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A. Niquice: Address to World Summit 2022, Session VIII

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022


Welcome to 2022. I would like, first and foremost, to thank you all for having me give this speech, and also I would like to convey my appreciation to World Summit 2022 in addressing the very critical and important topic of reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

My appreciation also goes to the UPF founder and host, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. And I also would like to convey my appreciation to the co-chairs, His Excellency Samdech Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, the former secretary-general of the United Nations.

The importance of peacebuilding, of a world of peace, especially during times when international relations are strained—and there are threats on various fronts, including pandemic, conflicts between nations, climate change, poverty, family breakdown, to name a few—is really critical for us as citizens of the world to contribute to the well-being of humankind and a unified world. In these brief lines I would like to share some of the lessons learned in the peacebuilding process, which I believe are important in the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Experience shows that building and maintaining lasting peace must be based on solid projects, and that these projects must translate into unbreakable principles. Peace on the Korean Peninsula is of great importance. If we can achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula, it will give hope that peace can be established globally, that peace can prevail on Earth. The steps we take to generate and create a breakthrough for peace in the Korean Peninsula can be emulated by other nations, no matter if they are developing or developed nations.

These situations in the Korean Peninsula are complicated by geopolitical competition among superpowers, not only during the 20th century's Cold War but even today. So it is critical that strong voices from leadership all over the world support and generate peace in the Korean Peninsula. We must work together toward peacebuilding, mutual respect, reconciliation and cooperation. Peace can be pursued not only through traditional “track I diplomacy” but also through a wide range of “track II” approaches to peace that may involve civil society, trade and commerce, humanitarian relief, interfaith dialogue, cultural exchange, tourism, etc.

An effective political strategy is also, in my understanding, the precondition for success. Peacebuilding is an instrument, not only a strategy. To be successful, peace operations must be embedded in effective political strategy and peace process, not only to substitute this framework. Without a viable political strategy, peace operations should not be an automatic response.

Thus, I can conclude—to not take long in my speech—that we need really to strategize, and coordination is a key. Generally, peacebuilding operations involve multiple actors—states, international institutions, non-governmental institutions, NGOs, civil society—working together in the same environment so that the results can be maximized.

We must ensure that priorities are determined locally, and not imposed from outside. Local ownership ensures that local concerns are at the center of peacebuilding. Local ownership decreases the likelihood of a return to a conflict. When people, on a large scale, can participate in shaping their own future and are able to voice their concerns, they develop an interest in ensuring that peace lasts. Local ownership ensures the sustainability of peacebuilding efforts in a process that can take us through the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

It's mandatory to involve local teams jointly, to create, generate and implement peacebuilding strategies that put local people in the very front in this process. Mistrust damages the relationship, including between people and their leaders. Exclusion or marginalization of key groups of society sows the seeds for renewed violence.

So in the process of reunification of the Korean Peninsula, it's important to include participants from across society, even those who are typically overlooked and seen as difficult to engage with. This inclusive approach ensures that a broad base of society's groups share a sense of ownership and responsibility, and also accountability, for the reconciliation and rebuilding of their society.

I thank you, everyone, and I wish that 2022 will bring hope and will take us jointly—this joint effort, our wishes, our dreams, our prayers—toward the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you once again.



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