Thailand Hosts Second Asian Leadership Conference
Written by Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Director of Education, UPF-Asia, and photojournalist
Monday, August 5, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand - Fifty-six participants from nine countries tasted Thai hospitality and learned about Dr. Sun Myung Moon's universal principles of peace at an Asian Leadership Conference August 1-5. “I was amazed at the broad interreligious perspective and in-depth understanding of human history,” said one participant. This was the second Asian Leadership Conference held in Bangkok.
Nepal had a large number of participants attending the conference (27) because they are all preparing to run in the coming elections in November. “One of the best ways to prepare for public office,” Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal said, “is to learn about the importance of having a public-mind and the absolute need for universal family values in human society.” He then added that Father Moon’s teaching provide the best framework for this education.
Hon. Dhakal, who led the Nepalese delegation, is also the chairman of the Nepal Family Party and former minister of cooperatives and poverty alleviation in the government of Nepal (2012-13).
Participants from other nations included: Indonesia 6, Malaysia 2, Singapore 2, Myanmar 1, Vietnam 5, Laos 5, and India 5.
Dr. Chung Sik Yong, regional chair of UPF-Asia, invested himself completely each morning. His presentations focused on explaining the essential attributes of true love taught by Father Moon. They are always a highlight for participants.
Hon. Dhakal gave a special presentation on how UPF-Nepal has supported and coached his country’s peace process forward. As an NGO, UPF-Nepal held a series of 11 conferences that fostered face-to-face dialogue among parties that have been fighting each other for 10 years.
Participants from the communist parties, the democratic parties, the royalists, the army and para-military institutions, legal experts, educators, religious and civil society leaders all participated in Nepal’s South Asia Peace Initiative programs. Building on this success, similar programs have also be held in Kabul and New Delhi.
Dr. Sreerupa M. Chaudhary, chairperson of the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, government of India, showed a film entitled, “Nirbhaya” (meaning “fearless”) and spoke to conference delegates about the on-going tragedies related to violence against women. India and the international community were shaken by the gang rape of a young medical student on a public bus last year in New Delhi last year. Later she died of injuries sustained that night.
Among the participants coming from Nepal were three young women from America who were visiting Nepal for the summer as community service volunteers. Dr. Yong had invited them to attend the conference. All were children from Father Moon’s arranged marriage blessings.
At the end of the five-day program participants were hosted to a Thai cultural extravaganza called Siam Niramit. This live stage show in a state-of-the-art auditorium depicts Thai culture, art, religion, and humor in a spell-binding two-hour performance. It was the fitting conclusion to an unforgettable second leadership conference.
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