FOWPAL Gathering 2022
Conscience is the key to global solidarity, peace, and sustainability
Since its inception, the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) has organized various activities during the United Nations General Assembly almost each September to promote love and peace. However, it was unable to host any in-person meetings with its like-minded friends in New York in September 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With COVID-19 cases ebbing in the United States, FOWPAL organized a meeting on September 20, 2022, where NGO leaders and peace activists from 10 to over 90 years old exchanged ideas and action plans for the promotion of love and peace.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL, delivered welcome remarks, emphasizing, “The ‘invisible thread of goodness and kindness’ connects us from all corners of the world. Our gathering here creates an opportunity and infinite possibilities to transform the world. We are all working hard in various fields in the world, and we hope that through today’s gathering, we will consolidate more positive energy and take more concrete actions, allowing conscience to become the most important driving force for the sustainable development of the Earth and bring happiness and peace to more people through the influence and widespread sharing of each individual.”
John German, main international representative to the United Nations, Centre for International Peacebuilding, emphasized the importance of real action. He stated that people paid attention to him when he started his work at the UN decades ago because he was a doer and made things happen. He noted that “Too few people in the world show any sign of awareness that their lives and their prosperity depend on peace. And even fewer people show any sign of awareness of the work of those who strive for peace.”
Beth Lamont, former president of the American Humanist Association, is over 90 years old and has been working for peace for decades. She urged everyone to do whatever they can to build peace because "we must have peace.” She is an old friend of FOWPAL, and she expressed her joy in attending the reunion and seeing many young FOWPAL volunteers.
With the ongoing pandemic, war, and extreme weather patterns, the world is in turmoil and needs more peaceful energy. Young FOWPAL volunteers presented a song titled "A Prayer for Peace" to encourage everyone to light up their hearts, heal their pain with love, rebuild their homes with confidence and courage, and convey their blessings to the world. Many audience members were deeply touched by their singing!
10-year-old Licypriya Kangujam, a child environmental activist from India, was very moved by the song. She reminded everyone, “Now it is the time to wake up! This is the time to open our eyes. This is the time to send your children and grandchildren to fight for their own survival and for their own future. The best gift parents can give to their children is not a beautiful house or expensive cars or a lot of money. The best gift parents can give to their children is a beautiful green planet.” She urged people to start making changes from themselves and then reach out to their families, communities, countries, and the entire planet to make the world a better place.
To remind global citizens of the importance of conscience in ensuring a peaceful and sustainable future, FOWPAL has made the Compass Clock of Conscience and other gifts with profound significance. During the gathering, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze presented special gifts to Jude Elie, a presidential candidate for Haiti, and Sherrill Kazan, president of the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations. Each of them received a Compass Clock of Conscience, The History of International Day of Conscience, and others. The clock serves as a symbol of time, direction, and goal, guiding people toward the right path of life and reminding them to seize every moment to apply conscience and do good deeds. The History of International Day of Conscience documents major events leading to the United Nations’ designation of April 5 as the International Day of Conscience.
In recognition of Dr. Hong’s global promotion of love and peace, Dr. Piyaratna Maharjan, president of International Youth Society, presented a statue of Buddha to Dr. Hong while Sherrill Kazan, president of World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, presented a book titled Centerpoint Now to Dr. Hong.
Other honored guests also shared their thoughts and actions about the promotion of love and peace, including Dr. Khin Mar Cho, a professor at Cornell University; Dr. Stephen Eric Bronner, co-director, International Council for Diplomacy and Dialogue; Dr. Ven. Sobhita, president and founder of International Buddhist Education Centre; Lyzianah Emakoua, gender specialist of Hallmark International Youth Club; Omer Salem, president of IGFP; Naaz Farhana, president of Dhaka Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr. Nehaal Mayur, International Development Specialist; Dr. Delois Blakely, Harlem’s Queen Mother; Rev. Guru H.H. Dr. Dileepkumar Thankappan, global chairman of World Yoga Community; Robert Slaughter from World Development Foundation; Teresa Studzinski; Yassein Najjar, owner of Al Madar Newspaper; Munni Irone, a TV host, celebrity coach, women's activist, and philanthropist; Mame Toucouleur MBaye, president of Association of Honorary Consuls of Senegal in the US; Vindra O.; Javid Pymamee, global peace leader; and others.
As each good intention injects a force of positivity into the Earth, everyone is encouraged to sign the Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience and the Declaration of International Day of Conscience as well as the Declarations for Human Rights of World Citizens and Peace, taking real action to promote love and peace. To date, people in 200 countries have endorsed these declarations. FOWPAL hopes that love and peace will prevail in the world and that all people enjoy safety, peace, and good health.