The 22nd General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has been concluded with success in that it could meet the Theme of the Conference “Wisdom and Compassion : The Way Forward”.
     The Conference was held at Grand BlueWave Hotel, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia from 9 - 13 December, B.E. 2545 (2002). 265 participants from the WFB Regional Centres, the WFBY Regional Centres and World Buddhist University Council attended the Conference in conjunction with the 13th General Conference of the WFBY, 4th Meeting of the World Buddhist University Council and the Meeting of Special Committee for Lumbini Development.
     The 66th WFB Executive Council Meeting and the WFB General Council Meeting chaired by Mr. Phan Wannamethee, WFB President were held on Monday December 9, B.E. 2545 (2002) to endorse various resolutions including recognition of the applying Buddhist organizations as new WFB Regional Centres, adoption of the criteria for the WFB World Buddhist Award; the WFB Secretariat and Financial Reports; assignment and nomination of the Rapporteurs, Chairmen and members of Drafting Committee, representatives of the General Council to serve as a Chairperson of each Standing Committee, adoption of the election procedure and election of Executive Council Members.

     The candidates who have been elected as members of the WFB Executive Council included :
     Mr. Graeme Lyall AM, Rev. Massayuki Soutetsu Watanabe, Ven. Jinwol (Prof. Young Ho Lee), Mr. Goh Seng Chai, Mr. Padma Jyoti, Dr. Yo, Hsiang-chou, Ven. Chao Chu and Dr. Dao M. Le.
     In the evening, the Buddhist Symposium on Wisdom and Compassion : The Way Forward was held at the Dewan Perdana Hall. After Mr. Phan Wannamethee gave a short opening speech, Ven. Dr. Sri Dhammananda, Abbot of Buddhist Maha Vihara as a Keynote Speaker delivered the Dhamma talk on the Theme of the Conference and how we can cultivate the wisdom in our minds and compassion in our hearts in the concrete terms. In this connection, Ven. Hwang Pyong Jun from Korean Buddhist Federation of North Korea had also contributed Ven. Dr. Sri Dhammananda’s speech by enhancing the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula through the concept of Wisdom and Compassion.
     The Opening Ceremony was officially held on Tuesday December 10, B.E. 2545 (2002) from 09.00 - 11.30 hrs. at the Dewan Perdana Hall of the Hotel. The significant events of the inauguration are as follows :
     1. Welcome Speech by Joint Organizing Committee, Mr. Goh Seng Chai. He welcomed the guests and participants to the Conference and expressed his gratitude to the Malaysia Prime Minister, YAB Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad to officiate the Conference;
     2. Speech by WFBY President, Mr. Anurut Vongvanij by expressing his appreciation to the Organizing Committee the quoted that human mind without wisdom and compassion can lead the world to conflicts and destruction.
     3. Speech by WFB President, H.E. Phan Wannamethee by expressing his gratitude to YAB Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia for his presence at the Opening Ceremony. He stated that the main purpose of the WFB is to work for securing peace and happiness for all beings including collaboration with other organizations working for the same end.
     On behalf of the WFB and the World Buddhists attending the Conference, he expressed is sincere thanks to the Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Malaysia for their generous hospitality and the WFB Selangor Regional Centre and Organizing Committee for the friendliness and efficiency in hosting the Conference.
     4. Opening Speech by the Prime Minister of Malaysia by conveying his thanks to the WFB to gather the World Buddhist leaders to attend the Conference in Malaysia. He mentioned that currently there is the great war against terrorism. Terrorism occurred due to failure in religious practice. Human has not mastered peace and harmony. Instead they downgrade the religion. The collapse in morality lead to religion contaminated with impurities. He urged that religion could play its role in bringing the confused world back to sanity and finally wished the Conference every success.
     Messages from heads of states as well as the Sanga including the WFB Patrons were presented after inauguration of the Conference.

    Functions and responsibilities as delegated by the WFB President at the Meeting of newly elected office-bearers on 12 December, B.E. 2545 (08.30-11.30 hrs.) are as follows :
     1. To preside over the ceremonial functions or other similar functions on behalf of the President, such as the conferences, meetings and seminars;
     2. To act as representative of the WFB by attending the meetings, seminars and activities organized through the World Buddhist University;
     3. To cooperate and coordinate with the Chairpersons of the 9 Standing Committee to ascertain the achievement of the resolutions and recommendation and the Third Two Year Plan B.E. 2546-2547 (2003-2004) endorsed by the 22nd General Conference of the WFB;
     4. To cooperate and coordinate with the WFB Regional Centres in implementation of the WFB Two-Year Plan in their assigned respective regions;;
     5. To recommend the applications for membership of the WFB as the Regional Centres including the update of the existing Regional Centres in their assigned respective regions.

     At the Closing Ceremony on 12 December, B.E. 2545 Mr. Goh Seng Chai as the host presented the WFB Flag through H.E. Phan Wannamethee, WFB President to hand over to Dasho Sangay Wangchug, next host of the 23rd General Conference which will held in Bhutan in B.E. 2547 (2004).
     All in all, the 22nd General Conference should be regarded as a successful one in the sense that all views and resolutions including Declaration and reports of the Standing Committee will be interpreted into the action plan inform of programme/project to realize the expected outcome.

(Redaction of Newsletter from WFB, for Asiatische Glaubenswelt and Tin Nguong A chau), (zusammengestellt von der Redaktion Newsletter der WFB für Asiatische Glaubenswelt durch  Friedrich Reg, Vize-Präsident der WFB)

(Bài do ông Friedrich Reg, phó chủ tịch Hội Liên hữu Phật giáo thế giới ghi lại cho các tạp chí Asiatische Glaubenswelt, Tín Ngưỡng Á Châu và Đường về Đại Đạo, sau đó sẽ được in trong Newsletter của WFB).
 

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