Challenges and Opportunities for World Peace

Challenges and Opportunities for World Peace

Sun Myung Moon
June 1, 1987
The Summit Council Founder’s Address
Grand Ballroom, Lotte Hotel
Seoul, Korea

Honorable Chairman, Former Presidents, Former Heads of Government, Former Prime Ministers, Members of Royalty and Nobility, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great source of inspiration for me to address this gathering of world leaders joined together in the quest for peace.

It is certainly the case that throughout history, men and women have longed for peace. They have adopted a variety of strategies in their attempts to secure it. In some cases, men have tried to achieve peace through conquests. In others, they have tried to achieve it through surrender.

In this century, we have seen two noble efforts made to resolve international differences without resorting to war — the League of Nations and the United Nations. In spite of all these efforts, however, humankind has not achieved peace, and history has continued to be a history of conflict, often erupting in devastating violence. Why has it been impossible until today to achieve peace?

The reason is that the internal struggle that goes on within each individual has not yet been resolved. World conflict is nothing other than the manifestation of the inner conflict of individuals. Contradictions exist between human ideals and human practice, and the focal point of these contradictions is the struggle within each individual between the spirit and the body. The human spirit aspires to lofty ideals. It is the human spirit which reaches up to God. The body is the instrument with which we can practice our ideals, but this requires effort, discipline, and self- sacrifice. We find in human life a tension between the pursuits of the spirit and those of the body. The spirit seeks after the realm of faith, while the body pursues the world of reason.

Two Parallel Currents
Because of this, in human history, two parallel currents have developed. One of these, being more rational and external, has placed emphasis upon the predominance of the body, i.e., on physical satisfaction, physical beauty, and physical science, which is based on the evidence gathered by the physical senses. The other major current in human development, known as the religious tradition, has emphasized values which are transcendent of the human body: spiritual laws and values, and revelations from God, which cannot be verified by physical science. These currents in human life are the basis of the two dominant ideologies that are in conflict in our world today.

The democratic world, or the free world, has developed out of the religious tradition. The modern concept of democracy is set forth in the words of the Bible itself: “and God made man in His own image:’ That is, the democratic world places value upon the individual person because he is a child of God. The greatest care must be taken to assure his liberty and freedom of choice, for without liberty, his actions have no value.

Communism, on the other hand, is an outgrowth of the more external and secular current of human history. Following the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, Karl Marx advocated the application of violence and social engineering to establish by force an orderly human society from which belief in God would be excluded. Marxist social engineering is based on a God-denying view of man. But what has been the result? Although today there are many individuals who defend this or that insight of Marx, the fact remains that after 70 years of the attempted practice of Marxism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the result is a tragic social failure. It is estimated that 150 million human beings have been killed in order to consolidate communist power, but the world of justice and prosperity which Marx promised is nowhere in sight.

Today these two ideologies and the nations that have adopted them are squared off in a global confrontation that threatens our world with greater destruction than was ever before imagined.

A Plan for Peace
In this context, I would like to sincerely offer three steps as a solution in the quest for peace. These steps begin at the very foundation; they are fundamental. They may also appear to be idealistic, but any house standing on a false foundation cannot be restored unless we go down and rebuild the foundation.

My peace plan starts from the level of the individual. First we must find peace with God, then peace with our fellowman, and finally we can secure world peace.

I have devoted my entire life to the search for the truth. To find the truth about the origin of the universe and the existence of God, I have suffered greatly. Through arduous personal searching, I came to know the very essence of God. I even experienced many unique encounters with Him. And I came to realize that no one can obtain peace on earth without first making peace with God.

God, the First Cause of this universe, has created the world in all its magnificence. At the same time, He is our loving Father. Furthermore, He has carried out this work of creation in order to fulfill a specific purpose. That purpose is the fulfillment of love. God is the source of true love, but even almighty God cannot enjoy love by Himself. He needs to have an object to give his love to, which is capable of returning love to Him. That object would be the pinnacle and culmination of His creation. That object is the human being. Because of this, human life also has a purpose. The purpose of human life is to reach maturity and live in the fullness of the relationship of true love with God for all eternity. This is the foundation for peace with God.

Love Our Fellowman
Once we establish peace with God, then we are ready to make peace with our fellow human beings. What is the fundamental relationship that brings peace with our fellowman? Again, it is the relationship of love.

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the other great religions of the world teach that we are the children of the almighty Creator, God. This means that we are all brothers and sisters. We must understand that every person is made in the image of God; therefore we are all the children of God. The best way to honor and glorify God is by loving His children. This understanding is the foundation upon which we can establish a relationship of true love with our fellowman.

