Asia Peace Conference Inaugurated
Written by UPF - Malaysia
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Representatives from 16 nations attended the inaugural Asia Peace Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 26-27. The conference seeks to advance Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s call for a Global Movement of the Moderates by incorporating spiritual values into models of good governance in order to foster sustainable peace and universal prosperity.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, told the 150 delegates gathered, “This conference is a platform to promote critical awareness of the need for interfaith understanding and the pursuit of peace and human dignity.”
Senator Koh Tsu Koon, the guest-of-honor, noted that social justice and prosperity were essential for social harmony and saw this conference as a positive initiative that combined government and private sector efforts.
Thirteen organizations supported, sponsored or partnered together to host this two-day program held at the InterContinental Hotel in the capital:
- The Universal Peace Federation-Malaysia
- The Prime Minister’s Department, The Department of National Unity of Malaysia, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tourism Malaysia
- The Pure Life Society, The Women for Family Welfare Promotion, The Buddhist Maha Vihara, The Malaysian Hindu Sangam, Malaysian Interfaith Network
- FE Brands (M) Sdn Bhd, the Asian Broadcasting Network (M) Sdn Bhd and the Sunway Group
At the beginning of the opening session, YBhg Tan Sri Dr. Devaki Krishnan, president of UPF-Malaysia (the main organizer), thanked the government of Malaysia—especially the Office of the Prime Minister, the various NGOs, and delegates who all invested so much to make this inaugural assemble a milestone success.
She applauded the 71 international delegates who came from as far away as New York City, USA, as well as those from the Asia Pacific region: Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal, Korea, India, and Singapore. In addition over 121 prominent participants from Malaysian joined the conference all for the purpose “to promote reconciliation, mutual respect, harmony and cooperation in our region.”
Dr. Thomas Walsh, international president of UPF, read a message on behalf of the International Chairman, Rev. Hyung Jin Moon. He reminded the audience that “Peace, in its essence, is a religious ideal.”
For this reason, he said, Muslims greet each other with “Salaamalekem,” Jews say “Shalom,” Hindus chant “Shanti,” and Christians speak of Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” But, he emphasized, “Father Moon teaches us that the root of peace is the God-centered family…[which then extends] over time to the tribe, society, nation and world.”
Concluding his remarks, Dr. Walsh warned that atheism, moral relativism, free sex, and selfish materialism would lead humanity down a path of spiritual poverty and destruction.
Dr. Chung Sik Yong is regional chair of UPF-Asia, a regional grouping of 20 nations in South and Southeast Asia. At the opening plenary session he recalled Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s proposal to establish an interreligious council at the United Nations. Such a council, he said, was absolutely essential because “interreligious understanding and cooperation would be the most effective means to bring about a world of peace in the future.”
Dr. Yong, who lived in Malaysia for six years, 1990-96, and had two of his children born here, went on to explain that without an interreligious council the UN would find it difficult to fulfill its mission because, more than nation-states, religions carry on the spiritual wisdom and heritage of humanity.
There were five plenary sessions. Each focused on a unique aspect of good governance that was essential for building and sustaining peace.
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