214. Women as the Turning Point for Peace
Book 2: A Model for the Family Ideal and World Peace
Part 1: The True Love Movement and the Role of Women
Chapter 16: Women as the Turning Point for Peace
This speech was given at the Women's Federation for World Peace USA Turning Point Assembly for the Abel Women's UN, held on October 27, 2012 at the M Resort in Las Vegas to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Women's Federation for World Peace.
Distinguished guests from around the world, peace leaders and women representatives from all fifty states of America, dear members of the Women's Federation for World Peace, WFWP International! I would like to extend our sincere welcome to every one of you for coming to Las Vegas to attend this historic United States Assembly for the Abel Women's UN at which we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Women's Federation for World Peace in the United States.
First of all, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the 7 million individuals and the leaders from 194 nations who sent me their great love and respect upon Reverend Moon's passing, and who visited altars around the world to offer condolences. Reverend Moon, who came to earth as the Savior and the True Parent of humankind, proclaimed throughout the globe the vision of an ideal world, which was God's purpose at the Creation. He devoted his efforts, without regard for his own life, to creating a peaceful world where conflict and war are no more.
Last July 16, after completing a busy schedule in America, we came to Korea, which we have proclaimed is providentially God's homeland. Immediately upon our arrival, we held the inaugural rally for the Abel Women's UN, which will play an active role in building a peaceful world in a new era. The event, which was held at the Peace World Center, was attended by 25,000, among whom were women leaders representing 194 nations.
Beloved women leaders from around the world, that was the last providential event Reverend Moon hosted on earth. About fifty days later, he put the providence on earth in order, and then prayed the words, "I have completed everything.”
Beloved women leaders, I ask for your support in carrying the weighty responsibility of completing the providential mission of the Abel Women's UN, the final organization that Reverend Moon and I created together. As you are aware, the UN was founded in accordance with God's Will, to address the plight of many people around the world who had endured unbearable suffering in the aftermath of the catastrophic Second World War, with a deep yearning for peace based on the viewpoint that war must never be waged again.
However, what is the reality today? In the sixty years of the United Nations' existence, it has been unable to prevent wars breaking out, including the Korean War. Even though the Cold War has ended, the world is not free from outbreaks of war, whether big or small, that stem from conflicts between rich and poor, between races, and between people of different faiths. Hasn't the UN seen the repeated breakdown of its work to fulfill its original mission to maintain global peace, according to the purpose of its founding?
At the time of its inauguration, the UN was the result of a compromise effected between the U.S. and the Soviet Union under the confrontational structure of the Cold War. From the outset, therefore, it was limited in its ability to bring about lasting world peace transcending the interests of individual nations. This is why we have proclaimed that, from the standpoint of God's Will, the UN has been unable to emerge from the position of Cain. This is why we emphasize that the renewal of the UN is absolutely critical to building a world of lasting peace, as originally envisioned at the time of the Creation.
The United Nations has struck a brick wall, being unable to move beyond the level of balancing the various interests of individual nations. In history up to now, we have depended on government organizations centered on men to bring about global peace. Now, however, to surmount the limitations they have demonstrated, I believe that a women's peace movement centered on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should take root as the new system resolving problems that arise in the field.
Since such a women's peace movement can only be realized through global cooperation that goes beyond the NGO level, we hope that the launch of the Abel Women's UN will be the starting point from which the women's peace movement can establish itself in society as the Global Women's Peace Network (GWPN).
Looking back, today's historic Abel Women's UN assembly began with the establishment of the Women's Federation for World Peace, which the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and I jointly founded as a central organization for the women's peace movement. With the declaration of the advent of the global era of women, WFWP was established, in accordance with the Will of Heaven, on April 10, 1992, at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.
That inaugural event was attended by women representatives from some 70 nations plus 150,000 Korean women leaders. Furthermore, the goal of the Women's Federation was not to be another ordinary women's organization. It does not aim to be an external, political and combative women's rights movement mainly targeting men and advocating the expansion of women's rights, gender equality and the women's labor movement.
Rather, it is a global peace movement on an entirely new level, with the providential significance of realizing the ideal world as God envisaged it at the Creation. Inaugurated against a background of such providential significance, WFWP has engaged in diverse activities over the past twenty years, geared to realizing the vision and ideals of pure love, happy families, and a peaceful world, transcending the barriers of race, religion, language, and national boundaries. This has been carried out in the spirit of Reverend Moon's founding message, in which he urged us to expand a model movement of true love to the whole world, based on living for the sake of others.
In particular, based on motherly love, WFWP has achieved remarkable growth and development through a campaign to promote the establishment of families centered on true love through various educational programs and through volunteer activities aimed at elevating the status of women. These activities have alleviated international conflicts and promoted reconciliation.
In addition, after the special address I was invited to give at the UN headquarters in New York in September 1993, and based on three years of hard work, the Women's Federation for World Peace was approved by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as an NGO in General Consultative Status, which is the highest status given to an NGO. Since then, our status has been reapproved continuously at the re-evaluations held every four years. These entail strict assessment of activities and achievements.
I believe it is safe to say that our true value has been recognized, because among the more than 3,500 NGOs affiliated with the UN, only 140 have received this highest status, and I want to thank all the women whose work helped to make this possible.
Showing the path to peace and happiness
Our WFWP Women's Conference for Peace in the Middle East, which has been held every year from 1997, has attracted much interest and participation from women leaders of the more than twenty nations in the Middle East. Now it has expanded and given birth to more concrete activities in the field, an outstanding achievement which I am glad to be able to report.
