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Speeches

H.J.H. Moon: Building a World of Lasting Peace in the Americas and the World

Founder's Address: International Leadership Conference, read by Mrs. Selina Sun Jin Moon
Montevideo, Uruguay
April 22, 2014

Spanish

Your Excellencies. Distinguished religious leaders and women leaders. Ambassadors for Peace. Respected delegates from throughout South, Central and North America. Ladies and gentlemen. It gives me great pleasure to address you today in this beautiful city of Montevideo, at this important International Leadership Conference sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation.

The Victoria Plaza Hotel has special significance to me as the venue for so many important programs dedicated to peace and development in Latin America and the world. I recall fondly that some twenty years ago, my husband, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and I were welcomed here by then Uruguay President Luis Alberto Lacalle, along with the President of the Central Bank of Uruguay and other key political figures. We were, on that occasion, holding the ground-breaking ceremony for the hotel’s Convention Hall. It was at that ceremony that my husband and I, along with those in attendance, made a promise to move forward together to build a new future of peace and prosperity. I still vividly remember that day, as if it were yesterday. My husband and I were filled with hope and excitement as we launched this peace initiative for the Americas.

The essential truth that lies at the core of that initiative is that we are all the sons and daughters of one God, and hence we are members of “One Family Under God.” All our efforts and the numerous peace organizations that we founded over many years have been entirely dedicated to the fulfillment of that vision. With the grace of God, this vision is now blossoming like a flower of hope. I pray that this vision will continue to grow and bear fruit here in South America and throughout the world.

On this great continent, and throughout this hemisphere, all people aspire to live in freedom and in harmony with one another as brothers and sisters, and in harmony with nature. This ideal has been God’s very own cherished hope and the desire of humankind throughout the ages. I believe that at this time in history we are faced with an urgent challenge to make this ideal a living reality.

Our world faces many difficulties, from climate change and poverty to geopolitical tension and conflict. South and North America face problems of their own. Nevertheless, I believe that the peoples of these two continents have enormous potential and can stand at the forefront in building a new world of lasting peace and prosperity.

Heavenly fortune is now gathering in this region. Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June of this year and also the 2016 Summer Olympics. All eyes are turning to South America. Ladies and gentlemen, it is at times like these that we must open our hearts and minds to receive the guidance of God, our Heavenly Parent. That is why we have gathered here today!

Developing a movement to unite the peoples of North and South America

In accordance with God’s will, my husband and I spent over three decades, during the prime of our life, dedicating ourselves and our family to bringing about a spiritual awakening in the United States of America, a nation that had been blessed by God to become the most powerful nation in the world. However, God’s blessings were not just for the people of the United States, but for all humanity. As such, the United States, as the leading nation of the free world, had the responsibility to work with and serve other nations in order to establish God’s original ideal, the world of true love and lasting peace. Unfortunately, beginning in the 1960s, many people in the United States began to lose sight of that truth, evidenced in the spread of drug abuse, free sex, individualism and materialism. Thus began a trend toward spiritual and moral decline.

Beginning with our arrival in the United States in 1971, my husband and I sought to bring about a great awakening through a grass-roots movement dedicated to spiritual and moral renewal. My husband understood that God had called him “in the role of a doctor, in a role of a fire fighter” to heal the nation. The United States had lost its way and needed to rekindle the God-centered spirit that had prevailed at the time of its founding. This was the message that my husband conveyed to Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, to hundreds of members of congress in the US Capitol, and to the millions of ordinary Americans from every religion, race and cultural background. I, too, conveyed this God-centered message throughout the United States and at the United Nations Headquarters.

Our vision of peace was not simply for the USA or North America, but for “the Americas.” For this reason, in October of 1980, we founded the Confederation of the Associations for the Unification of the Societies of the Americas (CAUSA). CAUSA sponsored educational seminars throughout the Americas with the purpose of introducing the vision of a peaceful global community centered on God. Our programs affirmed values of freedom, justice, respect for the environment, and interfaith cooperation. With an intention to overcome Cold War divisions, we developed a highly sophisticated critique of, and counter-proposal to state-controlled political-economic systems that were both totalitarian and militantly atheistic. Such systems were, at that time, being exported to nations in the developing world, promising liberation, but seldom delivering good outcomes. As an alternative, we advocated for good governance, economic justice, the development of civil society institutions, interfaith dialogue, and character education for youth. This effort was widely welcomed at all levels of society--including leaders from both government and religion--and served as a valued alternative to materialistic and divisive ideologies. CAUSA programs were convened throughout North, South and Central America. We always emphasized the centrality of spirituality and “Godism” as prerequisites for achieving true liberation, development and peace.

