The seventh session was chaired by Mr. Peter Zöhrer, President of the Unification Movement in Austria.
- Dr. Walther Lichem, Former Head of the Department for International Organizations, Austrian Foreign Ministry
- Dr. E. Krasinets, Head of the Laboratory for Migration Studies of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association
- Mr. Timothy Miller, Vice-Chair of UPF-Europe
As the first speaker Dr. Walther Lichem focused on people’s capacity for cross identification. According to Dr. Lichem, societal development depends on our capacity to learn how to tackle “otherness” and accept that a person cannot be defined just by his or her ethnic background, nationality, or language. One should understand that Identities are neither objective nor static and permanent. They are relative, subjective, and subject to change. Civil society is an important contributor to democracy and the implementation of human rights. Even some states cannot reach the same level of action and networking as civil society actors. Thus, the human rights agenda cannot be addressed without a value-based, motivated civil society.
Dr. Evgeny S. Krasinets spoke from a migration perspective. His institute is focusing on monitoring migration processes in the Russian Federation, international labor migration in the Russian Federation under the conditions of globalization, and illegal migration and latent employment of migrants as well as problems of female migration and trafficking. Migration processes bring people together, and national laws influence the relationship between migrants and nationals. For example, there are still visa issues between the European Union and Russia. The economic crisis has pushed people to look for jobs abroad. However, since many nationals lost their job because of job cuts, labor migrants are not always welcomed in a host country. Therefore there is a need for migration management.
Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association, explained how his association mobilizes adults and youth alike, connecting sports, peace, and friendship. Created by UPF Ambassador for Peace Eduard Yakovlev, who passed away while “running for peace” in Georgia right after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, the Super Marathon Association has organized ”marathons for peace” on all continents and between many countries. Mr. Suprunyuk announced plans for a Moscow – Paris super marathon in 2013. Participants will run in relay teams with vehicles accompanying them, enabling one group to be always running. These marathons can cover thousands of miles and offer an opportunity to create friendships in every city and nation they pass through. They also organize yearly marathons on the theme of “youth against drugs” around the Golden Ring in Moscow and promote a healthy lifestyle among young people.
Mr. Timothy Miller, Vice-Chair of UPF-Europe, concluded the session by presenting a moving review of the life of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon, based on his autobiography. Dr. Moon passed away on September 3, 2012 in Korea at the age of 92. His life-long dedication to building a world of peace, which he called “One Family under God,” led him from his childhood in a small village in Japan-dominated Korea to create a movement active all over the world. His profound teaching has provided the motivation and guidance for peacebuilding activities worldwide. As he was the one who gave the incentive for this series of Europe-Russia conferences, it was fitting to introduce his life and legacy as a global citizen of peace.