At the end of June this year, WFWP sponsored the sixteenth annual Middle East conference, which was held as a session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations Office at Geneva, on the subject of “Children Affected by Conflict and Disaster: Prevention, Protection, Healing and Empowerment.”
The conference was attended by women leaders from eighteen nations in the Middle East, diplomatic officials including ambassadors to the UN in Geneva from nations around the world, and representatives from UN agencies and global NGOs. These 180 participants came together to seriously discuss current problems. I am informed that they resolved to apply in the field the results of their discussions.
Furthermore, each WFWP chapter is also actively conducting relief aid work to address problems caused by natural calamities and poverty in various parts of the global village. In particular, under the slogan, "Let us share a little of what we have,” they are carrying out the 1% Love Share Project to help children and women in North Korea, and I am very happy to tell you that they have achieved wonderful results.
As can be seen, from the founding of WFWP to reaching the highest standing as an NGO in consultative status under the UN, our members have never lost their founding spirit and have quietly pioneered with an unwavering heart the path of a women's peace movement. Therefore, I would like to offer a big round of applause to express my infinite gratitude to them, and also to the women leaders who have never held back in their encouragement or in their participation.
WFWP stands at the center of the movement for world peace it has developed. This, however, should not remain at its current level. WFWP should develop it to the next stage, so that it can work together in solidarity and cooperation with women leaders and NGOs from all parts of the world and push onward along the path toward realizing a world of lasting peace.
In order to do so, WFWP should go beyond the level of a women's NGO, bringing together governments, organizations and individuals across the world and move forward. A unified international effort under the ideal of the Abel Women's UN (Global Women's Peace Network) is absolutely necessary to bring this about. It is, in fact, God's absolute decree.
Today, as we usher in an age of universal and historic revolutionary change, I would like to give my sincere congratulations and encouragement to you on this, the opening of the United States Assembly for the Abel Women's UN, which is being held in order that women, who make up half the world's population, can be aware of their historic mission, and that we can expand the scope of our activities to all regions of the world.
Beloved women leaders who are working for peace! What is the path that humankind should take today? In the end, the problems afflicting humanity can only be resolved through the ideology of one family under God. This is the teaching, of true love with God at the center, that my husband and I, the True Parents, received from Heaven and have championed and taught throughout our lives. These ideals alone represent the path that will lead humanity to a world of everlasting peace and happiness.
This is a historic time of a great cosmic revolution in which we must change history, unite the spiritual and physical worlds and create the ideal kingdom of heaven that God has longed for since the beginning of time. We can no longer postpone or delay it. Heaven has already proclaimed that the thirteenth day of the first lunar calendar month in 2013 will be Foundation Day.
Therefore, it is time for all people to be humbly obedient to Heaven's decree. Today I hope you will bear in mind that that fateful date is approaching and that we need to devote ourselves completely, with a life-or-death commitment, for the remaining time, following the guidance of True Father, the king of peace and savior of humanity, who now presides over the providence from the heavenly realm, and that of True Mother here on earth.
Beloved women leaders! The course for humanity is set. Now that we have D-Day, which Heaven has given us through True Parents, what reason is there to hesitate? We now have less than four months. Heaven will bless endeavors to establish a world of peace based on the Abel Women's UN.
However, I would like to re-emphasize that the priority of the Abel Women's UN should be creating a true family movement that emphasizes living for the sake of others, based on true love and carried out in conjunction with education in proper values. War and conflict arise from selfish motives—desiring to take others' land, possessions or the like by force. On the other hand, peace arises from investing oneself for the sake of others—that is, giving based on true love.
Those leaders who turn their faces away from the new realities of the world, or who fail to see them, will be pushed aside by the changes coming upon us like a tsunami. I believe the time has now come for us to step forward boldly and receive new opportunities and values.
Beloved women leaders! Women are not here merely to help or to be protected by men; rather, they are independent individuals who as representatives of the feminine aspect of God's nature are meant to make men more complete and manly. Centering on true love, women are men's precious partners in love. Men and women are absolutely equal in terms of value.
Men and women who unite through the true love that is inherent in the original ideal share equal positions. Also, they attain the right to be with each other wherever they may be. Furthermore, they attain the ideal right of inheritance, by which all their property belongs to each equally. Thus, a man and woman who are brought into oneness through the original love in God's ideal of true love have been created to become equal beings, centered on true love, by sharing with each other not only the same rank and the right of participation but also their possessions.
Therefore, men and women do not need to confront or contend with each other, because they do not need to imitate the characteristics, dispositions or roles of the other or to covet those things and take them by force. Instead, by giving what they have to the other with true love and completing the other, they can become united as a greater whole and share in a relationship of joint ownership.
In the twenty-first century, women should play a major role in world history by serving, together with men, as one of the wheels of the engine pulling forward the construction of a peaceful world. Going beyond a century of power and technology, women will be the central axis in building a new century characterized by its loving, peaceful culture, and their role will be more important than ever before.
I sincerely ask you to follow the path of true mothers, the path of true wives, the path of true daughters, and the path of true women leaders who will build a unified world where true freedom, peace, and happiness overflow.
Reverend Moon always urged us to live without casting any shadow, which he called living a life set at high noon. If every one of us lives like brightly shining lamps, no shadows will be cast. When we receive things, they become our debts. Please repay the debts of your past by giving to others, wiping away the tears of those less fortunate and living a life of true love while spreading light throughout the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful to you for listening closely right to the end of my speech. I pray that God's blessing will be with you, with your families and with your work.
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