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ILC2021 Asia Pacific, July 28: Opening Session

Asia Pacific—The opening session of the July 28-29 International Leadership Conference 2021 (ILC2021) and Think Tank 2022 Global Forum for UPF’s Asia Pacific region was held on July 28, on the theme, “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Best Practices in Track II Diplomacy.” Over 4,650 people registered for the event and 661 watched it on Zoom and thousands more on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Rev. Demian Dunkley, regional president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Asia Pacific 1, gave the opening remarks in which he shared a story from the “Mother of Peace,” the memoir of UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. This was followed by remarks by Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair of UPF–Asia Pacific, who presented an overview of the two-day conference. Afterwards, three distinguished leaders from Nepal, Australia and the Philippines gave their insights and perspectives on the theme of this ILC.

H.E. Parmanand Jha, president of Nepal (2008-2015), affirmed the support of Nepal and the Nepali people for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and said that “we will do our best to achieve that virtuous goal.” He continued, expressing his gratitude to UPF founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Moon for their contributions to world peace. I am confident that [UPF] will help bring back the divided Korean people and the world. I believe that reunification is the only way to heal the suffering heart of separated families.”

Dr. Joseph Refugio, president of the Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business, Philippines, spoke about several articles written by peace advocates that could possibly give insights and ideas for a framework that can support the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas.

Dr. Lauren Richardson, a lecturer in the Department of International Relations of Australian National University, presented why track II diplomacy is a suitable method for Korean reunification. She concluded her speech by saying: “There are lots of things to consider for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. We need the objective of and focus on the outcome.”

Dr. Robert S. Kittel, senior advisor to and education director of UPF-Asia Pacific, highlighted the vision of UPF’s founders and three areas: purpose and motivation, role of track II diplomacy and best practices of UPF.

The opening session concluded with a performance given by Archbishop Elias Soria, president of the Asian Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), Asia Pacific, who sang “Walk with Faith.”

Dr. Venus Agustin, vice chair of UPF-Asia Pacific, served as the moderator.

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