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Peace and Security

ILC2021 UPF-Africa: “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula”

Africa-2021-09-10-UPF-Africa hosts ILC2021: “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula”

Africa—UPF-Africa hosted the 3rd series of ILC2021, September 9-10, 2021 on the theme, “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Prospects for Economic Development and Peace; Ideologies, Worldviews and International Relations.” Cohosts included: ISCP, IAPP, IAPD, IMAP, IAED, IAFLP, IAACP, and the Peace Road Foundation. There were 6 sessions featuring about 20 VIP speakers. The audience numbered about 15,000 throughout the continent participating via livestream, YouTube, Facebook and Telegram.

From the quality of the presentations made by the panelists, we understood that the issue of the reunification of the Korean peninsula is a subject of interest and concern to African leaders, despite the distance that separates us from Asia. Relevant analyses and very innovative and original suggestions were made by leaders of associations, and leaders of club services including the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. The same goes for business leaders who surprised us with their proposals to not only bring the two Koreas closer together but also to bring Korea and Africa closer. As for the university professors, they proposed approaches based on the impact of ideologies and history on the behavior of the leaders of the two Koreas and explained how this information might lead towards reunification. Below are the details of each session, its objectives and some of the key points.

Session One: Host ISCP (#1 video: https://youtu.be/No_KdyX9iwQ). The Opening Session (September 9) dealt with the issue: “What are the Vision and Perspectives for a Reunification of the Korean Peninsula in a Competing Ideological, Geopolitical and Economic Environment?”

Moderator: Dr. Paterne Zinsou, vice president of UPF-Africa; coordinator, IAPP Africa Region

Following introductory videos and highlights of previous ILCs and Rallies of Hope, welcome remarks were given by Mrs. Katherine Rigney, UPF-Africa chairperson. A very moving introductory message was delivered by H.E Emmanuel Nadingar, Prime Minister of Chad (2010-2013) - "I would like to wish long life to the founder of UPF, Mother Moon and I would also like to express my wishes of long life to the Universal Peace Federation. The work of UPF through the Northeast Peace Initiative in Asia and the reunification for the Korean peninsula through these webinars, Think Tank 2022, and all the other initiatives conducted over the years by the founders will surely have immense impact."

The keynote address was presented by H.E. Hassan Mohomed Amardanbe, MP and minister of defense of Somalia, who expressed gratitude to UPF and Mother Moon for their efforts to achieve global peace. "The peace we speak of will penetrate the world and will be a reality if we focus on the fight against poverty. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is calling all of us to strengthen our commitment to the promotion of peace and economic development. To promote peace each of us individually should take actions in supporting the global movement for the construction of the culture of peace. The value we should have must be the culture of living for the sake of others, and there is no better example, than the founders of Universal Peace Federation, Father and Mother Moon.

Other speakers included: Dr. Tageldin Hamad, vice chairman, UPF International and chair of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), who delivered introductory remarks. "Greetings to all UPF Africa officials and all panelists and participants. The Korean peninsula has been divided for decades. Families have been separated. The division has forced many families to live apart from each other. This division is a geographic and superficial division; the true division regards their values, and whether God really exists. Father and Mother Moon have invested themselves to end this war and unify the two Koreas. The role of the United Nations is to make peace a reality in the world. However, the two Koreas that are part of the UN have still been in conflict for nearly 70 years. To resolve this problem there are several diplomatic mediations by the great powers. Yet all these efforts have failed to produce concrete results. We must keep hope for the reunification of the peninsula. UPF founders Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, believe that we can build a world of peace if religious leaders work together and unite their efforts. Over the years, the United Nations has recognized the contribution of religious leaders in the various processes of establishing peace in the world. In addition, we firmly believe that the commitment of the founders that to include the parental heart of God at the level of the United Nations, can contribute to the achievement of peace."

H.E. Ousseini Tinni, former speaker of the parliament, Niger. "Peace is always the result of geographic, social, economic, political, endogenous and exogenous factors in permanent interaction in a temporal space. Today, conflict prevention and management strategies must be updated in a context marked by rapid technological developments, a very dynamic competitive economic environment, climate change with global consequences and a weakening of so-called political ideologies. To emphasize that despite all the losses they generate, wars and conflicts always end by peace talks. It is then up to the peace ambassadors to do everything possible to prevent and reduce the duration of conflict." 

A video performance of the Little Angels of Korea concluded this session in a very joyful way. 

