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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 2019
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Speeches

J. de Venecia: Address to World Summit 2015

Address to World Summit 2015, Seoul, Korea, August 27 to 31, 2015

1. Revival of/institutionalizing the Interfaith Dialogue

We urge the revival of the Global Interfaith Dialogue, through an “Interfaith Summit,” among Christians, Muslim Shiites and Sunnis, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and other religious groups to reduce political-religious tensions and conflicts in various parts of the world.

An Interfaith Dialogue, which [UPF] had the privilege to propose, and which was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2004-2005, called on all peoples—irrespective of race, religion, culture or country—to promote together a global culture of peace and mutual understanding.

From these inter-faith dialogues, we should expect no miracles—except epiphanies that result from open hearts, the willingness to see the other side’s viewpoint, and a multitude of patience.

To institutionalize these dialogues, we proposed setting up an “Interfaith Council” within the United Nations system, or at least a focal point in the Office of the UN Secretary General, at a time when discussion of religion was somewhat taboo within the UN system. Our UPF founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, was a pioneer in these historic initiatives.

If creating a new council is overly difficult—as some legalists have warned—then, perhaps, we could write an interfaith mandate in the mission order of the Trusteeship Council, which has anyway run out of trust territories to supervise.

 

2. Sunni-Shiite Dialogue

On the raging Sunni-Shiite issues and the extremist violence in the Arab world, and the emergence of ISIS-ISIL in the battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq, one cannot discount the magnitude of the barriers that intense doctrinal separation has raised between the two great schools of Islam.

As we promoted before in our letters to Saudi Arabia’s then King Abdullah and Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it would be of great relief to our region and the world, if the two leaders of Islam, representing the Sunnis and Shiites, respectively, of the Muslim world, could perhaps meet in Mecca and bring about the beginnings of reconciliation and the end of violence in the lands of Islam.

 

3. No to Cold War in the Asia-Pacific

Between Moscow and Washington—and between Washington and Beijing—mutual accommodation must be found, that gives the parties strategic reassurance and respect for their “core interests.”

Ironically, the hard peace between the earlier Cold War principals—the United States and the Soviet Union—had enabled the smaller countries to enjoy well over a generation of political stability and economic growth.

For us in Asia, at least for a long while, the age of ideological conflict is and should be over. We declare that we want no new Cold War in the Asia Pacific. Nor do we wish any state in our home region to play either the “American Card” or the “China Card.” It has been said that the Pacific Ocean is large enough for both great powers. And we see no reason that the relationships between these great powers should be adversarial. We see no differences between them that sustained diplomacy, humility and understanding cannot resolve.

In this regard, I have recently met with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop Sergiy of the Moscow Region Diocese, and suggested that perhaps the Russian Orthodox Church, the Vatican, and the Catholic, Protestant, and other Christian churches and other religions in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa should implore their governments not to allow the revival of the Cold War and to work instead for a new dawn of enduring peace in the 21st century.

Excellencies, friends, perhaps, the world’s religions can truly make a difference.

 

4. Most Practical Solution to the China Sea Crisis

The raging conflict in the South China Sea, West Philippine Sea to the Filipinos, and East Sea to the Vietnamese, with conflicting sovereignty claims, may be settled, we believe, by temporarily shelving the issue of sovereignty, as earlier proposed by Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader of China’s peaceful rise; reviving the Seismic Survey Agreement signed by China, the Philippines, and Vietnam in 2004, which I had the privilege to help initiate;

Undertaking joint oil/gas exploration and joint development with an equitable sharing of production and profits; designating “fishing corridors”; converting existing long-standing or newly-built bases into joint tourism sites, navigational and weather stations, and logistical ports facilities and bases for joint seismic and oil exploration and mining in the China Sea; demilitarizing the disputed islets through the phased withdrawal of armed garrisons; and coverting the zone of conflict into a zone of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.

