Intervention of Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chair, UPF International, at the Southeast Europe Peace Summit in Tirana, Albania, on 26 October 2019.
Prime Minister Edi Rama [Albania].
President Stevo Pendarovski [North Macedonia].
President Hashim Thachi [Kosovo].
Former President Alfred Moisu.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Founder of UPF.
Distinguished guests and participants. Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the Universal Peace Federation, it is my distinct privilege to share a few words of welcome on the occasion of this most significant, timely and historic Southeast Europe Peace Summit being convened here in the beautiful city of Tirana
I applaud the amazing work of UPF Europe and Middle East, including the leadership of Dr. Balcomb, Dr. Otsuka, Mr. Marion, Mr. Gani Rroshi, and many many others.
It is particularly encouraging to observe that more than a dozen very significant NGO partners are supporting this worthy effort.
I would like to offer heartfelt appreciation and respect to Dr. Haj Ja Han Moon, Founder of UPF and the World Summit Series. I had the good fortune to travel to Albania with Dr. Moon in 2005 and 2006, hosted by President Moisu at that time. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is the heart and soul, the inspiration and the standard bearer of this worldwide peace movement that is making dramatic, positive and transformative impact around the world for peace.
This worldwide series of Summits is a direct outcome of her guidance and leadership. Over the past 18 months Summits have been convened in Korea, Japan, USA, Senegal, South Africa [twice], Sao Tome, Brazil, and Nepal. Over the next two months, major Summits will be convened Niger, Cambodia, Tanzania, South Africa, Palau, and the Dominican Republic.
These are not merely conferences, but they are part of a coordinated, growing and momentum building peace movement, one that brings a breath of fresh air, hope, opportunity and innovation to a world that is often confused, troubled, with a tragic breakdown of both values and institutions.
Without Mother Moon’s vision, leadership and her absolute commitment---her love for God, her love for humanity--- UPF’s work would not be possible.
Dr. Moon has designed an innovative organizational structure for the UPF, that includes a family of associations that give voice and focus to several core sectors. Six associations, to be precise. One for current and former heads of state, one for parliamentarians, for religious leaders, one for academicians, one for business leaders, and one for media professionals.
The structure of these associations is expressed in the very impressive program that has been prepared for this Summit over the next two days.
Peace can only be achieved if all sectors are engaged. In other words, the achievement of peace requires not only the engagement of governments. If we are to achieve peace We also must tap into the capacities of faith-based organizations, those billions of believers around the world----Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Mulsim, Jewish, etc.---who also aspire to a world of lasting peace.
Non-state actors are essential partners for peace. All sectors, all stakeholders, together with governments, must be engaged fully, dialogically, comprehensively and collaboratively in order for us to hope to achieve peace.
Dr. Moon has identified three core values that constitute the foundation of the UPF’s World Summit series. These are interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. The ultimate goal is to establish a world of lasting peace, a universal peace for the whole human family living in harmony and cooperation, one family under God.
As we consider Peace, Security and Human Development over the next few days, let us engage one another with our full attention and commitment.
For this Southeast Europe Peace Summit is a great and golden opportunity.
We surely can, and I believe we will come away from this meeting with not only inspiration, but a set of ideas and best practices that we can apply step by step as we move forward together toward a renewed and revitalized Southeast Europe.
Let me conclude by saying that the work of UPF has prospered throughout the world, every corner of the world. It is not due merely to some administrative or communications strategy, even though we try our best. At its core, UPF is guided and driven by a spiritual vision. Dr. Moon, who will address us later in this program, embodies that vision. She is indeed a heavenly blessing to this world, and to each of us. You will know her by her fruits.
Thank you for your attention and for your participation in this historic Southeast Europe Peace Summit 2019.