World Summit 2017 Concludes with IAPP and ICUS Assemblies
Written by Dr. William Selig
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Seoul, Korea—The fourth World Summit on “Peace, Security and Human Development” concluded with a new assembly of parliamentarians and the return of a historic assembly of scientists.
The final full day of the summit—February 4, 2017—was distinguished by two sessions devoted to the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), an organization created in 2016 by UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and a third session focusing on the 23rd International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, a project created 45 years ago by Dr. Moon and her husband, the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
More than 700 participants from 120 nations, including more than 400 parliamentarians, attended the five-day assembly, which took place from February 1 to 5, 2017, in the Lotte World Hotel. The distinguished participants also included current and former heads of state and government, leaders of NGOs, government ministers and academics.
Plenary Session IV: Inaugural IAPP Global Assembly
This session and the one after it both focused on the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). The moderator of Session IV was Hon. Dan Burton, a former U.S. congressman from the state of Indiana (1983-2013) and one of the two co-chairs of IAPP.
Hon. Dr. Silvia del Rosario Giacoppo, a senator from Argentina who serves on her nation’s Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development, spoke about the importance of culture as the principal means to foster tolerance. She touched on many important issues, including the refugee crisis, the Paris Agreement on climate change, North Korea’s testing of nuclear warheads and missiles, the new United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, and the value of international organizations such as UPF.
Hon. Dr. Haydee Castillo De Solano, an assemblywoman from Nicaragua, said it was “incomprehensible that in the age of knowledge, [when] technology is opening up previously unimaginable fields for the advancement of science and humanity, we are at the same time witnessing the atrocities of wars and the terrible threat of terrorism.” She said that Nicaragua has learned lessons from its history of wars, natural disasters, and security and human development, but the main problem that the country faces is poverty. Education is the answer, she said, but “not just external knowledge such as science and mathematics; these subjects must be complemented by universal values.”
Hon. Dr. Olga Bogomolets, the head of the Committee on Health of the Ukrainian Parliament, spoke about the problems affecting her country and what she referred to as “geopolitical discrimination.” While discrimination usually refers to gender, race, religion, etc., she was referring to the discrimination connected to so-called “small” or “minor” nations. Such countries are at a disadvantage, she said, due to “an uncompetitive economy, low standard of living, and undeveloped civil society.” The former Soviet republics of Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine are examples of such “small” or “minor” countries, as is Syria. This is the situation in Ukraine, she said, where “almost 10,000 people have died, and there are over 2 million internal refugees.” She supports IAPP and hopes “that such an organization will lead the world in a certain balance of ‘power’ influence.”
Hon. Iliesa Delana, the deputy minister of youth and sports in Fiji, extended a big “Bula Vinaka” to everyone and quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.” If we are to have peace on earth, he said, “our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation, and this means that we must develop a world perspective.”
Despite the many technological advances, “the security of every human being is constantly being threatened by lack of food, economic instability, wars and nuclear threats, terrorism, climate change, gender inequality and many other global problems,” he said. It is up to the leaders of all nations to effectively address these problems. Although Fiji is racially and religiously diverse, he said, “Fiji is not fully immune from political turmoil.”
Hon. Yoshinori Ohno, the former Japanese minister of defense, gave a summary report about the inauguration of the Japanese chapter of IAPP. It took place in the House of Councilors, the upper house of Japan’s Diet, or parliament, on November 17, 2016, just before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump. Sixty-three current members of the Diet participated, as well as 37 parliamentarians. Hon. Ohno spoke about the European Union and the challenges it faces by “nation-centric popular waves,” and he also spoke about the UPF and its efforts to reform the United Nations.
Hon. Paulo Pisco, a member of Portugal’s parliament, expressed a sense of guarded optimism. “Fear is in the air,” he said. “The global order is falling apart, caused by selfish political decisions that are being taken without caring about [their] consequences nor of the human factor.” In the face of so many challenges to peace, he said, “we should make a strong call to reasonability to all political deciders and public opinions.”
Appreciating the interconnectedness of our nations, Hon. Pisco said, “we must put forward the common good, the sense of humanity and solidarity, accepting our part of responsibility, either in relation to the tragedy of migration in the European Union or in relation to the global environment or to sustainable development. Responsibility, humanity and solidarity are the key words for people and to the planet.”
