- Thursday, August 23, 2018

Since its inception in 2005, the Universal Peace Federation worked closely with parliamentarians from around the world with the goal of building a world of lasting peace. The launch of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) in February 2016 represented a labor of love reaching back 15 years for co-founders Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Since the launch of IAPP, the project has attracted more than 3,000 incumbent Parliamentarians from 80 plus countries.

Their 2001 “Parliamentarians for Peace” initiative appointed tens of thousands of like-minded leaders as Ambassadors for Peace. This effort was also a point of focus of the 2005 Universal Peace Federation Inaugural Tour to 120 nations and assembled parliamentarians from 80 nations through diverse programs, all aimed at faith-based conflict resolution and peacemaking.

“As we know, our world faces a wide range of problems, including territorial disputes, religious and racial conflict, environmental degradation, climate change, violent extremism, poverty, hunger, nuclear proliferation and corruption,” according to the inaugural resolution for IAPP introduced by former Philippine House Speaker Jose de Venecia at the event in South Korea.

“As we gather in Seoul, we are especially mindful that the Korean peninsula remains divided. North Korea continues to develop its nuclear weapons program, raising serious concerns all over the world that military tensions are rising throughout Northeast Asia. Even now, 60 years after the Korean War, it remains impossible to communicate or freely travel between the two nations. It is time for the international community to wholeheartedly contribute to the realization of peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. de Venecia said.

In the fall of 2016, IAPP held an opening ceremony in the U.S. Senate Russell Office Building to highlight its efforts as a new, international network for global lawmakers to look for ways to advance peace and human development.

At the opening ceremony, held Nov. 30, 2016, Mrs. Moon addressed a distinguished group of over 300 leaders from 54 nations, including parliamentarians from around the world, members of the U.S. Congress, elected officials, and civic, religious, policy and NGO leaders.

Noting that IAPP is based on universal ethical and moral values rooted in the family, Mrs. Moon called on world leaders to stand up as God’s agents of peace and take responsibility to build a peaceful, united world.

“All of you esteemed and beloved leaders who have gathered here, in particular, members of parliament from all over the world, your responsibility is great and important. You are extremely important, especially in this era, when a new providence is unfolding. God looks at each one of you as more than just one person. You are mediators and that is why God needs each one of you,” said Mrs. Moon.

In its recent World Summits held in 2017 and 2018, IAPP deployed a working strategy to have impact in conflict zones by taking the following steps:

—Work to establish bipartisan peacebuilding committees or caucuses in their legislature.

—Work across sectors and as groups to eradicate corruption.

—Find ways to network and work together with delegates from other nations.

—Support partnerships between religions and politics as a substantive means to target daily behavior for real transformation.

This article was prepared from materials from the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, a project of the Universal Peace Federation International. For more information, please visit https://www.upf.org/peace-and-security/international-association-of-parliamentarians-for-peace

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