Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 368
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 9: The Role of Nations in Realizing World Peace
Speech 13: The Direction for the World and the United Nations, pg 1378-1381
The Direction for the World and the United Nations
August 18, 2000
United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Assembly 2000
Distinguished leaders, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:
Today, in this beautiful and stately building where the United Nations General Assembly meets, I greet you with deep gratitude for the opportunity to express my passionate concerns and views about “The Direction for the World and the United Nations.”
The need to reorganize the UN to realize world peace
The sole purpose of all my undertakings in many areas over the past forty years has been the realization of a peaceful world that is the desire of God and humanity. This longing for a peaceful world has also been the core reason I have dedicated myself to the promotion of interreligious harmony and cooperation.
In the twentieth century, humanity has experienced many severe conflicts and unspeakable acts of violence, especially through the horrors of the two world wars, and through the seventy years of communism and the Cold War. When the Cold War ended, the world had a brief moment of celebration, as if peace had arrived.
But then soon humanity realized that the end of the Cold War did not automatically mean the advent of an age of peace. Even at this moment, fierce wars and brutal massacres are going on in numerous places around the globe. Conflicts arise for many reasons. But one of the primary factors contributing to their emergence is the deep-rooted disharmony that exists among the world’s religions. Therefore, when we witness the many global tragedies occurring around us, we should recognize how critically important it is that the religions come together, dialogue with one another and learn to embrace one another.
In the modern age, religious ideals have come to hold a place wholly separate from the centers of secular political power in most nations, and most people have come to accept this, as the way things ought to be. I believe, however, that it is time that international organizations whose purpose is to support the ideal of world peace reconsider their relationship with the great religious traditions of the world.
On this point, the United Nations, more than any other international organization, can set a good example and lead the way. The world has great expectations for the United Nations as an organization embodying humanity’s aspiration for peace. In the United Nations, the representatives of all nations work in concert to promote peace and human prosperity.
Of course, the conscientious efforts to establish peace, undertaken by these national representatives at the United Nations, often meet stubborn resistance. The accomplishments and achievements attained through the United Nations have been significant. However, there is much room for improvement. I believe there is an urgent need today, within the United Nations and through its many activities, to encourage mutual respect and increased cooperation between the world’s political and religious leaders.
The original ideal for human beings is that we live with our mind and body united in resonance with God’s true love. It is because human beings resemble God as His sons and daughters that the mind and body of each individual can truly unite without struggling against each other. Within God there is no disharmony between internal and external characteristics. This is so because the absolute God has no contradiction or conflict within Himself.
Interreligious and international activities I have carried out
The human ideal to achieve oneness of mind and body can be realized only when people completely possess God’s true love. The biblical verse, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” illustrates this point. (Matt. 5:9) Peacemakers are persons whose mind and body are in unity centering on the true love of God.
As a result of the Fall, we lost the standard by which our minds and bodies could be brought into oneness and harmony, and humanity has lived in internal strife and self-contradiction. The clashes of the mind and body within the individual have expanded and now manifest themselves in the family, society, nation and world. For example, this unresolved struggle between mind and body is what precipitated the elder brother Cain’s murder of his younger brother Abel.
All the conflicts and wars in history have been essentially battles between a Cain camp, relatively tending toward evil, and an Abel camp, relatively tending toward goodness. Humanity must end these struggles between Cain and Abel camps and restore the original state of harmony and love. To do this, each of us must end the conflict between our mind and body, and bring them into harmonious union.
The principle that mind and body must be united should be applied and practiced not only by individuals, but it should be applied on the worldwide level. For this purpose, I founded a number of organizations to achieve world peace. For example, I established a number of interreligious initiatives, such as the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, to promote cooperation among religions, which represent the internal world of the mind. Also, to address the external management of human affairs, representing the body, I have worked to promote harmony among nations through the activities of the Federation for World Peace, the Federation of Island Nations for World Peace, the Federation of Peninsula Nations for World Peace and the Federation of Continental Nations for World Peace. Most recently, signifying the emergence of an era when mind and body, or religion and rational governance, can work together cooperatively, I founded the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.
At their root, human problems are not entirely social or political, and so social and political approaches will always be of limited effectiveness. Although secular authorities rule most human societies, religion lies at the heart of most national and cultural identities. In fact, religious faith and devotion have far greater importance in most peoples’ hearts than do political loyalties.
Proposal for a bicameral UN assembly
The time has come for religion to renew itself and manifest true leadership in the world. People of faith should feel responsibility for the plight, suffering and injustices experienced by the world’s peoples. Religious people have not been good examples in the practice of love and living for the sake of others, and for this reason should engage in deep self-reflection. It is time for religious people to repent for their preoccupation with individual salvation and narrow denominational interests. Such focuses have prevented religious bodies from giving their utmost to the cause of world salvation.
Our age more than any other demands that we go beyond our faiths, and the interests of particular religions, and put our love and ideals into practice for the sake of the world. In particular, God calls upon us leaders, especially religious leaders, in hope that we will stand against the injustices and evils of the world, and bestow His true love upon the world. Hence, all people of faith must become one in heart in order to give full expression, both in words and actions, to God’s passionate desire for humanity’s restoration and peace. World peace can be fully accomplished only when the wisdom and efforts of the world’s religious leaders, who represent the internal concerns of the mind and conscience, work cooperatively and respectfully with national leaders, who have much practical wisdom and worldly experience about the external reality that houses the physical body. In this light, it is time for us to give serious consideration even to the prospect of restructuring the United Nations. For example, perhaps it is possible to envision the United Nations as a bicameral institution.
The existing United Nations structure, composed of national representatives, may be regarded as a congress where the interests of each member nation are represented. However, I submit that serious consideration should be given to forming a religious assembly, or council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations. This assembly or council would consist of respected spiritual leaders in fields such as religion, culture and education. Of course, the members of this interreligious assembly will need to have demonstrated an ability to transcend the limited interests of individual nations and to speak for the concerns of the entire world and humanity at large.
The two chambers, working together in mutual respect and cooperation, will be able to make great advances in ushering in a world of peace. The wisdom and vision of great religious leaders will substantially supplement the political insight, experience and skill of the world’s political leaders.