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H. Green: The Significance of Marriage and Family for Peace in the 21st Century

Remarks by the Mayor of Georgetown, Hon. Hamilton Green, J.P. at an International Leadership Conference in Seoul, Korea, October 13, 2009


We meet at a time when there is a reduced risk of the global military catastrophe which threatened us just a few years ago. It is safe to credit much of this propitious development to the many initiatives taken by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. His clarion call to religious, academic, and political leaders for tolerance, love, and living for the sake of others certainly bore fruit.

His formal presentations demand attention. However, if we are to share a peaceful 21st Century the task is far from over.

With clarity, this Leadership Conference has identified that important component necessary to take us to the mountain top of lasting peace. The vital component is that of Marriage, Family and God centered sexual ethics — the bedrock upon which we need build caring and morally solid societies.

On October 4, 1970, Rev. Moon offered this advice to the world "Family education determines the future destiny of the entire nation. When they are many families living by the principle of public service, the nation will flourish; when they are many families living with a private standard, the nation will perish." This assembly must therefore help promote this ideal, so that our descendants inherit a peaceful world.

Efforts during the 20th Century to secure a regime of sustained peace were not particularly successful. The League of Nations, the United Nations, treaties, and diplomatic finesse only gave us brief periods away from the killing fields. This is because previous efforts all lacked the important ingredient of inherent morality. Happily, Rev. Moon has identified the weakness.

This unique initiative brings hope to a world yearning for a moral and spiritual revival. Exactly one hundred years ago, the long Mexican Civil War started, we next saw Japan's annexation of Korea, and later, the two World Wars, the Korean, Vietnam wars and the stressful Cold War. These helped create the environment of ceaseless conflict for all of this period.

While ecclesiastical leaders blessed mighty battleships and weapons of mass destruction, the Founder and the Universal Peace Federation busied themselves bringing together people in peaceful endeavors to improve the moral tone of our societies, with marriage and family cohesion always being at the epicenter.

On August 18, 2000, Father Moon shared these thoughts with us, "The strongest foundation for the unity of humanity is the universal and essential love generated through the ideal of the true family."

The truth is, we cannot expect national leaders who are not imbued with the love, intimacy, and compassion of marriage and family to be able to promote conditions that can lead to mutual respect and tolerance. Guided by the beacon light of Father and Mother Moon, I am confident that this convocation will inspire us all to work tirelessly so that the balance of this 21st Century will be characterized by wholesome marriages, loving families and therefore peace.