Hon. Khodr Habib, a Lebanese assemblyman, said that despite the gloomy media portrayal of life in Lebanon, the country has “succeeded in navigating through troubled waters. Our army and security agencies are in the frontline in the fight against terrorism. United, we rejected extremism and intolerance. We have sustained the influx of Syrian refugees,” he said. Hon. Habib said the Lebanese government is working closely with local NGOs and international organizations. He made the point that the fight against radicalization and religious intolerance should not rely only on security and military measures. What is needed, he said, is an approach that combines political, religious as well as economic development strategies “to win the hearts and minds of the people.”
Hon. Karen Wan-Ju Yu, a member of Taiwan’s Legislative Council, addressed the theme “The Battle of Taste Injustice behind the Food.” Much of the foods that society takes for granted have a tragic origin, for example, coffee, tea, olive oil, cocoa, and wine. To fulfill the demand for lower prices, products are manufactured in developing countries. Cheap labor keeps the costs down, but that labor involves women and children working under unsafe conditions. Other detrimental effects are air and water pollution, gender inequality, poverty, and conflict.
Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, a member of parliament from Nepal, spoke about the IAPP inauguration held in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, from July 28 to 31, 2016, where more than 300 lawmakers from 29 nations of Asia and Oceania joined with 200 Nepali parliamentarians. He emphasized that IAPP must be politically neutral; needs to embrace lawmakers from all parties; should emphasize dialogue as an essential first step to resolving conflicts and building trust; respect and honor all religions and faith traditions; and highlight the importance of the family as the cornerstone of peace, prosperity and patriotism.
Hon. Jong-seong Lim, a Korean assemblyman who is on his government’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee, spoke about U.S.-Korean relations in light of the recent election of Mr. Donald Trump as U.S. president. Traditionally the United States has played the role of the world’s policeman, but the United States’ newly stated policy of isolationism “is causing ripples across the world and impacting U.S.-Korean relations.” Over the last 60 years, the Republic of Korea always has been a strong ally to the United States and emerged as an economic power and democracy, regardless of who has been the president. With the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and continued nuclear testing by North Korea, the congressman believes there will be increased tension not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in the entire Northeast Asian region.
Plenary Session V: IAPP Global Assembly
The moderator for this session was Dr. Thomas Walsh, the president of UPF International.
Hon. Chitralekha Yadav, a member of Nepal’s parliament, said that the universal values espoused by UPF can be applied to every area of life. She fully endorses the IAPP and support for marriage and family. While other parliamentary organizations are aligned with governments and put their own interests first or have a sharp focus of interest, IAPP is unique because it has a cross-cultural and international vision, she said. How to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor nations is the question that is faced, she said. It is important to look into local affairs and make everyone happy. “That is our task. The future for IAPP is very, very bright indeed,” Hon. Yadav said.
Hon. Emilia Alfaro de Franco, a Paraguayan senator and the former first lady of Paraguay, spoke on the situation of the elderly in her nation. Three out of 10 households in Paraguay have at least one older adult among their members, a proportion that will increase in the coming years due to declining birth rates. In view of this reality, she said, “Paraguay is in search of a more just and equitable society with perceptive public policies that are oriented to mechanisms that guarantee the protection and development of a life worthy of the elderly and advocate for the fulfillment of the universal rights, and specific laws that benefit this sector.”
Hon. Myung Chul Cho, a former member of the National Assembly of Korea and current chair of the North Korean Human Rights Committee for the Saenuri Party of Korea. Mr. Cho is the first North Korean defector elected to South Korea’s National Assembly. He said that in South Korea the people can protest the rulings of the government, but that it is unthinkable in the North. Not many foreigners have visited the North. There is a large difference between the two nations, economically and politically. The proper role of the leaders is to protect the rights of the people, he said, but the leaders in North Korea do not represent the people. He painted a dismal picture of human rights in the North.
Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr., a former speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines and a co-chair of IAPP, gave the Call to Action. There are many conflicts around the world that need peace and reconciliation, he said, referring to the Sunnis and Shias, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the influx of narcotics into Asia, and more. Despite all the progress in Asia, economic inequality in the region is still among the worst in the world, he said. He called for the establishment of an Asia-wide “Asian Anti-Poverty Fund to fight poverty and inequality and help life among the poorest peoples in our region and in the world.”
Dr. Sun Jin Moon, the chair of UPF International, introduced her mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the founder of IAPP. Dr. Moon thanked the participants for attending the celebration of the birthday of the founders. She said her parents have taught the philosophy of true love, which is to forgive, love and unite as one family under God by cultivating a culture of heart. It is the culture of heart that transcends all differences of race and religion, she said. “True Mother knows that in order to change the world, we must unite the leaders to live for the betterment of all humankind.”
