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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May 2018
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Speeches

All people hope for peace. This is a universal value shared by all human beings, regardless of their race, national origin, educational background, or religious belief. The ideal of a world characterized by harmony and cooperation among all people is rooted in the conscience of all people.

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In the company of members of the international diplomatic community, I must begin by expressing my heartfelt appreciation to the United Nations. I would not be here today if it weren't for the UN. All Koreans love and respect the UN – even more so with the appointment of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. We have our national sovereignty today, due to the courage of the men and women of the United Nations, led by the United States, who fought and died to liberate my homeland from totalitarianism.

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We live at a time when the world is facing one global crisis or another. The increasing wave of terrorism, for instance, is one global crisis of immense proportion. The lingering Arab-Israeli conflict is another one. What shall we also say about the high level of poverty existing in some parts of the world while others live in affluence? The spread of conflicts, civil wars and political instability give rise to despair and violence in some parts of the world. The crisis in governance in countries with weak institutions, the inequity that characterizes global trade, the controversy about the damages to the environment through human activity, and global health issues including the existence of incurable diseases, among others, suggest that the challenges are indeed many and varied.

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We have witnessed a very serious decline in humanity's awareness of, appreciation for, and practice of universal spiritual and moral principles used as the foundation on which our contemporary world was formed. It is my hope that we can work together with more effort and dedication to solve the world's critical problems.

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We need meetings of the religious leaders, congresses of religious leaders, where they will discuss not their differences in doctrine but the world situation. I don't think there will be serious differences of view when the topic is war and peace in a given region or peace on the planet or the global ecological crisis. I believe that these issues are very important for religions.

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The proposal to establish an interreligious council relates to the UN’s mission and its Millennium Development Goals. In bringing together councilors representing governments, religions, civil society, business and academia, it would serve as a model of integrated governance. It would draw on core spiritual and moral principles to provide solutions to critical global problems. Its authority would depend on the personal standing, status and actions of its members, the Ambassadors for Peace. Its program would be action-based and result-oriented, including research that will bring about real progress towards achieving a lasting peace.

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We need to take into account the full dimension of human beings, particularly the religious dimension—which is not fully integrated into debates at the international institutions or at the national levels. Despite that, we can say there is hope, because in national conflicts, especially in Africa, the belligerents and peacemakers find it impossible to reach an acceptable solution without integrating the religious leaders and traditional leaders in the peace process.

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Media, with its access to the vast realm of information technology, should take on a responsible role in expressing opinions in a fair, ethical and responsible manner; concise and compact versions of opinions expressed by journalists contribute to the formation of public opinion, since people are generally too busy for copious reading. Opinions so formed influence social, national and international decisions. Such is the importance of the media and journalists that the media has now been dubbed the Fourth Estate coming after the legislature, executive and the judiciary.

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Not only has poverty been feminized but so have wars. Efforts to support peacemaking and peacebuilding for women must be hailed. Women must not be merely the victims but also the victors.

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Palauan culture has traditionally been characterized by our strong family and extended family relationships, the central role of religion and spirituality, and our system of traditional leaders and chiefs which has historically formed the basis of our social organization, governance and system of justice.

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Good governance has become an important issue in national and global politics. It has gained importance with the demise of the Cold War and the resurgence of democratic ideals. The emergence of global threats and challenges has further accentuated its importance. According to Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, good governance must go beyond national interests, national boundaries and legal obligations to embrace interreligious values in order to establish lasting peace.

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I appreciate the opportunity to offer a few remarks at this important World Russian Forum. Russia and America, once dire enemies and both such important nations in the world, can now pursue a path of cooperation and partnership. We want to consider issues related to the part of the world where the US and Russia are in fact neighbors.

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