Moderator: Dr. Thomas Selover
International President, Professors World Peace Academy, Korea
Dr. Thomas Selover is President of the SunHak UP Graduate University in South Korea, and is also serving as international president of the Professors World Peace Academy. He received his doctorate in comparative religion and Confucian thought from Harvard University. He has taught at universities and colleges in Canada, the United States, China, and Korea. He and his wife Grace are currently researching the concepts of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values as a moral and practical basis for the human community.
Dr. Thomas Selover introduced the session by stating that family values are a great resource for peace building, but family traditions may be purveyors of bad traditions also. This is also a time when family values are under attack, including by individualism, which weakens the bonds of family. In UPF, we say the family is the school of love. Each person needs to grow and we learn this in the family. The family is also a school for interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. The prosperity of the family is dependant on all the members. The family is also the transmitter of universal values.
We’ll be talking about how to strengthen the family. What kinds of government policies can strengthen the family? How can family values support good government and promote the advancement of both men and women? How can the family inculcate the values of peace?
Dr. Selover read a letter from the founder of Teachers without Borders in Brussels, Dr. Fred Mednick, who could not come. He mentioned that there is no SDG for families, but family values are important. Teachers without borders approaches peace as if it were a family matter. We make peace familiar until it runs in the family. Family values are the ultimate expression of peace.
Speaker: H.E. Dr. Bajram Kosumi
Prime Minister (2005-2006), Republic of Kosovo
Dr. Bajram Kosumi is a politician, writer, publicist, and educator. He received the title of Doctor of Philological Sciences at the University of Pristina. From 1992 onwards, Dr. Kosumi played an important role in Kosovo's politics, including as President of the Parliamentary Party of Kosovo (1994-2000) and member of the Kosovo delegation in the Rambouillet Conference (1999). After the war, he was co-founder of the coalition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo-AAK and was its vice president (2000-2010). A three-time member of the Assembly of Kosovo and former minister, in 2005, Dr. Kosumi was elected as Prime Minister of Kosovo, a task he performed until March 2006. He is one of the signatories of The Declaration of Independence of Kosovo (February 17, 2008). Since 2008, Dr. Kosumi is a professor at the University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina" and, since 2015, he is Rector of the Public University “Kadri Zeka” Gjilan.
H.E. Bajram Kosumi thanked the session chair and other speakers and expressed his appreciation for the sentence, “The family is the school of love”. He explained that the family is also the school of peace. He said that this is important for societies after conflict, such as in Kosovo. People can learn about global peace in their family. The world now is a global metropolis: people are in touch with each other everywhere. The tendency to establish global standards is a good development. In Europe in the last 20 years, especially during the refugee crisis, the democratic values in place since 500 years have been challenged.
Family values can help to bring about equality in terms of “my peace” and the peace of others: global peace. During the [Balkans] war in 1998-99, there was ethnic cleansing, rapes, and all the social institutions failed. Only the family survived. Strong families supported poorer families for many years. There were 700,000 Kosovo refugees that fled during the war. Perhaps even some of you in this room from various countries have experienced the heroic actions of families during difficult times.
Albanian families have a 1,000-year tradition of the family, including extended care for the children until 18 years of age. Even today, this summit organised by UPF is inspired by the idea that we are all one global family. We are all one large family and we want to thank Mother Moon and all her collaborators for organising this summit. President Obama characterised as lone wolves those individuals who prone violence and terrorism. Please be people of peace and not lone wolves!
Speaker: Dr. Saemira Gjipail Pino
Former Deputy Minister of Education; Deputy Chair, UPF Albania
After a long career at the State University of Tirana beginning in 1979, Dr. Saemira Gjipali (Pino) served as the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Marin Barleti University in Tirana from 2011 to 2017. From 1990, she became involved in politics and held various positions, including Deputy Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Health, and Deputy Secretary General of the Albanian Government. For several years, she was elected and reelected as a Board member of the International Organization of Social Movement Historians (ITH), whose headquarters are in in Vienna. Dr. Pino was elected as vice president of the Albanian Sociological Association in 2017. She is the author and coauthor of several publications on gender issues and women’s rights. She was appointed as a UPF Ambassador for Peace in 2001 and has been the Deputy Chair of UPF Albania since 2011.