Session Two: Host: IAPP (#2 video: https://youtu.be/3lpHvg-aSLY). The session’s theme was “Worldviews and International Relations: Parliamentary Diplomacy.” The following questions were discussed: What are the strategies that parliamentarians can put into play in order to contribute to the reunification of the Korean peninsula? How might parliamentary diplomacy be a favorable asset to this process? Do parliamentarians have sufficient means for their policies? What are the advantages of parliamentary diplomacy to achieve this objective?

There are great advantages with parliamentary diplomacy as the Hon. Issa Mardo, an MP from Chad, president of the Parliamentarian Commission of Sustainable Development Goals, and moderator of the second session, pointed out. Hon. Dr Abdullah Makame, East Africa Legislative Assembly, Tanzania said: "We recommend sports as a powerful way to bring the Korean parliamentarians on both sides together. Every time we use sports, for example, football, basketball, athletics, any kind of sport, both sides will come together. This format brings greater interaction among the parliamentarians from North Korea and South Korea. We also engage in exchanges like staff exchange programs for parliaments and visits. Through these programs we promote visits between north and south."

Hon. Drabo Joséphine, former Member of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS Parliament said: "There have been two Koreas since the end of World War II when the two great powers established dividing lines between their armies. Korea's division is only the result of antagonism between two powers. It is an arbitrary division born out of the will of powers whose interests are foreign to those of the Korean people. The factors that we can activate for the reunification of a divided people are among others: intensify the dialogue, work to restore confidence between the two parties and this through parliamentary diplomacy, re-establish investments from South to North, and the will of the people to come together through the commitment of parliamentarians."

Hon. Kamssouloum Abba-Kabir, Member of Parliament, Cameroon said: "We have seen the willingness of the Korean people to meet before, so we believe that we must find ways and means for African parliamentarians to make their contribution to the reunification process. We must implement all the members of the UPF to put in place technical provisions and have the necessary human resources, financial and logistical to be able to support this reunification."

Session Three: Host: NGOs (#3 video: https://youtu.be/YblWxu280xI). The theme was: “Prospects for Economic Development and Peace.” The speakers discussed the questions: How can economic cooperation programs contribute to the process of reunification of the two Koreas? What are the most sensitive areas in order to best achieve this objective? Economic cooperation is an avenue to explore and develop as a factor in bringing the two peoples together. Are there opportunities for convergence in the business world? How can African countries that have trade relations with one of the two Koreas or both at the same time contribute to the reconciliation of the two Korean peoples and promote reunification?

Moderator: Mrs. Albina Tanui, secretary general, UPF-Somalia

Panelists:

Dr. Reginald Nalugala, Tangaza University College, Kenya identified some key questions: (1) Is unification of the people across the two borders of Korea possible? (2) What are the economic development and peace models from Africa which could inform us on unification of communities? (3) What are the lessons from Africa on unification of across border communities? He said Africa has many examples of nations cutting across boundaries. Some findings emphasize the structural transformative models as: socio-cultural economic models, environmental models, faith based models, technological exchange models. The professors recommended German reunification as an example but also suggested that we look at examples like United Republic of Tanzania where two states willingly decided to form a United Republic that works quite well. The two Koreas could aim at such model too.

Ms. Mary Muthoni, Kenya National Chambers of Commerce suggested some points to achieve reunification of north and south Korea. (1) A monetary union with the adoption of single currency that could unify both countries, (2) A social union with adoption of common labor and social policies. The two parliaments could work on that. (3) The rulers of each side should take the lead to make this happen. They need to show the way and the people who have same background will be supportive.

Engineer Robert Oyando, Ramsis Engineering Solutions for Liquid Food, Kenya spoke on the sub-theme -- Food for development and peace. “A hungry man is an angry man, someone deprived of a basic necessity not be easily placated. this is a proverbial saying of the mid 17th century. The children of Israel, while in the wilderness, grumbled against Moses and Aaron because they had no food (Exodus 16). We cannot start imagining to make peace with someone who is hungry. If you desire really peace with any man, you must first of all take care of this very basic need food. In order to create a peaceful environment for negotiation between North and South Korean governments, we must propose to provide food to the hungry in North Korea. This is an indication of caring heart. And that is what matters. Food provision to the North Korean is essential for their peaceful co-existence with their southern counterparts. South Korea should know this and keep doing this. This will prepare a better environment for the conflict resolution and peace building effort. This remarks and the Questions and answers that followed concluded first day program. 

Session Four: Host: IAED (#4 video: https://youtu.be/Tx33szqB4Ng). On September 10, the theme for Session Four was “Prospects for Economic Development and Peace: Doing Business, Make Peace.” This session focused on the prospects for economic development on the Korean Peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia. Could a Northeast Asian Economic Community that includes DPRK be possible? Are there bilateral trade agreements that would offer a peace dividend? Panelists explored opportunities for peace through economic development.

