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November 2018
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"Parliamentarians for Peace" Initiative Launched in Asia-Pacific

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Kathmandu, Nepal—The outgoing prime minister of Nepal and dignitaries from 29 nations attended the UPF International Leadership Conference (ILC).

Among the 700 guests attending the ILC and the launching of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) were a total of 311 current members of Parliament, cabinet ministers and heads of state or government from the Asian and Pacific regions.

H.E. K.P. Sharma Oli, who was prime minister of Nepal until August 3, attended the conference along with four Nepalese cabinet ministers and 237 members of Nepal’s Legislature-Parliament.

The three-day conference took place from July 28 to 31, 2016, under the title “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Governments, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations.” The Universal Peace Federation and the Parliamentarians Peace Council Nepal co-hosted the conference in the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu hotel.

The Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction of the Government of Nepal hosted one session and the lunch that followed. The opening and closing sessions were broadcast live by two television stations.

Session titles included: “Launching Peace Road 2016,” “UPF’s Founding Vision: Realizing a World of Peace,” “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Peacebuilding, Human Rights and Human Responsibilities,” “Overcoming Extremism and Promoting the Peaceful Resolution of Conflict: The Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations,” “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Media,” “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Climate Change” and “Making the World Better for Future Generations: International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).”

 

Inaugural Session I

Prime Minister Oli, the chief guest, came with his wife and attended the entire session. The first couple also stayed for dinner, spending altogether 4.5 hours at the ILC. The prime minister said his goal has always been “to make Nepal peaceful, prosperous and happy.” He also said that he felt this conference would make a substantial contribution toward concluding Nepal’s Peace Process by bringing parliamentarians from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to Nepal to support and encourage their Nepalese counterparts to move forward with confidence.

The prime minister emphasized that the way to do this was to be willing to give up self-interest. He also explained that this was an educational process requiring the active support of everyone, including faith-based organizations. “The common goal of all faith-based organizations should be to encourage people of a particular religion to appreciate other religions. Religious tolerance and harmony is the need of the hour,” he added.

List of speakers:

Session Chair: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, minister of peace and reconstruction, Government of Nepal, and chair, ILC Organizing Committee

  • Dr. Chung Sik Yong, regional chair of UPF-Asia
  • Dr. Yeon Ah Moon, president, Women’s Federation for World Peace International
  • H.E. Jose de Venecia Jr., speaker, House of Representatives, Philippines (1992-1998, 2001-2008)
  • H.E. Kessai Note, president of Marshall Islands (2000 - 2008)
  • H.E. Madhav Kumar Nepal, prime Minister of Nepal (2009 - 2011)
  • Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, president of UPF International
  • H.E. Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati, (2003 - 2016)
  • H.E. K.P. Sharma Oli, prime minister of Nepal

 

Peace Road 2016

The second day began with the launching of Peace Road 2016, which was very well attended, with enthusiastic support and encouragement from ILC participants as well as many Nepalese members of Parliament. Dr. Chung Sik Yong, UPF regional president, spoke, and two parliamentarians from Nepal, one from the Nepal Family Party and another from the Nepali Congress Party, gave short comments. Several lawmakers rode bicycles to show support for the vision of the International Highway proposed by the UPF Founder. The program was brief, but it was something that everyone enjoyed. It took place in the motor court of the hotel, so it was convenient for all participants to join.

 

Session II: The UPF Founder’s Vision

This session was dedicated to an exposition of essential principles that underlie UPF, i.e., Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s life motto of “living for the sake of others,” which applies to all aspects of life, including marriage, family, professional careers, etc. During the question-and-answer session following the presentations, many members of the audience expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to attend the ILC and to learn about the vision and work of UPF. They were especially happy to see the principle highlighting the relationship between family-building and nation-building.

Moderator: Rev. Gregory Stone, secretary general, UPF-Oceania

Speakers:

  • Dr. Robert S. Kittel, education director, UPF-Asia
  • Mrs. Ursula McLackland, secretary general, UPF-Asia

Commentators:

  • Hon. B.P. Singh, 14th governor of Sikkim, India
  • Hon. Datuk Johari Abdul, deputy president, Parliamentarians’ Federation for World Peace, Malaysia
  • Hon. G.M. Gurung, minister, Government of Sikkim, India

 

Session III: Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Peacebuilding, Human Rights and Human Responsibilities

With a focus on human rights and human dignity, this session was very diverse, including Maoists, democrats, and women along with representatives from small island nations and India with over 1.3 billion people. Speakers often referred to the role UPF played in Nepal’s Peace Process as well as the situation facing Nepal today. This session and the lunch that followed were hosted by the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction of the Government of Nepal. The ministry distributed a monograph to conference delegates that highlighted the background as well as unique elements of the Peace Process.

