ILC2021-8 Session 7 - Presentation of Mr. Thomas McDevitt

The Role of Media in Contributing to Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Introduction

Thank you for that kind introduction, Peter, and special thanks for your steady and effective leadership in the role of Regional Coordinator for the International Media Association for Peace. It is a special honor to join such an accomplished panel of media experts, all of whom I deeply respect.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are focused today on what role the media should play to bring about the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Allow me to frame our discussion today with some context and background.

Having worked with the founders of UPF, The Washington Times, etc., for the past 48 years, I applaud Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for her exceptional leadership in a time such as this. This is not your typical NGO, religious or advocacy organization. It is the emergence of a civilizational level movement based on an “enlightened grand strategy” that is rooted in the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

It is becoming clearer each week that the situation on the Korean peninsula, especially in light of the aggressive global intentions of China, is a doorway that can open a great new era of peace and prosperity -- or it can plunge the world into a very dark and dangerous future.

Our era is overcome with multi-dimensional critical challenges. The COVID19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and suffering throughout the world. Social norms have been disrupted. There are massive changes happening as the world moves from the Atlantic-centered civilization to a world in which the Asia Pacific region is dominant. Our world is experiencing huge disruption.

How we view these challenges is so important. As journalists, it is vital to seek what is most essential in order to report the news with accuracy, fairness and relevance.

New Perspective on Our Time

In my 48 years of learning from and working with the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon...their insights, guidance, scholarship and practice on the nature of our historical era is singularly profound. For example, Rev. Moon predicted the end of the U.S.S.R. in 1985.

Centered upon Father Moon’s legacy and Mother Moon’s leadership, UPF and it’s various associations are uniquely situated to play a significant role via Track II diplomacy, soft-power. Both Father and Mother Moon are originally from North Korea. Both are sincerely respected there. The global and multi-faceted movement they have generated fully supports peaceful reunification. We see two Koreas so different in outcomes: but same culture, history and language.

Speaking before some 80 Members of the US Congress in 2016, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon said, “We look at this world and see unspeakable, inarticulate misery happening all around the globe. This is impossible to solve with mere human power. What should we do from here on forward? We should start a movement that once again attends God as the original owner of the universe in our families, countries, and world. However, the reality is that, although our hearts are eager to attend God, it’s hard to practice in real life.”

In the face of so many critical challenges around the world, in our nations, communities, in our homes and even in our personal lives, I believe we are witnessing the phenomenon of a new global Great Awakening and that requires a new mindset, an enlightened grand strategy and new leadership, especially that of women.

As the evangelical historian philosopher, Os Guiness, likes to say, “contrast is the mother of clarity.” When the world seems so dark, the emerging light of a new view of life centered on the highest ideals of true love that transcend the barriers of race, religion, culture, and national boundaries is now becoming more evident with each passing day. This is a new view of reality that is beginning to take root. That’s the stuff we as journalists need to be watching for. To tell the world where we can find real hope and opportunity.  

The Role of the Media and Launching of IMAP

In 1978, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon spoke before a couple thousand journalists at the World Media Association Conference, “More than ever before the pen is mightier than the sword. I have always believed that the media must be free and that a free press must also be a responsible press, and that a responsible press is a moral press. What do I mean by a moral media? A moral media is society’s conscience.”

In February 2020, as a key aspect of the World Summit 2020 which attracted 520 journalists from 71 countries, the International Media Association for Peace, or IMAP, was organized and launched under the banner of the Universal Peace Federation and its chapters in 190 countries, in part to commemorate the centenary of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s birth.

IMAP was launched, at Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s behest, with the mission to address the current crises in media credibility, media standards and ethics, and the seemingly never-ending industry upheavals and innovations.

IMAP encourages the development of a free and responsible global media industry that is highly trusted, independent and prosperous, and accessible to all people. And, as the “peace” in IMAP's name suggests, we encourage news media to shine a light on dialogue, collaboration, conflict resolution, and most of all, solutions -- as a way to promote human development, God-given human rights, social well-being, freedom, and prosperity.

We invite you to participate in this program with the hopes that IMAP can enhance your professional and personal development, and open doors to a valuable global network of like-minded journalists. Let us work together to build a world of lasting peace, prosperity and human fulfillment centered on God.

Thank you very much.

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