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E. A. Aouele: Address to World Summit 2022, Session VIII

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022


Note: World leaders were invited to World Summit 2022 but due to air travel restrictions, participated by submitting a video message. The following text is a transcription of the recording.

His Excellency Mr. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia; His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations; Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Universal Peace Federation; Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of the Universal Peace Federation; Dr. Yun Young-Ho, Director General of the Universal Peace Federation; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great privilege for me to address this important World Summit on Peace on the Korean Peninsula.

On behalf of the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, who has prior commitments, I would like to underline the particular interest he attaches to this high-level meeting.

This Summit, “Peace on the Korean Peninsula,” will provide an opportunity to discover, among other things, the practical mechanisms for the promotion and enhancement of dialogue and peace in the Asia-Pacific region and, more particularly, between the two Koreas. Such a forum is necessary to the extent that the evolution of our societies and the interaction among civilizations require peoples to have a common course of action and a shared and inclusive view on issues relating to peace and human development.

I would therefore like, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, to applaud the holding of this Summit, which is part of the series of summits organized by the Universal Peace Federation.

I wish to express our thanks to all the entities that have contributed to this initiative, including the Royal Government of Cambodia. Our gratitude goes in particular to Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen; His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Universal Peace Federation; as well as the senior officials of this organization. So thank you, distinguished personalities, for the honor you have bestowed on Côte d’Ivoire to take part in this Summit, as a special guest, with a view to delivering a message in favor of lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was Confucius who affirmed, and I quote: “No stone can be polished without friction, no man can perfect his experience without trials.” End of quote. Indeed, if in the evolution of men and peoples, conflicts may arise here and there, the resolution of these disputes invites, through dialogue and consultation, a restoration of unity, a return to the true measure of life in common and therefore to peace.

The recent history of our humanity, and in particular that relating to the last century, is made up of serious rifts, one of the tangible manifestations of which is the split since 1945 of the Korean Peninsula into two entities, North and South. Obviously, the interests of the strong nations of that time led to clear-cut and antagonistic positions, leading to the separate development of two factions of the same people.

Today, this separation is perceived as a painful fracture that must imperatively be repaired, in order to ensure the reunification of the Korean people, whose rich culture and undeniable societal values are shared, beyond a border that presents itself as an artifice inherited from history.

The wounds and the various tragedies of this history remain primary motivations for a turnaround in the conduct of interhuman relations, so that “never again does this happen.”

The thirst for peace and a return to unity displayed by the leaders of the two States, the resumption of dialogue and the gradual rapprochement of the various positions, once radical, give great hope on the road to peace.

Lao Tzu, an eminent philosopher, rightly said, and I quote: “A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a first step.” End of quote. I would therefore like to commend the steps taken by the two governments and congratulate them on the firm will shown on both sides to put an end to this separation, which has harmed the peoples, the Asian region and the world.

If the ultimate goal is the happiness of humankind, it is therefore necessary to turn aside the dark pages of history and to highlight the tremendous human potential and the many economic assets of the reunified peninsula, so that it offers itself, not only as a major actor in the progress of humanity, in peace and harmony, but also and above all, as the ever-renewed possibility for humanity to constantly rebuild itself to go towards the best, and thus let the river of life flow together.

Let us all be convinced that reconciliation and reunification efforts, however commendable they may be, must be supported by the entire international community, even if the main actors are called upon to show significant involvement in the quest for peace and harmony on the Korean Peninsula.

The peace on the Korean Peninsula, which we all so desire and which is the subject of fruitful exchanges during this Summit, also invites us to reflect on peace in the world. This is also the meaning of the presence of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire at this Summit, in order to contribute to the ongoing dynamic that must be enriched by various experiences in this area.

Ladies and gentlemen, peace in the world is at the core of the policy advocated by the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara. Aware that external peace begins with peace with oneself, President Alassane Ouattara has made Living Together a palpable reality in Côte d’Ivoire.

The socio-political evolution that we are experiencing, with reconciliation underway, testifies well to this constant desire to reach out to others and to restore trust and peace, through dialogue, between the essential actors of socio-political life.

Similarly, the sustained involvement of the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in the resolution of subregional conflicts, particularly in West Africa, clearly shows that he remains a fervent supporter of a vision of a peaceful, open and cooperative world for the well-being of all peoples.

In this sense, President Alassane Ouattara remains in line with the first President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Félix Houphouët Boigny, who has made peace a true religion and the value around which our country is constantly maintained. Houphouët Boigny rightly taught us that “peace is not an empty word, but a behavior.”

This famous assertion by the founding father of modern Côte d’Ivoire makes us understand that peace cannot be an abstract notion. It is reflected in the consideration of a number of essential elements in the governance of peoples, namely: respect for human rights, the guarantee of justice, the reduction of inequalities, the mitigation of vulnerabilities, not to mention the strengthening of State institutions. These aspects are indispensable axes, which President Alassane Ouattara has been able to inherit, to promote the current stability and peace in Côte d'Ivoire.

Thus, our ability to build a world of shared values, to overcome the contingencies of our differences and our selfish individualities, to allow everyone to take their place and assume their role, will be the guarantees of the advent of a world of peace and justice, prior to the development and well-being of peoples.

As a value, peace cannot be a vain and hollow slogan. It must resonate as a call to take a path made of tolerance, truth, mercy, fraternity and justice. Peace is also a path that it constitutes itself, and which leads to itself. Clearly, to be at peace, we must make peace, taking the path of peace. This is also Gandhi’s vision: “There is no path to peace, peace is the path.” Each of us has a responsibility to grow peace so that it becomes a reality for our world. Let us therefore work for its preservation, each as far as he is concerned, constantly bearing in mind that the promotion of peace depends on our individual contribution, which will be part of a collective approach.

Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, I would like to congratulate the organizing bodies of this important Summit. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on the future of the Korean people who aspire to reunification, and who would thus become a model of tolerance and self-denial for a lasting peace for the happiness of all.

The President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, will always be able to commit my country to the path of harmony, joining other peace-loving nations anxious to strengthen cooperation among peoples.

I have faith that this work will be fruitful for the acceleration of the peace, reconciliation and reunification process of the two Koreas and for world peace.

Thank you.



To go to the World Summit 2022 Schedule page, click here.