My husband and I, having directly experienced the destructive nature of militant communism, were committed to preventing the spread of such a system in other parts of the world. At the same time, we also recognized that the so-called free world was in a state of moral and spiritual decline. The foundations of faith, family and freedom in liberal democratic societies were not healthy. My husband tried to bridge the division between liberals and conservatives, so that, together, we could build a good society and nation. He coined the term “head wing” to balance left and right wing ideologies. Through head-wing thought we have been working to create a world based on the values of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values.

In keeping with our vision of peace, my husband and I founded The Washington Times in 1982. For more than thirty years The Washington Times has upheld the highest journalistic standards and affirmed universal values of faith, family, freedom and service. As acknowledged by leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, it was instrumental in helping bring an end to the Cold War. It continues to be a leading voice of truthful and responsible journalism. In 1996, with this same vision, we established Tiempos del Mundo, beginning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and expanding to 16 nations throughout South and Central America.

In 1996, in Washington, D.C., we founded the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in order to ignite a global movement dedicated to nurturing and strengthening healthy, stable, God-centered families as the building blocks of a harmonious and prosperous global community. We were honored that former US presidents George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford, as well as former UK Prime Minister Edward Heath, attended the founding assembly. Since that time, FFWPU has been actively promoting and expanding this vision in 194 nations.

All these efforts aimed toward greater unity of the peoples and nations of the Americas. In April of 2008, my husband and I convened the “Americas Summit” in Washington, D.C., under the sponsorship of the Universal Peace Federation, and dedicated to the theme, “Toward a New Paradigm of Leadership and Good Governance for Development and Peace in the Americas.” Former US President George H. W. Bush and Former Uruguayan President Julio Maria Sanguinetti made substantial contributions to the success of this important meeting. My husband and I encouraged both of these leaders, as well as all the more than 300 attendees, to work for the unity of the Americas. Let us all work to see that dream become a reality!

A vision for an ideal community centering on Central and South America

The substantial foundation my husband and I established in North America over the course of four decades was carried out with equal enthusiasm in South America.

An essential component of this effort has been an interfaith movement to promote ecumenical harmony and cooperation between the largely Protestant Christian peoples of North America and the predominantly Catholic Christian peoples in South America. In December 1995 we convened a major interfaith conference here in Montevideo on the theme, “Christian Ecumenism in the Americas: Toward One Christian Family Under God.” Dr. William Cenkner of the Catholic University of America was the convener. This conference was followed by a series of ecumenical programs involving thousands of Christian clergy, theologians and laypersons over a period of several years.

In the late 1990s I toured sixteen South American nations, speaking to audiences about our God-centered vision of peace. During this time, I had the opportunity to meet with heads of state from eight nations. I spoke to each about the need for cooperative integration of North and South American nations, along with ecumenical unity between Protestantism and Catholicism.

In Jardim, Brazil, we established the Ideal Family Education Headquarters for World Peace and attracted people from around the world who aspired to create an ideal community. We also established a farm there—called New Hope Farm—and invited people to come there to work the land and live together and learn with people from around the world. Thus began a movement to build a model, ideal community.

In the Pantanal region as well, centering on Puerto Leda in the Paraguay River basin, we have worked to build an ideal village, with international volunteers living and working together in harmony with nature. We established a farm there with the vision of developing resources for the benefit of the people of the world. In addition, we launched a fish-farming project. Fish farming is necessary, because in the future it will not be enough to supply fish entirely from what can be harvested from the sea. In May of last year, we were successful in raising our first batch of Baku. We were honored at that time with a visit from then Paraguayan president Federico Franco and other government officials.

