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Ambassadors for Peace

World Summit Speaker Shares Experience at UPF-Argentina Meeting

Argentina-2015-09-17-World Summit Speaker Shares Experience


Buenos Aires, Argentina—On September 17, 2015, Dr. David Frol, a bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared his experience participating in UPF’s World Summit 2015, “Peace, Security, and Human Development,” with guests and members of UPF-Argentina, at the Embassy for Peace.

The Summit, which was held in Seoul, Korea from August 27 – 31, and spanned over eight sessions, gathered current and former heads of state, faith leaders, scholars, and representatives of civil society and the private sector, who shared their experience, knowledge and wisdom on the topic and possible action steps to solve the critical problems of our time.

Dr. Frol, who is also a board member of the Argentine Council for Religious Freedom and a lawyer, spoke at the “Religious Voices for Peace and Development” session of the Summit, where religious voices from various nations offered their recommendations on ways in which religions, faith-based organizations, interfaith institutions, and individual believers may contribute to the establishment of a world of peace, human flourishing and mutual prosperity for all people.

Open Minds

Before Dr. Frol spoke, Mr. Carlos Varga, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in Argentina, showed a video about the various educational and cultural activities that were being held at the time of the World Summit, including the Sunhak Peace Prize award ceremony, to commemorate the third anniversary of the passing of UPF founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and to honor his legacy promoting peace, prosperity and coexistence.

Dr. Frol expressed his gratitude for the video, which provided context for his presentation, and also thanked UPF for inviting him to speak.

He began his presentation by speaking about interreligious cooperation and then showed pictures from the Summit. Afterwards, he talked about the session at which he spoke. Among the speakers were Dr. Bellanwila Wimalaratana, chancellor of Sri Jayawardenapura University, Sri Lanka; Dr. Mustafa Ceric, former Grand Mufti of Sarajevo, Bosnia; Dr. Marco Frenschkowski of Leipzig University, Germany; Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, chair of the International Shinto Studies Association, Japan; and  Mohammad Abou Zeid, president of the Islamic Sunni Courts, Lebanon.

He then gave an example of interreligious coexistence in Argentina, which he also gave during his speech at the Summit: Pope Francis embracing two Argentinian compatriots during his visit to the Holy Land: Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud. He said that even though there were terrorist attacks in Argentina (at the AMIA/DAIA building and the Israeli Embassy), there is not only tolerance among, but also coexistence between religions in the country. There is freedom and dialogue.   “[Argentina] has [made] significant progress…and [people in Argentina] have…open minds.” 

Agents of Change

Dr. Frol also spoke about his challenge to present something new at the Summit. “We have many intelligent people here, is there something new I can say…?” he said at the conference. He expressed that he wanted to contribute to the session by speaking about something that would complement what the other speakers said, and so he focused his message on two stories.

The first story was about the relationship between a mother and her son. The story demonstrated the importance of faith and hope; our identity as “sons and daughters of the same God;” our individual responsibility and our responsibility for our world, our home. It also illustrated the value of education and the significance of the family as the basis of society.

The second story was about an encounter between two neighbors. It illustrated the importance of the participation of citizens in society and politics, and even more important is their spirituality; their commitment to the “gifts of divinity” and practice of principles and values. 

He read different experiences of daily life and what can be learned from them, as he did at the Summit: “I do not have the solution,” he said, “but I am sure of one thing: We cannot remain as observers.” He also affirmed the great importance of the family and encouraged the attendees to read summaries and videos of the sessions that were held at the World Summit on the Summit’s website:

Sunhak Peace Prize

Dr. Frol also talked about the Sunhak Peace Prize, an award given annually that recognizes individuals who have dedicated themselves for the cause of peace and honors them for their work. This year’s inaugural award focused on the “ocean as essential for a peaceful future for humanity,” and was given to and shared by H.E. Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati, and Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, a biologist and Indian fisheries scientist. President Tong was awarded for raising global awareness about the effects of climate change. His island nation in the Pacific Ocean could be uninhabitable in several decades due to climate change. Dr. Gupta was awarded for developing low-cost methods for aquaculture, which has emerged as a possible solution to future food crises and nutrition insecurity. 

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize and co-founder of UPF, and Dr. Il Sik Hong, director of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, gave the awards. 

Peace Road 2015

After Dr. Frol’s presentation, a brief video about the Peace Road 2015 was shown. The idea of a “Peace Road” or an international highway that physically connects all people of the world together—beyond geographic, national, racial, ideological, cultural, and religious borders—was the enduring vision of Rev. Moon. The motto of this year’s tenth anniversary Peace Road was “Connecting the World through Peace.” Peace Road events took place in more than 100 countries, from The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to Korea. Its objective is to also support the reunification of Korea at the beginning of this Pacific era.

Several Ambassadors for Peace also shared some thoughts and reflections. Regarding the ocean, Ms. Elena Faggionato talked about the healing properties of water. Dr. Ana María Molinari recalled her participation in an international UPF meeting. And Ms. Irene Ortiz Teixeira, president of the House of Africa, asked people not forget about the countries of this continent at this time of great suffering, when many are being forced to emigrate.

The sponsors of the event were the Center of Strategic Planning for Social Security, overseen by Ambassador for Peace, Mr. Alejandro D’Alessandro, and the Permanent Forum on Education, Science, and Culture of Peace, whose directors are Ms. Olga Salvador de Bermúdez (president) and Ms. María Palmero (secretary).

Translation: Yamila Gómez

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