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J.M. Sanguinetti: Address to World Summit 2014

Address to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014


Our world

We live in a time of changes and in a change of times. In the past 30 years, a new historical period opened, once the time of the Cold War closed. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall presented us with a different scenario. It was no longer just Washington or Moscow. There was also Beijing, Seoul, New Delhi and, of course, Berlin as the center of a Europe that is still the world’s largest economic area. The balance changed and geopolitics shifted, but there emerged a new society characterized by three dimensions:

  • Knowledge-centered society. Economic values moved. Intellectual property is worth as much as material property. The patent on a drug is more important than its actual production.
  • Information-centered society. Newspapers are not the source of news. It runs through the networks and radios. Television provides glimpses. Newspapers explain, but are increasingly on Internet and least on paper.
  • Consumer society. All this has generated a huge rise of middle classes. Consumption has been democratized. More and more people gave access to comfort in life previously intended only for the privileged. There is a lot that is good, and there is also a trap, which is the excess consumption and credit, the temptation of the “marks.” A child sues parents who cannot always access the new needs created by advertising.

This takes us to the great challenge of our time: preserving values in this changing world. The values of individual liberty, freedom of religious conscience, tolerance between faiths, family, responsible motherhood, spiritual and physical health -- today these are attacked by social vices. Our young people today fall easily into drug or gambling addiction. This occurs due to the emptiness they feel in their life. Because religious faith, or the great political cause, or enthusiasm for a professional career, or even music or sport do not fill their lives. And this must be overcome.


When the Berlin Wall came down, we thought we would enjoy lasting peace, the dream of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. However, soon there were conflicts. No longer were these the traditional wars between States. It was a battle against multinationals of violence, such as the one created by drug trafficking in Colombia or the fundamentalist terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda or Hamas.

Some old nationalist conflicts have survived or reappeared, such as between Russia and Ukraine.

Peace remains a goal to pursue. Scenarios and methods have changed, but violence continues. Organizations with humanist convictions must not falter in their efforts. In East and West. In North America and South America to which I belong, we have seen in recent years an economic boom and growth, but neither education nor income distribution has improved. Neither does democracy enjoy the stability we expected. There are countries that are experiencing difficult situations, such as Venezuela, for example. There are countries where the press is being questioned by the government and it worries. All this forces us to look deeply and renew commitments.

The legacy

Your Federation has a right to care, a legacy to carry forward. There is nothing more important for any organization than having a heritage of thought and doctrine and, therefore, the clarity of a course. Rev. Moon left you the message and legacy of his work.

I come to give testimony. When I first met him, many years ago, we noticed differences, especially religious differences, because we came from different philosophical backgrounds. We saw, however, a large common space, in our spiritual vision of a better world, a world of peace, a path where education and work will lift our people. In that goal we could collaborate with an open mind and without intolerance, searching new ways. That is your destiny. Thus do not lower your arms. Continue strengthening your spirits. Keep fighting because the progress of peoples is not built with silence but with voices.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.