IAPP Launched in Samoa

Apia, Samoa—On January 16, 2018, the Samoan chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was inaugurated in Apia, the capital of Samoa. Among the attendees were Samoa’s head of state, H.E. Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II; two current members of parliament; and community, youth and women leaders.

The theme of the conference was “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of IAPP in Samoa.” The emcee was Mr. Seti Suafa, the president of UPF-Samoa. A welcoming address was given by Hon. Tafua Maluelue Tafua, a member of parliament, who welcomed everyone on behalf of the government and gave an overview of the current issues facing Samoa.

Young people performed a beautiful Tong Il Moo Do (TIMD) martial arts demonstration, and the TIMD philosophy, which is based on filial piety, mind–body unity and character development, was explained by Mr. Suafa, who is also the TIMD director in Samoa.

This was followed by an opening address by Rev. Shang Seon Park, chair of UPF-Oceania, who highlighted the unique potential of Samoa to become God’s nation. Rev. Park explained his strong opinion that Samoa needs to revere God and continue to respond to the call of God into the future.

The next presentation was by Mr. Greg Stone, secretary general of UPF-Oceania, who introduced the principles of the IAPP and reported on its successful launch in many nations around the world. Mr. Stone went on to explain the central importance of the family as a foundation for peace everywhere.

Several leaders made presentations on the conference theme. Hon. Victor Tamapua, a member of parliament, highlighted challenges presented by cultural change. Ms. Roina Faatauvaa-Vavatau, president of SUNGO (Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organizations), spoke about the problems facing families and young people.

Entertainment followed, featuring a beautiful song and a traditional Samoan dance. Participants signed the founding resolution of the IAPP, and many of them received Ambassadors for Peace certificates The meeting concluded as everyone shared informally over afternoon tea.

A Samoa Television news crew covered the IAPP inauguration, and its coverage appeared on Samoa Television news that evening.

Following the launch, Rev. Park, Mr. Suafa and Mr. Stone attended a meeting with the prime minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, in his office. The meeting was very convivial. The prime minister signed the IAPP inaugural resolution and gave out signed copies of his recently published memoir, titled Palemia (“prime minister” in Samoan). He fondly recalled his experience with Rev. Moon when he came to Samoa and spoke at the House of Prayer for four hours; he also spoke of the inspiration he received while attending an International Leadership Conference in Korea.

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