International Association of Academicians for Peace (I.A.A.P. ) Inauguration Report
Overview Report on the World Peace Academic Conference and Inauguration of IAAP The World Peace Academic Conference, which also served as the inaugural conference of the International Association of Academicians for Peace, took place on February 4-5, 2020 at the Kintex Exhibition Center outside of Seoul, Korea, as part of World Summit 2020. Among the many significant events that were part of World Summit 2020, the World Peace Academic Conference was specifically designed to honor and develop the academic legacy of the UPF Founders, Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, during the past nearly 50 years. Beginning in the early 1970s, the founders have invested vast financial and human resources in laying the foundations for a new, God-centered academic culture. The World Peace Academic Conference was organized by Dr. Sung Bae Jin, Chairman of the Hyo Jeong Academic Foundation, along with an international conference team. It was divided into four concurrent sections, representing natural sciences, social sciences, religion and culture, and university education. The World Peace Academic Conference was a fitting inaugural conference for the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) under the auspices of UPF, because the sections of the conference addressed the UPF core themes of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. Interdependence was explored in Section 1, with reference to the domain of natural sciences and to an expanded understanding of the environment, both natural and spiritual. Mutual prosperity was the underlying theme of Section 2 in the domain of social sciences, with its academic critiques of the materialist paradigm of the communist movement and demonstrations of the fundamental political importance of religious freedom. Section 3, on religion and culture, explored universal values through interreligious work. Each of the three sections on academic fields began with an orientation to the founders’ purpose for that area of academic endeavor, presented by a seasoned Unificationist scholar. Opening Ceremony The World Peace Academic Conference began with an opening plenary featuring a graceful keynote address by Dr. Sun Jin Moon, daughter of Rev. Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. She reminded all participants of the responsibility of scholars to contribute to the renewal of the natural and cultural environment. The next speaker, SunHak Peace Prize laureate Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, continued the theme of the social responsibility of scholars for the alleviation of human suffering. Then, former Ambassador Marc Vogelaar placed our gathering in the context of the continuing tension on the Korean peninsula, and proposed concrete steps that could contribute to peace-building between South and North Korea. Lastly, Dr. Heon-Young Kim emphasized the importance of universities in research and education, in Korea and internationally. Section I, “A Vision for the Unity of Sciences” Organized by Mr. Greg Breland, Section I began with a panel on the founders’ visionary projects related to science. Dr. Andrew Wilson pointed out that in Rev. Moon’s first written manuscript of the Divine Principle in the 1950’s, he dedicated over 100 of the total of 800 pages to science. One principle he explained was that every entity is in relation with another entity, whether that be protons and electrons, stamen and pistil or male and female and even God and humans. This is the philosophy behind the ICUS Conferences, seeking to show the connection between science and religion. Dr. Yoshimitsu Nishikawa then explained the vision behind the Peace Highway and the Japan-Korea undersea tunnel. This “connectography” is a core image of overcoming barriers among peoples and between religion and science through practical projects of science and technology. In the second session, Dr. William Keepin showed through fractals in nature that there is indication of intelligent design. His presentation discussed uniting natural and esoteric sciences, drawing deeply on the mystical traditions of Hinduism, Islam and others. Dr. Gennady Shipov’s presentation on physical vacuum, also came to the point of accounting for psychophysical phenomena, such as the energy of group meditation. In the third session, Dr. Martin Ramirez argued that human violence is not biologically determined, and thus we are capable of achieving lasting peace. Prof. Yoshiyuki Amemiya aptly summarized the concerns of Section I by observing that “Every existence in nature is organically connected, being neither independent nor dependent, but interdependent. The same is true of every existence in the ideals of human civilization.” Other speakers, such as Dr. Nlandu Ngatu and Dr. Se-Wohn Lee, touched on more traditional topics related to “Science and Values,” warning us about the dangers of air pollution and water pollution, respectively. One fact from Dr. Lee’s presentation that surprised many was the lasting effects of Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. There are still areas in Vietnam that have not recovered; the pictures were heart-breaking. When ICUS started in the 1970’s, there was not much emphasis on interdisciplinary work or the effect science has on society’s values. Today it is hard to apply for a grant without addressing these issues. One can infer that Rev. Moon’s concern about this topic was cutting edge and will have even greater impact in the future. Section II, “A Vision for Peace” In the first panel, Dr. Thomas Ward, the organizer of Section II, focused on the role played by Reverend Moon both in challenging the ideological foundations of Marxism and in fostering positive ties with former Soviet republics and Pyongyang following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Investigative reporter Bill Gertz documented the role of The Washington Times in the continuing the critique of left wing ideologies. He pointed out that Soviet publications such as