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World Summit 2019 and the Inauguration of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP)

KOREA-2019WS-Feb8-Opening Plenary

World Summit 2019

February 8-11, 2019  |  Seoul, Korea

Related links: Sunhak Peace Prize CeremonyWorld Summit Day 2World Summit TestimoniesWorld Summit Schedule


UPF World Summit 2019 on “Peace, Security and Human Development,” was held from February 8 to 11 in Seoul, South Korea. 1200 participants including 40 current and former heads of state and government from 110 nations attended. UPF founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon welcomed keynote speakers U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (2001-2009) and U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (1995-1999).

A resolution was approved to establish a new association of current and former heads of state, government and world leaders known provisionally as the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) to work in concert with the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and the International Association of Traditional Rulers for Peace (IATP).

UPF resolved to convene inaugural ISCP programs on the regional and national levels throughout 2019; the first World Assembly of ISCP will be convened the first week of February 2020, and will feature the centenary of the Founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

The 3rd Sunhak Peace Prize was awarded to Waris Dirie, human rights activist fighting for eradication of female genital mutilation, and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina for his work in promoting Africa’s growth and good governance through agricultural innovation.

The Segye Ilbo and The Washington Times co-hosted a session on “Peace in the Korean Peninsula,” featuring H.E. Lee Nak-yon, prime minister of Korea, Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada (2006-2015), parliamentarians, and other officials and military and political experts.

February 7 – Opening Banquet

The 2019 UPF World Summit on “Peace, Security and Human Development” opened with a banquet on February 8, 2019, at the Lotte World Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Delegates gathered from around the world, representing governments, religious organizations and those active in civil society to share ideas and ways how to contribute towards the building of a world of sustainable and lasting peace.

With the opening program being guided by emcee Dr. William Selig, communications director for UPF International, participants were welcomed with entertainment and greetings. The invocation was given by Ven. Phrasithawatchamethi, deputy abbot of Ratchaburana Grand Temple in Thailand.

Dr. Thomas Walsh, chair of UPF International, presented an overview of the constituent parts of the UPF World Summit that would include an address from the founder of UPF, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon; meetings of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD); sessions focusing on peace in Northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula and the introduction of the International Summit Council for Peace.

Hon. Yoshinori Ohno, former minister of defense for Japan, congratulated everyone for being a part of such a momentous occasion. In many political spheres around the world, inward and protectionist ideals are dominating policies and organizations, he cautioned the audience. The way to bring about peace on any scale, he said, is to be open to others from different cultures and countries; in addition, the whole reflects the actions and mind-set of individuals, meaning that the peace is generated, first, from individuals.

H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy, governor general (1997–2007) of Saint Lucia gave a brief history of Saint Lucia, a small island nation, constantly fought over by colonial powers for hundreds of years: It has changed hands 14 times because of its strategic value and beauty. She described the family as the school of love where the principles of peace and harmony are nurtured and developed.

Gen. Dr. Nem Sowath, special adviser of Samdech Pichey Sena Tea, Banh, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of National Defense from Cambodia, shared how present-day Cambodia has thriving economic growth, having emerged from 500 years of bitter history. He credited the intervention of the international community for putting Cambodia one step closer to achieving peace.

The inspiring messages, compounded by wonderful entertainment and delicious food, culminated in an air of anticipation for the conference ahead.

February 8 – Opening Plenary and Sessions

The following day, February 8, was a regal event. UPF’s co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and 40 current and former heads of state and government entered the ballroom filled with 1,200 participants to resounding applause. After interfaith prayers and the Korean National Anthem performed by the Little Angels, Dr. Thomas Walsh congratulated the participants and set the conference’s tone. “We can make history,” he said, “Peace can only come when all sectors of society are engaged, particularly the religious leaders. Billions of believers aspire to a world of peace.”

Two government ministers from Korea’s Office of Foreign Affairs spoke about the status of Korean reunification. Hon. Myong Gyon Cho, deputy minister for foreign affairs, said that both North and South Korea want peaceful unification. The upcoming 100th anniversary of the March 1 Movement, marking the independence movement and the establishment of the provisional government, is commemorated in both countries. “Families remain separated due to ideological differences,” the minister said, but “there is a spirit of hope in the air that the peninsula will be reunified.”

The president of São Tomé and Príncipe and the governor general of Tuvalu gave welcoming remarks and emphasized spiritual guidance as essential for being able to live in peace. Two well-known leaders from America echoed the role of religious leaders and a policy of peace through strength.

Hon. Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-1999) praised Pope John Paul II and religious leaders who brought change in Moscow and said, “Religious leaders have the power to change lives for the better and solve problems that politicians cannot.” Referring to talks with North Korea, he commented, “We don’t just want a denuclearized peninsula; we want religious liberty in all countries.” He recalled his father, who served in the U.S. forces that fought in the Korean War. His father would be so surprised and proud to see how Korea has progressed to become a major economic power in the world. Speaker Gingrich affirmed that America stands committed to the defense of South Korea. He thanked Dr. Moon for hosting such an important international conference.

