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J. de Venecia: Address to ILC

Address to International Leadership Conference 2019, Seoul, Korea, August 15-18, 2019


Excellencies, friends, ladies and gentlemen:

On behalf of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), may I add my greetings and appreciation to all of you for participating in the International Leadership Conference 2019.

We commend Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the UPF and founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize, who, like her beloved husband, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, has been working indefatigably, travelling great distances to advance the cause of peace in our troubled world.

We also congratulate our outstanding UPF International President Dr. Thomas Walsh.

In pursuit of lasting peace

Dear friends, today, we sadly note the ongoing multiple crises in our region and in the world: the continuing bloodshed in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Libya; the fears and dangers of explosion between the U.S. and Iran; the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli hostilities; the unending conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh; the continuing tension in the Korean Peninsula, although we have seen recent improvements; the Buddhist and Muslim Rohingya difficulties in Myanmar; the maritime tensions in the South China Sea and East China Sea; and other crisis areas in the global community.

While we are profoundly aware of the historical and cultural roots of many of these conflicts—and the enmity and bitter divisions that have grown between rivals—we cannot turn away from the pursuit of peace because the alternative, which is violence and war, would be immeasurably costly and make all of us losers.

Thus we in the UPF and IAPP, composed of 45,000 “ambassadors for peace” and 4,000 parliamentarians, respectively, from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe, must continue to contribute our modest share—individually and collectively—in building the edifice of peace, in creating a better world for the next generation.

Institutionalizing the Inter-Faith Dialogue

Excellencies, friends, we are happy to note that we in the UPF introduced and pushed in the U.N. General Assembly, in the U.N. Security Council, in the halls of the U.N. the inter-faith, inter-cultural, and inter-civilizational dialogues with our proposal to create an Interfaith Council in the U.N. or at least a focal point in the Office of the U.N. Secretary General, at a time when discussion of religion was somewhat taboo within the U.N. system.

From these “Inter-Faith Dialogues,” we should expect no miracles—except those epiphanies that result from open hearts, the willingness to see the other side’s viewpoint, and a multitude of patience.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Centennial Anniversary

Dear friends: As we prepare for the Centennial Anniversary of our beloved man of peace, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, which we will commemorate next year, we the leaders of parliament, political parties, civil society, religion and the academe must work together in carrying out Father Moon and Mother Moon’s vision of world peace and promote peace and reconciliation, peaceful settlement of disputes, sustainable human development, and join in fighting poverty, disease, and climate change and environmental degradation.

Building roads for peace

We must continue building and rebuilding roads for peace.

A wise man said, “Hope cannot be said to exist. Nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like roads across the earth. For actually the earth had no roads to begin with; but when many people pass one way a road is made.”

The journey will be difficult, the journey will be long. But the rewards at the journey’s end will more than justify every tear, every hurt, every fall. For we share building and rebuilding new roads for peace among nations, peace among peoples, and peace in the hearts of men.



To go to the International Leadership Conference Schedule 2019, click here.