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Human Development and peace building: beyond the United Nations

Mr. Laurent LadouceHuman Development and peace building: beyond the United Nations

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The United Nations, having the goal of world peace, made development a priority and created the United Nations Development Program. The UNDP conducted development programs and research worldwide for several decades; its expertise commands respect and humility. Yet, the UNDP itself often revised drastically its own approach of development; its own literature contains much self-criticism. It will surely continue to do so. The Universal Peace Federation offers constructive insights in this ongoing debate.

1.  Beyond the United nations?

Decolonization was a priority of the UN. After gaining their political sovereignty, new countries had to secure their economic maturity. Terms like third world, developed nations, developing nations flourished. In the context of East-West confrontation, the  gap  between the developed North and the underdeveloped South could open new fronts of warfare. Development was crucial for world security.

Launched in 1965, the UNDP mobilized huge resources and qualified manpower. Yet self-help (good domestic governance)  often proved more successful than international aid. While begging for assistance, some nations mismanaged international funds. Others grew by themselves. Today, several voices urge the UN to keep investing in development but differently, with other methods, new partners, a refreshed approach. The UN felt responsible to promote  development worlwide; its rich experience is precious. With all its limitations, the UN, as a central agency of development, remains a unique actor because of its global network and experience, and because of its constant concern to connect development to research and to peace-building; whenever nations are lucky enough to thrive, they should join the collective effort to promote development elsewhere and not indulge in self-satisfaction.

The UN is surely not obsolete. Any effort to go “beyond” the UN is surely welcome, but should be thoughtfully expressed. Why and how should we go beyond? Various answers are possible.

Besides: having no exclusive preserve on development, the UN seeks partnerships. Thus, “beyond” may simply means besides, not without or against. People often work for development through various NGOs; only after working substantially in this field, they may discover that the UN has expertise and much to teach, also much to learn. The UN seeks the dialogue with NGOs, which have influenced its own approach.

More: Some voices urge the UN to do more for human development. Yet, others accuse the organization to spend too much on it, inefficiently. Both grievances may be founded, and the UN has tried to adapt itself. Such internal adjustments are needed, but are not the focus of this presentation.

Differently: did the UN privilege what Caroline Thomas calls the orthodox view of development, while alternative views are possible1? The UN view of development is often blamed for being biased, incomplete or superficial, failing to address the roots of  underdevelopment. Further, some accuse the UN to worsen the problem and to favor misdevelopment, or development in the wrong direction. Advocating more globalization and industrialization, the UN would reflect the ideological biases of the Western World, which uncritically believes in the superiority of its model. Thomas shows however that the orthodox and alternative views have often compromised with each other. For instance, the official adoption of the Human Development Index (HDI) by the UN in 1993 was a landmark: the whole approach of development had benefited from unorthodox views.

A question of focus: Our view here will be somewhat different. The UN has focused mostly on political economy, where the nation-State, as the central actor of development decides the tasks, agendas, and methodologies. In this particular field, the  UN surely can do more, better, differently, with other actors; but we shall focus on several dimensions which are beyond the scope of the UN and yet all relate to human development.

2.  The driving force behind development

Why should there be development? And what for? Development requires a reason or driving force behind and purposes and values ahead of it. For decades, a purely economic approach prevailed. Thus, “development confined to economism automatically involves two key concepts, economic growth as the engine and end purpose of development and maximum short-term profitability as the universal justification for action.’’2

But development should make our life more fully human. It should offer us new freedoms, not only more needs. Lytou Bouapao, the director of finance in the ministry of Education of Laos is an interesting case:

My background is hmong. The hmong minority of Laos is poorly integrated and thus can do little to develop the country. We were 11 children at home, my parents were illiterate. Yet, my father said that all his children would go to university. Being himself a hard-working leader he gave us a strict education. Each year, he would sell an ox, to pay for our studies. We managed, all boys and girls went at least to college. I studied in France, one brother got a Ph.D. in Germany, another one studied in Australia. A good living abroad was tempting. We are all in the homeland, working in the public sector: our father educated his children to be smarter than him – but not more selfish, materialist, greedy.

