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UPF-South America Hosts ILC Webinar on the Reunification of Korea

South America-2020-11-27-UPF-South America Hosts ILC Webinar on the Reunification of Korea

South America—On November 27, 2020, UPF-South America held an International Leadership Conference (ILC) webinar with the following theme: “The reunification of Korea and world peace through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.” The Zoom platform hosted 520 participants, and 340 more followed on YouTube, bringing the total audience to 860.

Following up on the ILC’s commitment to include the broad scope of the work of UPF, the panel for this ILC included representatives from the following UPF associations: International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), International Media Association for Peace (IMAP), and the International Association for Economic Development (IAED). In addition, it included representatives from the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), Youth and Students for Peace (YSP), and UPF’s Peace and Security Office.

The event moderator was Dr. Neudir Simão Ferabolli (Secretary General, UPF-South America). Opening the event with his welcoming words, he presentd the main theme and the objective of the meeting. He emphasized that events such as this ILC and the recent Rally of Hope genuinely support peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.

In his opening prayer, Dr. Jesús Manuel Mejía Quiroz (Bishop, President, Pontifical University of Peru, representing IAPD) offered words of thanks to God for the South’s victory in the Korean War. He praised the dedication and patriotism of the war veterans who gave their lives to prevent the advance of communism and concluded his prayer by asking God to become the center of this meeting.

After the presentation of a documentary on the Korean War, opening words were given by Rev. Dong Mo Shin (Regional Chair, UPF-South America). He began his speech by thanking the Ambassadors for Peace for participating in this webinar recognizing the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. He emphasized that UPF’s founders present the unification of the Korean Peninsula as the key to world peace, promoting numerous peace initiatives and activities, especially in the coming year, which marks the 30th anniversary of their visit to North Korea, where they were received by President Kim Il Sung. He said that we can achieve peace by fulfilling the premises of UPF: interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

Rev. Dr. Dong-woo Kim (President, FFWPU-South America) thanked the presence of peace-loving leaders in South America and declared that this meeting aimed to contribute to the union of South and North Korea as seen from a global perspective. He shared points about how the Korean War connected with South America: South Korea was able to survive due to the support of the United Nations and emphasized that South America played a significant role this support. Communism failed to win on the Korean Peninsula due to the union of democratic countries. Working together for the unification of the Koreas, humanity will be able to find lasting peace that goes beyond belief and ideology. In addition, he invited us to look carefully at what is happening in South Korea right now.

Next was a video of the testimonies of two Korean War veterans of Colombia: Colonel Guillermo Rodríguez Guzmán, president of the Association of Veteran Officers of the Korean War, and Pedro Hernando Vergara, Secretary General of the Colombian Association of Korean Veterans. One of them said, “Recalling the moment we were in front of the battle in Korea and we were hearing about a peace treaty, we as combatants wished to see this end as soon as possible. Since then we have hoped that with the efforts of Dr. Moon this can be officially established.”

H.E. Dr. Rosalía Arteaga Serrano (Former President of Ecuador; representing ISCP) thanked the veterans for their efforts. She began her speech, "How to Cultivate Peace", by saying that efforts in search of world peace are undeniable. In view of this, she proposed to seek peace through education, namely to instill in the minds of children and young people a culture of nonviolence in all areas, especially within homes and families.

Hon. Germán Alcides Blanco Álvarez (President, Chamber of Representatives, Colombia; representing IAPP) greeted everyone who participated in the international event. He honored the Colombian battalion that was present in the Korean War and observed that in this celebration of 70 years, we are still looking for reunification in Korea. He saluted UPF and its founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, for her multiple activities to promote peace that draw on her experience in the Korean War.

Hon. Greyce Elias (Head, Women's Secretariat, National Congress of Brazil; representing IAPP) recalled that at the time of the war in Korea in the 1950s, she was not yet born, but she learned that it was a seed fertilized by dreams, struggles, work, added to by faith and a lot of community action in a frantic search for peace, not only between the Koreas but rather worldwide. Nature calls for effective actions by political leaders in search of peace, she said. She continued, “We live in an atypical moment in the world, with losses and suffering, but we must pray for peace in the world and take advantage of this Leadership Conference to unite our goals in this common good.”

Dr. Antonio Betancourt (UPF Office of Peace and Security Affairs) began by reminding us of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s “March on Moscow,” when he was willing to help the Soviet Union educate young people about democracy. He explained that the unification movement acted actively against the expansion of communism in the world, creating an alternative of criticism and opposition to communist ideals, not only from an economic point of view but also on questions of universal values. The world must be guided by interdependence, mutual prosperity and shared universal values, as proposed by UPF’s founders, he concluded.

Mr. Samuel Ota Linhares (President, YSP-South America) saluted everyone present and thanked UPF for its peace initiatives, especially this event honoring Korean war veterans and celebrating 70 years since its end. “We are immensely grateful to those who risked their lives across the Korean Peninsula, remembering that at the time of the war, those called up were young people from different countries. Almost 34,000 young people lost their lives in Korea. Thanks to these sacrifices and the united effort of so many countries, we can have the democratic nation of South Korea today.”

Hon. Raúl Rocha Ayala (former Deputy, Plurinational Legislative Assembly, Bolivia, representing IAED) thanked UPF for inviting him. Reflecting on all the speeches made thus far, he said that they were evidence of how much gratitude was owed to the sacrifice of the war veterans. Regarding Dr. Moon, he appreciated her encouragement to seek the reunification of the Koreas. He said he believed that the best way to empower the world is to learn about Dr. Moon's ideals and activities for world peace.

Mr. Ángel Sánchez Dueñas (President, Federation of Journalists, Peru, representing IMAP) began his speech by thanking the organizers for the opportunity to represent Peru, land of the Inca ancestors whose society was formed on the basis of three fundamental values: Ama k'ella (“Don't be lazy ”), Ama llulla (“ Don't be a liar ”) and Ama sua (“ Don't be a thief ”). Seventy years after the Korean War, we cannot think of a peaceful union in Korea that would allow the existence of a humanitarian society without first thinking about the universal values of the creator, he said. The unification of the Koreas can be achieved only under basic criteria such as the process of reconciliation, full cooperation and interdependence with a shared economy, mutual cooperation, and universal values of the Creator.

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