Karl-Christian Hausmann explains the purpose of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) at the UPF Conference on "Radicalization and Violent Extremism in Europe: Focus on Prevention" at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests,
Let us begin by reminding ourselves that the quest for peace and security is at the heart of the EU.
The first political steps in Europe after 1945 were characterized by the desire for reconciliation and rebuilding trust and lasting peace between the peoples of Europe.
The key actors of this time, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide De Gasperi and Robert Schuman shared this common vision.
The reconstruction of Europe was intended as a Peace Union. The key words of the first treaties such as world peace, common destiny, solidarity or new trust were revolutionary at that time.
Today, 72 years after the end of WW2, we can look back on possibly the longest relatively peaceful period of time we have ever had on this continent. We could even be satisfied with this and lean back, hoping it will continue like this forever.
However, every period in history has its specific challenges that cannot be ignored and need to be addressed as we do here for example in this conference with the problem of “Radicalization and Violent Extremism” in Europe. There are more problems in our time that need answers and practical solutions: the problem of mass migration, the ongoing problem of extreme poverty and the essential importance of good governance, not only for governments, but for all sectors of society, including the non-governmental and educational sectors, to mention just a few.
Parliamentarians are uniquely qualified to serve as advocates for peace and human development. As representatives of the people, they stand as mediators between government and civil society. Their experiences with the practical challenges related to law-making and public policy give them a unique set of skills and insights that are required in building a world of lasting peace.
Earlier this year, UPF launched the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), building on the foundation of work with parliamentarians over the past decade. The launch of the IAPP represents an effort to provide an informal network of parliamentarians who can work together collaboratively for the sake of peace and human development.
As an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the UPF has an established presence on every continent and in almost every nation in Europe. It is building a wide network of individuals and organizations who seek to work together by going beyond divisions of nationality, ethnicity, race, religion and even political ideology, underscoring the common humanity of all people and living in one world, our common home.
IAPP will provide a forum for parliamentarians from all nations and political parties, allowing them to come together in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation to search for solutions to local, national, regional, and global problems.
IAPP understands that there are many very important organizations and associations of parliamentarians around the world, some formally organized as intergovernmental bodies and others informally associated. IAPP intends to work in a collegial, cooperative and supportive way with other parliamentary organizations wherever there is mutual interest and shared concern. The same spirit of support and cooperation applies to the mission and work of the United Nations, which IAPP affirms.
The primary objectives of IAPP include the following:
- To promote and encourage dialogue and cooperation among parliamentarians from nations around the world with the aim of promoting peace and human development. We promote working groups on various issues of international / national concern.
- To promote the cooperation of political leaders and spiritual leaders (IAPD) to foster sustainable solutions to current issues
- To promote interreligious dialogue and alliance
- To develop concrete projects involving young people with parliamentarians (Peace Road, Football for Peace, Cultural Programs, etc.)
- To develop educational programs to strengthen the family as the central and most fundamental institution of human society;
Parliamentarians are the representatives of the peoples of the world and, in that capacity, stand in a very special and important role in their nations and in the world. Given that we live in an interconnected world, and knowing that our problems are often global in nature, we are increasingly aware that global solutions to our world’s problems must be sought.
It was Victor Hugo, the French poet, who once said that nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
We believe and hope that IAPP will be a significant contributor to peace and human development for Europe and all of humanity.
Thank you very much.
Author: Mr. Karl-Christian Hausmann
Chair, UPF Germany
Mr. Hausmann was born in Germany. He joined the Unification Movement in 1975 and has been married to his American wife, Kathy, since 1982. They have three children. A chair of the local Trade and Commerce League between 2000 and 2010, he is still involved in its local activities. After joining the Christian Democratic Party of Germany (CDU) in 1987, he became the local district Parliament leader and Speaker for his party. From 2012 to 2014 he was Assistant Chair of the CDU Stuttgart, and currently serves on the Executive Board. He has been the Chair of the Universal Peace Federation of Germany since 2000.