Such patterns exist in other developing nations, where the driving force behind development is the responsible heart of parents, who want their children to live a meaningful and valuable life, which will benefit the nation. As long as this heart remains, the challenges of development worlwide can be overcome. Is this view simplistic? Let us recall Dag Hammarskjöld,  the former secretary of the UN. His motivation when approaching public office was similar. Being head of the UN was not a job or a position, but a universal mission of service to the human family given by the ultimate parent:

From generations of soldiers and government officials on my father’s side I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country – or humanity. This service required a sacrifice (…) From scholars and clergymen on my mother’s side, I inherited a belief that, in the radical sense of the Gospels, all men were equals as children of God, and should be met and treated by us as our masters in God.”1

Likewise, among the guiding principles of UPF approach of development, there is the strong belief that:

–     We are one human family created by God;

–     Living for the sake of others is the way to reconcile the divided human family.

The UPF also stresses that the family is the school of love; and that spiritual and moral values have priority over material values. These are crucial components of a true human development.

3.  What should be developed?

What is “development”? What should be developed? The universe developed from the big bang until today. Living organisms  develop. The gradual maturation of a self toward its completion, from potential to actuality, from “would be” to “be” is development. What grows, then, is simply the self.

Nations also develop, or grow toward national maturity. A nation is born, develops and becomes an embodiment of its  founding ideals. Part of the development concerns what Adam Smith coined the Wealth of nations. While “prosperity” is rather static, “the wealth of nations” is a dynamic concept. As a snowball gets bigger, it may create an avalanche; likewise, the “wealth of nations” is an accumulation of capital, which is reinvested to generate more wealth. National development is a self-replicating national abundance.

Smith became the theoretician of a phenomenon called progress, modernization, or industrialization. The signs of a developed society are rationalization, organization, mechanization, automation. The nation-State is the framework for development to take place. Why is it so? Only the nation offers some of the decisive tools for economic take- off: besides the need for national security, a banking system and a national currency, a fiscal administration, and many infrastructures are needed. Development therefore is not just a notion of economy but of political economy; its most poweful symbol is the GNP. At  stake here are the rank and prestige of nations. In any nation, some regions may thrive more than others but what matters is the national wealth of a sovereign State. The GNP has thus established a hierarchy among nations, creating emulation as well as tensions. A key question of development is, “why do some nations develop, and not others?” This question is critical when one studies neighbor regions (North and South America, for instance) neighbor countries (Why did United Kingdom overtake France during the industrial revolution?) or nations which have been divided (West and East Germany, North and South Korea).

Of course, the leading nations of our world are not only wealthy. Power and influence also reflect a rich cultural heritage, a strong national ego and sense of historical mission making them “models” which are envied or hated.

Yet, development is mostly seen as “economic growth”; this has long contaminated the whole notion of human development. In the 1840s, “Get richer …” was the  motto  of the French goverment, but the poet Charles Baudelaire, noted:

The only true progress (i.e. the moral progress) takes place in the individual and by the individual himself (…) My theory of the civilization: it is not in gas, steam, or séance tables. It is in the reduction of the traces or original sin.

Development in nature means the completion of being, but political economy often equates it with an increase of having. But if people can have more, then what for? What do they gain, besides money? An improvement of what people do or what they are was neglected as irrelevant and secondary for many decades, regarding the issue of development. Economic growth was seen as the key of all development. It relied on statism, a view which neglects the dynamics of the civil society. Economism and statism strongly influenced UN policies.

But a copernician revolution modified our views of development. In order to understand the fruit (“what should be developed”), one needs to study the root, i.e. the human factor: “who is be to developed? And by whom?” “Human development” originally means the growth of the human potential toward maturity and the ability to bequeath this legacy to one’s descendants. This area of “private” development was deemed to be secondary while the real and “noble” development mostly took place in the public realm of the State. Yet, examples show that behind national take off, we often  find remarkable individuals, with a sense of mission. Having built industrial empires in their lifetime, they bequeathed a legacy of good governance to their descendants, based on family ethics. In the Western world, many dynasties pioneered capitalism, and family businesses still count for much of the national prosperity. 3

In modern Asia too, the basic development came from remarkable founders who are seen as patriots, and who generally had strong family ethics, the so-called Asian values.

4.  Development of the people, by the people, for the people

Political economy studies the role and responsibility of the modern State to provide development for the people. This however, is only a part of the human development. Global human development which will bring lasting peace is not just for the  people but of the people and by the people. Here, non-economic factors are at stake, namely psychological and ethical factors.

4.1 Ideal individuals, ideal families, ideal nations

Western Philosophy has hitherto focused on creating the ideal society, or ideal nation, as illustrated by The Republic of Plato, The City of God of Augustine, The Utopia of Thomas More or Das Capital of Karl Marx. The quest of the ideal nation is a noble concern, and this passion has accelerated history, causing major reformations or revolutions.

