Four Day Program Outlines a Vision of Moral and Innovative Leadership in the Twenty First Century
Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Preston MoonATLANTA, Dec. 1—Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon welcomed more than 800 international delegates from 40 nations to Atlanta, USA for the fourth Global Peace Convention at an opening banquet on November 29.
The Atlanta Convention drew leaders from government, business, the faith community, women’s organizations, academia, and the non-profit sector on the theme “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Building Strong Families, Healthy Societies, and a Global Culture of Peace.” Previous Conventions have been hosted in Manila (2009), Nairobi (2010), and Seoul (2011).
Outlining the Convention agenda at the opening session on November 30, Dr. Moon stressed the significance of Atlanta and its role in the civil rights movement and, more broadly, the lesson of America’s founding as a model of moral and innovative governance.
“As an American by choice I have traveled widely around the world and gained a unique perspective that has allowed me to appreciate the distinctive genetic code of America’s greatness,” said the Korean-born GPF chairman.
“It is not in U.S. military might, greatly stretched in Iraq and now in Afghanistan. Nor is it in America’s geopolitical and economic dominance, now challenged by its debt crisis and questions about its leadership in the Middle East, Asia and the international community.
“The secret of America’s success lies in the vitality of the spiritual principles and values that motivated the American experiment and were poured into the structures of the new nation. American aspirations, and the principles and values that gave them form, were expressed first and most fundamentally in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is America’s vision statement and it is important to take note that it is a secular document that nevertheless expresses spiritual principles.”
He observed that human value in many social environments has been conditioned by factors such as class, race, cultural mores, and arbitrary decrees of despots. In contrast, the American Declaration affirms the intrinsic value and rights of every human as a direct endowment of God. A just government, he said, derives its authority from the governed, and functions to secure the blessings of liberty for all.
Dr. Moon called for a new spiritual awakening that can overcome the ethnic, cultural, and, particularly, distorted expressions of faith that drive people apart and engender conflict and suffering.
“The secret of America’s success lies in the vitality of the spiritual principles and values that motivated the American experiment and were poured into the structures of the new nation.”
“Sustainable solutions must address root causes and so must include the spiritual dimension of the human experience,” he said. “Simply put, political authority cannot mandate, nor can money buy, the virtues needed to resolve conflicts and build ethical societies. We need a new framework for peace rooted in our shared spiritual aspirations, principles and values. The role of the moral leader is to lay out the vision and set a course toward it, guided by universal principles and values.”
The Global Peace Foundation Founder and Chairman, Hyun Jin Moon, also emphasized the need of leaders to pursue novel and creative ways to advance the moral goal, and outlined some of the model projects of GPF, which engage diverse faith traditions, create networks and partnerships among businesses and government, and draw upon the expertise of scholars and civil society leaders.
He names three specific thematic initiatives that would be highlighted during the Convention proceedings: the America’s Summit and the launch of the Latin American Presidential Mission to advance human rights, good governance, and increased integration and cooperation between North and South; GPF’s initiative to build popular support for the unification of the Korean peninsula through the Korea United campaign, a coalition of 400 grassroots civic organizations involved in Track II diplomatic approaches to the North; and interfaith initiatives that draw upon transcendent values shared by the world’s faiths to advance concrete approaches to conflict resolution and human development.
“A shared spiritual vision for humanity is the compass needed for these challenging times,” he told the delegates. “Such a vision is found in the simple but profound idea that all human beings, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, faith, or class, are part of “One Family under God.”
Sessions on peace building and conflict resolution, anti-poverty and human development initiatives, leadership education, and programs to strengthen families and communities will be presented throughout the November 29- Dec. 2 Global Peace Convention.
Pre-Convention forums were hosted at the Carter Presidential Center, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, and Points of Light Institute, and an International Young Leaders Forum will be convened at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change on December 2.