Intervention of Dr Katsumi Otsuka, Chair, UPF Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, at the launching of the International Initiative of Parliamentarians for Peace in Albania.
Excellences, respected member of Parliament, Ambassadors for Peace, ladies and gentlemen!
Representing the Universal Peace Federation of Europe, and the Middle East, I wish to say thank you very much for joining this event today here in this beautiful city of Tirana, Albania. I personally feel very happy I could visit this city again to see you.
Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
UPF was founded in 2005 by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon with the vision to organize a Global Council of leaders from many fields. UPF was designed as an organization to support the peace building work of the United Nations.
UPF was been expanding upon the deep understanding of inter-religious, inter-national, and inter-cultural cooperation. I should not forget to say that UPF holds the vision of one Global Family under God.
To realize peace, we need to have a common understanding about “what peace is” and “what is true love.” It is very sad to see the reality that people sometimes start to fight when speaking about peace! Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon have been teaching the essence of True Love: the heart to live for the sake of others.
UPF places great emphasis on the ideas: “to live for the sake of others” and “to live for a greater purpose and greater goodness.”
Let me introduce our founders shortly.
Both founders were born in what is now North Korea during the 40 year period of Japanese occupation.
They experienced the 2nd World War and the Korean War which divided their country into North and South.
Dr. Sun Myong Moon experienced forced labor and torture at a prison camp in North Korea. Dr. Moon and Mrs. Moon were both literally refugees during the Korean War. Even to this day, they cannot freely see their relatives in North Korea.
This is one of the reasons why they have worked tirelessly seeking for peace and unification by dialogue with a humble heart and mutual respect.
Peace Project: Peace Road
Besides their Peace Philosophy, our founders have proposed many practical projects for lasting peace.
One of these projects was the Bering Strait Tunnel between the United States and Russia, which would be part of an International Highway and Peace Road.
This gigantic plan, however, may seem impossible to realize, but work on a Korea-Japan undersea tunnel already was begun a long time ago.
Korea-Japan Under Sea Tunnel Project
Dr. Moon proposed this Korea-Japan Under Sea Tunnel and the International Highway, Peace Road, at the 10th International Conference on the Unity of Sciences (ICUS) in Seoul, Korea, in 1981. He made the proposal to the audience of 850 scholars including 10 Nobel laureates.
His idea was to connect Japan and Korea with a heart of friendship with which they could overcome the past difficulties between the two nations.
For many years in Japan and Korea, I oversaw this project. Therefore, I can tell you that it is not easy to realize, but it is not an impossible dream either. I strongly believe that if this project had been completed by now, Northeast Asia today would be more secure and stable.
The International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)
As representatives of the people, and as lawmakers, parliamentarians play a crucial role in promoting not only local peace, but also world peace.
The International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was established by UPF as an informal network of parliamentarians who can work together for peace and human development.
I am very happy to announce to you that IAPP has been inaugurated in many countries by now. We have inaugurated IAPP in the House of Parliament of the United Kingdom, at the UN building in Austria. In the Czech Republic, Kosovo and Denmark, as well as in the parliament buildings of most nations. The inauguration of IAPP has been conducted in many nations of the world by now.
I strongly believe that it is a time to work together for World Peace and Human Development with the spirit of “living for the sake of others.”
I would like to end my comments here, expressing my deep appreciation to you all for attending this event. I also deeply appreciate your continuing support for UPF here in Albania.
Thank you very much.
Author: Dr. Katsumi Otsuka
Chair, UPF Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East
Dr. Otsuka is a citizen of Japan. He holds a degree in philosophy from Kanazawa University and graduated from the Unification Theological Seminary in the United States. As president of the Japanese branch of the student movement World-CARP, he organized several world conventions and initiated solidarity meetings among students and youth from Japan, Korea, Russia and China in the 1980s and 1990s. He served as president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Japan, as president of the Corporation for Building the Japan-Korea Tunnel, and as the leader of numerous other organizations, focusing notably on the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. He has served in top leadership and educational positions in South America, Eurasia and Africa. He is currently the Chair of the Universal Peace Federation in Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.