These trends may have been an inevitable course of human history, but the main human development is yet to come, on  the foundation of external change. Significantly, Dr Moon, the founder of UPF, starts most of his speeches by talking about the perfected individual and the ideal family. Whereas the Western world tends to believe that an ideal society is possible but is rather cynical or skeptical about human perfection and family ethics, those two are the cornerstones of Dr Moon’s  philosophy of development. He thus advocates a revolution of the conscience and a revolution of heart.

Before the advent of Christ, human history accelerated through revolutions in agriculture, technology, writing and reading, the birth of science and philosophy. Millions of lives were engulfed in radical changes. Finally, Christ was born, and his figure was to shape decisively the fate of mankind. What he brought was the vertical dimension, the connection between man and the Absolute Being. Hegel rightly highlighted the cosmohistoric individuals, holding a universal value. Referring to the great  founders of religions, Karl Jaspers talked about the axial age of human history: “the spiritual foundations of humanity  were laid simultaneously and independently… And these are the foundations upon which humanity still subsists today.”4   According to the British historian Arnold Toynbee, civilizations arise by the response of creative individuals to challenges. Progress in civilization consists in meeting difficulties by responding in creative ways that are internal and spiritual rather  than external and material. The breakdown of society occurs when creative individuals fail to lead through the exercise of creative power, resulting in withdrawal of the allegiance of the majority and a subsequent loss of social unity. For Dr Moon, the main figures of human development are the five great saints: Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Jesus, Muhammad.

In modern times, the reformation played a crucial role. The Renaissance brought external progress in innumerable fields. But Max Weber and others have evidenced that, without the internal reformation of Protestantism, much of democratic and capitalist development would have failed. Spain was potentially much richer than England for a time, but its modern development came lately. Prosperity alone does not say clearly whether a nation is developing in the true sense.

Yet, more important than the role of brilliant individuals, Dr Moon emphasizes the role of the family and sees the ultimate goal of history as to recreate the original human couple, the paradigm of Adam and Eve.

Dr Moon’s main contribution to human development was to focus first and foremost on the creation of the ideal individual and ideal family. There can be no complete national development before we have perfect individuals and perfect families. For decades, such statements would sound irrelevant for the sake of “human development”. Yet, much of the recent innovations in economic science has showed the decisive role of:

–     the “human capital” (Gary Becker), corresponding to individual’s accomplishment.

–     Family investment in children’s potential.

4.2 “Basic needs” and “chosen values”

The UNDP changed its approach of development from merely “economic growth” to “human development”. It meant that the main wealth of a nation is its people, not its natural resources. Humans have a potential that grows toward maturity. Human beings thus became the center of development; development was no longer an end in itself but became human development. In 1993, the UNDP accepted the index of human development (IHD), a term coined by Pakistani economist  Mahbub ul Haq. The IHD is a comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education,  life  expectancy,  childbirth,  and  other  factors  for  countries  worldwide.  It  is  a  standard  means  of measuring well-being.

Another paradigm shift concerned the “basic needs”. Human development cannot be only about caring for the needy and  endlessly trying to satisfy human “basic needs”. Why? because the human nature cannot be defined merely by what man basically needs. The human nature lies in the capacity to be liberated from needs and free for values, which are deliberately chosen. The economist Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize in Economy 1998, redefined development essentially in terms of human freedom, or “capability”:

Development can be seen … as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy. Focusing on human  freedoms [or capabilities] contrasts with the narrower views of development, such as identifying development with  the growth of gross national product, or with the rise in personal incomes, or with industrialization, or with technological advance, or with social modernization.5

A highly developed person is surely not someone who is content with receiving many cultural, social and economic benefits. Rather, it is a creator who can satisfy many, by procuring them with a lot of spiritual and material values and help them become even better than him/herself. Unificationist axiology, inspired by Dr Moon’s teaching, expounds a comprehensive view of values. It is based on the duality of man as composed of a spirit self and a physical self, and having a purpose for the whole and an individual purpose.

Dual characteristics

Dual minds



Dual Values



Dual value purposes



Dual value purposes


Spirit mind



Desire to realize value



Purpose for the whole

Internal value to be realized for the sake of others

Desire to seek value

Purpose for the individual

Internal value to be sought for myself






Desire to realize value



Purpose for the whole

External value to be realized for the sake of others

Desire to seek value

Purpose for the individual

External value to be sought for myself

This was illustrated by the UNESCO declaration of 1982:

‘‘Development is a complex, comprehensive and multidimensional process incorporating all dimensions of life and all the energies of a community, all of whose members are called upon to make a contribution and can expect to share in benefits.’’6

In a world where basic needs would be satisfied, frustrations and conflicts may be absent. But beyond that, we seek the world where empowered and capable citizens creatively work together for the common good.

