By Robert Kittel, UPF Asia

The Universal Peace Federation held a 3-day virtual International Leadership Conference from Sept. 11-13, 2020, under the theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.” The ILC2020 program was designed to be carried out concurrently in three geographic regions: the Asia Pacific, the Americas, and Africa-Europe-Middle East. This report focuses on the Asia Pacific regional group jointly organized by UPF Chapters in Korea, Japan and the Asia Pacific.

There were two defining outcomes for ILC2020: Asia Pacific. First, and most important, was the realization that today’s global crisis, though manifested in a variety of ways, has but one origin. It comes from a lack of universal values. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic became enormously deadly and destructive because of a dearth of international trust and cooperation, i.e., conflicting or competing values systems. The chaos caused by an absence of common values can be seen everywhere in: unfair business monopolies, despotic or tyrannical leaders, a polarized media, values-free academe, self-serving religions, narcissistic public servants, wanton youth and broken families. The need for a set of universal values, as called for by UPF, became more apparent than ever.

Secondly, the breadth and depth of UPF’s global outreach was on full display giving rise to hope in the midst of desperate times. Participants could easily witness the worldwide foundation of this movement. ILC2020 program sessions were built around the core associations of UPF, namely: heads of state, parliamentarians, religious leaders, first ladies and women leaders, media professionals, business entrepreneurs, academicians, and youth and students. Nearly every field of human endeavor was covered. Equally important, within each session speakers were highly knowledgeable, well-established professionals in their respected fields of study.

This prompted Amb. K.V. Rajan, former member of the Indian Foreign Service and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, to state rather forthrightly, “UPF is possibly the one NGO which has the wish, the will, the vision, the means, and the institutional underpinnings to assist governments and international bodies like the United Nations in confronting the multiple challenges facing the world across the broad spectrum of human activity.”

ILC2020 Asia Pacific had more than ten thousand registered participants from 87 nations. There were 85 speakers from 27 countries, including: four former heads of state (Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Kiribati), four first Ladies (Palau, Northern Mariana Island, Fiji and Nepal), ten Parliamentarians, five diplomats, ten media houses, eight business enterprises, seven universities (including two senior fellows from Harvard University), and seven religious traditions. The proceedings were broadcasted into ten languages allowing for over 150k viewers on social media. Press releases were sent to 1,539 journalists, editors, freelance writers, internet news outlets, magazines, radio and online TV shows.

Following is a summary of each session with a list of distinguished speakers.

Opening Plenary – Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: ILC2020 began with four faith traditions offering prayers: Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu and Islam. Three speakers highlighted the importance of creating a union of Asian nations. The co-founder of UPF, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, first raised this concept publicly in Japan in October 2019. She referred to it as the Asia Pacific Union (APU). Since then the Cambodian Prime Minister H.E. Hun Sen supported the notion as did former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Broadly, the APU would use the cultural, historical and geographical intersection of the Pacific rim countries to form a common footing for larger multilateral cooperation. Specially mentioned were the values of filial piety, a dominance of moral and spiritual principles and a strong family-centered social underpinning.

Two other speakers addressed the UPF ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. This was called a “people-centric approach,” and the model used to explain this was the ancient Indian philosophical concept “Vashudaiva Kutumbakam,” or “the world is one family.” that requires a foundation in values and principles. This concept of universal values inevitably suggests a global ethics, a set of basic moral principles that are shared by virtually all cultures, religions and civilizations. Once again it became clear that such values originate in and emerge from family relationships since it is the most fundamental, ubiquitous social institution in human history.

Moderator: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Chair – UPF Asia Pacific

Interfaith Invocation:

  • Buddhist: Ven. Sobitha, President, International Buddhist Education Center, Myanmar
  • Catholic: Father Eliseo R. Mercado Jr., OMI, PhD, Director, Institute for Autonomy and Governance, Philippines
  • Hindu: Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, Current Seer of Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, India
  • Islam: Mr. Minuarov Kuat, PhD, Naib Imam of “Hazret Sultan” Mosque, Kazakhstan

Speakers:

  • Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, Chair – UPF Korea
  • Rev. Masayoshi Kajikuri, Chair – UPF Japan
  • Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Regional Group Chair – FFWPU Asia Pacific
  • Hon. Bhubaneswar Kalita, Member of Parliament, India; Chairman, IAPP South Asia
  • Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chair – UPF International

Session Two – ISCP: Perspectives from Heads of State and Government: Session Two featured the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) where five dignitaries from five countries addressed the world’s critical problems focusing on the theme, “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Leadership and Governance”. In this pandemic time, they stressed out that a new development model should be built and social and economic development must go hand in hand. As the quest for peace is important, they commended UPF for giving a platform for leaders to express their respective views and work together. One dignitary notably supported how UPF can unite people and bring lasting peace as well as happiness throughout the world.

