The role of gov'ts, civil society and faith-based orgs | Global News

The role of gov’ts, civil society and faith-based orgs

01:45 AM February 20, 2016

SEOUL, Korea – Over 600 delegates from more than 60 nations—with 152 current members of parliament and six cabinet ministers—gathered in Seoul, Korea to address global issues that threaten our very existence, including: climate change, violence and extremism, peace and security in northeast Asia, and the role of lawmakers in peace and development.

”There is a new generation of children that may not outlive their parents,” warned Dr. Sun Jin Moon during her keynote address, as she held back tears. She spoke at the end of the International Leadership Conference’s (ILC) Opening Session on Sunday morning, February 14.

The ILC is a project of the Universal Peace Federation, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The Founders are Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon from Korea; Dr. Sun Jin Moon is UPF’s International Chairman.

Photo by Winston Olarte

Photo by Winston Olarte

Before Dr. Moon there were four distinguished speakers. Amb. Jai-chul Choi, designated an Ambassador for Climate Change, praised the Paris Agreements which opened the way for greater buy-in and verification as well as the voluntary nature for nations to set emission reduction goals.


Prof. Saburo Takizawa from Toyo Eiwa University in Japan highlighted the unprecedented refugee crisis we are facing. Most notably are the political refugees flooding Europe from international conflicts in the Middle East. But Prof. Takizawa also noted “climate refugees” coming from global warming, food insecurity and the scarcity of water.

The third speaker was Mr. Akhtar Ali, the mayor of the Nasinu Town Council of Fiji. He noted that rising levels in the oceans were not just a political issue; it was also more than balancing a chemical equation. “Climate change is a war zone for Pacific Island Nations,” he observed. With some islands just one or two meters above sea level, a small rise in sea levels threatens their culture, their customs and their very existence as a people.

Next Hon. Maria Lapardo, Congresswoman of the National Congress of Argentina, began by praising UPF’s emphasis on the family saying that global peace must be preceded by peace in the family and community. Then as a lawmaker addressing renewable energy in the capital, Buenos Aires, she said they created a policy of free bicycles. At the end of her address she quoted Pope Francis saying, “Economics may be a goal but only to the extent it leads to a sustainable impact.”

Dr. Moon concluded the session and introduced the need for spirituality in addressing these global issues. She said that the engine that will give us the ‘will power’ to attain these goals does not come from government policy alone. “We [need to] draw on the great spiritual and moral traditions for inspiration, guidance and direction at this time,” she said. “Spiritual inspiration… has most often been able to guide humanity to go beyond self-interest, and to avoid what is called the ‘free rider’ problem.”

The conference opened with Dr. Thomas Walsh, the International President of UPF, reading of a letter of congratulations from Nepalese Prime Minister, H.E. K.P. Oli. This was followed by a video message from President Anote Tong of Republic of Kiribati in the South Pacific.

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TAGS: Universal Peace Federation

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