4.3 The Spirit of Development and Development of the Spirit

The main obstacle to development is the obstacle within human beings. In other words, once we have removed some  economic and social barriers, more internal fetters appear. There are places where, no matter how much money flows in,  the “spirit of development” is not there. The reason is clear: the development of the spirit is absent. The spirit of development worked whenever the State made a moral covenant with the population, based on mutual trust. So that development was not only a development for the people, but of the people, and by the people. This prompted the UN, in 2000, to call for a growing involvment of the civil society in partnership with the States and international agencies.

Underdevelopment threatens peace, but misdevelopment as well. In some nations, economic growth is high and wealth is fairly distributed among people; yet, these societies remain strictly controled. The Gulf States fall into this category. In other  cases, a high degree of development is accompanied by social unrest, juvenile delinquency, organized crime, seen as “necessary evil” or “the dark side of progress”. Many Western nations are regularly ranked among the most developed, but their mood is far from being cheerful and enthusiastic, as reflected in high rates of suicides, alcoholism and addictions, family breakdown. Most of the Western World experienced a sharp decline of demography, spiritual and moral values, starting in  the 1960. The so-called “postmodern” culture is often a smokescreen for decadence, and nihilism.

Moreover, a truly developed nation should emulate many disciple nations. It is somehow the case in the European union where the newcomers could quickly catch up (Spain, Portugal, Ireland), and also in the far-east where Japan emulated the “tigers”. The USA and Canada should likewise create a partnership of panamerican development with Central and South America. The middle-east and Africa still lack a contagion of successful growth.

5   The three dimensions of human development

Human development can be understood to mean three different things:

5.1 The development of human beings: anthropology, embryology,genetic psychology

The development of human beings is a branch of anthropology, the science which studies the species called homo sapiens sapiens. Human development is the growth of the human nature toward maturity through a gradual process. All living beings  develop and grow, but humans develop differently. Why? Because their nature is different. Concerning the physical  dimension of human development, embryology focuses on the life of the foetus from conception to birth. Developmental biology focuses on issues such as health, longevity and ageing.

Diverse disciplines study the mental human development. Exploring the acquisition of knowledge, Jean Piaget pioneered cognitive or genetic psychology. Erik Erikson pioneered “life-span development”, identifying several stages of  the  human  psychic  development  from  birth  to  death.  Lawrence  Kohlberg,  starting  with  developmental psychology, created another discipline called moral stages of development with the concept of the moral reasoning. Finally  James  Fowler  studied  spiritual  development. Applying  the  tools  of  developmental  psychology to the religious life, he suggested the existence of stages of faith. All these disciplines try to understand the laws governing the growth of the human spirit. Human beings are beings of conscience, with freedom and responsibility. A highly developed person is thus a person of mature character, who is the responsible creator of her individual destiny.

In the development of human beings, conscience is the main actor of the growth, and also the main judge to evaluate whether the individual’s life is blossoming. The central purpose of education is to make the self conscious and consciencious. The truly developed person will not only inherit the knowledge and morals of ancestors through rote learning and imitation, but will arrive at a complete spiritual, intellectual and moral autonomy.

In case of failure, the individual will be at war with himself and can become destructive. The primary conflict is the conflict  that  appears within the self, between the ought and the is, between the image of our ideal self, and our reality. This led  Johan Galtung to stress, in 1969, while in India: “Ultimately, the individual is the unit. The liberation of the individual from whatever is alienating his personal fulfillment, that should be the primary focus of the peace study. The study of peace becomes the science of the human accomplishment.”

The human accomplishment is given various names. Its incidence on economic development was highlighted by Gary Becker, the Nobel Prize laureate of Economy in 1992. He introduced the concept of the “human capital”:

Human capital refers to the skills, education, health, and training of individuals. It is capital because these skills or education are an integral part of us that is long-lasting. Human capital – education, on-the-job and other training, and health – comprises about 80% of the wealth in advanced countries. The importance of human capital is illustrated  by  the outstanding records of Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and other fast-growing Asian economies. They have managed to grow rapidly in significant part because they have had a well-trained, well-educated, and hard-working labor force, and dedicated parents. If you look at Korea, prior to the Korean War, the north was the richer part of Korea. Today North Korea is an economic disaster while South Korea is a prosperous, democratic nation. All the Asian Tigers are highly educated. You cannot grow without a strong human capital base. Success depends on how well a nation utilizes its people.7

5.2 The Development by human beings

The development of human beings is self-development or individual-ism. How can it also become a development for human beings or altruism? In politics, a social contract (Hobbes, Rousseau) connects the individual and the State. The individual becomes a citizen. Likewiwse, economists have tried to evidence the economic contract which connects the individual wealth and collective wealth. For Adam Smith, an invisible hand was working in free-market economies to adjust and harmonize competing self-interests.

