UPF in the UK

From a press release:

A recently-appointed “Ambassador for Peace” from the UK is to make an official visit to Pakistan this week. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Abdul Rashid, will be visiting the troubled Asian Republic at a time of heightened political tensions. The official tour will include visits to the Punjab and Azad Kashmir provinces, where the Lord Mayor will meet high-ranking dignitaries and speak at events promoting greater understanding of British culture and commerce.

…The Lord Mayor was recently appointed as an “Ambassador for Peace” by The Universal Peace Federation – a UN-associated humanitarian organisation.

Of course, the UPF may be “UN-associated”, but it is better-known as being Moon-associated: “Ambassadors for Peace” receive a certificate signed by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and the UPF exists promote Moon’s “One Family Under God” slogan.

Meanwhile, a UPF-sponsored event is due to take place in the House of Commons on 2 April, entitled “New Vision Amid the Economic Crisis“:

…We will hear from popular campaigns such as the Jubilee Debt Campaign that will remind the G20 nations of their previous commitments as well as discussing the principled changes the G20 should embrace in order to bring about the more equitable, stable and developed world that is closer to ‘one family under God’.

Speakers listed are: Nick Dearden (President: Jubilee Debt Campaign), Ruth Tanner (Campaign and Policy Officer: War on Want), Helen Tailor Thompson (Thare Machi Education), Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal (Former Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem), Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi (Secretary General: All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques), Moeen Yaseen (Executive Director: Global Vision 2000), Anil Bhanot (General Secretary: Hindu Council UK), and Dr. Thomas Walsh (International Secretary General: Universal Peace Federation).

I blogged on the London UPF “Global Peace Festival” – which included involvement from British politicians – here.

(Hat tip to a reader for some details)

UPF Organises “Donation Drive” in Malaysia

The New Straits Times reports on a fundraising campaign for the children of Gaza in Malaysia:

Organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) of Malaysia and MRCS [Malaysian Red Crescent Society], Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, yesterday launched the donation drive which started on Feb 25 and would end on May 12.

Also present were UPF Asia co-chairman Dr Lek Thav-eetermsakul; Malaysia UPF president Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail; and MRCS national chairman Tunku Tan Sri Shahriman Tunku Sulaiman.

MRCS distributed 10,000 donation boxes to schools while the National Unity and Integration Department distributed 5,000 donation boxes to kindergartens.

Back in October, Deputy PM Razak was “Guest of Honor” at a UPF “Global Peace Festival” leadership conference.

Rev. Moon Obamaballs

kim-obama

From the website True Parents:

While in Korea after the US presidential election, [Unification Church Bishop] Ki Hoon Kim felt strongly that America and Barack Obama immediately needed True Parents’ blessing. Thus, when he met with True Parents [i.e. Rev and Mrs Moon] in November 2008, he received True Father’s signature on a picture of Barack Obama at the 2003 True Family Values Awards’ Banquet.

(Thanks to a reader)

Israelis and Palestinians for Moon

From HometownAnnapolis:

Raymond J. Mas of Odenton, along with 13 other Americans, returned home Christmas Eve after a six-day tour – a bridge-building mission to the Holy Land…The trip was organized by the Middle East Peace Initiative…

Participants in the initiative’s peace-building conferences have included civic leaders of Israeli cities such as Yona Yahav, who is mayor of Haifa; Dr. Eliezer Glaubach, former Jerusalem city councilman; Sheik Aziz Bukhari, a Muslim leader in Jerusalem; Naila Kharroub, principal of Dar Al-Kalima High School in Bethlehem; and Abouna Hatoum, a Melkite Catholic priest from Nazareth.

“When the high-level Ambassadors for Peace continue to come from all faiths and all nations, it gives us strength to overcome all barriers. We feel the world is supporting our efforts to end violence and promote dialogue and understanding,” said Mr. Bukhari, whose family has lived in Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa for 300 years.

The Rev. Hatoum said, “Ambassadors for Peace do not ‘talk’ about peace, we do the work of peace; we ‘do’ the peace.”…

President Ma Addresses UPF Conference in Taipei

Conference held at same place and time as WACL event

The Taiwan News reports from this weekend’s International Leadership Conference held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, where Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou addressed “more than 100 religious, political and academic representatives from 16 Asian countries and 300 local delegates” on the need for closer relations with China:

The 2009 International Leadership Conference is jointly sponsored by several nongovernmental organizations, including the Women’s Federation for World Peace, Taiwan, R.O.C., and the Universal Peace Federation, with an aim to provide a platform for countries to exchange views and discuss solutions to major issues.

The “Women’s Federation for World Peace” and the UPF are of course actually the same thing – fronts that exist to promote the religious message of Rev Sun Myung Moon.

Apparently there was some dissent at the meeting, as the Taipei Times reports:

Reverend William Luo, a pro-independence advocate who attended the conference, shouted: “No Justice” at Ma during his speech. Ma ignored the remarks and continued his speech.

Lou helps to run the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, which lobbies for Taiwan to drop its official “Republic of China” name and declare complete indepedence from mainland China; other Taiwanese Presbyterians are also active in this cause.

By happy coincidence (or maybe something more?), the conference was held at the same location and at the same time as the 2009 convention of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), where President Ma also spoke. The WLFD carries a certain amount of baggage, and it was previously known as the World Anti-Communist League. WACL was founded in 1966 to bolster support for anti-Communist military rule in Taiwan and South Korea, and it soon attracted all kinds of far-right regimes and chancers looking for respectability on “anti-Communist” grounds. Rev Moon was associated with WACL for a while, and although he broke public links in 1975 (perhaps after failing to take it over), the Japan branch of the Unifcation Church remained a member and several Moon-linked persons were at the 1984 WACL conference in San Diego. The 1980s also saw WACL work with Moon’s CAUSA International in Central America on issues such as assisting the Contras (1).

***

(1) Details in last paragraph taken from Scott Anderson and John Lee Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League (1986).

Meet Ambassador Diasen

From the Philippines Information Agency:

Tabuk City, Kalinga (10 January) — Governor Floydelia Diasen.. was conferred last December 2008 during the 4-day global peace festival in Manila the title of peace ambassador by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an NGO with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that is working efforts to implement the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

An advocate of peace, Diasen’s PEACE agenda is parallel to the objectives of UPF that looks for ways in which the world can actually become a “global family” by bringing people together across the dividing lines of faith, ethnicity and national background. Best local peacekeeping practices and laudable achievements earned her the prestigious award.

“PEACE” here apparently stands for “peace promotion, educational growth, agriculture enhancement, culture and tourism development, environment and health.

New Malaysian Ambassadors for Peace

From Bernama.com:

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Kamaruzaman Ampon is among the Ambassadors for Peace appointed by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) here, Saturday…Other individuals appointed are Sepanggar Member of Parliament Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun, Tawau MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, Kota Kinabalu MP Dr Hiew King Cheu, Silam MP Salleh Kalbi and Sabah MCA vice chairperson Datuk Agnes Shim Tshin Nyuk.