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Latin America-Caribbean Summit Inaugurates Regional ISCP

Dominican Republic-2019-12-14-Latin America and Caribbean Summit Attracts 500 Participants and Launches Regional International Summit Council for Peace

Santiago, Dominican Republic—UPF’s 2019 Latin America and Caribbean Summit drew over 500 participants from 43 nations on December 14 and 15, 2019. The conference’s attendees included President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala and the former presidents of Trinidad and Tobago, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Haiti. Ten current and former speakers of parliaments, 30 parliamentarians, and interfaith and civil society leaders, as well as business and media leaders, also graced the conference as guests. Regional associations and their members participating in the event were Foro de Presidentes de Poderes Legislativos (FOPREL) and Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).

The two-day program began on the afternoon of December 14 at the Santiago Government Hall and was opened by Governor of Santiago Hon. Ana Maria Dominguez, who was representing Danilo Medina, president of the Dominican Republic. This was followed by remarks by Rev. Kim Sang Suek, chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification of Latin America. The first topic of discussion was “The Vision and Work of UPF and IAPP in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which was addressed by Hon. Andy Glenn Daniel, speaker of the House of Assembly of St. Lucia; Hon. Winston Garraway, Minister of State, Granada; and Cesar Regalado, secretary general of UPF-Dominican Republic. The president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, was present at this session, together with former presidents from Haiti, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The second session, “Peace and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building Peaceful, Secure and Healthy Societies,” was moderated by Cesar Regalado, secretary general of UPF-Dominican Republic. Its speakers wereHon. Dalia Bernald, member of the National Assembly of Panama; Hon. Salvador Alejandro Nasralla, president of the Honduras Anti-Corruption Party; Dr. Santiago Rivas Leclair, executive secretary of FOPREL, and Hon. Guillermo Osorno, representing Nicaragua at the Central American Parliament (PARACLEN).

The Latin America and Caribbean Summit officially opened on the morning of December 15 at the Hodelpa Gran Almirante Hotel. The first section of the program focused on the theme of the summit, “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values.” Orienting the guests were MC Dr. Simao Ferabolli, secretary general of UPF-Latin America, and Dr. Charles Yang, chair of UPF-Latin America and president of the summit’s organizing committee. Governor Dominguez, representing President Medina, gave the Welcoming Address, which was followed by the Congratulatory Address by President Morales, who spoke about the importance of educating the next generation about peace.

Next, H.E. Maria Fernanda Flores de Aleman, First Lady of Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002, offered background of UPF Cofounder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, stressing that she has lived for the sake of others and worked around the world to build lasting peace. Representing Dr. Moon was her daughter, Dr. Sunjin Moon, who conveyed Dr. Moon’s Keynote Addresss. She followed her delivery by bestowing UPF’s Leadership and Good Governance Award to President Morales and Governor Dominguez.

Highlight and conclusion of the summit’s opening plenary session was the launch of the Latin America chapter of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), presided over by UPF-International Chair Dr. Thomas Walsh. The importance of this new creation was attested to by four regional dignitaries: H.E Anthony Thomas Carmona, former president of Trinidad and Tobago; H.E. Lupe Rosario Serrano, former president of Ecuador; H.E. Jocelerme Privert, former president of Haiti; and H.E. Jaime Zamorra, former president of Bolivia.

Dr. Moon presented 15 award medals to representatives from 15 countries, after which Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon was honored by representatives from the Dominican Republic Congress, who gave her a certificate recognizing her at “Mother of Peace” and declared that she is an honorary citizen of the Dominican Republic.

Hon. Dan Burton, former U.S congressman and president of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), concluded the morning’s session by introducing the resolution establishing ISCP-Latin America, which was signed by all former and currents heads of state in attendance.

In the afternoon of December 15, participants were offered a change of peace in the form of being guests at the Family Peace Festival at the Gran Arena del Cibao, attended by 12,000 people. The festival, cosponsored by the Family Federation of World Peace and Unification and the Dominican Republic Municipal Police, was an interfaith marriage blessing ceremony involving some 6,000 couples, opened by President Morales and officiated by Dr. Sunjin Moon and her husband, Dr. Insup Park.

Summit participants reconvened after the Family Peace Festival for the conference’s closing session. Addressing the session’s theme, “Development and the Role of the Leaders of Civil Society,” were Rev. Dong Mo Shin, president of UPF-Latin America; Hon. Antero Flores-Araoz, former minister of defense of Peru; and Hon. Ubraj Narine, mayor of Georgetown, Guyana. Following a performance by a traditional dance group, closing reflections were offered by Hon. Dr. Amarilis Santana de Martinez, president of IAPP-Dominican Republic; Hon. Luis Miranda, Brazilian congressman; and Hon. José Alfaro, president of IAPP-Central America and Caribbean.

The activities of the weekend were closed with all guests signing the Santiago Declaration.

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