The invisible hand gave birth to many speculations. Here again, Gary Becker offers insights, by stressing the role of the family. The family is where the development by human beings facilitates the development of human beings:

Where does human capital come from? What constitutes a successful investment in human capital, either at the individual or national level? The family is the foundation of a good society and of economic success. To understand human capital, you have to go back to the family, because it is families that are concerned about their children and try, with whatever resources they have, to promote their children’s education and values. Families are the major promoters of values in any free society and even in not-so-free societies.8

In the development of human beings, individuals cultivate their human capital, the conscience being the main agent of their  personal growth. But much of human development takes place emotionally and relationally, within the family dynamics. The development by human beings is mostly the family investment in children’s potential. In 2002, the Joint Center for  Poverty  Research (JCPR) and the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy of Chicago conducted a conference on this topic9. One paper suggested that parents work for the betterment of their children and the well-being of the community when they invest in the following 5 “S” :

  • safety/sustenance,
  • stimulation,
  • socioemotional support,
  • structure
  • surveillance10.

Several American universities now teach a new discipline called “Human development and family studies”.11   It studies the human emotional development through the various ages of life, from childhood to death; human beings are primarily emotional beings who seek happiness through giving and receiving love in their milieu, first in the family life, then in the community.

A highly developed person is mature in the art of loving and being loved, and has gone successfully through the stages of filial love, fraternal love, conjugal love and parental love. In the development by human beings, parents are the main agents to shape their children’s destiny. A family who establishes these four realms of love can bequeath a legacy to its descendants and initiate a successful dynasty.

“Human development and family studies”, particularly focus on the stages of life, offering a life-span view. Yet, the life-span view may not offer the complete picture of human development. We should also take embryology into consideration (the life of the fetus), and even before that, the heredity of human beings (what rev. Moon often calls lineage). The Jacobs Foundation Series on Adolescence studies human development not only over one’s life course, but across generations.12

Even beyond that, the complete picture of human development includes the area of eternal life, and its relation to earthly life. Religions and philosophies contain warnings similar to Matthew 16.26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Among the authors who have tried to  unite the Christian faith in eternal life and all the scholarly approach of human development is James Fowler, the author of the Stages of Faith. Yet, his work focuses mostly on the growth of faith from child’s faith to a more adult spirituality, whereas the key issue is the whole human journey, encompassing both man’s spiritual and moral growth on earth and his eternal destiny.

5.3 Development for human beings (political economy)

Development for human beings is a branch of political economy. This science started with Adam Smith. The author of the  Wealth of nations studied how societies take off economically and how the wealth produced improves the human condition; here, human beings are mostly seen as the citizens of organized States, as well as producers and consumers. A highly  developed person is therefore a full-blown citizen, who receives benefits from an affluent society and in return takes part in the political life. The main body which is accounting for this human development is the State. Should it fail to procure development for human beings, sharp conflicts will arise.

We already stated that development for the past decades mostly concerned political economy, or development for human beings. After the creation of the UNDP in 1965, a partnership between international agencies, international banks and newly independent States seemed to be necessary and sufficient to promote economic growth. But after several decades of doing so, much disenchantment surfaced, like in the following statement:

Although there are many debates over the best way to transform less industrialized countries into modern, developed states, economists agree on one thing: development is difficult. Economists and politicians alike have struggled over the last four decades to find the exact recipe to reform underdeveloped nations.13

The UN and international agencies, who had kept rigid ideas on development for many years, started to revise their attitude upon seeing the achievements of NGOs working at the microeconomic level, directly with the local people, making them actors of the change. Moreover, NGOs have been more inclined than the UN to work out projects which involved the resources of indigeneous anthropologists or ethnologists. This brought a change of focus from development to human development :

Human development is more than the rise of national incomes, and much more than economic growth, which is only a means of enlarging people’s choices. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead creative lives. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. As Aristotle said in ancient Greece, “Wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking, for it is merely useful for the sake of something else.” 14

