IAPD Session's Theme

Interreligious Association for Peace and Development

UPF maintains that any successful strategy for peace must take into account the spiritual dimension of our human identity, experience and interactions. Based on this worldview, UPF initiated the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development as a partner organization to the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace. Through interreligious dialogue and exchange of viewpoints among the world’s religions and faith-based organizations, terrorism, violent extremism and the world’s ills can be proactively addressed. Religious leaders are well-situated to deal with community-based concerns and can play a significant role in reconciliation and building a culture of peace. Due to their moral authority and emphasis on human rights based on the principle that we are one family created by God, religious leaders can help rebuild divided societies and assist in humanitarian services for the alleviation of hunger, disease and trauma due to violence and war. The world’s religions and faith-based organizations can provide a unique set of valuable resources for achieving a just and peaceful world.

Panelists - IAPD Session

Rev. Dr. William McComish

Dean Emeritus, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva; Co-Founder, Geneva Spiritual Appeal, Switzerland

Hon. Jan Figel

Former EU Commissioner, Minister of Transport and Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion and Belief of the EU, Slovakia

Ms. Batool Subeiti

Chemical Engineer; Former President of the Islamic Society, Birmingham University,
United Kingdom

Ms. Emina Frljak

Peace activist and Coordinator, Youth for Peace in Bosnia, Mem-ber of the Int. Committee on Youth, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Prof. Brian Myers

Author, Professor of International Studies, Dongseo University, Busan, South Korea

Rabbi Kevin De-Carli

President, GIIA Interfaith Youth Council, Switzerland


For over 70 years the Korean people have been divided by a cruel, artificial border along the 38th parallel. This deep scar in the world is one of the last remains of the Cold War and must be addressed. The Korean people have lived through a long history of tribulations imposed by powerful neighbors. Like Germany, Korea was divided after World War II; yet Korea itself had not caused any hostility.

In a speech given in 1984, the founders of the Universal Peace Federation, themselves natives of what is now North Korea, stated: “Many people question what religions can do in this secular age. I answer that the world’s religions need to provide a stable, universal foundation of values upon which governments can build true peace and harmony”. The IAPD, with the support of the Interfaith Community, wishes to draw worldwide attention to this pressing issue, and encourage a movement for change on the Korean Peninsula to mediate the reconciliation of the two struggling siblings toward a peaceful unification.