Hon. Dick Cheney, vice president of the United States (2001-2009), was introduced by emcee Dr. Michael Jenkins as “a man who stands for peace.” The vice president recalled his many visits to South Korea when he served as secretary of defense and vice president. He affirmed the U.S.–South Korea alliance, which has endured because “we have shared values.” He quoted Gen. Douglas MacArthur and President Dwight Eisenhower, who referred to the courage and sacrifice of the Korean people. “Whether a Republican or Democrat is in the White House, the operating assumption is the same—America stands by its friends.” He warned that Kim Jong Un’s regime is “highly skilled at extracting concessions in exchange for nothing,” and cautioned U.S. negotiators against “repeating past mistakes. Mr. Cheney said “we have to be open to the possibility” that Chairman Kim is serious about denuclearizing. He called on the Trump administration to be mindful of pursuing a deal “merely for the sake of having a deal regardless whether it actually serves the ultimate objective.” The U.S. will honor its commitments. North Korea should not speculate on our pledge to South Korea,” he said.

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of UPF, shared her vision for a world of lasting peace in parallel with the commemoration of the centennial of Korea’s March 1st resistance movement during the rule of Korea by Japan. She called the participants “peacemakers, historical people and pioneers in building God’s kingdom.” Her message of hope and love touched the hearts of participants. “The only person who brings God’s message is the messiah,” she said. She described the many UPF programs in 2018 that brought her to Brazil, Austria, Nepal, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the United States. “I want to encourage leaders to reflect on the words of Jesus, that we must live a life of true family values. Let us join hands as one family under God,” she concluded.

A cornerstone of the opening plenary was the introduction of the International Summit Council for Peace, a new association of current and former heads of state as well as government and world leaders. Former Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona read an excerpt: “The International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) will work in concert with the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and the International Association of Traditional Rulers for Peace (IATP) throughout the world.” Inaugural ISCP programs on the regional and national levels will be held throughout 2019, and the first World Assembly of ISCP will be convened in 2020.

Dr. Moon presented ISCP Distinguished Award medals to the following dignitaries and then signed the resolution along with all the leaders to introduce the initiative, which will join the sister organizations of IAPP and IAPD as projects of UPF: Hon. Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States of America (2001-2009); Hon. Ousmane Moutari, ambassador to the United Nations for Niger; H.E. Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, former Head of State of Samoa (2007-2017); H.E. Luis Federico Franco, former President of Paraguay (2012-2013); H.E. Anthony Carmona, former President of Trinidad and Tobago (2013-2018); Hon. Stanislav S. Shushkevich, former Chairman of the parliament of Belarus (1991-1994); H.E. Alfred Moisiu, former President of Albania (2002-2007); Hon. Iakoba Taeia Italeli, current Governor General of Tuvalu (since 2010); H.E. Evaristo Carvalho, current President of São Tomé and Príncipe (since 2016); H.E. Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana (1981-2001).

Session II included keynote addresses from the current and former heads of state and government who shared their personal ideas and practical solutions to build peace. Current First Ladies Patricia Marroquin of Guatemala and Debbie Remengasau of Palau spoke about gender equality and the need for respect and love as the foundation for world peace. Hon. José Barroso, who served as president of the European Commission (2004-14) and prime minister of Portugal (2002-04) spoke about the important regional benefits of intergovernmental cooperation and NGO organizations.

H.E. Karim Khalili, vice president (2004-2014) of Afghanistan, thanked UPF for the opportunity to discuss peace, security and human development and for its emphasis on peaceful dialogue. Vice President Khalili described the situation in his homeland: “I am coming from a country that has been a victim of war in the past 40 years and still is.” He described the causes of conflict as radicalism, misinterpretation of religion, racism and sectarianism: “Afghanistan is a victim of radicalism.” The vice president called for a new commitment to dialogue from everyone, at every level.

H.E. Jaime Paz Zamora, president (1989-1993) of Bolivia, expressed his enthusiasm for the conference especially peace and love. He explained that his middle name, Paz, means “peace,” and the middle of his family name is amor, which means love; therefore, “My name is peace and love!” He called for the creation of an institute of peace where the principles of peace, respect and loving others can be studied and multiplied.

Afterwards, Session III constituted concurrent sessions of IAPP and IAPD, which represent a multi-track approach to peace and conflict resolution. Former Philippine Speaker Jose De Venecia, co-chairman of IAPP, described how China is challenging the West and shifting “global gravity from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” Regarding the Korean Peninsula, Speaker De Venecia proposed a plan that recommended a confederation between the two nations, similar to the model of Vietnam and Germany, commercial flights, highways, and a common railway system for the two Koreas.

The representatives of many nations and diverse religions expressed their concern for the challenges facing our societies, particularly for the crisis affecting the Korean Peninsula today. At the same time, there was a profound sense of gratitude to Dr. Moon and the UPF for the spirit and programs which foster just and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.

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