The first week of February is World Interfaith Harmony Week, established by UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/5. In his statement this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon wrote, “For billions of people around the world, faith is an essential foundation of life. It provides strength in times of difficulty and an important sense of community. ”
Through his work, Dr. Moon has placed utmost importance on inter-religious cooperation. According to Dr. Moon, spiritual principles and values form the core of moral leadership. And spiritual leaders who carry moral authority hold the key to bringing people from all walks of life to the table to work for a common vision.
WATCH an EXCERPT:
At the Global Peace Convention 2013, held in December in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dr. Moon proposed a faith-based council at the UN as a way to bring a “fresh” approach to the threat of religious extremism and identity-based conflict.
Below is the transcript:
“The new and very different geopolitical dynamic of today calls for fresh thinking and new initiatives.
With that in mind, I propose the establishment of a faith-based Peace Council at the United Nations to meet the global challenge of identity-based conflict. Through such a council the collective wisdom and resources of the world’s great faith traditions can be mobilized to counter the radical elements that are distorting the original spirit of those traditions.We need to recognize the power of religious authority in amplifying the message of peace to local constituents in the most troubled hot spots of the world.
They represent a largely untapped resource for peace, yet, because they are deeply rooted in their communities, are far more effective peace builders than the UN’s ‘blue helmets’ who can only contain the level of violence.
When local faith leaders become true ‘owners’ of the vision of peace, they will inspire their constituents to act in ways to build real lasting peace.
We can be sure that the extremists are not sleeping.
Let us determine that it is not they who will determine the future, but it is us.”