Moderator: Amb. K.V. Rajan, former Indian ambassador to Nepal

Speakers:

  • Hon. Daman Nath Dhungana, former speaker, House of Representatives, Nepal
  • Hon. Ram Karki, member of the Legislature Parliament of Nepal
  • Hon. Dr. Ravindra Kumar Ray, member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and former minister of Jharkhand, India
  • Hon. Andrew Solomon Napuat, member of Parliament, Republic of Vanuatu
  • Hon. Sarathie Dushmantha, deputy minister of justice and Buddha Sasana, Sri Lanka
  • Hon. Duk Kwang Bae, member of Parliament, South Korea
  • Hon. Raashid Alvi, former member of Parliament of India (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha)

 

Session IV: Overcoming Extremism and Promoting the Peaceful Resolution of Conflict: The Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations

This was a very important session, and even the parliamentarians were grateful to have a session that focused on the role of religions in peacebuilding. The panel featured a very strong group of interfaith leaders representing Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, each offering their strong advocacy for spiritual and religious activism to work for peace and prevent all forms of violent extremism. Each called for moderation and mutual respect, stating that violence is not consistent with any religion.

Two of the panelists, Dr. Kazi Islam, a Muslim from Bangladesh, and Shivamurthy Shivacharya from India, are longtime friends of UPF, going back 30 years. They spoke proudly and boldly about the value and importance of various projects of UPF and its related organizations in the area of promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation.

Moderator: Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam, professor, University of Bangladesh, Dhaka

Speakers:

  • Archarya Dr. Lokesh Muni Ji, founder, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti, India
  • Dr. Nareshman Bajracharya, vice chancellor, Lumbini University, Nepal
  • Hon. Thaworn Senniamvern, former deputy minister of interior, Thailand
  • Dr. Shivacharya Shivamurthy Mahaswam, spiritual head, Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, India
  • Dante Liban, president, People’s National Movement for Federalism, Philippines

 

Concurrent ILC Session IV: Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of the Media in Building a Peaceful World

This was a very impressive session, well attended, with very good speakers who are prominent media professionals. It was important to have a media component built into the ILC program. This session was co-sponsored by the Nepal Republic Media house and the Segye Ilbo national daily newspaper of South Korea. It dealt with the interplay between press freedom, social responsibility, and the need for guiding ethics (equally needed in sports, business, education, politics, etc.). The concept of developing personal relations among media houses, so that they can work together to monitor each other in order to help raise media standards, was introduced.

Moderator: Dr. Robert Kittel, photo-journalist for the Sekai Nippo, Japan

Speakers:

  • Ms. Sambridhi Gaywali, corporate officer, Nepal Republic Media
  • Mr. Subhash Ghimire, editor, Republica, Nepal
  • Mr. Jun Young Cha, president, Segye Ilbo
  • Dr. Thomas Walsh, Board of Directors, The Washington Times
  • Padma Shri Alok Mehta, chief editor, Outlook-Hindi, India
  • Mr. Aljo Bendijo, People’s Television Network, Philippines
  • Ms. Adena Mahavong, president, MV Lao Television, Laos

 

ILC Session V: Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Climate Change

Each speaker offered very valuable content in addressing the ways in which further decline of the environment due to climate change can be prevented. The speakers represented important perspectives from significant nations throughout Asia. One important issue was how to promote development, on the one hand, while also preserving the quality of the environment, on the other hand.

President Tong of Kiribati came to the podium to speak extemporaneously about this issue, explaining his efforts to raise awareness about the problems that derive from climate change. He noted that, too often, corporations focus on profit more than on protecting the environment, even ignoring human survival. He encouraged all participants to go back to their respective nations and strongly encourage their governments to address the challenges of climate change, and he called us to move beyond dependence on fossil fuels.

Moderator: Hon. Jayant Chand, former minister of commerce and current member of Legislature-Parliament, Nepal

Speakers:

  • Hon. Anuradha Jayaratne, deputy minister of environment, Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Ziayhi Jin, vice president, International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization, China
  • Hon. Ramkumar Sharma, member of Parliament, India
  • Hon. Jerrilyn Uduch Senior, senator, Palau
  • Hon. Prataprao Ganpatrao Jadhav, member of Parliament, India

 

ILC Session VI: Making the World Better for Future Generations: International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)

At the end of this session, conference participants showed their support for the IAPP by signing the proposal to launch the association in the Asia-Pacific region. On February 15, 2016, at the Korean National Assembly, 150 current parliamentarians from over 40 nations first proposed the IAPP. That gathering featured keynote remarks from Dr. Sun Jin Moon, the chair of UPF International, along with the Korean Assembly speaker, Rt. Hon. Kim Eul-dong.

Throughout the remainder of this year the Universal Peace Federation will hold a series of conferences to launch the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace globally. Programs will be held in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. A global début of this worldwide parliamentarians’ association is planned for Washington D.C., in the United States at the end of the year. The speakers in this session wholeheartedly supported this initiative.

Moderator:  Thomas G. Walsh, president of UPF International

Speakers:  

  • Hon. Chhaya Sharma, member of Legislature Parliament of Nepal
  • Hon. Janak Raj Joshi, member of Legislature Parliament of Nepal
  • Hon. Gen. Supakorn Sanguanchartsornkrai, member of National Legislative Assembly, Thailand
  • Hon. Rajendra Agarwal, member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), India
  • Hon. Datuk Dr. Marcus Makin Mojigoh, member of Parliament, Malaysia
  • Hon. Angajan Ramanathan, member of Parliament, Sri Lanka
  • Hon. Iliesa Delana, assistant minister for youth and sports, Fiji
  • Hon. D.P. Tripathi, member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), India

Participants were eager to sign the proposal for establishing the IAPP.