How life is defined influences the strategy of development. Viewed externally, human life may look like the survival of the fittest: life is competition, human relationships are mostly relations of power, especially in economics and politics. In order not be crushed by others, one has to defend oneself, be competitive. In such a world, the only realistic peace is security whether for individuals, families, or nations. You raise borders to make clear what your property is. Huge budgets are allocated to police forces and armed forces. Also, much litigation appears and new rights are endlessly added to satisfy each social segment. Moreover, much stress is imposed on human beings, so that addictive behaviours will soar up, such as alcohol, drugs, smoking; the rate of divorce will increase. In order for life to remain somehow enjoyable, the leisure industry  and entertainment industry become the mainstream of culture. Ideally, religion should offer a clear roadmap of the life on earth so that people will enjoy an eternal reward, mostly by caring for others; religion has sometimes failed to do that, but materialism is worse. It offers artificial paradises at low costs, here on earth, through self-centered lifestyles.

Development will mostly be seen as empowerment: knowing your own interest, asserting your rights, developing your reason and capacity to argue, promoting yourself, your lifestyle, your category, your competitive edge. This pattern of development will affect many third world countries seeking to emerge. Some degree of dehumanization is seen as the price of development. States will be asked to reform themselves, endlessly. However, no reformation can work without a metanoia, a conversion taking place in the heart of the people.

6. Global Development, human nature and lasting peace

The UN started with a noble dream of lasting peace for all mankind, based on the charter of the declaration of

human rights. But its mission started in the context of the Cold War. Moreover, it was probably inevitable to rely on the structure of Nation-States and privilege an economic and political vew of development. But if we continue

to work along these lines, real peace will remain distant. We can only achieve unstable security with heavy threats. Moreover, development will remain unbalanced and with many side effects.

The Universal Peace Federation is a global alliance which envisions peace not merely as security but harmony, cooperation, and concord. To this end, the UPF mobilizes the universal resources of humankind, beyond ethnic, national and religious borders. With this view of peace in mind, the UPF promotes global development, both as a conceptual framework and as a base for its practical “peace initiatives”. Let us explain the meaning of “global”.

6.1 The full development of the human being

First, we envision the full development of the human being. A fully developed human being fulfills the purpose of life and thus experiences joy. The UPF identifies three life goals, corresponding to the development of human beings, by human beings and for human beings:

  • Our first life goal is the maturity of character. “Character is destiny”, said Heraclitus, meaning that our fate is shaped by who we are. UPF sees character education as crucial for the development of human beings toward maturity. Traditionally, virtues such as justice, courage, wisdom, and moderation make up for the good character. For UPF,  the core of the good character is heart, the emotional impulse to seek joy through love. Only when the human  heart grows in giving and receiving love properly, will the person embody virtues. Young people should be joyfully stimulated to become good. UPF is conducting research worlwide to promote a truly universal moral education,  which can harmonize traditional and modern values, Eastern and Western values, spiritual and material values.  Moreover, UPF relies on experiential learning: character education is more effective when you do certain things in real life situations and then reflect on yourself with peers and coaches. UPF has devised a comprehensive curriculum for various age groups and is conducting much research on character education.
  • Our second life goal is to experience lasting love and joy in relations with others. The development by human beings primarily takes place in the family; there we learn to love as children, as siblings, as spouses and as  parents. Here again, UPF has a lot of expertise; it offers a comprehensive picture of the family dynamics and family ethics and has a unique record in its pioneering work of international, interreligious marriage. Moreover, UPF shows clearly how the family works as a school of love, how the love for the family extends in patriotic  love  and love for the world. In the 1960s, the Western world started to experience with the sexual revolution, boasted as the ultimate liberation. Significantly, during this period, Dr Moon and his wife introduced the slogan of world peace through ideal families. It is a revolutionary view of marriage and parenting. Over 40 years of theoretical and practical work in the field of marriage and family counseling conducted around the world with millions of people gave them a leading authority in this field. Today, UPF is a respected consultant on family vlaues for religious leaders, scholars, governments and international organizations.
  • Our third life goal is to benefit the community with our creativity. This is the development for human beings. It has much to do with our professional occupation, though not exclusively. People study many years and then advance their career in their speciality. Any person has a desire to use skills to do something valuable which will serve the community and be given recognition. Creativity means man’s dominion over all things; it includes the capacity  to  invent and the ability to skillfully implement inventions in the real world. Modernization has made the third life goal a priority: most people equate the meaning of their life with their career. In developed societies, all professions are highly organized, involving much technology and financial power. The incentive to constantly learn and improve professionally is strong but stressing. Here, the main focus of UPF is good governance. Good governance has a technical or external aspect; the management of any activity can always become more rational, more organized, more efficient. It also has an internal component, the ability to be an exemplary leader. UPF asserts that people of mature character and with strong family ethics are the most qualified for leadership positions.

