Prepared by UPF International
The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) concluded its second Rally of Hope on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The 3-hour event hosted 12 distinguished world leaders, along with first-class entertainment. According to the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Yun Young-ho, two million people from 194 nations were given tickets to watch online, while as many as a hundred million viewers observed the Rally via various broadcast providers and internet platforms.
The theme focused on realizing a world of peace through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. The gathering served as a wake-up call to national and world leaders that the well-being of humankind and the destiny our planet rests in the hands of responsible leaders.
Repeatedly, presenters called for collaboration and cooperation to move beyond the unprecedented challenges we are facing today in order to give people and nations hope and confidence. They appreciated Dr. Moon’s embracing heart, unheralded sacrifices and steadfast commitment to world peace by holding such events. In addition, the distinguished delegates respected and supported UPF’s efforts to address the major obstacles to world peace through soft-power diplomacy.
Several times in her 28-minute speech Mother Moon said the fundamental problem faced today is self-centeredness and greed. “Humanity,” she emphasized, “is currently in the position where it is not completely aligned with God. Selfishness and various other frailties of human nature have led to human history being a history marked by constant conflict, division and discord. Even to this day wars and conflicts continue.”
She specifically asked the nations of China, America and Korea to think about the cultural legacy and environmental heritage they will leave future generations. Mother Moon had specific recommendation for each country: China should prevent the desertification of the Gobi Desert in order to expand habitable land; America should attend God, its citizens should become His loving children and share its blessings with others; Korea needs to return to its roots of filial piety, honoring their parents and attending their ancestors as is the custom in the coming Chuseok holiday (similar to Thanksgiving in America).
Without naming any nation specifically, the Mother of Peace lamented about the wastage of human and natural resources in making weapons of war. “It is possible to be wealthy and prosperous without seeking to advance the cause of war,” she emphasized, at times holding back tears. “The time has come to let go of the desire to invest resources into weapons.”
Speakers included: H.E. Samdech Heng Samrin, the current President of the National Assembly of Cambodia; H.E. Jose de Venecia, Jr., former 5-time Speaker of the House from the Philippines; two former US Vice-Presidents, H.E. Richard Cheney (2001-2009) and H.E. Dan Quayle (1989-1993); H.E. Jose Manuel Barroso (2004-2014), a former European Commission Chairman; two Heads of State from Africa, President Evaristo Carvalho from São Tomé and Príncipe (since 2016) and Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015); H.E. Yousaf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister of Pakistan (2008-2012); Hon. Dan Burton, former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2013); Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman of UPF International; and Bishop Munib Younan, Former President, Lutheran World Federation and His Eminence Cardinal Kelvin Felix offered peace messages at the beginning of the Rally.
Musical performances were offered by the renowned Little Angels Folk Ballet of Korea and Kim Myung-gon, a South Korean actor and singer who was also Korea’s Minister of Culture and Tourism. The Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an NGO holding general consultative status with the United Nations, was founded by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in 2005. This Rally was also held to mark UPF’s 15th anniversary.
The first Rally of Hope, held August 9, drew several million online viewers via 188 broadcast stations and 5,000 news outlets from 155 nations around the world. It featured Cambodian Prime Minister H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Speaker Newt Gingrich, together with other world dignitaries. The September rally built on that successful August Rally while focusing on the same, much-needed central concepts of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
Excerpts/Summaries from the Presentations
PEACE MESSAGES AND PRAYERS
Bishop Munib Younan, Former President, Lutheran World Federation, began his prayer by noting that the uncertainties, suffering and death caused by Covid-19 “reminded us of our common humanity.” He acknowledged the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, expressed gratitude to Mother Moon for initiating and hosting this Rally of Hope and said faith organizations must “find the common values of love, hope, dignity and sustainability.”
His Eminence Cardinal Kelvin Felix, reminded us “that we are all God’s children, His Family and we have a sacred duty to work together to bring about peace in this world.” He, likewise, thanked Mother Moon for her tireless efforts to make peace real and asked for God’s blessing on the work of UPF. His prayer was to bring love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, and hope where there is despair.
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman of UPF International, said the Rally of Hope provided a much-needed roadmap forward during a time of crisis. Mother Moon, he reiterated, is asking us to supplant materialistic and self-serving interests with altruistic ideals centering on principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values (part of the theme for the event). He highlighted the recently concluded 3-day virtual International Leadership Conference, Sept. 11-13, which was viewed by hundreds of thousands online, with 250 expert speakers from 170 countries, held concurrently in three time-zone based continental groupings.
