Summit Council

The Summit Council logo

The Summit Council for World Peace, based in Washington, DC, is an association of current and former heads of state and government, as well as world leaders, particularly in the areas of religion, politics and economics. The Summit Council utilizes the leadership and experience, statesmanship, and good will of its members to foster peace and reconciliation between nations, religions, cultures, races, classes, and ethnic groups.

The Summit Council] works to promote the close cooperation between the United Nations and other public and private international organizations possessing similar purposes and objectives. The Council is not affiliated with any government or political party. Its members are free to participate as private individuals, or as representatives of governments, international bodies and organizations.


Contents

Background

The Summit Council for World Peace, originally called the Summit Club, was founded in 1981 by Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon with the support and assistance of incumbent and former heads of state and government. It is a non-profit, non-sectarian, independent organization. The Council provides a forum and organization for world leaders where their wisdom and experience is utilized, and their initiatives discussed and implemented in the service of world peace.

Rodrigo Carazo (1926-2009), former president of Costa Rica, and Co-Chair, Board of Presidents, Summit Council

In 1991, the Council established the International Commission for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea. The Commission was composed of five former heads of state, chaired by Rodrigo Carazo, president of Costa Rica (1978-82). Its inaugural meeting and academic conference was held in Washington, DC in September 1991[1]. In December 1992 and March 1993, at the onset of the Bill Clinton administration, the Council sponsored two roundtable discussion panels of leading Asian experts. The panels were chaired by former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William J. Crowe, Jr., in Washington, DC, on the theme, "American Foreign Policy and the Two Koreas."[2] In Washington, D.C., on the eve of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Council held an important roundtable of Middle East experts on the theme, "The Middle East in the 1990s and World Peace."[3] The Council sent two goodwill delegations of former heads of state and leaders in academia and journalism to North Korea in 1992 and 1994. The delegations were received by President Kim Il Sung. The Council has actively facilitated U.S. and North Korean communication and dialog beginning in the early 1990s. International Summit Council conferences were convened annually from 1989 to 1996. Guest speakers included Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union and Sir Edward Heath, former prime minister of the United Kingdom.

From 1997 to 2008, the Summit Council joined with the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), later renamed the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), to help it expand its outreach and establish chapters in more 100 nations. In 2008, the Summit Council resumed its independent international activities.

Projects

The Summit Council presently acts as facilitator and adviser for the building of the World Temple of Peace and Unity in Seoul, Korea as a common home for worship, dialog and goodwill for the world’s religions.[4] The supporters of the interreligious temple hope to avail the site as a unique resource for governments, intergovernmental organizations, international institutions, and civil society to foster a more stable environment for the work of peace.

The Council has worked closely with the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) for the eradication of world poverty. Its focus on economic and social justice through the advocacy of the democratization of access to money and credit works to create a global economy for the masses.[5] The Summit Council also collaborates with the World Institute for Development and Peace (WIPD), a resource developer of ideas and technologies that expands opportunities and reforms structures to empower individuals to participate in wealth creation.[6]

To address awareness of the issue of environmental pollution and energy crisis in North America and the world, the Summit Council is associated with Equitech International, LLC, a consortium of 23 companies headed by leading scientists formerly associated with Georgetown University, NASA and other advanced research centers and laboratories.[7] In cooperation with the Summit Council this group seeks to enable United States to lead in Advanced Renewal Energy Systems (ARES), which may resolve the environmental degradation of sea, land, and air by creating prime power and many other byproducts.[8]

To address the insufficient participation in the 2009 United States federal stimulus package by minorities in poor and middle class communities across the United States, the Summit Council’s Office of Interreligious Affairs works with American civil rights leaders and the National Black Leadership Roundtable, the network vehicle of the Congressional Black Caucus, to offer solutions to enable minority citizens to resolve the problems of loss of employment and home foreclosures.[9][10]

To foster reconciliation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Summit Council has worked closely with the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI), a project of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), highlighting the role of religion in reconciliation and the healing of historical grievances in the Middle East.[11][12] Beginning in the early years of the twenty-first century, MEPI brought more than 10,000 “Ambassadors for Peace” to the Holy Land to support the efforts of peace in the region. MEPI promotes interreligious encounters, cooperation, dialog, fact-finding trips, cultural initiatives, athletic programs, and service projects for communities and leadership in Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

The Summit Council works in cooperation with the Interreligious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP) to promote interreligious dialog, integration, and common cause, and supports the efforts of similar international institutions with comparable aims in interfaith activity.[13]

New projects for the Council include calling global attention to religious freedom violations suffered by members of minority religions in Japan and assisting global efforts to honor veterans of the Korean War from the 16 nations that fought under the UN flag upon the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of that conflict.

Funding

Partial funding for the Summit Council’s activities comes from the Tongil Foundation located in Seoul, Korea.[14] Additional support comes from other organizations, corporations and private individuals around the world. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia, located at 1112 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Leadership

Co-Chairs, Board of Presidents

  • Hon. Rodrigo Carazo (1926-2009), President of Costa Rica (1978-82)
  • Dr. Estrella Carazo, First Lady of Costa Rica (1978-82)

Secretary General

  • Dr. Antonio L. Betancourt

Executive Director

  • William P. Selig

Director of Interreligious Affairs

  • Hon. Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, Member of U.S. Congress (1971-91)

References

  • Chinoy, Mike, China Live: People Power and the Television Revolution, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999 (updated ed.) ISBN 978-0847693184 (contains references to Summit Council's work with North Korea)
  • Gorenfeld, John, "Dear Leader's Paper Moon" The American Prospect, June 29, 2005 (a critical and heavily biased look at the Summit Council and its work with North Korea, but contains interesting detail)
  • Harrison, Selig, Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0691116266 (also contains reference to Summit Council's activities with North Korea)

Notes

  1. Summit Council for World Peace, International Commission for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea: Inaugural Meeting, September 8-10, 1991, Washington, DC
  2. Summit Council for World Peace, American Foreign Policy and the Two Koreas, December 17, 1992 (Part I); March 29, 1993 (Part II), Washington, DC
  3. Summit Council for World Peace, The Middle East in the 1990s and World Peace, May 23-24, 1993, Washington, DC
  4. World Temple of Peace and Unity
  5. Center for Economic and Social Justice
  6. World Institute for Development and Peace.
  7. Equitech International, LLC
  8. Advanced Renewal Energy Systems
  9. National Black Leadership Roundtable
  10. Congressional Black Caucus
  11. Middle East Peace Initiative
  12. Universal Peace Federation and the American Clergy Leadership Conference
  13. Interreligious Federation for World Peace
  14. Tongil Foundation

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