting places in Moscow.

A Message From Pyung Yang

One of the highlight of the program was the warm welcome given to the delegates from Pyung Yang. These were Mr. Jong-Chul Son, Honorable Professor of Economics of Kim Il Sung University in Pyung Yang; Mr. Dong-Kun Park, Professor of Economics at Kim Il Sung University; Mr. Soo-Ik Lee, a Researcher; and Mr. Sung-Duk Lee, a Counselor.

Mr. Son warmly addressed the audience and spoke about his longing for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. He reminded the audience that the conference hosts, True Parents, were to celebrate their birthday on the following day, and he invited everyone to join him in applause for their birthday and good health. He then elaborated on the belief in the unification of the Korean Peninsula based on the "10 points of Unification by the Great Leader, Kim Il Sung"

After a very moving song and poem prepared by the South Korean delegates, the North Korean professors rushed to the stage, offering warm handshakes and embraces to the young South Koreans, who in turn performed a traditional Korean sign of friendship sign by throwing each of the North Koreans three times in the air. It was very moving to see the barriers that have divided Korea for so long seem to disappear in an atmosphere of True Parents love. The evening closed with all the participants joining hands and singing "Tongil"- the Korean song of unity.

Closing in St. Petersburg

The next day after an overnight train journey - the participants enjoyed one day of sightseeing in St. Petersburg. A special feature of their trip was lunch in the newly purchased church headquarters on the banks of the River Neva near the Hermitage Museum of Art. Our brothers and sisters in St. Petersburg had worked very hard to renovate the headquarters and to prepare very beautiful food for everyone. A beautiful banquet was given in the evening for the conference participants in the Moscow Hotel restaurant. This restaurant looks like a palace banquet hall, with crystal chandeliers and murals of old Moscow. Participants returned by train to Moscow that evening. The next day they flew back to their home countries, except for the North and South Koreans, who stayed an extra day.

The next morning all Northwest Russia Regional members gathered in the St. Petersburg Center where Dr. Seuk shared with them about a new seven-month witnessing condition. After a very inspiring speech and enthusiastic Mansei, we prepared to have lunch. Just at that moment the phone rang, and the General Affairs person who doesn't speak English very well, ran into the room breathlessly, saying, "Mr. Father is on the phone."

Father Calling Russia

Father spoke on the phone for about one hour and listened eagerly to a report about the conference and expressed many times his satisfaction with the outcome. The time of Father's call was 1 p.m. St. Petersburg time, which means that Father called at 4 a.m. New York time the day after his birthday and before he was to begin a leaders meeting. Through this we can understand how little Father has been sleeping and how much he had been thinking about and praying for this conference.

It was explained to Father that we planned to have a special program in Moscow the next day to establish friendship agreements between one South Korean and one Russian student each. Father explained instead that it would be better providentially to establish a relationship between one Korean and three Russians. To fulfill Father's direction, all the South Korean and almost 90 Russian students gathered in the Ukraine Hotel the following day. After much joyful sharing and singing. The documents were signed.

To see the attitude of the South Korean students at the end of the program and to compare it to their attitude at the beginning, I can say that this was truly a miraculous transformation. True Parents would have been so proud to see the way that our wonderful native brothers and sisters selflessly invested themselves in caring for their guests. This truly touched the hearts of all the participants.

The night before their departure some representatives from the South Korean Embassy in Moscow came to meet the South Korean students, who, totally out of character welcomed the embassy staff with applause. This was such a shock and a real surprise for the embassy staff. They realized, however, that the students had changed only because their hearts had been moved by our Russian members. This, of course, was only possible because our Russian members hearts had been moved by True Parents.

This conference was truly a testimony to our True Parents sense of timing and we all realized that when True Parents focus on something, spirit world works in the most extraordinary ways, far beyond even our own best efforts.

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