Interreligious & International Federation for World Peace

In association with: World Media Association, United Press International Foundation, Womenís Federation for World Peace & World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations

43 Lancaster Gate; London W2 3NA, United Kingdom Tel: +44-20-75630902 Fax:+44-20-77242262 email: euhq@iifwp-eu.org

Co-sponsoring Organizations - Tentative Schedule

  Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) scheduled for May 10-16, 2005 in Jerusalem:

 The program, "Innovative Approaches to Lasting Peace and Stability in the Middle East," is being organized by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), founded in 1999 by Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, in collaboration with the various associated organizations listed below.  This program represents the 21st major initiative of MEPI, a series of programs that has involved leaders from over 147 nations, and representing people of all major religious traditions and professional fields, including politics, media, academia, business and civil society.

Prospects for lasting peace in the Middle East have never burned brighter in recent memory. Elections in Palestine and Iraq seem to herald the possibility of a new dawn of lasting peace and stability in the region. There are encouraging signs that the seemingly never-ending cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians may be being broken and that Israeli withdrawal from Gaza could perhaps be imminent. Forthcoming democratic elections in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, all tend to reinforce such hope. At the same time, there is an understandable wariness lest this prove to be yet another false dawn, of which there have been all too many, in the search for Middle East peace. More crushing disappointment is almost too unbearable to contemplate. Thus, the world watches and, with a mixture of trepidation and hope, ponders the question of whether lasting peace will indeed finally be realized this time. The MEPI has sought to help ensure, in a wide variety of ways, that this question is answered clearly in the affirmative.

While the political dimensions of the peace process appear to be going in a positive direction, MEPI recognizes that without the support of NGOs and faith communities, the healing that is so necessary to resolve the pain and resentment on both sides cannot take place; the only thing that can really secure the peace is reaching the hearts and minds of the people beyond the workings of the political process.

As part of a joint effort to foster deeper understanding of the changing undercurrents of thought and action in the area, and to promote peace, the IIFWP, along with the World Media Association (WMA), United Press International Foundation (UPIF), Womenís Federation for World Peace (WFWP), and the World Association of NGOs (WANGO), is organizing this program for leaders in the fields of media, politics, business, religion and civil society, from all over the world. 

Participants will have the chance to meet with key Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, to be briefed by top government and independent experts, to converse with the major religious leaders and to visit key sites such as the wall at Bethany, the new Yad Vashem memorial, Ramallah and Gaza. They will also have the opportunity to take in the experiences and to gauge the opinions of ordinary people on both sides, as well as of the leadership of various factions in the settled and occupied areas.

The tourís joint organizers are uniquely well placed to set up this unprecedented, exciting and timely opportunity. Each of the organizations involved contributes vital elements to the planning and execution of such a high level tour on the basis of work already done and channels of communication that they have been able to open up. A brief description of each and of the work for peace to which they have contributed is contained in an attached fact sheet.