IYLA High Level Forum: Speakers from right: James Flynn, President Global Peace Foundation, Loida Lewis businesswoman, Mr Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Youth Special Envoy to Sec Gen., H.E. Dos Santo, Ambassador of PM of Paraguay to the UN, and H.E. Mr Desra Percaya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of PM of Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations.

In his address at the International Young Leaders Assembly at the United Nations, hosted by the Permanent Mission of Paraguay, Global Peace Foundation President, Mr. Jim Flynn told the young leaders, “Leadership in the 21st Century must begin as moral leadership.”

Moral principles and values are as important as diplomacy, governance, economic development and advances in technology are for human progress.

Conflict resolution, ethical societies and solutions to the world’s biggest economic and health problems have been motivated by compassion, respect for others, empathy, forgiveness, and integrity. These are not qualities that can be mandated by policy or bought by currency; they emerge from the heart and spirit of humanity. They are values that translate across religion, ethnicity, nationality and race.

Mr. Flynn pointed out, “Our greatest challenge is an ethical challenge.”

The previous day, IYLA participants visited the World Trade Center memorial. The hallow footprints are a somber reminder of humanity’s delicate state. And, they are a call to the great religious traditions and people of conscious for a common spiritual vision and a renewal of ethics upon which peace can be secured.

The time is ripe for a spiritual awakening spearheaded by moral leaders who transcend traditional barriers and own the vision of a world where every human being lives with dignity and peace.