Moderator: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Chairman of UPF Asia Pacific

Speakers:

  • H.E. Anote Tong, former President of the Republic of Kiribati
  • H.E. Parmanand Jha, former Vice President of Nepal
  • H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, former President of Sri Lanka
  • H.E. Mari Alkatiri, Former Prime Minister of Timor Leste
  • Hon. Hiroshi Kumagai, Former Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan

Session Three – IAPP: Perspectives from Current and Former Parliamentarians: Session Three featured the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) where prominent current and former parliamentarians shared their perspectives with the theme “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Leadership and Governance”. There were seven lawmakers from six countries. The speakers highlighted the important role of the parliamentarians as lawmakers to find solutions and lead with the highest standards that have impact on the local, national and global level. They noted how UPF gives opportunities for world leaders to interact across countries and have an international system where they can cooperate beyond borders. Moreover, one speaker said that a possible project of IAPP members is to create and develop a global-pandemic early warning communication system between nations to help another in times of crisis.

Moderator: Mr. Santosh Kumar Paudel, Regional Coordinator, IAPP Asia Pacific

Speakers:

  • Dr. Michael Jenkins, Int’l Coordinator of IAPP; President, UPF Int’l
  • Hon. Dr. Agung Laksono, former Speaker, People’s Representative Council, Indonesia
  • Hon. Samuelu P. Teo, Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu
  • Hon. Veena Bhatnagar, Deputy Speaker of Fiji
  • Hon. Katsumasa Suzuki, former Vice Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication, Government of Japan
  • Hon. Gyuhwan Kim, former National Assembly Member, Republic of Korea
  • Hon. Chitralekha Yadav, MP and former Deputy Speaker and Minister, Nepal

Session Four – IAPD: Perspectives from Religious and Spiritual Leaders: Session Four featured Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) where religious and faith leaders gathered to engage in an interreligious dialogue and shared their insights on their roles to promote peace-building and interfaith cooperation centering on the theme “The 75th Anniversary of UN: The Role of Religious Leaders”. There were ten religious leaders representing ten religious traditions and in unison, they emphasized that religious leaders must work with the authorities, be an example of living for the sake of others by uniting with other religions and proactively speak about interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, despite nationality or religion. One speaker stressed that in this pandemic time, religious leaders need to work together to help nations find love, which is the ultimate vaccine. The speakers acknowledged the programs of UPF wherein religious leaders can have more opportunities to work together for this cause.

Moderator: Mrs. Ursula McLackland, Regional Coordinator – IAPD Asia Pacific

Speakers:

  • Acharya Dr. Shrivatsa Goswami, Head Priest, Sri Radharamana Temple, India and Chairman of IAPD Asia Pacific
  • Rev. Hyun-young Lee, Chairman of the IAPD Korea
  • Samdech Khy Sovanratana, Acting President, Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University, Cambodia
  • Dr. Tong Yun Kai, President, Hong Kong Confucian Academy, China
  • Prof. Dr. Nasaruddin Umar, Grand Imam of Istiqlal Grand Mosque of Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Rt. Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, Chair of the Board of the International Shinto Studies Association, Japan
  • Ven. Ho Myung, General Secretary, Taego Buddhist Order, Korea
  • Pastor Suman Kim, Co-Chair of the Korean Clergy Leadership Conference, Korea
  • Rev. Jenny Chalmers, Anglican Priest, New Zealand
  • Dr. Tageldin Hamad, Vice President and Director, Office of UN Relations, UPF International, IAPD International Coordinator

Session Five – A Tribute to the Universal Peace Federation (2005-2020): The second day of the conference started with Session Five highlighting a Tribute to the Universal Peace Federation for its 15th anniversary, having been founded at the Lincoln Centre, New York, on September 12, 2005 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. There were six notable speakers from six countries who shared their testimonies centering on the “Contributions of UPF in Building a World of Peace”. UPF was founded to build a global peace community and the speakers commended that for the past years, it became evident with the different programs of UPF that advocates the value of public mindedness, stable family and marriages, interreligious, interracial and international dialogues, mutual prosperity of communities and nations. Thus, UPF can become a cornerstone to build lasting peace around the world.

