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Speeches

C. Vila Nova: Address to World Summit 2022, Session VIII

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022

 

Your Excellency, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, presidents of the republic and heads of government, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: It is with great pleasure that I address this illustrious audience to share ideas about this important topic from the point of view of São Tomé and Príncipe, a small island state that, by the grace of God, has been an oasis of peace on the African continent.

Let me first of all express my thanks to the Universal Peace Federation, the great worker of peace, for the kind invitation that was given to me.

The peaceful coexistence between peoples and between individuals is a universal good, because we know from the teachings of history that peace is an essential, critical condition for man and society to realize and develop fully. I wish, therefore, on behalf of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe and myself, to congratulate Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for the spirit of mission that has marked so indelibly her commitment and her cry, audible in all latitudes, for universal peace and for the pacification and unification of the brothers of the two Koreas.

In fact, a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula refers to the establishment of a solidly guaranteed peace in legal and institutional terms, formally ending the state of war marked by a tense relationship between the parties. When we look from the outside, we distinguish throughout Korea one of the most outstanding cultures in Asia, with the same language and common customs—elements that are known as the structuring identity of a community

Indeed, the Korean people have a rich and ancient history that connects current generations to their collective past.

Although the Korean Peninsula is often associated with two states, one in the North and the other in the South, it is important to keep in mind that before Japanese colonialism, the country had a history of more than a millennium as a unified and autonomous nation.

This is why we say that the intrinsic spiritual, emotional and cultural dimensions that shape the Korean people cannot give in to the weak attempts to place brothers with their backs to each other.

What is the 38th Parallel? Who has observed it? This line has no real function and has already lost its reason for existence. The more than seven decades of animosities have proven that history must make room for a new era among Koreans.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a period of numerous emergencies that force us to learn quickly in several existential domains. Our real enemies are, in fact, climate change, viruses, and economic uncertainties, so it is our conviction that humanity will gain a lot if the world evolves from a model of balance of powers based on the relationship of forces to a more cooperative multilateral model, because all these challenges call for a union of peoples and the joint capacity for resilience and not mutual weakening. History calls on our Korean brothers to give a sublime lesson to the world, a lesson of intelligence.

It is therefore an opportunity that lies before you Koreans to bring out the best that is within you, your capacity for achievement and practical wisdom.

Let's take the example of the Germans, who were divided for more than 40 years between the Eastern and Western blocs. The fall of the artificial dividing wall on November 10, 1989, was nothing more than the result of brothers who could no longer stand the hypocrisy of the division. The reunification of the Germans made Germany the most populous country in the European Union and one of Europe's most export-oriented economies. This milestone is inspiring.

We are therefore convinced that the vivacity of the Korean national sentiment and its cohesive force will inspire politicians to seek to establish a common dialogue on the issue of the unification of the peninsula in the spirit of the so-called Inter-Korean Basic Agreement of 1991 on reconciliation, non-aggression and exchanges between North and South and the subsequent bi- and multilateral treaties and declarations for a lasting state of peace to supersede the precarious regime resulting from the Armistice of July 27, 1953. The peaceful coexistence will then constitute the period of unification.

We cannot fail to welcome here the efforts of reunification led by the parties and the symbolic gestures such as the one witnessed on the occasion of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018, which are seen by many as preludes to peace.

My country, São Tomé and Príncipe, will continue to support the process of inter-Korean reconciliation and reunification within the UN, thus making its contribution to peace and security not only in the Korean Peninsula but also in Asia and in the whole world. I trust and I believe that all of us here trust in the superior wisdom of the Korean people, who, in this time of emergency, will look to the learning of the past, focus on the future, and certainly do what they can in the present to create the peaceful coexistence that will lead toward Korean reunification. 

Thank you very much for your attention.

 

 


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