Global Peace Women Plenary 2021
Dr. Junsook Moon
August 13, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen joining us from around the world,
Greetings! Welcome to the Plenary of the Women’s Leadership Track at the 2021 Virtual Global Peace Convention on Moral and Innovative Leadership in Peacebuilding for Our Changing World.
Hon. Samaniego, thank you for your kind words of support. I also want to extend my gratitude towards our other distinguished speakers: H.E. Dr. Hajiya, Amina Namadi Sambo, Dr. Nona Ricafort, and Dr. Eva Latham, who are not only incredible women leaders, but also active peace builders in their communities and around the world. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us today. I am so glad that we can come together virtually and continue working towards our mission of peace and development through service minded women leadership.
I miss seeing your faces and sharing the irreplaceable human connection that comes when meeting in person. Although the global pandemic has made it difficult for us to gather, I am grateful that the wonders of technology have enabled us to meet together today, even from far away.
Our theme for the Women’s Leadership track is Service-minded Women Advancing Peace in the Home and World During Unprecedented Times.
The pandemic is the first of its kind in our lifetimes. The world as we know it has been altered, perhaps irrevocably.
Undoubtedly, each and every one of us has been through loss and change. Some of us have lost loved ones. Most of us have had to stay distant from people we long to see in person, and confront the stresses of a new reality, including job loss, remote work, and markedly altered school and home life.
As we faced these emerging challenges, we have had to wrestle with how to find meaning in the sacrifices and turmoil around us. We have had to transform crisis into opportunity and turn despair into hope.
The question we must ask ourselves is, “How can we, as women, as leaders, contribute to opening a path to a brighter future?”
The pandemic has revealed how the well-being of family fundamentally affects the health and wellness of all people. What does your family mean to you? Family is precious. When times are good, it is where we thrive and share happiness with loved ones. When times are hard, our families can be the place where we offer support and draw strength from each other. Through every season of life, I believe, the family can be an enduring source of gratitude, service, and love.
A crucial ingredient sustaining successful families is gratitude. Family means that we will always be connected regardless of our differences in personalities, talents, and interests. Having a family to turn to when things are tough means that we are never truly alone. When we appreciate and express gratitude for our family, we strengthen relationships that endure through all the ups and downs of life.
Service is another key element that families offer. Choosing to serve provides comfort and healing while uplifting ourselves and others. When times are especially difficult, we rely most on the physical, spiritual, and emotional care that we receive from family members.
Lastly, the most defining characteristic of family is deep, intimate, and unconditional love. When children first enter this world, they completely rely on the love and sacrifice of their parents. Even as adults, we realize that family provides the deep-seated love and support that helps us to overcome life’s greatest difficulties. The unconditional love in our families equips us to love others outside of the home. Over the past year, women have especially stepped forward to selflessly love and care for their families and communities. They are transformative teachers of peace both in the family and in society.
During the pandemic, Global Peace Women around the world have turned their focus to supporting women and families as the wellspring of gratitude, service, and love. In 16 nations, Global Peace Women have organized webinars, workshops, hotlines and public broadcasts to provide expert advice, counseling, livelihood training, and small group support for the well-being of families. We also met basic needs – providing meals, diapers, clothes, and sanitation products. These programs focused on various dimensions of family health including spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness. We are proud of our women leaders who continue to give hope and practical support. Their efforts have helped families create stable, loving environments even in the midst of these uncertain times.
Ladies and gentlemen, every parent wants to create a happy, healthy, and peaceful family that cultivates gratitude, serves others and offers unconditional love. Every family member has an irreplaceable role to play in creating such a family.
In my family, my husband and I play different, but equally important roles. My family leans on my husband, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, to cultivate self-discipline and strive for a high standard of excellence. He challenges all of us to grow past our own perceived limits and to accomplish so much more than we thought we could. He provides spiritual leadership for our family through his unabated dedication to building One Family under God. On the other hand, I am the one who observes how each of our children is doing. My children feel comfortable to tell me the details of their challenges and struggles. I usually know even before they tell me. At those times, I do my best to give support and encouragement to help my children take daily steps towards growing themselves, investing in their families and contributing to the world. Just as a father and mother offer complementary strengths in the family, I believe men and women have unique and important contributions to make both in the home and in society.
If my husband is the North Star that shows the ship where to go, perhaps I am the wind that fills the ship’s sails. If we take one step in the right direction every day, just as the winds blows the ship to safety through uncharted waters, I know that we can reach brighter shores together.
I invite you to find ways through which we can reach for deeper reserves of gratitude, service, and unconditional love in our daily lives. Global Peace Women strives to develop education, projects and initiatives that support women so we can nourish ourselves, our families, communities and the world with these gifts.
The Family Volunteers for Peace initiative is yielding moving examples of women doing exactly this. In Nigeria, the Philippines, Uganda, and the United States, mothers have encouraged their families to serve. They have shared stories of how they have grown closer through volunteering together. Their families are also gaining important tools: problem-solving, character development, and skills for building healthy relationships to further peace in their homes and communities. What beautiful examples of women leaders cultivating service-minded families who are rising above our current challenges.
Earlier this year, we hosted a webinar series entitled, “Women-led peacebuilding from the home to society.” The webinars sought to uplift and empower women who are cultivating seeds of peace in their homes and the world. Participants from around the world, representing countries from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe joined in engaging conversations on teaching human rights in the family, bridging generations through music, practicing holistic health, cultivating service, and establishing family traditions to build a legacy of peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is true that we are living through unprecedented times. It has been profoundly difficult for our families, our societies and our world. But, let us not focus just on the challenges and pain. Let us look outward and find ways to serve together, and in doing so, we can bring healing and hope.
I know that the work of Global Peace Women is needed now, more than ever. We can serve as a platform to support and inspire incredible women leaders like yourselves. Let us work together towards a common vision of a world where every woman, man, child and family can pursue their utmost potential in peace.
Let us celebrate what we have accomplished, and also reflect on the question, “What more can we do?” I am certain that together, with our collective strength of service, heart and care, we will get through these times, and we will create a brighter, greater future.
Let us embark on the next step of this journey to build a peaceful world of One Family under God, one family and one community at a time.
May God bless you and your loved ones.
Thank you very much.