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the founder of IAPP, graciously thanked all the participants and guests for their attendance. She gave an eloquent overview of the philosophy and understanding that have guided her life. God, the original owner of this world, had a plan, a dream that all humankind would be united as one family under God, our universal Parent. But due to the disobedience of the first ancestors, self-centeredness entered into human nature. God is frustrated because so many people still are ignorant and don’t understand the true relationship between God and humanity. God has a plan to save humanity centered on a messianic ideology. Dr. Moon said, “The problems of the world can be resolved only through the advent of the True Parents.” She asked everyone in attendance to promote IAPP and become national messiahs to their nations.
After her remarks, plaques were presented to 13 leaders who were appointed regional co-chairs of IAPP:
Overall IAPP Co-chairs: Hon. Dan Burton (United States) and Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr. (Philippines).
Regional IAPP co-chairs:
- Africa East: Hon. Patricia Kaliati (Malawi)
- Africa West: President Dioncounda Traoré (Mali)
- Asia: Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal (Nepal)
- Central America: Hon. Jose Alberto Alfaro Jimenez (Costa Rica)
- Chinese Region: Hon. Wan-Ju Yu (Taiwan)
- Eurasia: H.E. Rahim Huseynov (Azerbaijan)
- Europe: Hon. Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (Luxembourg)
- Japan: Hon. Yoshinori Ohno (Japan)
- Korea: Hon. Jong Seong Lim (Korea)
- Middle East: Hon. Dr. Mohamad Abdul Rahman Alhabach (United Arab Emirates)
- North America: Hon. John Doolittle (United States)
- Oceania: Hon. Kessai Note (Marshall Islands)
- South America: Hon. Cynthia E. Tarrago Diaz (Paraguay)
Plenary Session VI: Peace and Human Development: ICUS: The Role, Responsibility and Relevance of the Sciences
Hon. Biman Chand Prasad, a member of Fiji’s parliament and the director of the Fiji Institute of Applied Studies, served as the moderator of this session, which featured the opening of the 23rd International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), one of the initiatives started by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The first ICUS was held in 1972 in New York City, and the last ICUS before this, the 22nd, was held in 2000 in Seoul during celebrations for Rev. Dr. Moon’s 80th birthday.
Professor J. Martin Ramirez of the Psychobiology Department and Institute for Biofunctional Studies, Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain, spoke on “The Limits of Science and the Benefit of Unified Values.” Dr. Ramirez gave a testimony to his own passion for an open, interdisciplinary and global approach to research and teaching. It is due to his personal experiences living abroad and being exposed to different cultures that he has a sense of global citizenship, he said. He explained his understanding of the unity of the sciences. The pursuit of knowledge has become overly specialized, he said, and there is a need to bring unity between disciplines. “Since scientific inquiry is about a single common universe, conclusions from different disciplines cannot contradict one another,” he said.
Professor Luc Montagnier, the founder and director of the Fondation Luc Montagnier, France, won the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Professor Montagnier spoke about DNA and its development over billions of years. “Life is not random,” he said, but “has a sense, a meaning, toward more organization, more sophistication, and more recently the appearance of consciousness and collective knowledge—science.” Through science, humanity has gained the capacity to interact through language and writing and passing on knowledge from one generation to the next, he said. Science has allowed for the control of epidemics and disease. Disease can be controlled “by an open-minded medicine with four pillars: prevention, prediction, personalization, and participation,” he said. In this way, “science unification can meet the social and environmental challenges of our century.”
Serving as commentator for the session, Dr. Glen Rein, a senior researcher at Innovative Biotechnical Studies, United States, offered a summary of the presentations. Dr. Ramirez reminded us that we need to work collaboratively. He said that Dr. Ramirez made the remarkable discovery that DNA produces an electromagnetic signal or radio waves. This is impacting the entire conceptual framework of chemistry. Bacteria and viruses communicate electronically and not chemically. Just as a glass can be shattered with high-frequency sound, then possibly disease can be treated with radio waves. Already Dr. Montagnier is doing research on how to apply this research to autism. He also spoke about alternative technologies as energy sources.
Plenary Session VII: Closing Session
The moderator was Mrs. Genie Kagawa, the executive office director of UPF International.
Hon. Lawrence John Sichawle, minister of chiefs and traditional affairs, Zambia, spoke about his country’s use of agriculture and youth empowerment to combat poverty. With no prospects for advancement, many young people, particularly girls, are being exploited into human trafficking. The government has designated land zones for youth to carry out agricultural enterprises including poultry farming, fish farming, livestock rearing, and crop production. Zambia is “committed to embracing democratic, spiritual and moral values that are key to ensuring peace,” Hon. Sichawle said.