Despite very challenging circumstances, our pioneers in Leda have built a thriving community through the investment of their blood, sweat and tears. Looking to the future, we plan to create additional facilities in Leda that will be of benefit to the various tribes in the region, including a hospital, schools and a community center.

My husband and I have also dedicated ourselves in the nations of the Southern Cone of South America, encouraging increased economic cooperation. If a dynamic economic community can be created centering on this region, all the nations of South America can eventually be drawn together in cooperative unity and mutual prosperity. Increased economic cooperation can lead to greater political cooperation and people-to-people cooperation.

Along with these initiatives, we also have understood the importance of sports, not only as a form of entertainment, but as an instrument of peace. After the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, my husband and I established the Peace Cup as an international football tournament. The football legend Pele was inspired by and contributed to the establishment of the Peace Cup. This tournament drew world-class clubs from throughout the world, and has been loved by football fans everywhere. We also acquired the Sorocaba football club in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Cene football club in Jardim, encouraging not only the highest standards of athletic excellence, but also moral excellence and good sportsmanship.

Overcoming obstacles and expanding the foundation for world peace

Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon went through many life-or-death experiences. He also faced indescribable persecution in the United States, which was supposed to be a leading democratic nation. He was falsely charged with tax-evasion and imprisoned. If I could, I would like to erase July 20, 1984 from the calendar; that was the day my husband was incarcerated in Danbury prison. I remember silently crying in my heart even as my husband comforted me with a smile saying that, instead of praying for him as he headed towards Danbury, I should pray for America. He said, “Forgive even your enemy, and live for the sake of others.” Even though he was stripped of everything and all seemed lost, my husband continued to live for the greater good according to Heaven’s will.

Even during this most difficult time, my husband and I continued our endeavors for the sake of America and the world. We bought two hundred trucks to deliver surplus food to needy people. Through The Washington Times we devoted ourselves to the values of faith, family, freedom and service. Rev. Joseph Lowery and other Christian ministers joined the ranks of religious leaders in calling for religious freedom and the abolishment of racial discrimination. Heaven indeed works in mysterious ways!

We have toured many places and spoken to many people. We conveyed God’s word in the most remote areas of the world, in the congress halls of nations, and even at the UN Headquarters. Many times my husband spoke until his throat was sore, with an oxygen tank and ambulance on standby as he spoke in the Andean regions of South America. Yet, his speaking tour would continue because he had to quickly convey God’s words to the world.

My husband never rested with ease. One day he was in the east, the next day he was in the west. Most people would find it exhausting to do even one of the many tasks he carried out. Day by day, we saw the vision for a peaceful world through ideal families miraculously take form before our eyes. With his lips parched, legs swollen, and entire body aching, my husband offered prayers of thanks to God.

After we founded the Universal Peace Federation in 2005, my husband initiated a world tour to 120 countries, visiting one country each day to share his vision of peace, even at the risk of his life. At that time, and continuing throughout 2006, we, along with many of our children and even grandchildren, spoke to audiences in nearly every nation of South, Central and North America. In fact, we continued to share this message all across the world.

My husband and I went through indescribable pain during the course of building this global foundation. Along the way, we faced numerous terrorist threats. Our church in France was showered with bullets by unknown gunmen. We even experienced the tragedy of some of our missionaries being martyred in Africa and in communist nations of Eastern Europe. The memory of these beloved martyrs we keep in our hearts.

The providential path of the True Parents of humankind, the true teacher, and true owner is a long and arduous one. It is like navigating a ship through a terrific storm. However, despite the challenges we faced, the obstacles have been overcome, and countless substantial activities that expand this vision are being carried out and making impact all over the world. This global foundation for peace is now secure and growing each and every day.

You will learn more, during the course of this International Leadership Conference, about the development of many other initiatives being carried out by the Universal Peace Federation, as well as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and its marriage Blessing movement; the Women’s Federation for World Peace, and its Global Women’s Peace Network; and the Wonmo Pyeongae Foundation which, as an investment in our future, supports thousands of talented and deserving young people around the globe with scholarships, cultivating youth who love heaven, love humanity, and love the nation.

