The Hague, Netherlands—A meeting of Dutch Ambassadors for Peace featured a report about the recently concluded first UPF Africa Summit.
Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, the regional president of UPF for Europe and the Middle East, was the main speaker at the meeting, held on January 29, 2018, in a hotel in The Hague, the nation’s political capital.
Willem A. Koetsier and Rita Salaris, the national leaders of UPF and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an affiliated organization, organized the meeting together with six staff members.
The Ambassadors for Peace carefully listened to and watched a video report about the Africa Summit, which had taken place in Dakar, Senegal, on January 18 and 19. They seriously reflected on the prayer of UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon on Gorée Island, a small island off the coast of Dakar known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade of the 15th to 19th centuries. They followed seriously Dr. Moon’s speech to the Africa Summit’s approximately 1,200 participants representing over 60 nations.
Dr. Otsuka carefully explained Dr. Moon’s vision for Africa. Her message, he said, brings real hope to the continent, which has suffered in so many ways.
It was significant that the president of Senegal attended and supported the whole event, Dr. Otsuka said. If the president can embrace Dr. Moon’s vision, his nation can become a rallying point around which all of Africa can unite, he said.
Dr. Otsuka spoke of Dr. Moon’s intention to help Africa not only internally and morally but also economically, through clear business projects.
The Africa Summit was truly a demonstration of interreligious harmony, Dr. Otsuka said, especially between Muslims and Christians. He also highlighted UPF’s activities to promote family values and to spread the Interfaith Peace Blessing.
Participants generally agreed with Dr. Otsuka that Europe has a responsibility for Africa. Not primarily because of guilt feelings from past history, but because we are connected in so many ways. Europe has received many blessings from God which it should share with its neighboring continent, Dr. Otsuka said.
Several of the participants, such as Dr. and Mrs. Willem van Eekelen and Dr. Berend Stuyt, have lived in Africa and have a deep love for the continent. They, as well as most of the other participants, said they feel responsible as Europeans for Africa and are deeply inspired by Dr. Moon’s loving, hopeful vision for that continent. They said they are greatly interested in the ways in which UPF intends to help Africa practically and wish to give their whole-hearted support.
Dr. Otsuka answered several questions from the audience. Having lived on five continents for a substantial amount of time, he has gained a deep general understanding of the human condition. The participants were impressed not only by his message but also by the way he respected their views and listened carefully to their questions and opinions. Finally, they appreciated his good command of the English language.
The meeting left all attendants with a good feeling. Two of the participating Ambassadors for Peace were scheduled to attend the 2018 International Leadership Conference that would take place in February in Korea.