The Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD)
IAPD is an association of religious and spiritual leaders from throughout the world and representing all traditions. IAPD is a project of the Universal Peace Federation, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. UPF was founded by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon (d. 2012) and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
At its inauguration, in Seoul, Korea in November 2017, representatives of nearly all faith communities of the world, as well as high level academics and NGO leaders were in attendance for the three-day meeting. Together they launched the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).
On April 29th 2018 the European IAPD office was launched in Vienna by about 200 European religious and academic leaders. This office will initiate and coordinate peace and development activities throughout Europe, for example, in the Balkans region and in the Middle East. Other IAPD offices are planned worldwide. IAPD will seek wide collaboration with other interfaith and faith-based organizations, as well as partnerships with civil society and government agencies. IAPD will also develop programs that engage youth from all religious backgrounds, particularly in encouraging service programs.
While religion has all too often been a contributing factor to conflict and discord, it has also been a great contributor to peace and human development. IAPD will seek to enhance and encourage religion’s constructive capacities in contributing to peace and human development.
IAPD will work in support of the United Nations’ effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and IAPD affirms the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental right.
VISION: We promote interreligious cooperation for the sake of peace and human development, drawing on the spiritual energies and capacities of the world’s great religions
MISSION: We are a global network of believers, scholars, faith-based organizations, and interfaith activists who work together collaboratively for peace and human development, carrying out a wide range of programs, including grass roots programs, academic conferences, workshops, and service projects.
TO DO: The administration is hosted by UPF under the operating mandate of the 400 interreligious representatives who founded IAPD in November 2017 in Seoul and the 200 delegates of religious communities who launched IAPD in Europe on April 29th 2018 in Vienna.
Dr Thomas G. Walsh,
President, Universal Peace Federation International
Author: Dr. Thomas Walsh
Chair, UPF International
Dr. Walsh is the Chair of UPF International and Secretary General of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation. He has been a teacher, author, and editor specializing in the areas of interfaith, religious studies, peace studies, philosophy, and social theory. Dr. Walsh serves on the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and the International Coalition for Religious Freedom. He has contributed to and edited more than 30 books related to interfaith, peacebuilding and renewal of the United Nations.