Several prominent world leaders joined millions of participants from 150 countries for the live online broadcast of the 5th Rally of Hope, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), on Sunday, February 28.
“Let us join hands in making a new resolve to advance God’s providence today,” said Dr. Moon. “If the Korean Peninsula can be reunified and become one people, and if all of the Asia Pacific can be united into a heavenly civilization and connect the entire world, we can become a force for good that will expand to all of the continents and oceans of the world.”
UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon shared an inspiring message of hope in her Founder’s Address, as speakers focused on key global issues—like COVID-19, race relations, poverty, and inequality—under the theme “Building Partnerships for Peace based on Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values.”
The virtual event, featuring world-class entertainment and an international roster of keynote speakers, included heads of state, two Nobel Laureates, and a COVID-19 vaccine developer who all addressed the world’s most critical challenges and explored new opportunities for peacebuilding in all sectors of society.
Bishop Noel Jones of City of Refuge megachurch in Los Angeles quoted the Beatitudes in his opening prayer and peace message, saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” He noted that February 28 marked the birthdays of Dr. Moon and her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, as well as the 30th anniversary of their historic 1991 visit and talks with Kim Il Sung to “encourage the North Korean leader to bring peace” to the Korean Peninsula.
According to The Washington Times, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said ‘a unified Korean Peninsula would contribute greatly to a more stable, peaceful Pacific region and that goal is within reach.’
“We will stand firm against our common adversaries, even as we work in good faith to turn our adversaries into friends,” said Mr. Pence. “In doing that, I believe we can lay a foundation to bring about the peaceful unification of Korea within our lifetime … A Korea united by the universal values of human dignity, liberty, and economic freedom.”
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency working to end global hunger, knows from its work that, “where peace exists, fewer children go to bed hungry,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “We exist to serve our brothers and sisters in need. In other words, to love our neighbor wherever they may be.” WFP assisted some 114 million people in more than 80 countries last year, earning the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Health care, such as a vaccine for COVID-19, is also aimed at protecting people and saving lives, said Oxford Vaccine co-developer Dr. Sarah Gilbert, whose vaccinology work in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom has garnered world attention. “The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective, and it is approved for use in almost 60 countries,” she said. “This is a vaccine for the world … to protect each other and ourselves.”
Other world leaders outlined the necessities for global peace.
“Thirty-five years ago, the situation that confronted us in South Africa appeared to be hopeless,” said His Excellency F.W. de Klerk, former president of South Africa and 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner with the late South African President Nelson Mandela. The nation was isolated, filled with unrest, protests, lawlessness, and under siege by pro-communist forces before President Mandela was elected in 1994 under the adoption of a democratic constitution. Challenges continued, “but above all, we have learned the importance of never losing hope,” said Mr. de Klerk.
Guyana Prime Minister Mark Phillips said the future of peace lies in “world leaders, decision-makers, and even religious leaders joining to collectively plan and develop ways to respond to the requirements of peacebuilding … and building strong partnerships.”
Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca added that peace “is achieved through tolerance, solidarity, and respect for people’s differences.” He said entrepreneurship among youth is becoming “extremely important,” and that “values are also fundamental and … change must begin now.”
Nearly two million people worldwide registered for the 5th Rally of Hope, with viewership reaching 320 million people on more than 400 digital platforms. Dr. Moon called for citizens to cultivate a “sense of reverence” for our God-given blessings and fulfill our responsibilities by creating ideal families. “I encourage each of you to join me in marching forward victoriously,” she said.
The Rally of Hope series, launched in August 2020, is dedicated to building a unified world of peace. UPF, which was founded in 2005 by Rev. Moon and Dr. Moon, has chapters and programs worldwide and is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Original article: 5th Rally of Hope Unites World Leaders, Millions of Global Participants, accessed March 5, 2021.