Unifying the Power of Sangha and Promoting the Peace in the World
After the fourth General Conference in Thailand in January 8th to 10th, 1986, the hosting country and location for the nest conference was undecided. During the second meeting of the fourth Executive Committee in New York in November, 1987, Vice President of WBSC, Ven. Wu Ming Mahathera proposed the hosting country to be ROC due to the religious freedom and prosper economy in Taiwan, as well as past experiences as hosting country. It was unanimously agreed by all members. The planning for the fifth General Conference was discussed and initiated in the third meeting in Bail, Indonesia in November, 1988.
The preparation for the fifth General Conference faced great challenge in April, 1989. The president of WBSC, Ven. Pai Sheng Mahathera passed away in Taipei in March. Despite the tragedy, WBSC united people all over the world. The Secreteria of WBSC sent out emergent notification and Vice President, Ven. Wu Ming Mahathera was elected as acting president. Late President, Ven. Pai Sheng Mahathera solemn funeral was not an ending but a new beginning for WBSC.
In August, the conference preparatory committee sent out invitations. In September, reception liaison and preparations for the conference were in full swing. In mid October, members of the Buddhist Association of the ROC gathered at 6, Shao Shing North Street, Taipei. Most of the workers for the conference were young generations except the translators who were experienced professionals. It was so different from previous conferences to have more young people to serve in picking up people from the airport, registration, communication, taking minutes and moderating meetings.
The fifth General Conference begun the registration process on October 27 and the opening ceremony was held in Mandarina Crown Hotel next day. The conference took place at Shandao Temple. The closing ceremony was at Yuan Heng Temple in Kaohsiung. There were 700 attendees from 20 nations. The theme was "Unifying the Power of Sangha and Promoting the Peace in the World".
During the conference, Ven. Wu Ming Mahathera was officially elected to be the President. Chinese and English Secretary General were still and Ven. Liao Chung Mahathera and Ven. Dr. M. Wipulasara Mahathera. Board of Elders was established. Senior and experienced Maha Theras from all over the world were invited to join and provide guidance for the WBSC.
During the period of the fifth Executive Committee, there were three meetings held in Hanover, Germany in April, 1991, Taipei and Kaohsiung, ROC in November, 1993, and Hong Kong in 1995. It was intended to develop the activities from traditional Buddhism area of Southeast Asia to Europe and hopefully to make more impact.