16th Anniversary of Federation of World Peace and Love Day
BERKELEY, AUGUST 5, 2021 – Seventeen members of the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) gathered in front of Berkeley City Hall and visited UC Berkeley to sing the song "Love of the World," spread love and peace, and commemorate the 16th anniversary of the proclamation of the Federation of World Peace and Love Day. They also shared their best wishes for the world, hoping that global citizens will stay safe and healthy, that people's conscience will be awakened, and that with conscience and collective efforts, the world will move toward a brighter future.
August 5, 2005 was proclaimed the Federation of World Peace and Love Day in the City of Berkeley in recognition of FOWPAL's contributions to the world. FOWPAL is an international peace organization established by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze in the United States in 2000, with members from around the world. Since its inception, it has visited 101 nations, fostering the ideas of love, peace, and conscience by conducting ceremonies of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love, cultural exchanges, and World Summits of Love and Peace. Since the Bell was first rung by the then President of Singapore S.R. Nathan in 2000, three hundred ninety-nine visionary leaders from 122 nations, including heads of state and government, UN ambassadors, and seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, have rung the Bell and made wishes for peace.
Sixteen years ago, Kriss Worthington, Councilmember of the City of Berkeley, on behalf of Mayor Tom Bates, rang the Bell and wished for "an end to racism, sexism, ageism, anti-semitism and all forms of prejudice. And a new beginning for love and peace." On behalf of the mayor, he presented Dr. Hong with a proclamation, by which Mayor Bates designated August 5, 2005 as Federation of World Peace and Love Day in the City of Berkeley.
The establishment of FOWPAL is related to a series of cultural exchange trips of love and peace under the leadership of Dr. Hong in the summer of 1999. On August 1 of that year, he delivered a speech entitled "A World of One Heart, A Well-spring of Happiness" in San Francisco, emphasizing, "We have chosen the United States as our first stop. We also hope that those of different beliefs, and races, both rich and poor, will share with us our happiness. We have walked the path of life. The future journey requires that everyone work hand in hand, and be courageously responsible to themselves so that he can create a meaningful life. We are looking forward to returning to a harmonious world in which there is no suffering, no fear, no war and no pain."
Amy Chen, a FOWPAL member from San Francisco, recalled, "On August 5, 2005, Dr. Hong delivered a speech at UC Berkeley titled 'Exploring the Potential of Humankind – The Philosophy of Life.' I was very impressed with his remarks as he emphasized the importance of conscience, inspired us to think about the meaning and value of our lives, and encouraged us to look inwards and refrain from getting angry, thinking negative thoughts, or being pretentious or belligerent. He talked about the profound wisdom and philosophy of yin and yang and urged us to restore our true selves."
FOWPAL firmly believes that conscience is the wellspring of love and peace. In 2014, Dr. Hong initiated the movement of An Era of Conscience (ANEOC) and advocated that everyone is a leader of conscience and has the key to activate the energy of peace. The objective of the movement is to encourage all people to follow their conscience, speak kind words, do good deeds, and exert positive influences on others. Dr. Hong stressed, "With conscience comes a peaceful world; with happiness comes a joyful family."
Starting from April 5, 2018, FOWPAL held several meetings at the United Nations in New York and in Vienna with the UN ambassadors of Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, and Kiribati as well as ambassadors and representatives of other permanent missions to the UN to work on a draft resolution titled "Promoting the Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience." On July 25, 2019, the United Nations adopted a draft resolution submitted by the Kingdom of Bahrain, entitled "Promoting the Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience," declaring April 5th the International Day of Conscience. Since then, FOWPAL has been engaged in various events each month to promote the significance of the day and to awaken people's conscience.
Since April 5, 2020, because of the pandemic, FOWPAL has started to host online events in support of various United Nations days to promote the importance of conscience each month. To date, it has hosted 32 virtual forums. As the pandemic is still raging around the world, FOWPAL expressed its best wishes for the world by sharing a ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love and Dr. Hong's prayer for the world, which has been translated into over 70 languages and shared widely: "We pray that the pandemic will end soon and that beautiful days and hope will return. We pray that there will be no more disasters or man-made calamities and that all beings in the world will be safe and no longer fearful. We pray that people's conscience will be awakened and that the world will be transformed with our kind hearts and good deeds."
In these trying times, it is important for people to express their kind thoughts and good energy to help stabilize the world. The FOWPAL members sang a song titled "Love of the World" to convey their best wishes to the City of Berkeley and the world while sharing cards containing the lyrics with other visitors. Allen Lu, a member of FOWPAL from Cupertino, said, "We hope the pandemic will end soon. We will continue to encourage others to work together to awaken the conscience in more people and to realize a sustainable world of love and peace!" He also encouraged global citizens to endorse the Declaration of International Day of Conscience, which has been endorsed by people in 195 nations. With that, he urged people to follow their conscience and do good deeds together.