The Words of the Anderson Family
The opening plenary session of the Third International PWPA Congress, Manila, August 25, 1987.
The Professors World Peace Academy held a major international conference in Manila, the Philippines, on August 24-29, 1987. This was the third in a series of conferences initiated by Father in December 1983 when he asked that the PWPA presidents come to Seoul, Korea, for the First International Congress of PWPA.
The Professors World Peace Academy has now grown to over 90 national chapters. The International Congresses, held every two years, serve as a forum to stimulate the development of PWPA worldwide. After the First Congress, the Congresses have focused on a specific theme, and experts have been invited to present papers that will contribute to world knowledge about the topic. The title of the Second International Congress, held in 1985, was "The Fall of the Soviet Empire: Prospects for Transition to a Post-Soviet World" The Third Congress, just held, was titled "China in a New Era: Continuity and Change!'
Over 265 participants attended the meeting, which convened at the Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel. This group included PWPA presidents and leaders from 80 countries, 105 China experts, 50 professors and dignitaries from the Philippines, and 25 secretaries-general of PWPA chapters. In addition, a number of family members of the participants attended the conference. Such a gathering makes it very apparent that this is an important international community of scholars.
The opening plenary session was impressive. The Vice President of the Philippines, the Honorable Salvador Laurel, addressed the gathering, and Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak also spoke, representing Father, the founder of PWPA. Greetings were given by Professor Morton Kaplan, president of PWPA International, Professor Alfredo V. Lagmay, president of PWPA in the Philippines, and Professor Ilpyong J. Kim, the organizing chairman of the conference. Because of Vice President Laurel's speech, the opening session received nationwide television coverage in the Philippines. The PWPA Congress and the speech of the Vice President were also noted in the English broadcast of XINHUA, Beijing, China.
A total of 80 papers on China were discussed in 16 panels. One of the main conclusions reached by the China scholars was that China's economic reforms will have tremendous social and political consequences that China will need to address. China is, indeed, in a transition period, and there are many possible directions it can take.
The conference should produce four to five excellent books on China, which can serve as a major source for China watchers.
On the afternoon of August 25, new PWPA chapter presidents had an opportunity to meet informally with Rev. Kwak and the presidents of the more established chapters. That evening Rev. Kwak spoke to all the presidents about the importance of promoting both knowledge and values. He also spoke of Father's desire to produce a new world encyclopedia and how the PWPA network can contribute to this extensive project.
The PWPA presidents spent some of their time discussing among themselves the complex China issue. The Latin American presidents focused on trade with China, the Africans looked at China as a possible model for development, and the Asians discussed the impact of China, the world's most populous nation, on the entire Asian Pacific region.
As is the case in such large conferences, a great deal of professional and PWPA organizational discussion took place. The Middle Eastern presidents focused on the conflicts in their region and planned a series of dialogues, including a Greek-Turkish dialogue in Cyprus, a dialogue on Lebanon's future, al Id an Arab-Jewish dialogue in Israel. In all, 17 proposals for future conference themes, some from new PWPA chapter presidents, were received at the Congress.