The notion of life goals offers a roadmap for the “life span” human development from the fetus until death. Each person should be able to measure her destiny against a universal standard. In other words, we should ask ourselves: did I achieve the goals for which I was born, the goals which make a human being fully human? What is the model of excellence, then? In the past, the model was the French gentilhomme or English gentleman, or Spanish hidalgo, a person of  good  birth achieving a  noble life.  China had the  Confucian  ideal of  Jūnzi.  Such moral standards concerned men of a certain social class however. But the ultimate purpose of the global human development is to guide all human beings toward excellence. UPF talks about three major titles, or abilities.

First, we should be a teacher. The ability held by a teacher is authority, given by wisdom. Whether or not we are professional teachers, we must all cultivate wisdom. Wisdom is non-partisan thought for practical action. Common sense and experience may advise wisdom but its origin is the conscience. Wisdom is to always consult the voice of the conscience for  practical and responsible behavior. Moreover, wisdom teaches to others only what it has experienced successfully. And  true mastership is to dominate oneself before trying to settle situations. In many situations, a figure of authority often emerges, whose attitude, thoughts, behavior are the wisest. Any community is eager to consult such figures who teach by example and by giving guidance. For instance, Nelson Mandela achieved the stature of a teacher in South-Africa and for the African continent.

Second we should be a parent. The parent holds an ability called power, namely the power to bequeath love, life and  lineage  to children, with the hope that they will be better than themselves. Parenthood is the culminating experience of love. All the love accumulated as a child, as a brother or sister, as a spouse, bears fruit when one becomes a parent. Parental love is sacrificial, in the sense that parents give everything to their children, even their lives, but this sacrificial love cannot be possessive. Good parents want the love invested in their children to benefit others. Parental power is the archetype of all other institutional forms of power, such as being the mayor of a city, the president of a country and so forth. It is because those figures, even if they are democratically elected, hold an executive power accompanied by coercion.

Third we should be a master. The ability held by a master is dominion, given by creativity. We may not all be geniuses, but we all feel compelled to develop our skills throughout our lives. Creativity should be explicitly value- oriented, since creation should aim at the values of truth, beauty and goodness.

The fully developed, or ideal, human being is a teacher, parent and master. Likewise, the fully developed society or ideal society, keeps the three abilities of authority, power and dominion in balance. It is the society where teachers, parents and creators unite around a harmonious vision of the collective dream. A developed society will find the proper balance between respect for the past traditions, concern for the present situation and vision for the future. UPF calls the highly developed society the ideal society of universally shared values, interdependence and mutual prosperity.

6.2 Working for the global family of mankind

Becoming a teacher, parent and master is the vertical axis of human development. It is what we should live for. But whom should we live for? This is the horizontal axis of the human development. Some human beings may become teachers, parents and creators for a limited circle, say their family and relatives. But desire and ambition prompt us to live for something bigger than our family. Our hometown is a wider scope of love and of public recognition. Still wider, we have our nation. But a nation is too small for the human heart. If possible, we would like to live for the world. Does the world represents the widest scope of love? Humanism would say yes. But the UPF sees a larger scope than  humanity. The ultimate horizon of human development is Heaven, and the ultimate recognition of merit is not given by fellowmen only but by the eternal Heaven.

If the vertical ascension means to be a teacher, parent and master, the horizontal expansion entails that we must become filial sons and daughters for our family, patriots for our nation, saints for the world and sons of daughter of God for heaven. Viewed horizontally, Global development encompasses these four circles.

This raises the issue of globalization. With a proper view of human development, globalization is the meaningful and  inevitable trend of human history, which will bring all mankind towards a peaceful harmony. Globalization started externally, in economy and politics, resulting in increasing interdependence. But globalization mostly offers a spiritual and moral opportunity for a broader love. In other words, what is at stake is not just the free circulation of commodities, but the horizontal roadmap: the opportunity offered to all people to live for their family, for their nation, for the world and for heaven, without restrictions.