This is perhaps the most realistic, most commonsensical solution to the problem of the Spratly islands and Paracel islands, and which could be subsequently joined by Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and could also be the solution to the perilous problem between China and Japan in the Senkaku or Diaoyu Straits in the East China Sea.

True, it is easier said than done, but now is the time to begin to consider the practical, principled, commonsensical win-win compromises necessary for the geo-political settlements in the China Sea.

 

5. Revival of the Six-Party Talks on North Korea

We believe that the lingering conflict and potentially dangerous flashpoint on the Korean peninsula could be resolved peacefully through diplomacy, cooperation and bilateral and/or multilateral dialogue.

More than ever, we urge the revival of the Six-Party Talks among the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea, which would contribute to enhancing political stability and security not only on the Korean peninsula but also in the Asia Pacific region. But most importantly, [it would] lead to [the unification of] the two Koreas; forswear war; and build a strong, united prosperous modern country for the Korean peoples in the first decades of the 21st century.

[This was achieved] in the case of the two Germanys and the two Vietnams. At some point, with strong, enlightened mutual will [to have] sustained, sincere negotiations, the inter-Korean family might perhaps emerge united as a unique federated system under common inclusive leadership and [would] surely be a modern prosperous first-world country in Northeast Asia.

An Active Role of “Middle Powers”

Excellencies, friends: We are seeing in our time the rise of a host of new powers.

  • In South America—Brazil, Mexico, Argentina;
  • In West Asia—Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia;
  • In South Asia—India and Pakistan;
  • In Central Asia, Kazakhstan;
  • In Southeast Asia—Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia;
  • In Northeast Asia, the Republic of Korea;
  • and then there are Canada, Australia and South Africa.

These “middle powers” are joining the great powers—the United States, China, Russia, the European Union, Japan, and India—in shaping the structure of the future world.

Like all epochal transformations, this on-going transition of the global system from unilateralism—under American leadership—to a multilateral balance—with no clear leader—is a delicate and dangerous period.

But the multi-polar international system confers one advantage on the “middle powers”: It gives them the diplomatic weight and flexibility denied to them by both the unilateral—and bilateral—systems.

Excellencies, friends: We believe multilateralism gives the middle powers an active role in creating—and maintaining—regional stability. Let us develop and strengthen the middle powers as a force for global peace and development and work with the United Nations to enlarge the Security Council, and not leave the peace of the world to the exclusive domain of the Big Five powers.

Community is the Wave of the Future

Excellencies, friends: Over this last decade, the Asia-Pacific groupings clustered around ASEAN have contributed to reducing tensions in our home regions. But, looking forward to the next 15 to 20 years, the Asia-Pacific [will still likely be] the hemisphere with the greatest risk of major armed conflict.

The only real solution—the only lasting solution—to these tensions is to embed all our countries in a network of economic, political and moral relationships—in an Asia-Pacific community of consent, and through a sustained dialogue among the great religions and great civilizations of Asia and the world. This is perhaps the formula for building global and regional peace that will endure.

Community, then, [will likely be] the wave of the future—not only for ASEAN, but also for the whole of East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

And it will be our generation’s burden—and glory—to lay the foundations on which these communal and moral structures are to be erected, so that those who come after us can then turn without distraction to the work of delivering our people from the bondage of poverty, ignorance, ill-health; the ever-increasing threats of conflict and war; and the new frightening challenges of climate change.

One Human Family under God

Excellencies, dear friends, fellow delegates: With violent conflicts and extremism [occurring] in the Middle East and Africa, South Asia, Eurasia, and the terrible toll [this has had] on human life, more than ever, we, in the Universal Peace Federation; governments; parliaments; political parties; civil society organizations; and all sectors must get our act together and work to promote peace and reconciliation; cooperation; dialogue; and pluralism; urge tolerance among our nations and peoples; and understand the diversity of our cultures and religious beliefs. Indeed, except for differences in the color of our skin, we all belong to “one human family under God.”

For more information about the World Summit, click here.