Asian Leadership Conference
By Robert Kittel
The largest Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) with the highest level of participants recently took place in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 28-31, 2016. There were 130 participants from five Asian nations.
- 11 Members of Parliament with their wives from Sri Lanka;
- 80 government officials from Cambodia led by the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, two military generals, and nine governors;
- 13 high-level Filipinos comprising of one provincial board member (i.e. district officer), four mayors, an attorney, a university department professor and representatives from the Department of Education in Bohal, Central Philippines; and
- A 6-member delegation from Vietnam consisting of the Director of the Department of Childcare Development, a prominent media person and a university student monitor.
The theme for the conference was “Providing Vision and Leadership for Nation-building and Peace.” Conference delegates were especially excited to see the application of the Divine Principle in a social context. It became very clear that the teachings of our True Parents are truly universal and, equally important, these principles can address fundamental problems faced in every society. In addition, the presentations demonstrated how these principles are scalable; this means they can be applied to the individual, family, society, nation and world.
The content of the conference consisted of 10 lectures explaining True Parents’ Principles (two of which were given by Dr. Yong Chung-sik, the Regional President of UPF-Asia). Complementing this were testimonies from the national leaders of Cambodia and Thailand. Case studies of activities in these two countries were presented , highlighting our partnership with the respective governments at the national, provincial and city levels. Thailand CARP provided a wonderful demonstration of Tong-il Moo-Do martial arts by eight black-belt artists.
However, the highlight of the event was clearly the Interfaith Peace Blessing. Everyone participated with a joyful, happy heart. Couples rededicated their marriages together and in the process liberated themselves, their ancestors and their future descendants from the burden of confusion, resentment and guilt. It was truly a celebration of marriage in an inter-religious, inter-cultural, inter-national, and inter-generational environment.
- “I thank the UPF for reminding us that there is a deeper meaning and philosophy behind the activities of our everyday life… Sri Lankan parliamentarians and youth should be more involved.” _Hon. Mohamed Hafeel Salman, (Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka)
- “We were so much inspired by the basic teachings, inspiration and wisdom of Father and Mother Moon. We learned and benefited a lot from this conference. It made our vision sharper, our mind more open and made our love more sure. It put us in a position to serve our people better. We have been transformed from a peace-lover to a peace-maker… A strong nation cannot be formed without the presence of strong, united and disciplined families.” _H.E Sok Phea, (Deputy Governor, Cambodia)
- “On behalf of the Philippine delegation I would like to express our sincerest gratitude and thanks for this wonderful and life-time opportunity given to us… We are very much inspired by the teachings and lecturers as they focus on true love in the family. In the Philippines we love our families but we need to radiate that love towards our nation… We are happy to be here and we hope to bring what we have learned here [back to the Philippines] into the sectors of society were we belong. We can shift our paradigm, our way of thinking, due to this conference.” _Atty. Josie Corre-Sempron, (Professor, University of Bohol, Tagbilaran City, Philippines)
- “This has given us a lot of inspiration and many lessons. We realized that on this journey to create a peaceful world, we are all responsible, we are in this together. It starts with us. If we can make ourselves a loving person, then we can create a loving family, a loving society and a loving nation.” _Mr. Minh Le Duy Tran, (Internal Account Representative, VMWARE, Vietnam)
- “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Yong, Dr. Kittel and Mrs. McLackland and all the staff. This was a wonderful conference which I never experienced before. I never expected this much. As I am a member of the FFWPU I have experienced many kinds of workshops and conferences. But this conference is so inspiring. I can see the harmony in all people from different countries, different religions, and different cultures all accepting these ideas of an ideal family. I really see hope. I talked with many people in the conference. They came from very high-level positions and are very well educated—top leaders from each nation. I can really see hope. I can really see a bright future in these countries.” _Mr. Tetsuo Omorai, (CEO, No.1 Solutions Company, Japan)