Unification News For March 1996
World University Federation Gets Boost in Uruguay
by Gordon L. Anderson, Secretary General, Professors World Peace Academy
On February 19, 1996, 275 university presidents, professors, and distinguished educators from the Americas gathered at the Hotel Victoria Plaza in Montevideo, Uruguay. They came on short notice at the invitation of Sun Myung Moon, the founder, to discuss his vision of education for the twenty-first century and the World University Federation. He emphasized the values of harmony, purity, peace, and unification.
The conference, titled "A Worldview for the Third Millennium," was organized by a preparatory committee made up of leaders of Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), the University of Bridgeport, and the Summit Council for World Peace. Representatives of the PWPA in the countries of Latin America gave immense support to this conference by helping to locate and invite university presidents and prominent people in government ministries of education.
I am very grateful for the support that church members have given to all the academic projects founded by the Reverend Moon, but feel particularly called to recognize the yeoman work they performed under the direction of Reverend Zin Moon Kim in the preparation of this meeting. In 1983, at the First International Congress of PWPA, the Reverend Moon spoke of his desire to see a worldwide network of universities that could foster global exchange of knowledge and educate young people around the world to be leading citizens of the 21st century.
Having created Sun Moon University in Korea and investing over $100 million into the University of Bridgeport over the last five years, the Reverend Moon is serious about the education of the people who will be responsible for the world in the next millennium. The Uruguay conference served to give a boost to the creation of the World University Federation and to more clearly understand the foundation upon which the Reverend Moon would like to see the Federation built.
The conference consisted of several aspects. There were discussions of the World University Federation and how the participants would like to see it develop. There was a presentation by the University of Bridgeport on distance learning and the technologies available for global educational exchange. However, the primary focus of the conference was to acquaint the participants with the founder and his world view, which was presented by Dr. Thomas Ward and Lecturer Jesus Gonzales Losada.
The Reverend Moon spoke at length at the Opening and Closing Banquets and met with various participants at lunch and for breakfast. Most participants were inspired by the fact that there was a group attempting to put education on a moral foundation consistent with natural law and general principles that could be understood and accepted by the majority of religious and scientific thinkers of our time. I met one scientist from Ecuador who said that Dr. Ward's lecture on the origin of the universe was well argued from both the viewpoints of science and theology.
I heard another report of two participants from the traditionally feuding countries of Peru and Ecuador embracing one another in a show of forgiveness after another of the lectures. There were two North Americans staying at the hotel who were so interested in the lectures that they sat through them and paid a fee to attend the farewell banquet. I sensed that the Federation is seen as a source of hope to people in non-Western societies who fear that the secular values infused with Western education are detrimental to the well-being of traditional community life.
At the opening banquet, the Reverend Moon, walking with a microphone among the tables, gave a talk entitled "God Needs a Companion," in which he emphasized that human beings were created by God for the purpose of a relationship of love with God. We see a reflection of this love in the relationship of husband and wife and parents and children. He was critical of university education that did not encourage the seeking of answers to the big questions like, "Why are we here?" and "What is our purpose?" The fulfillment of human beings, he argued will only be achieved when they understand their origin, purpose and destiny. An education that ignores these questions or provides narrow dogmatic answers-by either scientific or religious people-to these questions hinders the complete education of the student.
On February 20, the Reverend Moon invited 40 participants to join him for lunch. After lunch, presentations were made about the "Campo Grande" ideal community project in Southern Brazil and the development of a fish powder supplement which can be mixed with flour to provide nutrition for impoverished parts of the world. Participants were able to glimpse the range of practical activities in which the Reverend Moon is involved and understand that he is no ordinary religious leader or philanthropist.
The morning of February 21 was particularly meaningful for the World University Federation. At a breakfast meeting with members of the University of Bridgeport, the Reverend Moon explained the four principles upon which he would like to see the Federation built- harmony (of mind and body), purity (in sexual and family relations), peace (among peoples), and unification (of the global community with universal principles). He emphasized that if purity would be a focus of the University of Bridgeport, many people around the world would feel safe in sending their children there.
I know that it would be an incentive for me, and I expect that it could prove financially beneficial to the university if it were known as an environment which fostered these four principles. Reverend Moon asked President Rubenstein to help make the University of Bridgeport a leader in the World University Federation and in the education of world citizens, prepared to take leadership in the twenty-first century.
That afternoon, the "Montevideo Declaration of the World University Federation" (see insert) was drafted and signed by participants. As a platform for the creation of the World University Federation, it included the four themes; harmony, purity, peace and unification. The conference closed with a farewell banquet which began as a traditional banquet followed by a magician and an opera singer. Words of thanks to the host were given by participants. Then the Reverend Moon surprised everyone by asking that the tables be pushed aside and chairs arranged in a semi-circle for a "family style" talk. He was determined to talk as long as people were willing to listen, and many of the audience were determined to stay as long as he wanted to talk.
He stayed until after midnight, sharing his ideas about the basic principles of polarity that serve as the foundation for all give and take in the universe, the principle of true love, the human fall, restoration, the change of blood lineage, and the birth of Jesus. It was clear that the Montevideo Conference of the World University Federation accomplished the goal of beginning the Federation on principles which are to become the hallmark of the universities which participate-good, clean principles which will help students to cultivate sharp minds, strong families, and peaceful societies.
Although the main focus of the seminar was on the Reverend Moon's vision, there were displays of many ICUS and PWPA books, the World & I magazine and other university programs. It was clear to participants that the day to day work of those academics affiliated with the network is of the highest academic quality. I look forward to seeing the relationships which were cultivated at the Uruguay conference blossom into a set of institutions which, like the Oxford and Cambridge of a past era, provide the highest quality education together with the infusion of principles of leadership and global culture that can set the next millennium of human civilization on a more peaceful, just and prosperous course.
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