300 World Leaders Call for Peace and Interfaith Respect on Eve of Washington Times' 25th Anniversary

May 17, 2007, 01:00 ET from Universal Peace Federation

    WASHINGTON, May 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 20 current and
 former heads of state and 50 international congressional and parliamentary
 leaders are among the more than 300 delegates of the International
 Leadership Conference gathered in Washington DC to discuss "American
 Leadership in a Time of Global Crisis." The conference, jointly hosted by
 the Universal Peace Federation and The Washington Times Foundation, are
 also among the guests of honor celebrating The Washington Times' 25th
 anniversary celebrations May 17, an event featuring the UPF Founder Rev.
 Dr. Sun Myung Moon, George H. Bush, 41st President of the United States,
 and more than 1400 other dignitaries.
     The conference was opened by H.E. Dr. Musa Bin Jaafar Bin Hassan,
 President of the 33rd Session of the UNESCO General Conference, who echoed
 the theme that the media has a strong role to play in making peace. "We
 have a duty to teach our children the traditions and the wisdoms of
 cultures other than our own," he said, "and The Washington Times has set a
 good example by its focus on faith and family." Hassan, a Muslim from Oman,
 modeled his own advice by ending his remarks with a quote not from the
 Qur'an but from the teachings of the Buddha.
     "We want to encourage The Washington Times to more strongly include
 Africa in its strategic international coverage," said Dr. Ernest Shonekan,
 former President of Nigeria. " The media has a powerful role to play in
 promoting good governance.
     The Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Jordan, H.E. Falak Suliman
 Jamani, spoke of her country's determination to play a leading role in the
 quest for peace in the Middle East. "We believe that it is urgent that
 moderate powers and figures, as well as civil society institutions should
 encourage Israel and the West to consolidate the peace campaign," she said.
 "At the same time we should focus on the anti-peace camp, which aims at
 undermining peace efforts." Through the Middle East Peace Initiative, the
 UPF has brought over 14,000 international peace delegates to 19 programs in
 Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
     Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch, spoke of the need for
 religious people to work together to overcome attempts to wipe out ethnic
 groups. "Genocide is a spiritual problem," he says, "because it denies the
 oneness of the human family." He called religious communities to promote
 dialogue and mutual trust, demand international intervention and protect
     Dr. Douglas M. Johnston, founder of the International Center for
 Religion and Diplomacy, spoke on diplomacy via religion. "The West has
 little ability to deal with differences in religion in a hostile setting,"
 he said. He attributed this to the exclusion of religion from the political
 calculus in the US and suggested faith-based diplomacy as the way to bridge
 this gap, capitalizing on the ability of religious leaders and institutions
 to build trust and transcend differences.
     Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, the president of The Washington Times Foundation,
 said that the challenge facing all humanity today is whether we will heed
 the voices of extremism that ask us to see each other as strangers, or make
     effort to know each other as intimate family members. "That is the
 measure of true friendship," he said "that we say someone is my brother, my
     Despite its problems, America is still the nation best equipped to
 bring change, he said. "This nation is in a way the first experiment in
 interfaith, the first nation dedicated to the principle of freedom of faith
 for people of all religions," he said, "but it must move on from the idea
 of one nation under God to one family under God."
     The founder of the Universal Peace Federation and The Washington Times,
 Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon will speak on the significance of the Pacific Rim
 Era and humanity's quest for peace at The Washington Times Anniversary
 celebrations at the National Building Museum this evening.
     For more information: Michael Balcomb, Communications Officer,
 Universal Peace Federation, mwb@peacefederation.org, (914) 373 9671
     Web site: http://www.upf.org

SOURCE Universal Peace Federation