Dr. Saemira Gjipail Pino thanked the organisers and other speakers. She explained that we are born and grow up in a family. We are mainly parents and even grandparents. This is not an easy topic today: how can the family preserve its values in an ever-changing world?
Family and peace: one of the greatest contributions of UPF is the promotion of families, so that we can radiate peace in our local and wider contexts. The family cell itself is changing. Even smaller societies have a common trait which is the family. The world has developed bodies and organisations in defence of the family, but what really protects it is the love within.
Social media tend to drive us apart, even when we are physically closer together. At the dinner table, we are on our cell phones instead of talking to each other. There are many other pressures on the family, such as the pressures of employment which prevent the parents from being with their family. The family members are running to achieve many goals at the same time, including the struggle to keep up financially and socially.
In the last few decades in the Balkans, we have witnessed the collapse of families in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo. Many children were orphaned. We need to look to the past to prevent the recurrence of the same problems. Family values are suffering from the same factors, but also from domestic violence, poverty and corruption, not just the families in the capitals, but also rural families.
Let us reiterate and renew the importance that peace starts within the individual and this will be conveyed to others. This peace will be conveyed within the family, including to our descendants. To heal the world, as Rev. Moon said, we need to turn back to the principles of peace and love that we learned from our fathers when they carried us on our backs.
About 120 years ago, one important Albanian woman pointed out the love that existed within even poor impoverished Albanian families. Many people emigrated abroad to find a better life. We are afraid of old people’s homes and want to protect the institution of the family. The strategies of the politicians are not enough, we need to take into account the ramifications of these policies. Each new set of politicians has a new set of strategies.
When I’m at peace, the person next to me will be at peace, as Mr. Kosumi said. We have this interdependence. It’s easy to criticise the government, especially when we are not in power. We cannot negotiate with the war mongers. When marriages are established on the basis of intercultural values, intercultural marriages, this promotes peace.
Speaker: Mr. Jack Corley
President, FFWPU and UPF Eastern Europe sub-region
Mr. Jack Corley is an Irish citizen and has worked with the Unification Movement in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union and China. Between 1990 and 2005 he worked in the former Soviet region as Vice President of the International Educational Foundation and Secretary General of UPF Eurasia, and organized many conferences on character education in the People’s Republic of China. From 2006 to 2009 he served as assistant Secretary General of UPF International. He currently serves as the President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and Universal Peace Federation for the East European sub-region.
Mr. Jack Corley expressed his appreciation for Dr. Pino who, he said, has turned down many high government positions and is a very accomplished academic.
Quoting from Genesis, Mr Corley said that we should “Be fruitful, multiply and have dominion”. As Dr. Moon said at the summit, what is missing is God. We have all kinds of human solutions, but how do we actualise the ideal of the family? We all come from a family, unless we are space aliens!
The family decides our character. If it’s a loving family, it will be reflected in this. We cannot underestimate the value of the family. Is there anyone here who doesn’t want to be happy? We all seek happiness, even the king and the queen.
We tend to pursue material goals rather than spiritual and emotional ones. Barbara Hutton owned the Woolworths stores, which were very popular. She said that even though she was the richest woman in the world, she was also the most unhappy woman in the world. J.P. Getty also said he’d give up all his material wealth for one successful marriage.
What are the 2 forms of education required? They are education of character and education in the areas of material development. There should not be a contradiction between them, but we should keep in mind the priority.
Mr. Corley explained that he comes from a family of 5 girls and 5 boys, very Irish and very Catholic. You learn there how to fight, but also how to forgive. The mothers who are here, if you have many children, you learn to become the greatest peacemakers. Do you ever graduate from being a child to your parents? No, it’s a lifelong experience. Sibling rivalry is a big issue in families.
Self-discipline in the sexual area is also important, because people cannot control this just because they sign a marriage contract. The 4th experience of love is when we become parents. Many people are unhappy because their parents were ill-prepared for that role.
We experience 6 levels of relationship in the family, between older and younger siblings, with grandparents, etc. For example, if a boy had a difficult relationship with his father, he tends to be rebellious towards authority. We need to put the family back into order, to bring peace in the world.
Finally, Mr. Corley cited a quote from Confucius 2,500 years ago: “When there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character; when there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home; If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations; when there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.”