Achieving world peace is our long-cherished human dream. Yet the fundamentals of achieving it are essentially the same as those of individual peace.

The conflict of the two worlds is real. But it is not simply a conflict between the free world and the communist world. More fundamentally, it is the conflict between two opposing value systems. One is God-affirming and the other is God-denying. The rise of communism is, in a way, a manifestation of the failure of human beings to live by God’s original moral code. In one sense communism is an ideology of accusation. It accuses the God-affirming people of the world of having failed to fulfill their ideals. Because many of its accusations cannot be denied, communism has power. When the ideals of the God-affirming world are realized in practice, however, communism can be overcome. Therefore, the world problem is fundamentally a spiritual problem. The solution must begin with an affirmation of the reality of God.

A Spiritual Awakening
What our world needs today to save itself is a spectacular spiritual awakening. The world must be awakened to the reality of God and re-armed with a worldview based on God-affirming principles. This worldview is capable of eliminating the confusion in our value system. Of course, this spiritual reality will manifest itself in political and economic strength and military resolve, but the internal dynamic must be the spiritual foundation of faith in God and true love among human beings.

Based upon such an awakening into higher values, the nature of relationships between nations must be transformed. Until now, the driving force behind economic development has often been the desire for profits. In this way, a great amount of human potential has been unleashed, and remarkable world development has occurred. The time has come, however, for the developed nations to move beyond the profit motive. The principle of unselfish love must be applied on the level of international relationships. The developed nations of the world should feel that they have been blessed by God for the purpose of helping others. They must be willing to sacrifice for the underdeveloped nations of the world. They must give of themselves to free other human beings from misery. If the prosperous nations adopt this attitude, do you think they will be diminished? Do you think they will experience disastrous decline? Not at all. The opposite is true. If these nations do not think in loftier terms than the desire for profits, their prosperity will slip away in spite of their efforts to retain it.

How can anyone be at peace with himself when his fellowman is dying from lack of food, or ravaged by disease, or victimized by the darkness of ignorance? United together, the developed nations can launch a tremendous crusade to overcome the three scourges of humanity: hunger, disease, and ignorance.

A World Community of Nations Under God
Finally, on the basis of unselfish relations among all countries, a world community of nations under God can be substantially established. Today, in the latter part of the 20th century, we cannot help but realize that our world is shrinking every day. No nation is an island. No one can prosper without interaction with others. The world is fast becoming one global village. The survival and prosperity of all are dependent on a spirit of cooperation. The human race must recognize itself as one family of man.

Therefore, a world community of nations must be established to increase mutual understanding and respect. Cooperatively, we can protect our environment as we develop it, raise the cultural level of all persons, and secure freedom, justice, and dignity for everyone. What can be the basis of such cooperation? The world community of nations must respect a common value system and certain unchanging and eternal principles that can only have their source in God.

We have a common dream. It is the long-cherished human dream of an ideal world. The prophets have called it the Kingdom of God on earth. It is a lofty goal, but it is attainable. It must be, simply because it is the original ideal of the Creator. This is the meaning of securing world peace.

At this time, when we look at the world, the outlook may appear to be gloomy. Yet, I do not dwell on that despair. In the Bible, we find the expression of God’s determination to restore His original ideal in this world: “I have spoken and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed and I will do it” (Isaiah 46:11). I am a firm believer that the ultimate peace of the world shall come about.

This Summit Council for World Peace is one of the highest forums ever assembled for the discussion of world peace. I feel that it is inspired by God. We have embarked together on a sacred and challenging mission for the peace of the world. What we accomplish will be our legacy to our children and to all of humankind. You have traveled the long distance to Korea, a far corner of the world, to launch this peace initiative. I have confidence in your experience and wisdom and the combined expertise of your statesmanship. As we take up this task, our hope is that the 21st century will be a new era of peace.

May God’s inspiration and blessing be with you as you begin your deliberations.

Thank you.

The Summit Council for World. Peace Inaugural Conference
9 Former Presidents
9 Former Prime Ministers
12 Former Ministers of Government
17 Nobility
5 Former Ambassadors
3 Ambassadors
1 University President
6 Others

From May 31 to June 3, the above distinguished guests, representing leadership from the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe, gathered in Seoul, Korea, for the First Summit Council for World Peace. The purpose of this conference was to create a forum of leaders from around the world who could work together, in the spirit of freedom and democracy, to begin an attempt to resolve the world’s conflicts and to design and administer a solution for peace in the world. Committees were established that produced papers in the areas of economics, social concerns, political concerns, culture and education, ideology, and organization and programs.

A closing banquet was held at the Little Angels School, followed by a gala performance given by the Little Angels. In the grand finale, all the participants were awarded medals for their participation in the event.