UN focuses on sustainability
FOWPAL calling for global actions from world citizens
(By Jennifer Chou/New York)The UN General Assembly was in session on September 19. The recent nuclear missile tests in North Korea have worried the international community. The threat of nuclear wars has pushed our living environment closer to the edge of collapse. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges members of the international community to work together and regain confidence to create a better world for all humanity. Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) advocated in New York on September 20, “Sustainability is not a responsibility reserved for United Nations, strong powers or heads of state, but a shared and collective duty of all world citizens. Today, we are not fighting against one another. We are fighting for humanity, for a better and more beautiful world with joining forces from people with the same aspirations.”
During the UN General Assembly, FOWPAL held a summit titled “Call for Global Action ---- Awakening of Conscience for a Sustainable World. At the summit, Dr. Hong stated, “The world cannot wait any longer. At this critical moment, global solidarity and action is of immediate urgency. A lot of efforts have been made to solve existing problems. However, new problems keep emerging while old ones remain unresolved. In the fight for our own continued existence, we have found ourselves taking one step forward only to take two steps back.”
"The only solution lies at the source of the problem." He continued, “If we can all take a moment to calm our mind and re-visit the problems we are facing, with an open heart and sincerity, we will realize the solution to the seemingly chaotic phenomenon lies in our hearts. If we all can treat Mother Nature with respect and gratitude, we will appreciate our resources properly just like in the Eastern ancient saying: ‘If we entering the mountain to cut down the trees with an ax according to the season, then the wood will be inexhaustible.’ If we can all treat everyone with respect and compassion, conflicts arising from disagreements will be drastically reduced. The concept is equally applicable in inter-personal and international relations. If we uphold humility and contentment and deny greed as a guiding principle, development of science and technologies will not exceed human’s ability to keep it in check, and risks of unsolvable crises can be defused. At the core of the world's sustainability lies people’s ‘conscience.”’
Barbara Atherly, Consul General of Guyana, shared, “International peace is built upon the love among people.” She pointed out, “Your overarching purpose for sustainable development for the world is enshrined in ‘conscience’- that which distinguishes right from wrong, good from bad and true from false.” She thinks that is the right path to take. With conscience, we are able to differentiate good from bad, right from wrong, and true from false. And with conscience, a person’s benevolent actions will be inspired.
FOWPAL also held the ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love, inviting world leaders to ring the Bell and pray for world peace. Barbara Atherly wished: Striving for peace is the never-ending pursuit of humanity. She commented that the wish is echoing the remarks by H.E. President of Guyana at the 72nd UN General Assembly. Peace must come from solving the long-term disputes between nations. Peace and sustainability have always been the most important tasks of Guyana since declaring its independence in 1966.
Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN, H.E. Mr. Walton Alfonso Webson, attended FOWPAL’s forum on September 20, rang the Bell, and made a wish: “Peace for all.”
Srinivas Arka, founder of Centre For Conscious Awareness, said that love is a huge resource and we have to awaken the love in our hearts. It’s great to share the energy of peace and love so that everyone is becoming more positive. We all have the potential to change and to make a difference.
Dr. Emmanuel Goed Njayack from Development Goals Global Watch said that we have to start with loving our neighbors. Peace and love cannot be separated. Peace and justice cannot be separated either.
Andy Lu, an 18-year old medical school student, started doing volunteer work since the age of 5 with his mother at FOWPAL. They have been dedicated to peace and human rights education. Seeing natural and man-made disasters, he realized that the solution to the pressing problems we face is our conscience, as pointed out by Dr. Hong. He used to share with students in elementary schools the movement of An Era of Conscience and asked them to draw the kind of world that they look forward to. Most of them draw the Earth, smiles, and hearts. Andy realized that no matter how time changes, people have the same aspirations. As long as we have love and peace in our hearts, we will create a world filled with love and peace.
Sustainability is not just the agenda at a roundtable discussion. It’s a serious topic every world citizen has to face. Conscience is at the core of everything. Sustainability built upon a heart of kindness is real sustainability.