Moderator: Rev. Gregory Stone, Secretary General of UPF Oceania

Speakers:

  • Ambassador Chung Tae-ik, Advisor of the Korean Council on Foreign Relations, Korea
  • Gen. Terdsak Marrome, Retired General of the Royal Thai Army and President of UPF Thailand
  • Hon. David Clarke, Member of the Legislative Council of the Parliament of New South Wales (2003 to 2019), Australia
  • Prof. Masahisa Hayashi, Professor Emeritus at Waseda University, Japan
  • Prof. Thomas Hwang, President, Chinese People’s Federation for World Peace
  • Ambassador K.V. Rajan, former Indian Ambassador, India

Session Six – IAFLP: Perspectives from First Ladies and Women Leaders: Session Six featured the International Association of First Ladies for Peace (IAFLP) showcasing the role of women leaders in global problem solving and peace building. There were eight dignitaries from seven nations who shared their valuable insights about the theme “Women Leadership at a Time of Global Crisis”. Parallel to the words of Mother Moon, UPF co-founder, the speakers reiterated that women can bring peace and harmony using the heart of a mother’s unlimited love. One speaker recapitulated that a global consciousness is a key to educate the next generation. Moreover, as peace starts from one’s heart, it expands to the family, community, country and the world.

Moderator: Mrs. Merly Barlaan, International Vice President, WFWP Asia

Speakers:

  • Dr. Julia Moon, President of WFWP International
  • Mdm. Debbie Remengesau, First Lady, Republic of Palau
  • Mdm. Diann Mendiola Tudela Torres, First Lady, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
  • Mdm. Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau, former First Lady, Fiji
  • Hon. Sujata Koirala, former Deputy Prime Minister, Nepal
  • Prof. Mieko Ikegame, former Director UN’s Office Under Secretary General, Japan
  • Mrs. Blessie G. Dhakal, Int’l Coordinator of IAFLPP.
  • Mrs. Moriko Hori, Coordinator of IAFLP Japan

Session Seven – IMAP: Perspectives from the Media: Session Seven featured the International Media Association for Peace (IMAP). This session had eight speakers from eight countries representing eight major media outlets with the theme “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Role of Media”. Speakers highlighted various attributes of a good leader in describing the social role of the media. Presenters spoke about the qualities of responsible media: building trust, creating connectivity and advocating freedom. Another speaker said the role of the media was to inform, educate and enlighten, i.e., to be a good teacher. They said the media needed to be the watchdog, educator and peace-builder, i.e., the role of a good parent.

Moderator: Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Regional Coordinator of IMAP Asia Pacific

Speakers:

  • Mrs. Shova Gyawali, Director, Nepal Republic Pvt. Ltd. (Publisher of the Republica daily newspaper, in association with International New York Times)
  • Mr. Hee Taeg Jung, President, The Segye Times, Korea
  • Mr. Masahiro Kuroki, President, The Sekai Nippo, Japan
  • Ms. Naziah Ali, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Fiji Time Magazine, Fiji
  • Mr. Zhu Xing Qing, Former Chief Correspondent in Hong Kong, Radio Free Asia (USA) and Former Deputy Editor of World Economic Herald, Shanghai, China
  • Mr. Alok Mehta, former President of Editors Guild of India
  • Mr. Vasilii Fokin, Founder, Eurasia News Group, Kyrgyzstan
  • Dr. Thomas P. McDevitt, Chairman, The Washington Times; Global Coordinator, IMAP

Session Eight – IAAP: Perspectives from Academicians: Session Eight featured the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) where distinguished academicians and scholars shared their valuable perspectives and addressed the current critical issues centering on the theme “Breaking Down the Walls: Pursuing Interdependence in a Community for Peace”. There were seven speakers from six nations representing several universities and academic associations. The speakers have highlighted that human communities in this global world have to live together as a global home and that the seeds of conscience for the whole purpose starts within the family. Another speaker emphasized that academicians are entrusted with the task to promote goodness to all mankind. They challenged and stimulated the academe community to fulfill their vital role and break down the “Walls” of individualism, fields of profession and nationalities through interdependence in order to make the best contribution to the great work of building a world community of peace.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas Selover, President, Sun Hak UP Graduate University     

Speakers:

