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N. Gingrich: Address to World Summit 2022, Plenary Session 1

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022


Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. I must say I have not been quite as directly lobbied to help with a bill recently, but I take seriously trying to get those things fixed. I appreciated both your saying it and also meeting with the speaker and talking with him about some of the concerns.

To me and my wife Callista, who was ambassador to the Vatican, it’s a great honor for both of us to be at the Summit for Peace on the Korean Peninsula. I want to thank the Universal Peace Federation, and in particular Dr. Moon, for their continued dedication to try to find a way forward that can bring together the people of both North and South Korea in a peaceful way, and do so in a way that extends human rights and extends the opportunity of freedom to everybody on the peninsula.

I want you to know that there are an amazing number of Americans who are committed to helping, including frankly, a very large number of Korean-Americans, who form a very vibrant and very important part of the American system, and increasingly are winning public office and showing up as members of Congress in ways that increase their impact.

I’m delighted to be here and talk about what has to be done. I also want to say that it’s a great privilege for Callista and me to be here with Vice President Pence, who is an old, personal friend. He’s from Indiana, and by coincidence the leader of the worldwide parliamentary effort on behalf of peace, Dan Burton, is also from Indiana. Dan is an old friend of ours, and I know he is working actively every day to try to knit together literally thousands of parliamentarians around the world, who are increasingly talking to each other, committed to finding a way to move forward.

I commend everybody directly involved with this. I will also say that from my personal standpoint my family has been involved with Korea since 1953, when my father came here to serve in the US Army in the last year of the Korean War. Looking back the other day, it’s hard to believe it’s been 72 years since the war began in June of 1950. People back then would find it impossible to imagine what Seoul is like, what Inchon is like, or all of Korea, for that matter.

So part of my being here has to be to say “Congratulations” to the people of Korea, who have created a world-class industrial powerhouse, who have generated products that are now known worldwide and who have become competitive at the very top levels of every kind of activity.

It is a great thrill to me to know that the sacrifice that my father made and that we have made over the years has more than paid for itself. And I can assure you, we may have many disagreements in the United States about many things—that’s the nature of a vibrant democracy—but the commitment to preserving freedom on the peninsula is deep and real and one of the most import pillars of American foreign policy.

But I think it’s important to look beyond just defending. The thing I find fascinating about the entire process of the Universal Peace Federation is that it has a vision of people across the planet, and people across the planet finding ways, whether it is challenges on the Korean peninsula, or the challenges in South Sudan, or the challenges facing the United States. The human race is at one of those amazing turning points, when the technology that brings us together can also be the technology that destroys us.

I think these efforts, this commitment to talk together, to bring together the kind of really remarkable groups that come from all over the world to this kind of a conference, to make friendships, go back home realizing that you have things in common that allow you to build a better future, I think all this is very, very vital.

I want to commend everyone, both people who are here, people who are downtown, people who are with us virtually and people who will in the future see all of this on social media. The human race will move forward to safety, prosperity and freedom only if good people take the time, show the courage and get involved.

Let me say finally, and I say this with all of us wearing masks. I’m allowed to take mine off just long enough to speak to you. The truth is, we will move beyond this. We have before, we will again. And as we move beyond this, because of the work of Dr. Moon, because of the work of the Universal Peace Federation, there is a real opportunity for us to move together as people of all nationalities and to find a dramatically better future.

It is an honor to be here. I hope each of you will consider yourselves ambassadors for freedom, ambassadors for peace, and ambassadors for reaching out to others and helping them understand how much the future of all of us depends on talking rather than fighting, depends on cooperating rather than conflict, and depends on listening to each other and learning from each other.

As an American I find it very humbling to be here. I have to say, thinking back to the world my father fought in in 1953, every time I come to Korea I am astonished at how far the Korean people have carried this country toward prosperity, toward modernity, toward being one of the leading scientific and technological powers on the entire planet. It is a great tribute to the human spirit, it is a great tribute to the people of Korea. And it’s a sign if we can reach out a hand and find a way to help the North Korean dictatorship gradually unwind and transition, that the North someday can also be as prosperous and free and as open as the South. That has to be [the goal] toward which we work.

I commend each of you for taking time out of your life to be part of that. Thank you very, very much.



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