- COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant economic, financial and medical turmoil stemmed, in part, from a lack of cooperation among nations
NEW DELHI, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- World Leaders and Millions of Citizens Call for Peace at Third Online Rally of Hope. The theme was, 'Rally of Hope for the Realization of a Heavenly Unified World: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.' Held in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, the power of hope echoed around the world for a third time this year in this Rally of Hope series. Previous Rallies were held in August and September, respectively. This event called for a unified Korea, but equally important, was a call for a unified world of peace.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the co-founder of UPF and keynote speaker in all three Rallies of Hope, outlined two new projects. First, setting up of Korean War memorials in all 63 nations that gave troops, military supplies, medical support or humanitarian aid to Korea at the time of the conflict 70 years ago. Many of these nations have memorials, but not all. In addition, Dr. Moon would establish a registry of all those brave young heroes who served or sacrificed in any way to support Korea during its darkest hour. This project would be launched next year, 2021, in commemoration of Father and Mother Moon's visit to North Korea where they went to embrace Kim Il Sung 30 years ago.
Dr. Moon began her address saying, "All around the world, unforeseen and unexpected challenges are erupting in the realms of politics, economy and religious strife is happening due to COVID-19. We can see the limitations of relying on human efforts alone to solve these problems. The key to achieving a beautiful future is to recognize and welcome our creator, Heavenly Parent, into our lives. God the creator is the Heavenly Parent of humanity."
"The winds of heavenly fortune have been blowing on the Korean Peninsula, which is where the will of heaven can be realized, and the only begotten daughter could be protected," she said.
"What wind of good fortune brought the men to defend Korea in 1950? Young veterans came here to protect Korea. We can see through this that God the Creator is working with us. The warriors who shed blood on the battlefront will be eternally remembered in history. They are the heroes of God's Providence," she said.
"I was wounded, left for dead, yet survived," said Hon. Charles Rangel, a member of U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 2017 and Korean War veteran.Mr. Rangel said he "never, never" wanted to return to the place that brought him "so much misery and pain."
But as a member of Congress, he did return to Korea where he witnessed South Korea's rising from ashes to become a symbol of democracy, freedom, economic expansion, and a key ally to the United States. "So, being able to not talk about war today, but 70 years later to talk about peace is so important. God did not create us to destroy each other," Mr. Rangel said. He said, "I want to thank Mother Moon for the sacrifices she has made in order to create this organization for world peace."
"To be sure, diplomacy has to play an important role, but I think every person has a role to play in trying to bridge divisions," said U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, who has served in Iraq and South Korea. "All kinds of people need to come together, as this group suggests, and see what we can all do in our own different ways to deal with these very difficult issues," he said. He concluded, "I especially want to thank Dr. Moon for her absolutely tireless efforts in raising these issues, and for founding UPF which has done so much to raise the consciousness of the world. She knows better than any of us, the tragedy of this war."
Ethiopia was one of 16 countries who sent troops under the flag of the United Nations to help South Korea repel the North Korean invasion in 1950, said Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde. The unforgettable bravery and sacrifice of these men and women who fought in that conflict "is a testament to Ethiopia's unwavering commitment to the principle of collective security enshrined in the United Nations Charter," Ms. Zewde said.
Canada was also part of the 16-nation UN force - and today, the average age of Korean War veterans is 88 years old, said former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen. "So, let us use whatever opportunities remain to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for what they accomplished."
Mr. Harper and several other speakers said the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant economic, financial and medical turmoil stemmed, in part, from a lack of cooperation among nations.
"There are hopeful signs to fight the virus, such as treatments and vaccines," Mr. Harper told the Rally of Hope. It likely has led to a new climate of unifying and cooperating - even some Middle East countries "have put aside their differences with the signing of the Abraham Accords," he said.
"We surely can effectively overcome COVID-19 if we join forces," said former Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme, who recalled how more than 3,000 Belgium soldiers joined the UN forces to protect the Korean citizens from the communist invasion.
Colombia was the only Latin American country to join the UN forces, and "this important action has forged an eternal link with the history of South Korea," said Colombia's House of Representative President German Alcides Blanco Alvarez. "The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is fundamental," he said, as it "guarantees a stable and lasting peace, not only for that region of the world, but for the whole world."
Additional calls for peace were shared by other speakers, including South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit. In South Sudan, making "total peace" with its sisterly country, Sudan, after 17 years of conflict, contributes to global stability, said Mr. Mayardit.
Although, in El Salvador, "our peace process has been imperfect, we have shown the world that the solution to political crises and internal armed conflict is dialogue and finding agreement among brothers," said Hon. Mario Ponce, President of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador.
"Coronavirus has reminded us of the interconnectedness of the world we live in," said Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. "It is high time we start thinking about the road to recovery, post-COVID-19" and "use the same approach to rebuild a more prosperous, harmonious, peaceful world," he said. Concluding his remarks, he noted, "The proposal [of UPF] to the family of Asia-Pacific nations to establish an Asia-Pacific Union is a visionary idea, and I hope we can discuss further to materialize it."
India played a unique role throughout the Korean War, having no specific geo-political interests in the Korean Peninsula and maintaining a neutral position before and during the war years, yet believing in the reunification of the peninsula. At the United Nations, India's Permanent Representative to the UN and a member of the UN's Special Political Committee, V.K. Krishna Menon took on the responsibility of finding a solution to the pressing issue of the future of the prisoners of war. India was tasked with sending a Custodian Force comprising military and civilian personnel who would ensure the welfare of all prisoners of war who did not wish to be repatriated. At the helm of the entire operation were India's Lieutenant General K. S. Thimayya, DSO, chairing the NNRC, and Major General S. P. P. Thorat, DSO, commanding the CFI.
The Rally of Hope series is dedicated to "building a unified world of peace," said UPF Chairman Dr. Thomas G. Walsh. Throughout 2020, UPF chapters around the world have been convening hundreds of programs toward this end, "and over the next two years, those programs will increase dramatically - we need your help," he said.
Promo of rally of Hope:
About Universal Peace Federation (UPF):
UPF, founded in 2005 by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.