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T. Hamad: Address to Africa Summit

Address to Africa Summit 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 21–25, 2018


Good afternoon. I want to congratulate you for two reasons. First of all, you are not sleeping. Second, because you are all here. Sometimes you go to the halls of the United Nations and the conference rooms are almost empty, very few people. So you are better than the UN. Congratulations.

In the spirit of the UN I would like to read a statement. Dr. Walsh, Chief Mandela, and the spirit of Nelson Mandela, honorable parliamentarians, distinguished religious and tribal leaders, and great and alert and awake participants.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War, by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Now the number of the United Nations has reached 193.

Since its founding, the United Nations called on nongovernmental organizations like UPF to participate in its work as partners and in a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council known as ECOSOC. ECOSOC serves as a central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations at the UN General Assembly.

ECOSOC set very strict regulations and requirements for NGOs to be accepted at the UN. After their acceptance, an NGO must submit a report every four years, which is carefully reviewed by a special committee. Several NGOs have failed to pass the review.

There are three categories of NGO status in the UN: general consultative status, special consultative status, and roster consultative status. General consultative status is reserved for large international NGOs whose work covers most of the areas addressed at the United Nations. Special consultative status is granted to NGOs that have a special competence in one area or another. And roster consultative status of NGOs tend to rather focus on a narrow or a technical area.

Since its founding, UPF has been actively engaged with the United Nations. UPF works with the United Nations secretariat programs and agencies in various ways, including in consultation with member states. UPF contributes to a large number of activities, including information dissemination, awareness raising, development education, joint projects, participation in intergovernmental processes, and contribution for services and technical expertise.

UPF signed, as Doctor Walsh mentioned yesterday, a memorandum of understanding with the African Union. For the past six years UPF organized Africa Day celebrations to honor the founding of the African Union. Hundreds of VIPs and UN ambassadors and their families attend these celebrations, plus the UN secretary general and president of the UN General Assembly.

UPF signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and in partnership with its members organized events for interfaith dialogue and other issues. UPF helped establish the Global Day of Parents proclaimed by the UN General Assembly which aims to acknowledge the importance of parents’ role in raising a family. He signed a memorandum of understanding the family, as has been mentioned many times, has a central role in the establishment of world peace.

Mrs. Lynn Walsh is the director of the UN family department and for two consecutive terms she was elected chair for the UN NGO Committee on the Family at the United Nations headquarters. Mrs. Walsh, could you please stand to be acknowledged?

Also, because of our engagement at the United Nations, Mrs. Genie Kagawa was elected chair of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns. She is working hard behind the scenes. Let us acknowledge her.

UPF attends regularly the yearly UN General Assembly, where heads of state and heads of government come, and also organizes conferences and bilateral meetings with the presidents attending and the heads of government. UPF organizes what we call Japanese tea ceremonies twice a year, to create a peaceful environment for UN ambassadors, who are often engaged in long, heated negotiations, consultations and sometimes outright confrontations.

The office of UPF at the UN and UPF chapters worldwide were actively engaged in the global conversation, consultation and conferences that led to the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals, which is one of the greatest recent achievements of the United Nations. After passing the last quadrennial report, UPF was given an official thank you vote by a member of the ECOSOC committee, acknowledging UPF’s worldwide activity with a special recognition and appreciation for its founders.

On August 12, 2018, as we mentioned, ECOSOC, after a one-year of intense review, reclassified the Universal Peace Federation’s consultative status from special to general, which means it allows the UPF to engage in all the areas of the United Nations activities, which is a great achievement.

The development of UPF indicates a growing acknowledgement and trust and appreciation for the work of UPF at the United Nations and around the world. Thanks to UPF chapters around the world and to Ambassadors for Peace for work well done, and a special thanks to Dr. Walsh and all the staff of UPF International and the wise leadership of UPF founders Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Thank you for listening.



To go to the 2018 Africa Summit Schedule page, click here.