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Global Peace Convention 2012

Global Peace Convention 2012 Hosts Government and Civil Society Leaders from 43 Nations in Atlanta

Former Heads of State Launch Latin American Presidential Mission to Advance Development, Good Governance, Regional Integration

Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon welcomes international
participants at the opening session.

PDF icon GPC 2012 Summary report.pdf

More than 800 participants from 43 nations examined the role of leadership in advancing human welfare at the fourth Global Peace Convention, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Building Healthy Families, Ethical Societies, and a Global Culture of Peace,” in Atlanta, USA on November 29-December 2, 2012.

Among the participants were 9 former Heads of State, parliamentarians from 6 nations, elected officials, educators, diplomats, NGO representatives, and faith and business leaders.

In 4 days of meetings, delegates participated in 37 plenary sessions, forums, workshops, and working groups featuring more than 150 speakers, presenters, and discussants.

Previous Conventions have been held in Manila (2009), Nairobi (2010), and Seoul (2011).
 

“Simply put, political authority cannot mandate, nor can money buy, the virtues needed to resolve conflicts and build ethical  societies. We need a new framework for peace rooted in our shared spiritual aspirations, principles and values."

The 2012 Convention highlighted three key issues relating to moral and innovative leadership in the twenty first century: global interfaith initiatives, cooperation in the Americas as a foundation for hemispheric progress and prosperity, and Korean unification based on principles and values that can serve as a model for global peace.
Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and CEO of the King Center,
speaks at the Opening banquet at the 2012 Global Peace Convention. 

“Sustainable solutions must address root causes and so must include the spiritual dimension of the human experience,” said GPF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon in a keynote address on November 30. “Simply put, political authority cannot mandate, nor can money buy, the virtues needed to resolve conflicts and build ethical  societies. We need a new framework for peace rooted in our shared spiritual aspirations, principles and values. The role of the moral leader is to lay out the vision and set a course toward it, guided by universal principles and values.”

At the Opening Banquet, the Rev. Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and daughter of the U.S. civil rights leader, spoke movingly of her father, and related his vision to the objectives being advanced at the Atlanta Convention.“He was calling us back to some principles and values that in a real sense are the same principles and values that no matter where you live, no matter where your nationality, your ethnicity, your culture, at the end of the day, those principles and values transcend any particular generation, which means that they are everlasting,” Rev. King said.

“Let me say that I earnestly believe that if my father were living today, his heart would be warmed by the work of this great organization around the world. And in fact, I believe without a shadow of a doubt, he would be a part of your group.”

Americas Summit

A major highlight of the 2012 Convention was the Americas Summit, with opening sessions at the prestigious Carter Center in Atlanta.  With the participation of former Latin American presidents and video messages of support from numerous other former presidents, the Summit launched a significant new initiative, the Latin American Presidential Mission.

The Presidential Mission seeks to develop new approaches to equitable development, political reform and democratization, and increased North-South collaboration in advancing peace in the region.

“We are going to take advantage of the experience the leadership and the willingness of the former presidents to make analyses and proposals to the current presidents of Latin America,” said former President Cerezo Arevalo, the first democratically elected president of Guatemala.

Former Guatemalan President Vincio Cerezo  (left) joined nine former presidents (right) at the Americas Summit hosted at the Carter Presidential Center. The former heads of state lunched the Latin American Presidential  Mission during the Global Peace Convention.

The former president said that a real partnership between Latin American countries and the United States will help solve international problems in areas such as economics, security or immigration, The International Young Leaders Assembly, another important component of the Convention, included sessions at the Points of Light Institute, one of the premier volunteer service organizations in the world, and a Town Hall session at the King Center with civil rights legends and other major leaders.

Delegations from Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya also participated in business forums that highlighted the under-recognized role of business as a catalyst for peace, as well as growing opportunities for trade and investment in Africa in the twenty-first century. The panel “African Perspectives and Opportunities” at the pre-Convention Global Peace Business forum, presented startling findings on the emergence of a dynamic continent, rich in resources and arriving at a turning point in approaches to governance, stability and growing international investment.

Dr. Manu Chandaria (above) and Hon. Alfred Khangati  address the
Global Peace Convention in Atlanta, USA.

 “Everywhere opportunity knocks,” said Dr. Manu Chandaria, CEO of Comcraft Group in Kenya, with investments in 19 African countries. “Before there was always fighting going on. Now I believe Africans have seen the light, that there can never be prosperity side by side with war. Today there are huge investments from Asia throughout Africa. Human chromosomes all come from Africa. To our international business colleagues I say, ‘It’s time to come home.’ ”

Representing the government of Kenya, the Assistant Minister of State in the Office of the President the Hon. Alfred Khangati reminded international delegates at a joint session that the 2010 Global Peace Convention in Nairobi was a notable event advancing peace and reconciliation in Kenya.

“Coming just after the 2008 post election violence that had affected our country, the convention played a very important role in further cementing the good working relationship by the partners in the Grand Coalition Government, the Assistant Minister said. “Since then, the Government of Kenya has always continually engaged with the Global Peace Foundation and the Global Peace Youth Corps in their peace programmes in Kenya.

Minister Khangati noted that after 2010 Convention in Nairobi, the Global Peace Foundation invested heavily in peace projects in Kenya, providing employment to Kenyan youths and actively partnering with Kenya Government Agencies and Ministries in various peace activities in the country.

In July 2012, the Global Peace Foundation in conjunction with the Ministry of East African Community and United Nations in Nairobi hosted the Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development, which led to the launch of the East Africa Peace Service Corps by Kenyan Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga.

Earlier in April, he said, the Global Peace Foundation and the Global Peace Youth Corps, working with the Administration Police and the Rift Valley Provincial Peace Forum, launched the Rift Valley Peace Initiative, which is educating young people to embrace peace in the ethnically diverse province that was an epicenter of post election violence in 2007.

“I call upon the Global Peace Foundation and other leaders gathered here today to continue spreading the message of tolerance, peace and moral and innovative leadership to all corners of the world.”

Minister Khangati also recognized the Global Peace Foundation’s Character and Creativity Initiative, and used the occasion to announce that the Kenyan Government and other agencies were working closely with the Global Peace Foundation and the Global Peace Youth Corps to host a landmark National Youth Summit on January 31 – February 3, 2013 that will attract over 2,000 youth from 47 counties.

“This summit will further engage the Kenyan youth and educate them in preparation for the upcoming general election,” he said. “On behalf of the the Kenyan Government, I would like to invite Dr. Hyun Jin Moon to speak to the Kenyan youth during this National Youth Summit.

“I call upon the Global Peace Foundation and other leaders gathered here today to continue spreading the message of tolerance, peace and moral and innovative leadership to all corners of the world.”

The Global Peace Convention brought significant focus to GPF’s work in the United States, particularly the Coalition for American Renewal and the Strengthening Families and Communities Coalitions in several cities. The Convention also highlighted GPF’s global interfaith partnerships, with special focus on growing ties between the USA and the Asia Pacific region.

At the Closing session on December 1, organizers announced the selection of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the host city of the 2013 Global Peace Convention.