Distinguished guests; youth representatives from 164 countries; students, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to express my warmest appreciation to you for participating in this inaugural meeting of the Youth Federation for World Peace. I am delighted to meet all of you in this beautiful capital city to discuss the important issues that are before us. Despite our very busy schedules, we have come together because we feel the urgency of the times and see the problems of the world as our own. I pray that this bold attitude on our part can lead us into the next millennium where peace, freedom and love await us.
Today we are at a turning point in history. We are faced with an important choice. We can either be the harbinger of peace and love, or the victims of yet more wars and conflicts. What we do now will determine whether or not we can witness together the emergence of true world peace.
During the Cold War, there was an ideological confrontation between the left wing and the right wing. But now, with the end of the Cold War era, we are faced with deeper problems which threaten to destroy the moral fiber of our society and the sanctity of love in our families. The apparent breakdown of sexual morality and the widespread use of dangerous drugs have already taken their toll on our youth.
In the United States, for example, recent studies indicate that 6 out of 10 high school students admit to having used drugs, 40 per cent of 14-year-old girls will become pregnant before they reach their 19th birthday, and 30 per cent of all children born are being born to single-parent homes. The HIV virus, moreover, has reached epidemic proportions infecting one out of every 40 people in our inner cities while the suicide rate among our youth has increased by 300 percent over the past three decades.
The United States is not the only country plagued by the problems that are destroying our youth. Countries all over the world have their share of this global problem. How wonderful it would be if we could simply wish our problems away. But the issues before us are going to need much more than just good intentions. The world needs a new generation of leaders who understand the source of the problem and provide a comprehensive solution based upon a Godly perspective.
We have to realize that the problems of our society stem from the neglect of the spiritual. When we neglect God in our lives, we lose the source of values that should govern and safeguard our society against selfishness and greed. Without a proper set of priorities, our world becomes an empty shell with grand promises and very little substance.
Hence, disregard for God leads to disregard for the family, and disregard for the family leads to disregard for the nation and world. Thus the goal of the Youth Federation for World Peace is to reclaim God and the Godly family as the cornerstone of our civilization in an effort to remedy the societal ills and reach the goal of true world peace.
Originally, God wanted to see the fulfillment of the ideal of creation in the parenthood of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve as loving children, and eventually as loving parents to their own children, would have been the model of a loving family centered on God. Such a family would have been the building block for an ideal world of love and peace. But the Bible tells us that God's ideal of the family was lost due to the fall of Adam and Eve. Tragically, with the loss of this first family, the potential for the realization of an ideal nation and world was also lost.
So then, how can we work to reclaim the ideal of the family? My husband and I believe that women must take the leading role. We founded the Women's Federation for World Peace in 1992 to inspire women all around the world to take responsibility for their families, communities and nations. Working in parallel with the Federation for World Peace, the Women's Federation has been working to educate men and women in the areas of politics, religion, arts and science to become role models as loving husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and community leaders.
My husband and I feel that now is the time to create a complement to the Federation for World Peace and the Women's Federation for World Peace. The Youth Federation for World Peace, by educating young men and women on the importance of a God centered family, will work together with these two organizations as a global family unit.
My dear friends! We are responsible for the future of the world. The world is in dire need of dedicated young men and women who can redirect the course of history for the betterment of humanity. Human history has been a testament to the struggle between good and evil starting from the internecine conflict between Cain and Abel, and culminating in the ideological confrontation between the communist world and the free democratic world. However, with the defeat of communism, representing victory of Abel over Cain, or of good over evil, we have the opportunity to set the world right with God.
Ladies and gentlemen. World peace is not merely a mental construct. It is a way of life that begins with the individual, grows within a loving family and reaches fruition in a global family. With the establishment of strong, true families centered on God, we can reclaim our youth from the bondage of substance abuse, violence and sexual immorality.
Armed with hope and love, I pray that the delegates of the Youth Federation for World Peace gathered here today can become the beacon of light shining the way into the next millennium.
May God bless you and your families.
Thank you very much.