The life for the sake of others, or “living for” attitude should guide our horizontal expansion. First, each human being  should be born well, in a loving and stable nuclear family, who welcomes us into the big human family. Living for the sake of others means that first we have to graduate in the art of loving our parents, our siblings, later our spouse and our children and grand-children. The family is not an end in itself however. A protective nest of love, it is also a school of citizenship. The good family will make its children good citizens for their community and good patriots for their nation. Living for the  sake of others also  concerns the State. One elected, President Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for  you—ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but  what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.”

6.3 Human Development and the Absolute being

Finally, human development raises the issue of the absolute being. Why is there a human development at all? For what ultimate purpose? Such debates are not necessary when you work in development projects to alleviate various problems  affecting people. Yet, any fundamental reflection on development should include this debate. Some thinkers see in  human progress no other goal than improving the human conditions, while others see human history as a process of development including stages and an ultimate goal. Marxism-Leninism interpreted history as guided by the dialectics and inevitably leading to the ideal world of communism on earth, where human alienation has disappeared. After the demise of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama wrote “the end of history” arguing that the advent of a universal system of rational governance for mankind would fulfill the Hegelian philosophy.

Karl Marx had borrowed his dialectical view of history from the German philosopher Hegel. Hegel starts with God, the Absolute Being, who is pure reason. God is everything and does not need anything. But Hegel said that such a God cannot really enjoy His absoluteness, because He is not recognized or known as such. The only being who may become like God and a partner in His absoluteness is the human being, at the end of a long and painful process which is none other than history. History is human development and human development is a theodicy.

Dr Moon’s teaching on human development bears some common points with Hegelianism. Just like Hegel, Dr Moon says that the ultimate reason for human development is that God, the Absolute Being cannot be happy by Himself. He needs a  partner through whom all His ideals will become incarnate and manifested visibly. The

motivation for God to create human beings however is not the fulfillment of intellectual or rational knowledge, but          rather the joyful realization of love. In other words, human beings are the partners of God, the co-creators and are

responsible, through their free will to fulfill the love of God at all levels. The reason why we want to be teachers, parents, masters and the reason why we want to live for our family, for our nation, for the world and for Heaven is ulmitately to fulfill the desire of God, and give joy to the Creator.

The global human development perspective thus includes the eternal life span view. Above all human powers such as teachers,  parents and masters, our life finds its ultimate value and fulfillment in front of the Absolute Being. Human beings are born in this world for which they have duties, but not only for this world. Anybody sincerely working for human development should consider the resources of spiritualities which work on eternal salvation.

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Citations :

1   Caroline Thomas, Poverty, Development, and Hunger, in The Globalization of World Politics, p. 559-581, Oxford University Press, New York, 2001

2   The cultural dimension of development, culture and development series, UNESCO Publishing, Paris 1995, p. 121

3  According to a study published in The Journal of Finance in 2003, U.S. family-controlled businesses were about 5% more profitable and tended to be valued 10% higher by stock markets than their non-family run counterparts. In Canada, according to various estimates, family firms (including mom-and-pop shops) make up 75% to 90% of all businesses and account for more than half the country’s economy and its employment. In addition, roughly 40% of the largest 100 companies by market cap on the TSX have handed down control to a second, or even later, generation.

4 Karl Jaspers, Way of Wisdom pp.99-100, quoted by Norfleet Phil. The Axial Age of Karl Jaspers, Great Minds

5   Amartya Sen,

6   World Conference on Cultural Policies – Mexico city UNESCO, 1982

7 Excerpts of an essay delivered at the International Symposium organized by the Pontifical Cou ncil for the Family in Rome, on March 6—9, 1996, on the theme, “The Family and the Economy in the Future of Society.”

8 Ibid.

9 Family Investments in Children’s Potential. 2002 September Research Institute. Hosted by. Joint Center for Poverty Research a nd Irving B. Harris School

10  Safety and sustenance can begin before birth, with prenatal care, and continue throughout the child’s life. Stimulation, also , is a lifelong pursuit but is especially important in the early stages of development, when neural development is underway. Socioemotional support spans both economic and emotional supports that imbue a sense of belonging and worth and socialize chi ldren to the norms and expectations of society. Structure involves setting appropriate limits for the youth, as well as regulating parental expectations to align with the child’s developmental stage. Surveillance is keeping track of a child’s whereabouts and ultimate safety. These parental practices are associated with children’s emotional, cognitive, and physical development

11 For an overview of some programs, the following websites may be consulted

12 Human Development across Lives and Generations, The Potential for Change Northwestern University, Illinois

13  WorldMUN, Belo Horizonte 2002,