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August 2022
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Speeches

J. M. Aznar: Address to World Summit 2022, Session V

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022

 

Good afternoon. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Universal Peace Federation for inviting me to participate in the World Summit 2022 which is addressing such an important theme as reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Special thanks to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Founder of Universal Peace Federation and host of World Summit 2022, as well as to the Co-chairmen, H.E. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Mr. Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations. In addition to my thanks for the invitation to participate in this event, I would first like to underline the importance of the work being done by Universal Peace Federation and its global network of ambassadors for peace and peace associates, and then to present some recommendation on how to achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula.

We live in complex times where the world order is wearying from a process of transformation caused by many reasons and actors, including the return of rivalry between the great powers, economic recession, the rise of populism and authoritarianism, the rise of radical nationalism and liberalism, the pandemic, climate change, increasing social and economic inequalities, poverty, to name a few. In this context of increasing geopolitical tensions in international relations, the work of an institution such as Universal Peace Federation and its efforts to build peace and dialogue among nations, especially to contribute to a dialogue on peace on the Korean Peninsula, is more necessary than ever. We all agree that peace on the Korean Peninsula is of great importance. We know that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is made complicated by the political competition among superpowers, not only during the 20th century’s Cold War but even today.

We must work toward building trust, mutual respect, reconciliation, and cooperation. My personal experience as a former prime minister of Spain has taught me that all instruments we can use to achieve dialogue and peace must be used. Peace can be pursued not only through traditional Track I diplomacy, but also through a wide range of backchannel approaches to peace that may involve civil society, trade and commerce, humanitarian relief, interfaith dialogue, cultural exchange, tourism and so on. Regarding concrete recommendations on how we can contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula—and taking into account that on January 30th the North Korean government confirmed that it has fired a medium-range nuclear missile—we need to enhance dialogue between the two Koreas based on two simultaneous strategies: denuclearization of North Korea and sustainable dialogue to improve relations between the two Koreas.

To prevent a war on the Korean Peninsula, it is necessary to address the security concerns of both actors. In this process, the United States as well as China and Russia can contribute constructively. Cooperation between civil societies is one of the keys to gaining popular support for future negotiations. In addition, the governments of both Koreas should facilitate family reunification for those separated for many years. My experience as a former prime minister of Spain has also shown me that when there is a willingness among the involved actors to reach an agreement, to achieve peace and prosperity with mutual respect, it is possible to reach very important agreements. I am sure that this Universal Peace Federation Summit will contribute to the important process of searching for constructive solutions to a conflict that has been going on for too long. Anyway, everyone, the best of luck and fruitful work.

Thank you for your attention. All the best, and goodbye.

 

 


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