NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A U.N. interfaith council could be set up relatively easily, Jose De Venecia, ex-speaker of the Philippines Legislature, told a peace conference in New York.
"The name of the Trusteeship Council could be changed to the Interfaith Council of the U.N.," he said Saturday. He explained that this would require neither a change in the U.N. Charter nor new appropriations. The Trusteeship Council no longer has an active function.
He spoke to international participants from more than 130 countries at the Universal Peace Federation's World Summit on Peace 2009.
"Renewal and reform of the U.N., including a religious council, is timely at this critical moment," said Dr. Alwi Shihab, Indonesia's special envoy to the Middle East. "The U.N. Security Council has demonstrated its failure to stop the violence" in Gaza, he added.
Hyun-jin Moon, co-chairman of the federation, said the organization had two challenges for the United Nations: first to establish the interfaith council, and second "to recognize God as the origin of human rights" in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The conference was held to mark the 90th birthday of Moon's father, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who has long proposed adding a religious council to the United Nations.
Hyun-jin Moon is chairman of News World Communications, which owns United Press International.