- Monday, February 4, 2019

Some 1,000 political, tribal, community and faith leaders came to Cape Town, South Africa, in November for a two-day conference to remember the legacy of South Africa President Nelson Mandela and discuss pathways to peace, reconciliation and prosperity on the African continent.

The event was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Royal House of Mandela. Among the speakers were UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon; Chief Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, eldest grandson of the anti-apartheid icon, Member of Parliament and leader of the Royal House of Mandela; Hon. Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the Parliament of South Africa; Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan African Parliament; and current or former political officials from dozens of African nations.

Working on this conference “has been truly a true labor of love,” said Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, chairman of UPF International.

“To build a world of peace, we must all contribute across the sectors of government, religion, civil society, traditional rulers, academia, women, youth, artists, the media working together, collaboratively, cooperatively,” he said.

Core concepts include: seeing each other as members of “one family under God”; encouraging people to live unselfishly “for the sake of others”; using dialogue to build mutual trust and respect; and solving problems in a framework of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, Dr. Walsh said.

“Madiba,” as Mandela is affectionately called, set an example of dialogue in his years as a statesman, said Speaker Mbete.

“He was a leader who would listen, process, consider and come back with a response that showed that he cared … I think we need many more Madibas in that respect,” she said. He also took a special interest in Africa’s youth for he saw how the younger generations were open-minded and willing to embrace the new world, she added.

H.E. Dang, who is a member of the National Assembly of Cameroon, also praised the reasonableness of Mandela’s leadership style and noted that he is still “alive through his works” and those who “think like him.”

The two-day conference at the Cape Town International Convention Center tackled issues such as good governance, forgiveness and reconciliation, poverty, economic development, environmental degradation, education, conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue and cooperation.

Key figures assisting in the Africa Summit were UPF Vice President Tageldin Hamad; Dr. Katherine Rigney, Regional Chair, UPF Africa; Adama Doumbia, UPF Regional Secretary for Africa; Dr. Dong-ho Cho, Regional President West Africa; Rev. Bakary Camara, Regional President East Africa; Dr. Paterne Zinsou, Secretary-General, UPF for West Africa; Dr. Young Ho Yun, Secretary-General of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; and Prof. Yeon-ah Moon, president of Women’s Federation for World Peace International.

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