Moderator: Mr. Abdoulaye Wone, Regional Coordinator, IAED

Panelists:

Mr. Nkosinathi Lucky Zulu, Pastor; Founder and Director of THETHESA COMPUTER Ent, South Africa – “Peace is absolutely necessary to reach sustainable economy and mutual prosperity. Our goal as being together with UPF, is now to adapt the need of our people and establish peace through our business and together we can unite. We should initiate business with North Korea as we are already doing with the South. By doing so, we share knowledge and prosperity and people get to know one another better. This can make reunification possible."

Dr. Paterne Zinsou, vice president of UPF-Africa; coordinator, IAPP Africa Region"I would like to point out that economic development is a common concern that does not escape any policy or any nation. The he came to power in 2011, Kim Jong-un established a policy focused on two essential points, namely the creation of a nuclear force and an upward development of the national economy reform. To this end, it is important that an economic reform be carried out at the national level.but this requires economic cooperation in order to generate a strong mobilization of resources to accomplish this mission. Involvement and massive economic support to North Korea could therefore change their perspective and their vision of the world as being the sphere of fraternal cooperation. It was suggested from some previous exchanges that the organization of an African summit on the economic development of the reunification of the two Koreas with the participation of businessmen from the two Koreas could be a strong action in favor of the reunification of the Korean peninsula."

Session Five: Hosts: IAAP and IMAP (#5 video: https://youtu.be/2xdqrF5cbpY). The theme was “Ideologies, Media, and Culture.” The session speakers examined the questions: How to transcend the differences in ideology, regime and political opinion between North and South, and put into practice the ideal of brotherhood and unity between two divided peoples? What role can the media and civil society play in order to generate this force of attraction and this desire for reunification, repeatedly through different forms of cooperation? These initiatives include, among others: meetings of separated families, sports and scientific cooperation between the two Koreas, tourist visits, etc. How can obstacles to this process be prevented and how to capitalize on these initiatives and attempts geared towards the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula?

Moderator:

Mr. Frederick Wakhisi, secretary general, UPF-Kenya

Panelists:

Prof. Eric Aseka, renowned historian, Kenya - "It’s important to emphasize that political ideologies have had little influence on South Korea such as political decision-making. The story of democratic human development and democratization has allowed South Korea to think much more freely than North Koreans. There is a kind of national pride that has developed out of the economic miracle to be one of the Asian tigers so that the real challenge is how to bring them to the level of brotherhood and to think in the same way. The two countries have big deficit of trust from one another."

Hon. Olive Louembet, Women and environmental leader, Gabon - "Greetings to the Founders of UPF and to the persons in charge of UPF-Africa. I salute the contribution of all these people who have invested themselves in this program and the process of reconciliation of the Korean peninsula." She touched on several important topics, including: (1) civil society organizations which are now able to engage the population in political debates, would be able to take action in favor of peace such as peace education programs and peoples' reunification programs, and (2) sports diplomacy could be a real lever in the process of establishing peace in the world. Sports as a vector of values ​​must be taken into account in the development of diplomacy strategies."

Session Six: Closing Session (#6 video: https://youtu.be/x-Vq6trPJ6U). The theme of the closing session was “The Role of UPF and its Associations and Sister Organizations in the Korean Reunification Process.”

Moderator: Mr. Adama Doumbia, president, UPF-Africa; regional coordinator, ISCP-Africa

Keynote speech: Dr. Thomas Walsh, chairman, UPF International. The title of the presentation: “UPF International: Offering a New Paradigm for Peace through Restorative Practices.” It was a real university-level lecture that was appreciated by all participants. It gave a very comprehensive presentation of UPF, its founding vision, values, goals and strategic goals from now to 2027 and even beyond.

A moving testimony was given by Mr. Rudolf Faeber, secretary general, UPF-Zambia. Rev. Faeber was born in Europe but has spent the past 40 years in Africa answering the call of the UPF founders back in 1975. Rev. Bakary Camara, co-chair, Cheon Eui Won (CEW) Heavenly Africa gave congratulatory remarks. He explained that “the two Koreas cannot overcome their difficulties on their own but only in cooperation with the world.” He quoted the UPF founders who “strongly believe that the reunification of the two Koreas is a steppingstone towards a unified world,” hence the critical importance of the forum.

The reflections from the panelists and comments from participants from different chat rooms showed an increasing interest of our African audience about the Peaceful Reunification of Korean peninsula. Our future goals are to share the videos of our webinars and ILCs with more broadcasters on the continent especially those who are on cable TV. This will surely help us reach more than 2/3rd of the population. This goal is very realistic and reachable.

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