NEW YORK, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The elimination of all international boundaries was the objective the Rev. Sun Myung Moon sought Friday as he dispatched delegates from 160 countries to their homes from the Inaugural Assembly of the Interreligious International Peace Council.
Nearly 300 delegates from 160 countries, including about a dozen former heads of state attended the council's inauguration.
"On every level, boundaries cause division and conflict," he told the delegates and others in a speech. "If we can eliminate all the boundaries in this world, a world of peace would inevitably come about."
Moon, founder of the Unification Church and News World Communications Inc., which owns United Press International, delivered his at-times sermon-like address before some 1,200 people in a ballroom of the Manhattan Center, adjacent to the New Yorker hotel.
But before going home, many of the delegates first had to stop in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza across from U.N. world headquarters for a peace rally. Several thousand Unification Church members, many sporting yellow baseball caps, joined the event on a chilly autumn afternoon before a stage topped with a jumbo screen carrying video pictures of the speakers, most of whom had attended assembly sessions across Manhattan at the New Yorker Hotel. Moon did not attend the rally.
The peace panel's objective is to become an official organ of the United Nations. But short of that at least recognition as a non-governmental organization, said Secretary-General Thomas Walsh of the parent Interreligious International Foundation for World Peace, founded by Moon and his wife in 1999. The IIFWP already is a U.N. recognized NGO.
Walsh was quick to recognize in an interview with United Press International Thursday the problems faced in the ponderous bureaucracy of the heavily politicized United Nations. It was that very politicization, he explained, that Moon was prompted to add a religious dimension to the world organization.
"Over the past 50 plus years (mankind) has placed its trust in the United Nations as the only institution" that could address such issues as local and international wars, he said, reading in Korean from a text as he stood behind a flower-highlighted, altar-like dais on the ballroom's stage. "However, the world we live in today has reached a point where the United Nations, as it currently exists, cannot successfully address this enormous challenge.
"Likewise, although the United States has emerged as the world's superpower, it does not have the capacity to deal with the crises that we confront today," Moon continued. "We must conclude that political, economic and military power by themselves cannot meet the critical challenges of the day."
He denounced boundaries, whether international or within families, as devil-created.
"Wherever, a boundary exists there is always the devil and his cohorts," said the octogenarian, who repeatedly returned to the theme of the family as the primary unit of society and the love within for each other as the ultimate force for peace in the world.
"A true person sacrifices everything for the sake of his or her partner and makes it possible for the partner to dance and live within true love," the cleric said. "If you live for the sake of those around you and give them true love to a greater extent than you would your own children or parents, Satan will automatically withdraw."
Moon frequently detoured from the text, speaking extemporaneously, sometimes in bursts of English, to both audience and dignitaries as his remarks were simultaneously translated by a squad of interpreters in the balcony and relayed to radio-equipped earpieces.
Seated slightly behind and to either side of Moon, whose wife was at his right, were several international dignitaries and officials from his church and representatives of the world's main religions.
"All environments, though, are cut off by various kinds of boundaries, so it is by eliminating these boundaries that we can go about creating a world that God will find pleasing," he said. "When that happens, all creation will want to receive God's direct dominion. They will want to get rid of the devil, which has brought persecution, agony and the weight of countless boundaries."
Late in Moon's remarks he apologized for the length of his remarks, but let the audience know he was letting them off easy by telling them he once spoke for more than 16 hours, during the course of which "several members of the congregation were squirming with their legs crossed."
"Your mission now is to engrave into your memory the meaning of my declaration today regarding 'The New Elimination of Boundaries and World Peace,' Return to your communities and be the first to practice true love in your family, society, nation and world for purpose of building the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven," he concluded. "I believe that you will devote your full efforts to the IIPC -- this is my direction, my order -- which we have formed together here today as a body on the level of a new United Nations."