This session and the one before it both focused on the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). 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)