Following this, the Little Angels performed three songs, so beautifully, including Nepali songs, which won the hearts of everyone!

Closing Session

Appreciation for the vision and global foundation of UPF was unanimous. Many of the problems today are beyond national borders. Obviously and urgently, therefore, an international response is needed. The conference theme was referred to numerous times, namely, that the interaction of government, civil society and faith-based organizations was absolutely needed to address issues like terrorism, climate change, family fragmentation, youth problems, etc. Clearly we all need to work together to address the critical issues of our time.

Moderator: Rev. Julius Malicdem, chairman, UPF-Philippines

Reflections by:

  • Hon. Mehzabeen Khaled Hossain, member of Parliament, Bangladesh
  • Hon. Rabindra Adhikari, member of the Legislature Parliament, Nepal
  • Ms. So Yuk Choi, UPF advisor, Hong Kong
  • Hon. Em Bonna, member of Parliament, Cambodia
  • Hon. Chandrani Bandara, cabinet minister of women’s and children’s affairs, Sri Lanka

At the conclusion of this ILC, 20 Ambassadors for Peace were appointed:

  • Hon. Datuk Joseph Salang, Malaysia
  • Hon. Jerrilyn Uduch Senior, Palau
  • Hon. Andrew Solomon Napuat, Vanuatu
  • Hon. Ishmael Mali Avui, Solomon Islands
  • Hon. Dorji Wangdi, Bhutan
  • Hon. Kazi Firoj Rashid, Bangladesh
  • Hon. Adi Teimumu Tuisawau Vuikaba Kepa, Fiji
  • Hon. Chandrani Bandara, Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Gul Shah Jee, Pakistan
  • Hon. Mr. Nguon Sim An, Cambodia
  • Atty. Dante Liban, Philippines
  • Hon. Dr. Arya Wedakarna, Indonesia
  • Hon. Raashid Ali, India
  • Hon. Ashutosh Tandon "Gopalji," India
  • Hon. Ravindran Jaiswal, India
  • Mr. Kang Shin-Jen, Taiwan

 

VVIP Courtesy Calls

Throughout the conference, VVIP delegates from the ILC made courtesy calls on:

  1. H.E. Nanda Kishor Pun, the vice president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal at the Office of the Vice President
  2. H.E. Madhav Kumar Nepal, prime minister of Nepal (2009 - 2011)
  3. H.E. Puspa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda,” prime minister of Nepal (2008 - 2009)
  4. H.E. Jhala Nath Khanal, prime minister of Nepal (2011)

 

The Little Angels of Korea

The Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet of Korea was welcomed in Nepal by 3,200 students from 68 schools and colleges in the capital. In addition to their four breathtaking performances for ILC participants, the Little Angels made two VVIP courtesy calls:

1) On the prime minister and first lady of Nepal, H.E. and Madam K.P. Sharma Oli, at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence

2) On the president and vice president of Nepal, H.E. Bidhya Devi Bhandari and H.E. Nanda Kishor Pun (respectively) at the President's House.

After the conclusion of the ILC, the Little Angels gave a full two-hour performance dedicated to Nepalese schoolchildren. It was in gratitude for the warm and friendly welcome given to the Little Angels upon their arrival in Nepal. There were 800 students from 53 schools and colleges along with 500 teachers, Ambassadors for Peace and their families in the audience. Just prior to the performance, Nepalese students, their parents and staff made a pledge of purity for the sake of their nation, called “Pure Love Nepal.” The hall was overflowing with enthusiastic students; they even sat in the aisles. The deputy prime minister and minister for women, children and welfare, Rt. Hon. C.P. Mainali, was the chief guest.

 

Participant Count

Nepalese Delegates:

  • Current prime minister and first lady = 1 couple
  • Current cabinet ministers = 4
  • Current members of Parliament = 237
  • Former prime minister = 1
  • Former vice president = 1
  • Army and police generals = 7
  • Professors = 15
  • Secretaries of ministries = 20
  • Former cabinet ministers = 6
  • VIPs and Ambassadors for Peace = 198
  • Media = 25+

Live broadcast by two national television channels: the Inaugural Session and the IAPP launching

 

International Delegates:

  • Total Guests = 194 from 29 nations, including:
  • Former presidents = 2
  • Current ministers = 4
  • Current deputy ministers = 3
  • Current members of Parliament = 65
  • Former speaker = 1
  • Former members of Parliament = 2
  • Embassy staff = 4

The total number of current members of Parliament, cabinet ministers and heads of state or government from both the Nepalese and international delegations was 311.

 

Current members of Nepal’s Legislature-Parliament (MPs):

  • 1st Day = 101
  • 2nd Day = 61
  • 3rd Day = 75
  • Total: 237

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