H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2010-2015), pointed out that the Rally of Hope addressed more than just the current pandemic, including climate change, conflicts, and poverty. He expressed gratitude for Dr. Moon’s leadership of UPF after her husband’s passing eight years ago and appreciated the commitment of world leaders to participate in the Rally. This spirit of oneness, collaboration, and mutual partnerships would help gain greater momentum and become a transformative moment for the world.
Hon. Dan Burton, former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2013) began by expressing his sincere gratitude for bringing world leaders together for peace. Working with UPF and other parliamentarians, Hon. Burton is putting in place a pandemic early warning communication system, which will save many lives in the future. He concluded by saying, “There is nobody anywhere in the world who is doing as much as Mother Moon, to find solutions to some of the most difficult problems the world has ever faced.”
Hon. Jose de Venecia, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines (1992 – 1998 and 2001 – 2008) commended Dr. Moon, for tirelessly advancing the cause of peace in our troubled world. Peace, he said, is our universal longing and our most shared, yet difficult and elusive, goal. Speaker de Venecia called for the revival of the Six-Party talks on Korean reunification, saying it should be supported by ASEAN, the entire Asia Pacific Region, and even religious moderates.
H.E. Evaristo Carvalho, Président of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, extended his warmest congratulations to UPF and Dr. Moon, calling her a “tireless fighter for peace, justice and the well-being of humanity, particularly on the continent of Africa.” His catch phrase for moving forward was, ‘Building Peace Together.’ He applied this in several areas: youth participation in social development, education of universal values, dialogue and cooperation, respect for human dignity, and strengthening the family. He also called for a “new human conscience” of life for the good of others.
H.E. Richard Cheney, 46th Vice-President of the United States (2001-2009) and an avid reader of The Washington Times, gave credit to Dr. Moon and UPF for organizing the impressive gathering of world leaders. He pointed out that in these troubling times, as always, pursuing peace on the global stage called for credibility, clarity of purpose, global security commitments and adhering to values that hold allies together, namely, independence of nations, self-determination of peoples, and justice under the rule of law.
H.E. Dan Quayle, 44th Vice-President of the United States (1989-1993), commended and congratulated Dr. Moon, the co-founder of The Washington Times. In the midst of the violence, dysfunction, and unthinkable human suffering caused by this global pandemic, he said, the best way to come together was to recognize the universal values we shared together.”He also identified the importance of the family, saying, “Family is everything” and appreciated UPF’s theme, One Family Under God. His advice to young people was to get involved in public service and make a difference through service.
H.E. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (2004-2014) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2012), thanked Dr. Moon and UPF for the invitation, noting that these are extremely difficult times. He believed, therefore, it was more important than ever to go back to the essentials, to basic values, especially the dignity of being human. This meant focusing on the public good which requires a renewed commitment to multilateralism and more international cooperation in the public arena. Finally, he called for balanced, respectful, and polite dialogue at all social levels.
H.E. Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly, Kingdom of Cambodia, applauded the work of Dr. Moon in bringing world leaders together for the Rally of Hope. The way forward, he emphasized, was working together through enhanced international cooperation and universal solidarity for our common good. He outlined several action steps, including: developing concrete recovery plans, increasing cross-border travel and trade, accelerating the transformation of digital technology and maintaining peace. He reiterated, “Peace must go hand in hand with development.”
H.E. Yousaf Raza Gillani, 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan (2008-2012), appreciated Mother Moon’s “unflinching and steadfast commitment to promote peace and harmony.” UPF, he remarked, “can transform our world in profound ways in the future.” H.E. Gillani is a survivor of Covid-19, so he prayed for a vaccine, saying it should belong to all of humanity. On an optimistic note he stated we must emerge from this challenge stronger, better, and kinder than before. This, he said, was an opportunity to start the journey of founding a world based on brotherhood and empathy.
This Rally of Hope was the latest in a series of events that included a summit, leadership conferences, and webinars conducted throughout this year. A common theme focused on the search for shared principles of ‘interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values’ (see www.UPF.org). These programs engaged a global audience of millions and brought together thousands of world leaders from various fields, including: heads of state, parliamentarians, academicians, entrepreneurs, media professionals, religious leaders, academicians, women leaders and youth. Three more on-line productions are planned for the remainder of this year. To learn more about events in the Asia Pacific region, visit https://upfasia.org/.