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IAAP Inauguration

International Association of Academics for Peace Inaugurated at World Peace Summit 2020

The IAAP has been newly launched in the broader global context of the World Peace Summit early this February at the auspicious KINTEX Convention Center with a full-house capacity numbering in the thousands.
The World Peace Summit 2020 was an overarching convention-cum-festival convened in several major hotels, convention centers and the largest indoor stadium in Korea, and drew high-profile esteemed participants from around the world including former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, dozens of incumbent and former presidents of nations, and Nobel laureates.

Why do we need an international association of scholars, scientists, journalists, politicians, and media people to gather for this purpose? The timing could not have been more appropriate! Even the incipient outbreak of a new viral threat could not faze the enthusiasm of visiting professionals from around the world. Not a single person showed any signs of fever, what with Korean health officials worrying about such a worldwide forum held “right under the nose of the sleeping giant.” This in itself is a testimony to the seriousness of the Korean administration and at the same time their respect for the organizing committee and their sponsors, the sacrosanct devotion of so many eminent guests to their nation, and the overwhelming importance of such a symposium at the very tipping point of our world civilization.

The five hundred attendees who came and devoted their full time attending the various sessions of the conference during four days from February 2nd through 5th were well rewarded. Available for the browsing and debating was a smorgasbord of four different sections held simultaneously, with open invitation to any of the interesting halls decked out with posters, displays, free books for the taking, Nobel laureates speaking on all manner of topics and even in various languages (with translations in English, Japanese, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, Korean and Cambodian).
The 2020 World Peace Academic Conference is the overall banner for numerous events hosted at KINTEX Convention Center between February 1st and 5th by HJ Academic Foundation, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), and Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA).
“Academia” is a very old term originating from Plato in 387 BCE as he founded the first academic forum in world history. While burdened of late by daunting bookish associations, core philosophy replete with essential metaphysics remains the foundation of scholarship, science, technology, and indeed all that we know of as modern civilization! Dr. Sung-bae Jin, Ph.D. in Philosophy, succeeded in his leadership from its original founding as the Unification Thought Institute in 1972 by Dr. Sang-hun Lee, an early disciple of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. The essentially revelatory nature of Divine Principle teachings were transformed and restructured into a philosophically and scientifically based theory integrating secular and transcendental knowledge and wisdom in virtually all fields of human endeavor. The encyclopedic quality of Unification Thought is well reflected in the conference proceedings early in 2020, and amounts to a full-fledged celebration and revival of the solid Socratic foundations of a great society firmly rooted in idealistic principles, affirmation of the Godhead by whatever name, and a reconciliation of the empirical and the theoretical approaches to science, technology, and social issues. Three cheers for a marvelous vindication of the classics, brought up-to-date by scholars, scientists, and social activists who convened from all around the globe despite all adversities.

That being said, as a core tenet of “unification”, the reconciliation of seemingly contradictory opposites is often where we can find the solutions to a wide range of problems in science, society, religion, and the arts. True to character, our forum brought together leading figures with widely differing political and methodological views. We probably could not have held such a symposium under any other aegis. What brought us together was our desire for a better world based on the common values of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universally shared values. Perhaps one could regard it as a modern rephrasing of “truth, beauty and goodness” reworked in a dynamic, interactional way, with “Love” thrown into the mix as a kind of glue holding everything together.
Among the forums hosted at the 2020 World Peace Academic Conference were “Reflections on and Vision for the Unity of Sciences” (sponsored by HJ Academic Foundation), “A Vision for World Peace” (organized by the Universal Peace Federation), “The God Conference and God as the Parent of Humankind” (a down-to-earth theological discussion), and “University Presidents Forum” (Professors World Peace Academy). The broad spectrum of offerings encouraged guests to roam the halls of KINTEX, interspersed with sumptuous banquets and regaled by Universal Ballet with a short version of the classic Korean “Chun Hyang”, serenaded by pop singers and crooned by sentimentals.
Americans managed to hold the initiative even in this new era and in the Far East with intelligent and witty MCs: Greg Breland, William Lay, Tyler Hendricks, Thomas Selover, Robert Schairer, Andrew Wilson, Thomas Ward, and Frank Kaufmann – all old-timers on the academic frontier, coming from the Unification Theological Seminary, the ICUS science conference committee, CARP, CAUSA, and PWPA.
The Republic of Korea showed its finest colors in every way throughout World Summit 2020 in all facets: Lavish entertainment, minute-to-minute organization, tables attended by serveurs garnished with white cloths, speedy limousine service, cheerful student ushers, luxury airport malls, and smiles on all sides. But, above all the niceties, the very inspiration for this Summit came from Korea herself!
The guest speakers were very varied: Nobel laureate Mario Molina of Mexico, Yoshimitsu Nishikawa heading the Korea-Japan undersea tunnel project, William Keepin of Satyana Institute and Gender Reconciliation International, Russian physicist Gennady Shipov, Kelvin Kaunda president of Eden University in Zambia, the Honorable Erna Hennicot-Schoepges of the Luxembourg Parliament, Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami who explained the Hindu pantheon, and Dr. Rima Salah from Jordan representing U.N. Peace Operations — to name but a few.
We heard all these speakers and many more. Topics were organized on a principle of balance-and-contrast, very artfully composed! For example, hard-core physics was juxtaposed with spiritual counseling. The scholars, top experts in their fields, are at such a level that they understood each other full well. We may state with confidence and authority that the true spirit of academia in its original sense was embodied throughout the conferences.
Traveling through the spacious halls of KINTEX Convention Center could be compared to touring the Washington D.C. Mall among the Smithsonian Museums of History and Technology, the National Art Gallery, and the Botanical Gardens, with fine dining and good conversation interspersed. At times the atmosphere was like going to church again, sometimes to a picnic, and back to a calm library to find peace and reflection among the timeless scholars.
To top off and conclude the heady proceedings, Dr. Jin Sung-Bae, Chairman of Hyo Jeong Academic Foundation, mounted the podium to deliver his inaugural address for the launching of our new umbrella organization, “International Association of Academics for Peace.” Following his stately speech, twelve new heads of the Board ascended the stage to sign the Inaugural Resolution.
Without raged the incipient corona epidemic – and, unlike Edgar Allan Poe’s story, not a soul was touched. Together we have already found “the peace that surpasses understanding.”