Azerbaijan Ombudsman Calls for UPF to Help in Dispute with Armenia

Here’s an odd one (emphasis added):

Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova said that day was one of the saddest days in the history of Azerbaijan. Elmira Suleymanova said she had prepared a statement concerning the genocide and informed the world community of the document. The statement has been sent to UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, OSCE, Council of Europe, International and European Ombudsman Institutes, Asian Ombudsman Association, International Peace Bureau, Universal Peace Federation, Azerbaijan’s embassies in foreign countries, foreign embassies in our country and Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations. The document says that the slaughter in March 1918 is one of the most terrible examples of the genocide policy pursued by Armenians against Azerbaijanis.

Suleymanova’s complaint concerns the current on-going dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and she raised the issue at the the recent UPF world peace summit. Back in January, it was announced that Alex Shapiro-Suliman, president of the Congress of Azerbaijanis on the Middle East, had been made on the UPF’s Ambassadors for Peace.

From 2004: Ex-President of Uganda in Unificationist Wedding

This is old news and not directly about the UPF, but I only just stumbled on it and I wanted to keep a clipping, since it’s a strange tale. From My Uganda, 2004:

KAMPALA — It is billed the wedding of the year with former president Godfrey Binaisa, 84, wedding Tomoko Yamamoto, 56, yesterday at the Speke Resort
Munyonyo.

…President Museveni arrived minutes later. He thanked Binaisa for finding himself a good wife to get himself out of widower-hood, which is a trying situation.

Museveni welcomed Tomoko to Uganda. He said the only time Africans came close to Japanese was during the World War II when the British recruited two battalions of Africans to fight in Burma.

Very tactful, Museveni! A magazine called Pearl of Africa gave some extra context:

Mr Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, former president of Uganda wedded a Japanese lady who lives in America. The wedding was part of a mass wedding conducted by Korean rev. Moon. Binaisa is 83 years old. You may recall that Binaisa.s father a few years back re married when he was over 100 years old to a lady in her 60s. He died not long after!

It seems that there were two ceremonies; the mass wedding in Seoul, and then the civil ceremony in Kampala. However, the romance quickly soured; the New Vision reported in 2005:

The marriage between former President Godfrey Binaisa and Japanese wife Tomoko Yamamoto has broken up as a result of disagreements over land and religion.

…Sources said yesterday one of the reasons for the break-up was Binaisa’s refusal to accept Yamamoto’s pleas to donate 150 acres of his land on Mutundwe hill to Reverend Moon’s Korean-based Unification Church.

The Weekly Observer added:

Before their separation became public on June 27, Binaisa and Tomoko were together scheduled to visit the headquarters of the Unification Church in South Korea for a conference. The air tickets were paid for by the Church.

Binaisa and Tomoko reportedly separated over religious differences and property wrangles. However, Tomoko maintains Binaisa’s children (from the ex-president’s first marriage) who did not want the new woman to touch their father’s property fuelled the separation.

Meet Ambassador Ibn Chambas

From the Nigeria Tide:

Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the President of ECOWAS Commission, has been honoured with the title of Ambassador of Peace for his contributions to the restoration of peace in the sub-region.

A statement from the Commission Thursday in Abuja said that the honour was bestowed on Chambas by the Universal Peace Foundation [sic] an NGO affiliated to the UN.

The award was conferred by Olaleye Alao, the UPF man in Nigeria, and Ibn Chambas was praised by Dubem Onyia, a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and a fellow Ambassador for Peace.

Ibn Chambas is actually from across the border, in Ghana. According to Ghanaweb:

Dr Chambas first entered government in 1987 as Deputy Foreign Secretary of Ghana. He was a member of the Head of State’s summit delegations to a number of countries such as USA, China, UK, France, Malaysia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe etc. He himself led Ghana’s delegation to several countries and conferences including the UN General Assembly, ministerial meetings of the OAU and ECOWAS, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.

Dr Chambas was centrally involved in the ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia and directly participated in negotiations leading to the agreements ending the Liberian civil war. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which worked to facilitate a transition to constitutional democratic governance in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

One Family Under God

A slick video that promotes the Universal Peace Federation and Rev. Moon:

An unslick video that fails to promote Rev. Moon (via, of course, John Gorenfeld):

Pepsi and UPF Promote “One Family Under God” in Nepal

A couple of weeks ago I noted a UPI report which described how

two major business groups from Nepal — Pepsi Co. and the Chaudhary Group — have joined hands with two key nonprofit NGOs — Project Healing Touch of India and the Universal Peace Federation of Nepal — to offer a solution to a people in despair.

The project concerns micro-financing and business training; however, it is now clear (although unsurprising) that UPF theology will also be promoted. The Rising Nepal reports:

The project aims at enabling those in the most vulnerable sections of society to earn a respectable living, be self- supporting, make a contribution to society, and live in dignity inspired by three of the fundamental pillars in the UPF philosophy as-that sustainable peace can only be built on the principle of living for the sake of others, that irrespective of religion, language, cultural or ethnic background we are essentially “One Family Under God,” and UPF’s wholehearted support to fulfill the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

No mention is made of the “One Family Under God’s” “True Father” on earth: Rev Moon. It should be recalled that Nepal’s foreign minister, Sahana Pradhan, has praised Moon’s “universal philosophy that has the power and depth to unite people from all walks of life”.

More on Paraguay Conference

The UPF newsletter has more on the recent UPF conference in Paraguay, which received media and blog attention due to the involvement of Neil Bush:

This conference built on a similar conference held in Uruguay in January. Jose Maria Sanguinetti, the former Uruguayan president, addressed a special session held in the congress of Paraguay, underscoring the need for greater emphasis on education, interreligious dialogue and the family. These themes were echoed by many speakers. Dr. Miguel Abdon Saguier, president of the Senate, also addressed the session.

…Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, chairman of the International Leadership Conference, envisions a moral transformation in Paraguay that could yield a model for Latin America and promote increased friendship, cooperation, and trade throughout the hemisphere. He talked about his father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and his dream of building one family under God.

…“This is what Paraguay needed,” commented Engineer Oscar Ruben Salomón, Chairman of Paraguay’s House of Representatives. “I commit myself to support the Federation’s projects from my position and as a common citizen.”

UPF Promotes “Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities”

The UPI reports on “a forum of diplomats, intellectuals and peace activists organized by the Japanese Chapter of the Universal Peace Federation in Tokyo”. The keynote speaker was veteran diplomat Nagao Hyodo, who enthused that “the interfaith movement is an important paradigm in establishing a universally acceptable ethical code of conduct” and threw his weight behind a “Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities”:

The document was the brainchild of the “Old Boys’ Summit,” formally known as the InterAction Council, an annual forum of former heads of state and government that had been meeting since 1983. It was originally proposed by the late [Takeo] Fukuda.

…The preamble says the declaration “builds on the wisdom of religious leaders and sages down the ages who have warned that freedom without acceptance of responsibility can destroy the freedom itself, whereas when rights and responsibilities are balanced, then freedom is enhanced and a better world can be created.”

No particular religious leader or sage is mentioned by name, but doubtless the UPF has someone in mind…

The late Takeo Fukuda was Prime Minister of Japan in the 1970s, and was respected for his attempts at reconciliation with the rest of Asia and his rejection of Japanese militarism (in rather stark contrast to the Japanese rightists Ryoichi Sasakawa and Yoshio Kodama, who associated with the Unification Church in the 1960s).

The “Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities”, meanwhile, can be seen here.