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Peace and Security

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May 2017
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Peace and Security

Sunhak Peace Prize Chairman Visits Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal—From November 24 to 26, 2015, UPF-Nepal hosted a delegation from the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee. During the three days, the delegation met with UPF’s Parliamentarian’s Peace Council (PPC); Nepal’s President, H.E. Mrs. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, and Nepal’s Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. K.P. Oli; as well as attended a conference honoring the Sunhak Peace Prize and the 10th anniversary of the founding of UPF.

Parliamentarians Peace Council

On November 24, 2015, a special dinner in honor of the Sunhak Peace Prize was hosted by the Parliamentarians Peace Council. The PPC was launched in November 2014, and comprises over 60 current members of parliament. The chair and founder is UPF-Nepal chair, Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal.

The Speaker of Nepal’s parliament, Hon. Onsari Ghatri Magar, presided over the meeting. Hon. Chaya Sharma Panta served as emcee and Hon. Milan Kumari Rajbanshi coordinated the program. Among the attendees were 28 members of parliament from 15 political parties, two current ministers from the government of Nepal, and deputy speaker, Hon. Ganga Prasad Yadav, who was a special guest. A total of 75 people participated in the event.  

After a film introducing the peace prize was shown, Dr. Chung Sik Yong, chair of UPF-Asia, introduced Dr. Il Sik Hong, chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee. The former president of Korea University then told the distinguished lawmakers, “The Sunhak Peace Prize endeavors to contribute to the creation of a global future of peace by… continuing to recognize righteous people of courage that bring us closer to world peace.”

The Hon. Magar responded and closed the program. The first woman Speaker of Nepal’s parliament said, “I learned that Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon established this award to honor and expand the peace ideology of her late husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.” Mrs. Magar noted that Rev. Moon dedicated his life to a movement that transcends race, religion and nationality to realize his dream of one global family.

Meeting with the President of Nepal

The next morning, November 25, the Sunhak Peace Prize delegation met the newly-elected President of Nepal, H.E. Mrs. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, at the President’s Palace.

She praised Mrs. Moon for initiating the Sunhak Peace Prize and also explained that Nepal was a land of peace as Buddha was born in the country and his message of peace has been carried throughout the world.

President Bhandari was sincerely grateful that Korea has welcomed nearly 50,000 Nepalese workers into their country. “Young people here are crazy to learn Korean,” she said.

In closing, the first woman president of Nepal said it was necessary for the government and civil society to work together for peace. She said she would work with the Nepalese prime minister to host Mrs. Moon’s visit to Nepal next year and looks forward to meeting her personally.

International Peace Conference

Later the same day, UPF-Nepal convened an international peace conference. Despite the severe shortage of petrol in the country, more than 200 ambassadors, government officials, civil society leaders, religious leaders, and professional artists attended the event.

Guests were welcomed by Hon. Dhakal. Following that Dr. Yong greeted the attendees on behalf of UPF founders, Rev. and Mrs. Moon. “Mrs. Moon is watching the situation in Nepal,” he began, and continued saying, “She sends her sympathy for the unfortunate suffering of the Nepali people.”

After a video about the Sunhak Peace Prize was shown, Dr. Hong told the Nepalese leaders that he envisioned a world without borders as the only way for world peace to be realized. “Cultural values and religious traditions have already shown that it is possible to transcend the borders of nation-states,” he emphasized. “Therefore, we urgently need a world-level culture or global conscience of ‘one global family’.”

Mr. Vijay Jolly, president of the prestigious think-tank, the Delhi Study Group, and senior leader in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then addressed the Nepalese audience. Few people have seen this Indian patriot stand at attention and salute the Nepalese flag when Nepal’s national anthem was being played. Upon landing in Nepal, he said the first thing he did was bend down and touch Nepal’s “holy soil.”

Mr. Jolly said he did not come representing the Indian government, but as a UPF Ambassador for Peace, an honor that was bestowed to him in New Delhi two days before he arrived in Kathmandu. Although he did not bring a message from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said he brings his good will and the best wishes from the Indian people.

Anti-Indian feelings are at an all-time high in Nepal, and he tried to reassure a disbelieving audience that Prime Minister Modi wanted to help Nepal. He said this was most easily demonstrated by the unprecedented aid packages and loans India gave to Nepal shortly after Modi took office.

Nepal’s Prime Minister, H.E. K.P. Oli had agreed to come to the function. However, due to urgent high-level security meetings, he had to cancel all of his public engagements that day. Instead, the minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Agni Prasad Kharel, delivered the prime minister’s message at the end of the first session.

Mr. Kharel first explained that all avenues are being explored to end the current crisis and hoped normal bilateral relations with India would be reestablished soon. He praised UPF for its mission of world peace and the vision of “One Family under God.” In his concluding remarks, he said his government was happy to receive the Sunhak Peace Prize delegation in Nepal.

The second part of the conference was billed as a “Special UPF Plenary” session. Prof. Dr. Suresh Raj Sharma, founding vice-chancellor of Kathmandu University, chaired the session.

Dr. Robert Kittel, education director of UPF-Asia, spoke about recent UPF activities in Asia. He began by asking, “How can we develop economically and maintain morals and family values?” Dr. Kittel said Rev. Moon’s strategy was to take the institution of marriage, generally celebrated within one family and one religious tradition, and honor marriage in an interreligious, inter-ethnic setting.  

The second speaker was Mr. Hoyeul Anh, director general of the Tongil Group in Korea. Using a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Anh showed the media impact of Rev. Moon’s worldwide foundation that has reached every corner of the globe.

The president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Nepal, Rev. Santosh Paudel, served as emcee of the program, and Rev. Binod Dangi, secretary general of UPF-Nepal, coordinated the event.

Invitation to the Prime Minister’s Office

The next morning, on November 26, UPF-Nepal received an unexpected call came from the prime minister’s office. The personal assistant said the prime minister had invited the Sunhak Peace Prize delegation to his office.

At the beginning of the 1:00 p.m. meeting, gifts and flowers were given to the prime minister, and photographs were taken.

Prime Minister Oli extended his government’s unreserved support to Mrs. Moon and UPF’s activities in Nepal and throughout the world.

Then, the delegation stepped out of the room and the prime minister had private discussions with Mr. Vijay Jolly. Hopefully, misunderstandings can be resolved and the grievances of the agitating parties addressed quickly.

High-level Political Dialogue to Promote Indo-Nepal Relations

In an effort to promote Indo-Nepal relations, Hon. Dhakal, arranged meetings between Indian ruling party leader Mr. Jolly and the highest leaders of Nepal’s various political parties, including the ruling and opposition parties.

Honest sharing in a friendly environment helped both sides understand each other better. Nepal has been suffering from a lack of fuel, food, medicines, and other supplies in the past three months since the Indian-Nepalese border is partially blocked. Meetings were held with Hon. Upendra Yadav, leader of the agitating forces in the southern part of Nepal; Hon. Ram Chandra Paudel, acting president of the largest political party, the Nepali Congress; Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, former prime minister of Nepal; and Hon. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, former prime minister and vice chair of the Maoist party, who recently launched his “New Force” party.

Mr. Jolly said he would carry messages from the Nepalese leaders to New Delhi and brief Prime Minister Modi about the current situation. In this way, the platform of UPF-Nepal and the foundation of UPF’s founders have made a tremendous contribution to bring Nepal and India closer together during a difficult time in their otherwise friendly relationship. 

 

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