  • Dr. Sung Bae Jin, Chairman, HJ Academy of Arts and Science, Korea; IAAP International Coordinator
  • Dr. Heung-soon Park, Vice President of the United Nations Association-Republic of Korea, Former Dean of the Graduate School, Sun Moon University
  • Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Japan
  • Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, Biologist and Fisheries Scientist, Sun Hak Peace Prize Laureate; Recipient of World Food Prize in 2005, India
  • Dr. Raymundo Arcega, Chancellor of Lyceum of the Philippines University, Chairman of National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies (NNQAA), Philippines
  • Dr. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Senior Fellow, Harvard University, President of Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand
  • Prof. Dr. M. Shamsher Ali, former President, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, and founding Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Open University, Bangladesh

Session Nine – IAED: Perspectives from Business Leaders: The third day of the conference started with Session Nine featuring the International Association for Peace and Economic Development. The eight speakers from eight nations representing eight business enterprises addressed the current global economic crisis of nations centering on the theme, “The Role of Business Leaders in the Post-Covid Era”. As parents, a new leadership type is that business leaders would never neglect their corporate social responsibility. One speaker called for economic countries to work together and strengthen cooperation and involve small nations to dialog with them to bring about prosperity and sustainability. Thus, stakeholders need to give importance to global cooperation based on mutual trust, mutual support and mutual assistance.

Moderator: Rev. Masatate Kajikuri, Regional Coordinator – IAED Asia Pacific

Speakers:

  • Mr. Thomas P. McDevitt, Chairman, HJ Magnolia Global Foundation and The Washington Times
  • Mr. Seog Byung Kim, Chairman, HJ Magnolia Foundation, Korea
  • Mr. Hirofumi Sato, Chairman, International Highway Foundation, Japan
  • Mr. Henry Lee, Honorary Consul, Consulate of Malaysia in Toronto, Canada
  • Hon. Danai Ishemkulov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Council for International Cooperation and Security, Kyrgyzstan
  • Professor Dato Dr. GP Doraisamy Govindasamy, Senior Board Advisor, International Business Academy of Switzerland; Senior Education Business Consultant, Bright Newstar, Malaysia
  • Mr. Jim Philippo, Acting General Manager of the Tobolar Copra Processing Authority, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Dr. Tan Monivann, Vice-Chairman, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, Cambodia

Session Ten – Closing Session and Call to Action: Session Ten featured two parts: i) the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP), and ii) the Closing Session. There were four speakers for the IAYSP session, who delivered remarkable presentations of programs and projects under the theme “Opportunity and Hope at a Time of Global Crisis: Role of Youth and Students”. Speakers gave a call to action for young people that can transcend beyond individualism and nationalism to create hope in this global crisis.

Subsequently, for the Closing Session, the ILC Resolution was introduced and explained. It aimed to affirm the deliberation of the conference and be a road map for the future. The Drafting Committee was composed of eight UPF Chairs, seven coordinators from UPF association, and nine dignitaries from the Asia Pacific Regional group.

Moderator: Mr. Koji Matsuda, International President, International Association of Youth and Students for Peace

Speakers:

  • Mr. Kim Dong Youn, Regional President of IAYSP Korea
  • Mr. Hiroaki Takeuchi, Regional President of IAYSP Japan
  • Mr. Richell Jalipa, Regional President of IAYSP Asia Pacific

Presentation of ILC2020 Resolution:

Moderator: Dr. Robert S. Kittel, International Chair, IAYSP International

Special Recognition:

  • Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, Chair, UPF Korea, Chair
  • Reverend Lee Gi Seong, President, FFWPU, Korea,
  • Dr. Julia Moon, President, WFWP International
  • Dr. Eiji Tokuno, President, FFWPU Japan,
  • Rev. Masayoshi Kajikuri, Chair, UPF Japan Chair,
  • Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Regional Group Chair, FFWPU Asia Pacific

Resolution Drafting Committee:

Dr. Robert S Kittel (Chair), Amb. KV Rajan (India), Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul (Thailand), Mr. Gregory Stone (Australia), H.E. Ek Tha (Cambodia), Dr. Venus Agustin (Philippines), Prof. Masahisa Hayashi, (Japan), Dr. Milan Ratna Shakya (Nepal), Dr. Jin Choon Kim (Korea)

Resolution Reader: Dr. Eiji Tokuno, President for FFWPU Japan; President for International Highway Foundation

Closing Statement: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Chairman, UPF Asia Pacific

Leave a Reply

  • (not be published)