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December 2020
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ILC2020 The Americas Special Session: 15th Anniversary of UPF

The Americas—As this International Leadership Conference coincided with September 12, the date of UPF’s founding in 2005, a special webinar session was devoted to marking UPF’s 15th anniversary. The online session was open to all who registered and was watched by 285 viewers from 27 nations.

Declaring the world to be at a pivotal “historic turning point,” Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon addressed a standing-room-only house in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on September 12, 2005, asking guests to consider, “Can everlasting world peace take root, or are we doomed to repeat the 20th century's dark and oppressive history of war and conflict?” It was a serious moment, and right after that inaugural dedication, UPF’s co-founders embarked on a world tour, delivering this same message in 120 countries. Each event was concluded with the benediction “UPF is God’s cherished hope!”

Many of those who were at Lincoln Center in New York on that day are still working with UPF today.

The moderator was Mr. Larry Moffitt (Secretary General, UPF-North America). Mr. Moffitt welcomed those who chose to attend this commemorative event that was placed in between the regular conference sessions to honor September 12, 2005, as the founding day of the Universal Peace Federation. He introduced a 15-minute video of some of the highlights of UPF’s history. The video was a reminder that there have been so many activities—hundreds of conferences and seminars worldwide—that it seemed like a lifetime had been compressed into 15 brief years.

Dr. Thomas Walsh (Chairman, UPF International) expressed his gratitude to UPF’s co-founders for creating an organization dedicated to solving human conflict in every sphere, one that has reached out around the world to find and attract men and women of good faith and one that he has felt privileged to serve. UPF and the United Nations, he said, represent the greatest people in the world. UPF, he observed, has the vision to unite the two great spheres of contemporary life: the secular and the spiritual.

Dr. Tageldin Hamad (Vice President, UPF International) took the opportunity to appreciate UPF’s expanding role at the United Nations and recognize the efforts of Ambassadors for Peace worldwide. Mrs. Genie Kagawa (Executive Administrator, UPF International), expressed gratitude to all participants, saying that their unity gives hope and resilience to overcome trials, and gratitude to UPF for having tools to provide hope to the people.

Rev. Demian Dunkley (President, Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, USA) offered his personal reflection on what Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has accomplished during the past eight years. He upheld the efforts of the great peace leaders who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of others, including especially UPF’s co-founders.

Heartfelt appreciation was also expressed by the regional UPF chairs in the Americas, who were Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Dr. Sang Seuk Kim, Dr. Moon Shik Kim, Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Rev. Dongmo Shin, and Dr. Michael Jenkins. Dr. Jenkins reflected on the portion of the video, just seen, in which former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, “I believe that the UPF and its broad set of partnerships in the realms of politics, religion, academia, media, economy, the arts women and youth serve as a good model. I believe UPF will become a cornerstone to build lasting peace around the world.”

After these comments, Mr. Moffat recognized others who had also been responsible for portions of the weekend’s programs: Simão Ferabolli, Franco Famularo, Eliecer Araya, Robert Duffy, Angelica Selle, and Tomiko Duggan, who turned their videos on so everyone could see them.

Mr. Thomas McDevitt (Chairman, HJ Magnolia Group and Chairman, The Washington Times) gave closing remarks. He read the portion of Exposition of the Divine Principle that is the foundation of UPF”s credo of “interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values” and noted that UPF has grown into a collective movement around the world, creating “an amazing ecosystem on all levels of society and creating an environment for transformation.” The seven affiliate organizations of UPF (ISCP, IAFLP, IAPP, IAPD, IMAP, IAED, IAAP), he said, constitute a workable grand strategy that has the potential to have a transformational impact on political figures, religious leaders, scholars, media professionals, and business people who interact with their programs.

At the conclusion, all participants turned on their audio and video feeds and joined together for an anniversary victory cheer.

To go back to the Executive summary, click here.

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