Hon. Rafael Mendez, a congressman from the Dominican Republic, said peace is defined in a very simple way: “Peace: a situation or state in which there are no wars or fights between two or more opposing parties.” This definition can be applied to all areas of life, from the family to the society, the nations and even the universe. Many of the problems that we face in society can be resolved and dealt with by applying this principle of life, Hon. Mendez said.
Dr. Sowath Nem, advisor and director of the Cabinet Office of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Tea Banh and the minister of national defense of Cambodia. Dr. Nem spoke about the situation of Cambodia. As a nation that has experienced the ravages of war, “we understand very well about the value of peace, and we are now trying our best to keep this peace for our beloved country and for our beloved people.” The general referred to the successful implementation of a “win-win policy” that dismantled the communist Khmer Rouge and brought about the end of the 40-year civil war. Ethics was an important point made by the general. “We should encourage all the people to understand about ethics, norms and cultural adaptation during the period of globalization,” he said.
Dr. Mohamed Habash, an Islamic scholar and a former member of Syria’s parliament, currently teaching at Abu Dhabi University in the United Arab Emirates, spoke about the Syrian peace initiative. The peace initiative process to deal with that country’s civil war is critically needed. The humanitarian crisis there has killed or displaced more than 10 million people. “We have to do something for peace,” he said. Regarding the refugees, Dr. Habash said, “The best gift for refugees is to help them come back to our country. We can do something for peace to help those people. Political leaders cannot bring us peace. The peace way or the love way can lead us to the correct target. This is the reason for my coming here to ask your support.”
After the speeches, 10 new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed amid a unanimous acceptance of the Inaugural World Assembly Declaration affirming the participants’ resolve “to work toward solutions to critical global problems in order to build a world of universal and lasting peace.”
- Asia: Hon. Bhubaneswar Kalita (India)
- Africa: H.E. Moustapha Cisse Lo (Senegal)
- Central America: Hon. Paulina Ramirez Portuguez (Costa Rica)
- Eurasia: Hon. Dr. Olga Bogomolets (Ukraine)
- Europe: Hon. Paulo Pisco (Portugal)
- Middle East: Hon. Dr. Mohamed Hussein Al Hussein (Syria),
- Hon. Dr. Allal Amraoui (Morocco)
- North America: Hon. Barbara Cubin (United States), Hon. Loretta Sanchez (United States)
- South America: Dr. Josue dos Santos Ferreira (Brazil)
The fourth World Summit on “Peace, Security and Human Development” concluded on a high note of optimism. Distinguished leaders, representing almost 70 percent of the world’s nations, brought a fresh perspective to the critical challenges of our time. Representing all walks of society, the delegates heeded the words of Simón Bolívar, the leader of South America’s independence movement, who said, “He who leads must listen even to the hardest truths.”
As difficult and challenging issues were raised and discussed, participants offered their analysis and recommendations with emphasis on practices and action steps that could be taken in order to transform our world into a world of peace and mutual prosperity.
The keynote topics of World Summit 2017 and the programs hosted by the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation and the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences included: global conflict, the breakdown of the family, and protection of the environment.
The participants signed the Inaugural World Assembly Declaration recognizing that it is time for humanity to embrace universally shared values, to pursue a path of mutual cooperation leading to mutual prosperity, and acknowledge that government officials, and especially parliamentarians, as representatives of the people, have a very significant role to play in contributing to peace and human development.
The participants affirmed and resolved to uphold the following principles and objectives:
– Promote practices of good governance, including transparency, accountability, collegiality, and public service
– Work for the common good of all people, going beyond barriers of nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and political ideology
– Seek solutions to the critical challenges of our time, including territorial disputes, religious and racial conflict, environmental degradation, climate change, violent extremism, poverty, hunger, nuclear proliferation and corruption
– Live for the sake of others, and for the sake of future generations
– Build a world of lasting peace, a world in which all people live as members of one universal family, or as one family under God
The delegates expressed determination to address these critical challenges:
– Conflicts, from the Middle East to Northeast Asia, including the Korean Peninsula
– Protect and preserve the environment from the devastating impact of climate change
– Strengthen the family, as the fundamental unit of stable societies
– Overcome various forms of religious, ethnic and racial conflict
– Improve educational systems and methods for our youth