Pravda repeatedly attacked him and The Washington Times, confirming the effectiveness of the Times’ work. Dr. Walter Fasslabend shared his personal life experience of the tragedy of the Iron Curtain separating Eastern and Western Europe. He also proposed ways that Northeast Asia might benefit from the European experience. In the second panel, Dr. Emmanuel Dupuy provided a regional perspective on the changing dynamic of strategic relations amongst Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He noted that Europe was facing a dramatic population deficit across the continent, while populations could rise dramatically in the Middle East and in Africa in the coming decades, a situation that poses challenges but has every potential to be a positive one if handled correctly. Prof. Choi Choonheum in his comments expressed interest in the dynamic of international and political relations affected by the expanding role of China on the international scene. In the third panel, Dr. Rima Salah addressed the impact of violence on families and communities. She noted that in peace and conflict studies, more attention is needed on the role of child development and the family in building a disposition for fostering peace. Mrs. Hennicot-Schoepges also called for a comprehensive approach to peace that recognizes the central role of the affective dimension. Commentator Dr. Walter Feichtinger spoke on the need for more appreciation for the role that women can play in conflict transformation and the need for inclusion of a community perspective in advancing peace. In the closing section, Prof. Joseph Dunne pointed out the benefits of the adversary justice system in protecting human rights and enhancing human security. Prof. William Lay compared past U.S. government practice of non-interference in economic affairs with present non-interference in changing in moral views. Prof. Cole Durham documented the pivotal role of religious liberty in serving as the foundation for all other forms of freedom. Section III--The God Conference and God as the Parent of Humankind In the first sessions, Dr. Frank Kaufmann, the organizer of Section III, posited that the interfaith work of Dr. and Mrs Moon is not epiphenomenal to their religious work and vision, but rather ineluctably extends Divine Principle teaching, its ontology and soteriology. DP teachings affirm oneness of the world’ religions everywhere, especially in the doctrines of restoration and returning resurrection. Dr. Charles Selengut shared the differing approaches of two rabbis seminal to modern Jewish thought and practice, Rabbi Shammai who focused on the laws and their application in great detail, and Rabbi Hillel who focused on love and mercy. The two were able to harmonize despite their differences, enriching Judaism as a result. Dr. Selengut found the same level of love and harmony in the massive history of Unification interfaith efforts. Dr. Jason Wasden shared the perceptions and precepts of his faith tradition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, very broadly, including its understanding that God is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. We know the name of Heavenly Father, Elohim, but do not know the name of Heavenly Mother. Dr. Drissa Kone as commentator raised the question of how to foster religious dialogue between religions that have different starting points, and fundamental disagreements about the purpose of religion and human salvation. The presenters joined together as a panel to entertain questions from an engaged audience, ranging from the method of engendering dialogue between sworn enemies, to the importance of face to face encounter with the Living God. In sessions 3 and 4, Professors Cheryl Lau, Joseph D. Terwilliger, and Hanoch Ben Pazi presented, followed by a panel for Q&A moderated by Frank Kaufmann. Dr. Lau spoke on Unification teachings pertaining to the providential rise of Pacific Rim Culture. Dr. Terwilliger spoke on Korean racial genetics and dynamics impacting the pursuit of Korean unification. And Dr. Ben Pazi spoke on the impact of modern tech on ethical society, and spiritual growth development. Section IV, World University Presidents’ Congress Organized by President Sun Jo Hwang of Sun Moon University, the World University Presidents’ Congress addressed two large questions, “What Will the University Do for World Peace?” and “How Should University Education Change in the Next 100 Years?” After congratulatory remarks by Dr. Heon-Young Kim, Chairman of the Korean Council for University Education, the theme of universities and world peace was explored in a roundtable of Prof. Aaron Benavot, Pres. Woo-Seung Kim, and Dr. Jae-Shin Park, with Rector Victor Andrushchenko, Minister Besa Shahini, and Vice Chancellor Suresh Raj Sharma as discussants. There was general agreement on the importance of promoting interest in peace education. After a keynote speech by Hon. Doh-Yeon Kim, Former Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Korea, the second roundtable on how university education should change consisted of Innovation Cases presented by Director Youngbin Cho of Dassault Systèmes Korea, Director Kenn Ross of Asia Minerva Schools, Advisor Minu Ipe from Arizona State University and Prof. Ki-Yong Yoon of Sun Moon University. Overall, it was agreed that universities all have a role to play in the development of a new academic culture responding to the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Closing Plenary and IAAP Resolution After summary reflections representing each of the several sections, special remarks were given by Dr. Sung-Bae Jin as an orientation for future academic projects. Then, the shared resolution to form the IAAP as a new network of scholars committed to peace-building, under the auspices of the Universal Peace Federation, was read by Dr. Thomas Selover. Dr. Thomas Walsh of UPF offered congratulatory remarks, and the signing of the Resolution for IAAP was led by Nobel laureate in chemistry, Dr. Mario J. Molina, thus concluding the World Peace Academic Conference.