A UPF conference in Moscow April 6-7, 2102 commemorated the visit by UPF Founders Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon to Russia in 1990, when they met with President Mikhail Gorbachev.
A joint program of UPF-Eurasia and UPF-Europe, the conference was entitled “Russia – Europe Dialogue: Peace and Security in Multicultural Societies at a time of Global Crisis.” The theme of multiculturalism has caused intense debate throughout Europe and Eurasia; this was an opportunity for UPF to initiate a dialogue between Russia and European nations. The conference was attended by 120 public figures, academics, and UPF Ambassadors for Peace and volunteers from 23 nations.
Senator Aslambek Aslakhanov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the Federation Council of Russia (Senate), sent greetings to the participants, wishing them fruitful discussions that could strengthen the friendship between Russia and European nations.
The conference began with a video introducing the activities of UPF-Eurasia in 2011. Then a song offering was performed by a young student contestant for the upcoming Mr. and Miss University Beauty Pageant, held yearly in Moscow with the support of UPF. Moderated by Jacques Marion, UPF-Eurasia Secretary General, the introductory session began with greetings from representatives of UPF chapters in Eurasia and Europe.
Dr. Oleg Mironov, former Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation and head of the UPF Peace Council in Russia, welcomed participants and shared about the multicultural experience of Russia and the Soviet Union. He emphasized that inter-ethnic harmony cannot be imposed from the top but must rise from within people’s minds, from adherence to common values.
Dr. Yong Cheon Song, Regional Chair of UPF-Europe, warmly greeted participants, conveyed his gratitude for the invitation to Russia, and in turn invited participants to the Europe-Russia conference to be held in Vienna, Austria, later this year.
He was followed by Dr. Willem Van Eekelen, former Minister of Defense of the Netherlands. As representative guest speaker from Europe, he offered greetings and brief remarks on the challenge of multiculturalism, speaking from his long experience of leadership in his country and the European Union.
Finally Mr. Eiji Tokuno, Regional Chair of UPF-Eurasia, gave a keynote address pointing out three crucial signs of global crisis: the breakdown of family affecting the stability of society, the high rate of suicide revealing a lack of values and meaning in life, and the inability of the UN to prevent conflicts in the world. In conclusion, he said it was UPF’s mission to address these challenges and bring fundamental solutions to the global crisis.
Author: Dr. Vladimir Petrovskiy
Chief Academic Researcher, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Dr. Petrovskiy is a PhD in Political Science, a Full Member of the Russian Academy of Military Science and a Senior Counsellor at the Asian Economic Cooperation Foundation (AECF). He is a member of the editorial boards of Diplomatic Service, International Journal of Asian Economics, International Journal on World Peace, among others. He is the author of four books and numerous articles on the theory of international regimes, multilateral security arrangements in the Asia-Pacific and Euro-Atlantic regions, civil-military relations and security sector reform, international peacekeeping and conflict resolution, human security and human development issues.