BUENOS AIRES – South Korean Rev. Sun Myung Moon called here before about 1,000 people gathered in a Buenos Aires hotel for the launch of the Federation for World Peace.
“Under the flag of the Federation for World Peace, we will serve as guardians of global peace,” the 86-year-old founder of the Unification Church said in a long Sunday night speech.
The reverend, whose church has extensive land holdings in neighboring Paraguay and is currently on a tour of about 100 cities around the world, called on world leaders “to join forces to move ahead on this enormous task.”
Moon’s speech touched on several themes, including “true love” and compassion, as well as “the start of human conflict with Cain and Abel.”
“The United Nations has approximately 200 member states. However, the offices of these states do little more than represent and, in fact, insist on (protecting) their own interests, and they appear incapable of resolving conflicts and achieving peace,” Moon said.
Moon, who has been barred from entering several countries, delivered a spirited address, straying from his prepared text, asking questions of his audience, raising his voice and pounding the lectern over the course of his more than two-and-a-half-hour speech.
He also discussed a project for constructing an international highway linking Asia and North America across the Bering Strait.
“How much money has the United States spent on the war in Iraq during the past three years? It’s getting close to $200 billion. That amount would be more than sufficient to complete the Bering Strait project,” Moon said.
The Unification Church, founded in 1954 by the South Korean minister, has been accused of human rights violations and questionable financial dealings in several countries.
Moon, a fervent anti-communist, has been indicted and arrested on tax-evasion charges in the United States, and his church has been banned in several Latin American countries.
The church has extensive property holdings around the world, including businesses and land.