“Inner Peace is the Best Foundation for World Peace”

The State of The World Forum 2000

September 9, 2000 - New York Hilton

by T.Y.S. Lama Gangchen

Presented by Isthar D.-Adler

“Making The World Spiritual Forum a Reality: A Road map For Action”



In Support of the
United Nations


“Dear Friends: 

The world of the future will be extremely different from the one we are experiencing today. Major transformations are bound to take place, mostly in response to population growth and demographic changes, poverty and human suffering, the profound inequities between the rich and the poor, the impacts of all forms of discrimination and racism, the social unrest prevailing in so many countries, the impacts of crime and drug abuse, and the inability we have to attain sustainable and everlasting peace. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent in the name of development and economic progress and some of these problems seem to persist. 

The debate on those issues, and many more which we can add at this point, is also dramatically changing. The change responds principally to our increased understanding (consciousness) of the many dimensions involved –so the problems and solutions do not get trivialised; to important considerations to be taken into account at the national, regional and global levels—so we give due consideration to the global nature of our human existence; and to significant transformations of the forums –institutions like the UN and The State of the World Forum - where the debate takes place and the solutions are to be found. Two things are clear: (1) that there is no one answer to those problems and (2) that there is not just one point of view that must dominate. 

In this process and as I propose a road map to the actual creation of the World Spiritual Forum, it is imperative that we learn from past experiences. One of this is that humanity is in search of both material and spiritual welfare. The material dimensions of our existence and the material solutions are equally important as the non-material ones. The need for material satisfaction first and spiritual growth later is a false and extremely dangerous proposition. For the world we live today it is equally important to debate the state of material poverty and that of spiritual poverty. Some people and communities while facing material poverty are still spiritually rich. But there are others where both material and spiritual poverty are at the centre stage of their existence. The UN recognised these two dimensions a long time ago, and specific proposals were developed in the Damabarton Declaration of 1944, where it was stated that the path of humanity entails both material and spiritual growth. 

It is evident that less and less leaders would dispute the importance of understanding the spiritual dimension of all human phenomena. But such consensus has not been translated or anchored in one global institution. 
Thus the Spiritual Forum for many remains an abstract element and concept, and this must change and change now. 

For the last several years many people including economists, financial specialists and entrepreneurs have come to the realisation that a World Spiritual Forum is the key missing in the international system. And what is needed now is a specific road map for its full realisation.


In my view this road map should contain the following elements and signposts: 

  • The idea, concepts and rules must be publicly recognised and supported by The State of the World Forum. It represents the natural and most effective complement for a holistic understanding of the meaning of “state of the world”. The final declaration of this Forum should include explicit and specific support and endorsement to a World Spiritual Forum. 

  • The private sector and leaders from all walks of life should sign a short and clear statement (letter) that should be transmitted to the UN Secretary General, UN top leaders, the leaders of the International Trade and Financial Institutions, country leaders, union leaders, NGOs and spiritual leaders of the need to create the World Spiritual Forum immediately. And, if the idea is to create it within the UN System, that this would not be a decision making body but a deliberation forum and a major contributor to the formulation of global economic and social policies. Specific links with the General Assembly and the ECOSOC should be drawn up. 

  • If the World Spiritual Forum is to be created outside the UN System, it would be essential to seek the full support of all actors in the world of development: governments, private sector, NGOs, academia, media and others. A place, budget, operational procedures,…, should be drawn so this Forum comes into existence in the nearest future. 

This is an idea whose time has come. This is an opportunity the world cannot miss. This is an institutional arrangement that will complement and strengthen the structures that already exist, and it will show that its contributions will be key to shaping the future of humanity. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that if we want a world transformation that targets the most sacred aspects and aims of humanity, any change that translates into the creation of new institutions is a difficult and complex one. But, it is leaders like you that have to be bold and willing to take the necessary radical steps for this Forum to become a reality. This will be your forum, the forum of the poor and the powerless, the forum of your children and grandchildren,… 

I am making an appeal to you so you can write the history of this new millennium with the hands of the spirit, and we not only bring a human face to economic development but also the human soul. Do not be afraid. Be bold. Be generous with those generations that are following us.

Inner Peace is the most solid foundation for World Peace.


Thank you for your attention