Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon welcomed delegates from five continents to the 2011 Global Peace Convention (GPC) in Seoul, Korea on November 28, 2011, urging guests at the Welcoming Banquet to be “true owners of the vision of One Family Under God” and to “truly embody the spirit of brotherhood of all humanity.”
The GPC is convening on the theme “Peacebuilding in East Asia and the Reunification of the Korean Peninsula.” In addition to examining effective approaches to resolving the division of Korea, political and civil society leaders will explore regional cooperation on energy and environment, models of community-driven development, and the role of the business community in promoting regional peace and stability.
Dr. Moon presented a broad outline of the vision of GPF in his welcoming remarks, as well as personal reflections on his experience as both a Korean and an American. “I am so glad to report that the work of the Global Peace Foundation has expanded in leaps and bounds far beyond the imagination of anyone that participated in our first festival,” he said. “We are now represented on every single continent around the world. And the vision of One Family under God is becoming a part of the common vernacular in many nations, whether it is in Brazil, the United States, here in Asia or the continent of Africa. It has been a vision that has empowered people to go beyond what life experiences have defined up until that point.”
Reflecting on his conversations with religious leaders, political leaders, civic leaders, and academics, he concluded that “at the end of the day, all the efforts and models that have been attempted to bring about the ‘elusive dream called peace’ have failed. I believe that they have failed,” he said, “because they neglected to address the most critical dimension of the peace process, which is recognizing our spirituality as the source and inspiration that can truly bring about this dream of peace.”
Dr. Moon cited the example of America, a nation that was built on fundamental freedoms and human rights, yet which failed to ensure those rights were extended to the black community. Dr. Martin Luther King “once again touched upon the spiritual inspiration that enabled a nation to re-examine itself and address the great racial divide that separated that nation throughout its early history,” Dr. Moon told the delegates.
“When we think about all the great movements in history that have propelled humanity forward, we have always looked to those immutable, unchanging, spiritual principles and values.…Yet today, in a post-9/11 world, where there is a possibility of a global religious conflict, where religion is being used as an instrument to justify war, conflict and murder of our fellow beings, how more important is it that there comes a spiritual vision [that] can not only reunite the great faith traditions…but inspire all people of faith to recognize our small or large contribution to the peace process by sharing a common vision.
“One of the things I have reminded many Americans of is that America did not become great because of democracy or capitalism. America became great because, if you look at the Declaration of Independence, America made a covenant with God. It recognized His sovereignty and it recognized the fundamental freedoms and rights that we cherish as Americans did not come from the U.S. government or any human institution, but came to us from the almighty God. And the first of those freedoms was the freedom of faith, to recognize and allow people of conscience to worship that same Heavenly Father, whether you are a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or a Buddhist, in whatever way that your conscience dictates, and you respect that.
“True global leadership comes not from the size of one’s army, or the size of one’s economy, it comes from having a moral authority that inspires human beings from around the world, regardless of what pretensions that we have. Let us be the advocates of principles and values, let us be champions of fundamental freedoms and human rights. Let us be the nation that dares to dream the greatest dream of all, the dream of building One Family under God.”
The Global Peace Convention also will host a Parliamentary Roundtable, sessions on women in leadership and interfaith collaboration, and the presentation of 2011 Global Peace Awards. The Convention concludes on November 30.
***The Global Peace Festival Foundation was renamed Global Peace Foundation in November 2012.