Rev. Sun Myung Moon Pledges Millions to Pacific Countries

Marshall Islands Journal/December 1, 2000

Majuro, Marshall Islands -- Plans to establish a Pacific governmental task force and the offer of multi-million dollar development aid from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon were among key developments from the international conference held in Majuro last weekend.

Sponsored jointly by the RMI government and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), the meeting brought together about 40 people from the region.

Government officials agreed to establish a task force to focus on economic trade and development issues, according to conference participant Peter Murray of Australia.

Murray, executive chairman of the Murray Group, an international business management company, said that the Moon group (which established the IIFWP last year) also pledged $2 million per participating Pacific country to assist with education and fisheries development.

The proposed task force would oversee the projects, he indicated. The idea behind the task force is to bring island people together to seek "a commonality of problems and solutions," he said. One aim of the task force is to create a Pacific trading "bloc" to give island countries more power in their relations with Asia and other trading blocs globally.

The task force follow-up is left in the hands of President Kessai Note and other governments from around the Pacific, he indicated. But Murray said his company is happy to support the work of the task force with advice and technical assistance as may be needed in the future.

"Solutions are not easy, but the task force can give direction and people like myself who have the time and ability can help," he said.

Murray said that the conference produced a tremendously positive and important result. President Note and the Marshall Islands, as well as other island nations, have the opportunity of receiving "no strings attached" funding.

Pacific governments have "nothing to lose," he added.

"I can't see any threat or quid pro quo," Murray said.

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