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C.S. Yang: Address on the International Day of Peace in Peru

Keynote speech on the International Day of Peace, Congress of Peru, September 23, 2014

The theme for the International Day of Peace 2014 is "The Rights of Peoples to Peace." UPF chapters around the world are honoring this day and this important theme by convening programs dedicated to the promotion of peace and human rights.

The concept of a "right to peace" was affirmed by the United Nations 30 years ago, with the understanding that peace is necessary as a foundation for human rights.

As stated in our official statement, the Universal Peace Federation affirms the annual celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21 and applauds the United Nations for initiating and promoting this day since 1981, when the General Assembly resolution 36/67 was passed. For 2014 we have encouraged our chapters to emphasize the following core points:

Individual responsibility: Along with human rights, there are human responsibilities. In order for human rights to be honored, respected and practiced, each individual should appreciate and practice his or her own portion of responsibilities. Likewise, in order for "we the peoples" to enjoy the "right of peace" it is necessary for each of us to work to build a world of peace, that is, a world of mutual respect and cooperation that goes beyond barriers of religion, ethnicity, culture and nationality.

Marriage and family: Marriage and family are the fundamental building blocks of society. When the family is healthy and stable, society becomes healthy and stable. The family is the school of ethics and, in this capacity, the school of human rights. Through good parenting practices that underscore the value, dignity and rights of each and every human being, we move the world toward peace, one family at a time.

Interfaith cooperation: For many people of faith, human rights have their root and origin in our Creator. The concept of human rights is a universal value that is affirmed by all religions the world over. If people of faith from throughout the world can come together in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, they will make necessary and significant steps toward building a world of lasting peace.  

Soft power approaches to peace: The evidence of the limitation of hard power approaches to peace is widespread. Although military options may at times be necessary to secure human rights, they are only a last resort.  At this time in history, soft power approaches to peace are needed more than ever.

During the past year, I have been traveling to many countries seeing the great work of the UPF’s national chapters, many of which have established an excellent foundation. I am happy to see that here in Peru we also have a very strong UPF chapter. I know that over the years some representatives of Peru have attended our international meetings in Korea, the USA as well as various countries here in Latin America. I am sure many recall the visit of UPF’s Founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, in 2005 shortly after UPF was established. Father and Mother Moon have great love for Latin America and recognize its noble history.

I understand that Peru has a long and rich history. At the time of the Incas, its borders expanded to cover a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges, from southern Colombia to Chile, between the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Amazon rainforest in the east.

Father and Mother Moon invested in this region to promote the ideal of building a world of peace and prosperity for all people. They taught us all that all human beings, regardless of our religion, race, ethnicity or nationality, form one universal family, “one family under God."

But unfortunately today's world is full of many conflicts: the violence and wars in the Middle East, Russia-Ukraine, Palestine-Israel, the ISIS in Syria and Iraq; also violence and deaths by various drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and here in Peru. These shocking events all underscore the urgent need for a more proactive approach to peacebuilding.

We need to raise awareness of the vision and the ongoing programs and activities of the UPF in its effort to promote a global culture of peace.

Currently UPF has 13 regional offices and around a hundred chapters in the world. UPF activists represent all professional fields, including government, religion, academia, civil society, the arts and the media. The UPF’s global network of Ambassadors for Peace are actively engaged all over the world. Some have established peace councils in their nations. If you visit UPF’s website, you will see the remarkable range of activities being carried out in every corner of the world. This is, in fact, the result of over 40 years of efforts by the founders and the global network of Ambassadors for Peace that now numbers more than 100,000.

In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude to Congressman Dr. Yonhy Lescano Ancieta for his strong support of the UPF over many years. Also my thanks to the many Ambassadors for Peace here in Peru who have worked together with Dr. Trevor Jones. You can be proud of what you have achieved, but there is still more to do. Let's make a commitment now to come closer together, to work harder together, and to make Peru and indeed the whole of Latin America part of a peaceful and prosperous world.