A call to action

My husband and I have lived our lives according to the guidance of heaven. Called by God to embrace all humanity with the heart of True Parents, we have invested our entire being for the sake of God’s liberation, the salvation of humankind, and the realization of a peaceful world. We have faced many challenges and tribulations on this path, but we have been undeterred in carrying out our heavenly mission.

I pray that we can work together in this great mission to build a unified world of peace and prosperity, as one family under God. With this in mind, I would like to present you all with a challenge, one that I hope you will take seriously.

First, I would like to challenge all of you to take the lead in protecting the natural environment. The world today is heading towards a calamity due to climate change and the rapid destruction of the environment. Desertification in China and Africa is accelerating, bringing serious consequences not only to those areas but also to their neighbors. Deforestation in the Amazon region is dealing a blow to the lungs of this earth. God gave the natural world to us so that it can serve as our home, an environment within which we can flourish. We should love nature and treat all things of creation with care. Nature, in turn, will give us what we need. We should remember that humankind and nature are part of one ecosystem created by God. Let us live together in harmony with nature!

Starvation and rampant malnutrition must be eliminated from our planet. That is why I am proposing further development of ranches and fish farms in the vast lands of South America. That is also the reason why my husband and I built a factory for marine products in Kodiak, Alaska. There he developed a system to mass-produce fish powder, in order to supply nourishment to human beings suffering from malnutrition and starvation. In the future, we will transfer this technology for manufacturing fish powder to Leda. My husband has always taught that marine resources are necessary to resolve the food crisis, while at the same time preventing pollution. Raw materials on the earth may not be sufficient to feed our growing population. Therefore, we should pursue sustainable development projects in relation to the oceans of North and South America.

Second, let us take the lead in realizing the ideal of “One Family Under God” by overcoming barriers of race, religion and nationality. My husband and I have worked to achieve this goal through the Marriage Blessing movement, encouraging international, interreligious and interracial marriages and the creation of ideal families. Through such families, we can reconcile enemies and bring the world into unity. As you may know, millions of couples from around the world have participated in the Blessing, affirming their marriage with a commitment to build a world of peace by creating God-centered, ideal families. In this way, we can overcome the challenges that divide the human family.

Third, I also ask that you take the lead in promoting reconciliation and unity among all the religious traditions in North and South America. A peaceful world begins with reconciliation and unity among religions. God has guided humanity throughout history through religion. Harmony and cooperation among the religions of North and South America are preconditions for peace and development. I hope that you can take the lead in promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation among all the religions of North and South America.

Finally, I sincerely request that all the leaders here today take part in bringing to fruition these various projects that my husband and I initiated for the Americas. In this way we can rebuild and renew our nations and establish a world of lasting peace, as envisioned by God from the beginning of time. Such a world goes beyond the divisions of religion, race, ethnicity and nationality. God’s ideal world is a borderless world of freedom, peace, unity and happiness.

God exists! For this reason, your efforts for the benefit of South and North America will not be in vain. It is up to each of us to work to make this heavenly ideal a historical reality, and in the shortest time possible. I sincerely ask you to work with me in carrying out this action plan for achieving a new world of peace and development in the Americas.

Conclusion

It has been a little more than twenty years since my husband and I began our efforts to build a new world here in South America. I believe that this dream can surely become a living reality. South America has vast resources that will enable it to become a center of commerce and trade in the 21st century. Although it has had its share of political, economic and social difficulties, God’s blessings will be with this continent.

In August of this year, the Universal Peace Federation, along with other affiliated organizations as partners, will convene in Korea the 2nd World Summit on Peace and Human Development. The World Summit is being convened in commemoration of the passing of my beloved husband nearly two years ago. On this occasion, we will pause to reflect on the many programs my husband and I initiated in South and North America. The World Summit will provide a golden opportunity for us to look to the past and plan for the future, while drawing upon heavenly fortune for guidance and support. I pray that the World Summit will serve as an important turning point for the people of the Americas to make a new beginning with a united heart and mind.

My husband and I have walked the course of True Parents, seeking to invest ourselves for the sake of others, for the sake of the world. I pray that you too can join us on this path. I invite you all to take up this challenge of building a new world. Let us all stand together as one in achieving the dream of building “One Family Under God.”

May God’s blessings be with you, your families, your nations and all the peoples of the Americas.

Thank you very much.