Second Rally of Hope for the Realization of a Heavenly World
Prepared by UPF International
The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) concluded its second Rally of Hope on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The 3-hour event hosted 12 distinguished world leaders, along with first-class entertainment. According to the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Yun Young-ho, two million people from 194 nations were given tickets to watch online, while as many as a hundred million viewers observed the Rally via various broadcast providers and internet platforms.
The theme focused on realizing a world of peace through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. The gathering served as a wake-up call to national and world leaders that the well-being of humankind and the destiny our planet rests in the hands of responsible leaders.
Peace messages and prayers were given by The Right Reverend Munib Younan and His Eminence Kelvin Edward Felix Cardinal. Welcome remarks were delivered by Thomas G. Walsh (click here) and H.E. Goodluck Jonathan. Congratulatory remarks were offered by the Co-Chairs of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, Hon. Dan Burton and Hon. Jose de Venecia.
Summary of remarks by keynote speakers:
Hon. Jose Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission, 2004–2014) was the first of the keynote speakers. Conflicts and global environmental and economic problems continue to present themselves in the 21st Century. This is why it is so important to commit to international cooperation and multilateralism. Climate change, trade issues, and global pandemics all require an international response. The vocabulary we use to talk about these issues—calling them “threats” that have the potential to cause “extinction” —is unnecessarily pessimistic. It is necessary to convince the world that these problems can be solved and that cooperation can be productive and reliable. We must convince the world that hope is stronger than fear.
H.E. Richard Cheney (Vice President of the United States of America, 2001–2009) was the next keynote speaker. He congratulated the Universal Peace Federation for its illustrious collection of speakers. COVID-19 has constituted a great test of global leadership and cooperation. While the rules-based system of good-faith dealing is vital, it is also necessary to recognize that not every regime will operate in good faith and follow the rules of international order. Credibility is one of a country’s most vital resources; to participate in good faith, countries must follow through on their commitments and stated ideals.
Next to speak was H.E. Evaristo Carvalho (President of Sao Tome and Principe). He named climate change, armed conflicts, and COVID-19 as major challenges to nations and international organizations today. He reiterated the importance of learning to live alongside one-another and overcome national and religious conflicts. He emphasized the importance of education in the process of achieving peace, prosperity, and cooperation. This education must affirm the dignity and value of each human being. The family is a key point at which education occurs. Through our interactions with our family, we learn how to interact with our community and the world. Peace, prosperity and happiness will be a reality in the near future if we can achieve positive cooperation.
Following a musical presentation, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon (Co-Founder, Universal Peace Federation) delivered her address. She recognized the Korean Thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok, coming later this week. The COVID-19 crisis shows humanity’s fundamental frailty, both our physical vulnerability and the vulnerability caused by our failure to cooperate with and tolerate one-another. We are dependent on our environment, yet through pollution and exploitation we are destroying it. We must let go of self-centeredness and greed and resist the temptation to divide ourselves from our fellow humans. She addressed the government and people of China, expressing hope that modern technology might someday transform the Gobi Desert into a verdant forest, proving it possible to reverse desertification. If the resources that countries pour into weapons were instead used for social, environmental, and technological investments, much could be accomplished. A nation’s blessings are not for the enjoyment of that nation alone. Due to climate change, the livable parts of the earth are shrinking. Dr. Moon called on us all to let go of selfishness, embrace our status as children of God, and begin efforts to repair the damage our species has caused to the environment.
H.E. Dan Quayle (Vice President of the United States of America, 1989–1993) spoke next. He praised The Washington Times for its continuing commitment to truthful, values-oriented journalism. He praised the UPF commitment to universal values. The message that we are One Family Under God is key to understanding how to move towards peace. The Cold War ended, during H.E. Quayle’s tenure as Vice President, due to an international commitment to freedom and a peaceful resolution to the problem. Similarly, the ongoing division on the Korean Peninsula can be resolved peacefully for the security and prosperity of all. He called on the audience to build a new movement for peace, aligned with the ideals of our Creator.
H.E. Samdech Hun Sen (Prime Minister of Cambodia) was the next keynote speaker. He commended UPF Co-founder Dr. Moon for providing this forum for politicians, religious leaders, and civil society members to discuss solutions to global challenges. Cambodia has responded effectively to the COVID-19 crisis and managed to control the disease without a single death. The role of parliaments is increased in times of crisis, and the present crisis is no exception. Parliaments need to plan for the arduous recovery process, recognizing many possibilities for how this recovery will play out, and for the re-ignition of global trade and travel. He concluded by wishing for all present a blessing of prosperity and health.
The last keynote address came from H.E. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani (Prime Minister of Pakistan, 2008–2014). This is a critical point in history, and the lessons we take from this experience will shape the coming century. H.E. Gilani is a survivor of the novel coronavirus and called his battle with the disease, a battle which so many have lost, a humbling experience. The crisis presents the opportunity for us to realize the common bonds of our humanity. He spoke with pride of Pakistan’s response to the health and economic crisis, and of the bravery and sacrifice of his country’s doctors and nurses. He called for debt restructuring for small countries that have needed to take loans for pandemic response. He urged that the COVID-19 vaccine, when available, be provided for free.
Moving forward, these rallies will be conducted monthly throughout the remainder of this year. Each event will focus on a specific group of leaders: parliamentarians, academicians, entrepreneurs, media persons and religious leaders.
UPF plans to continue organizing the “Rally of Hope” world-level virtual events, which bring thousands of world leaders and concerned citizens from around the globe together in search for the “Realization of a Heavenly Unified World.”