Parliamentarians and Scientists Bridge Barriers
On February 4, 2017, two keynote events surrounding this week’s Holy Day celebrations took place in Korea, with the attendance of political, religious, and academic leaders from around the globe: the Inaugural World Assembly of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), and the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS).
Throughout their ministry, True Parents have gathered key movers and shakers from around the world to discuss the day’s most relevant issues and share best practices and solutions. In a climate of international turmoil and the current environmental crisis, the IAPP and ICUS were much-needed opportunities to exchange ideas and information in pursuit of building a peaceful and sustainable world.
ICUS presentations were led by academic and scientific leaders from around the world, and parliamentarians who had traveled to Korea for the IAPP conference attended ICUS as well.
Parliamentarians from around the world came together for the first global IAPP gathering to connect with one another and collaborate for peace on a global level.
The conference consisted of several panel discussions and presentations, exuding a sense of hope and appreciation. Hon Jose de Venecia, Jr., former member of the House of Representatives in the Philippines and Co-Chair of IAPP, gave an address about five future projects of focus for IAPP:
- Building peace between the leaders of Sunni and Shia Islam in order to create peace in the Middle East
- To host an international conference and campaign against narcotics
- To address international poverty and the growing gap between rich and poor
- To take steps toward preserving the environment
- The reunification of North and South Korea, not through aggression or force but through serving and bringing heavenly culture to the North.
Before a packed room and after an introduction by Sun Jin Moon, FFWPU International President, True Mother gave an address about humanity’s responsibility and the value of God and True Parents in restoring the world. She invoked the calling of God that all people feel in their hearts to serve and support one another.
“In our hearts we all want to have one world, one peaceful happy world, but there are so many walls that block our way. We have gathered here with a big vision. That means that you have the same dream as True Parents and the Creator, God.”
For a full translation of True Mother’s speech, click on the link below.
Following the conclusion of the World Assembly, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Director of FFWPU in North America shared his excitement about the morning’s events. “Our American delegation did a wonderful job in response to True Mother’s call to practice Tribal Messiahship and National Messiahship. This is a new commission from True Parents: to all congressional leaders and parliamentarians, let us take this commission from God to become National Messiahs. True Mother emphasized to everyone that all humankind must practice Tribal Messiahship.”
The first session of the 23rd ICUS, which had the theme “Earth’s Environmental Crisis and the Role of Science,” took place in the same venue in Seoul. The conference consisted of a panel discussion, and afterward, True Mother shared tea with all ICUS attendees.
During the first session, Professor J. Martin Ramirez of Harvard spoke on the topic, “The Limits of Science and the Benefit of Unified Values,” applying insights from his work as a psychobiologist to the history and practice of science. He expressed that, just as unity is central to proper biological functioning, it is central to the good practice and use of all the branches of science. He also bridged the practices of science and faith, stating that, “The whole of existence is beyond the reach of science. We will always find some things unintelligible. Faith is a natural part of human cognition. Science per se is not good or bad. It can be a catalyst for social change, economic growth, saving countless lives, but it can also be dangerous and used for harmful purposes. Scientists have to think about the ethical considerations of their work.”
Second speaker, Professor Luc Montagnier, a 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine, gave a lecture titled, “Science Unification to Meet Social and Environmental Challenges.” He spoke about health challenges of the modern world and honed in specifically on the electromagnetic effects of bacterial DNA on human DNA. At the end of his presentation, Prof. Montagnier emphasized multiple times that health should take precedence over economy, stating “The evolution of medicine should be based on these four principles: prevention, prediction, personalization, and participation.”
The final speaker, Dr. Glen Rein, made a case about the interconnectedness of water, land, soil, food, human beings, and how the contamination of one contaminates all the others. He concluded by sharing about various initiatives to support the environment, make scientific breakthroughs, and combat pollution of every kind.
Before the attendees of IAPP and ICUS separated at the close of the first ICUS session, Dr. Frank Kaufmann, newly appointed director for ICUS in America, shared his insights about the significance of the moment:
“This afternoon, we bridged the barrier of discourses: a political community taking a close look at the scientific research and presentations of these really towering figures of our time. A lot of [the parliamentarians] will need these innovations in [their] countries.”
“Dr. Kaufmann’s perspective felt really spot on to me,” shared Miyoung Eaton of the FFWPU USA National Ministry Team. “Why hold the IAPP world assembly and the ICUS revival on the same day, in the same place? To create a bridge, to create opportunities for interaction between science and politics, to honor the need for all true knowledge to be united in the service of humankind.”