March 2023
26 27 28 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1


J.J. Rawlings: Address to World Summit 2013


Prepared text

PhotoCircumstances in the peninsula between communist North and the capitalist South no doubt gave birth to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a man with a passion for peace. He did not restrict himself to the search for peace in the peninsula but beyond, to the rest of the world.

Peace and security are very essential to development anywhere, but can we have peace when there is no justice? Any spectre of injustice that goes uncorrected will perpetuate itself, and the perpetuation of injustice can lead to the destruction of the moral fabric of a society.

Globalization is reshaping the world in interesting ways. As wealth becomes a reality in some parts, some areas still have to live with a mirage while the rest suffer their nightmares.

The collapse of the bipolar world has brought in its wake a tide that is surfed by the powerful few while tossing and turning, crushing and drowning a few too many.

The developed countries may suffer a few pangs and stresses here and there, but they have not lost their ability and capacity to adjust and correct themselves. If America's quality of justice, for instance, were not improving with the passage of time, a black African would not have emerged as President in the United States, also as a corrective expression to the excesses that preceded his emergence. Obama's emergence was America's quest to restore some political morality back into their political leadership.

In the developed world, the public's capacity to express moral outrage, to defy wrong, to express judicial consciousness, both during elections and in the lifetime of the government, is what sustains the peace and stability of those countries.

Let us not at the same time be unmindful of the fact that the yardstick for judging what is considered right or wrong is not the same measure that is applied in their relationship with those of us in the developing world.

What about the quality of justice in parts of Africa and the Middle East? Had freedom and justice been at the root, or had been part and parcel of Egypt and Tunisia's development, would those countries have rebelled? Gaddafi had provided so much for his people, but even the Bible says that man shall not live by bread alone! The quest and thirst for political expression is why God gave us free will. It is unethical to suppress it. Leadership brings the best out of our people when that creative spirit and energy are nurtured.

The late Pope John Paul, who helped to bring down communist and socialist governments, subsequently described the private sector as the savagery of capitalism, because with the collapse of communism, the world expected to see the human face of capitalism. Instead, we are seeing the savagery as the Pope said.

Governments and their respective agencies in developed countries, however, are able to bring to book excesses by the private sector.

The corrupt tendencies by some in the private sector, especially the foreign ones, are causing havoc in Africa, and they are doing it with impunity. The quality of socio-economic justice on the continent is low enough. Taking further advantage of our vulnerability will be undermining the fragile peace and stability among our people.

Lastly, ordinary people at the grassroots normally do not harbor ethnic or religious hateful feelings against one another when governments ensure the rule of law or justice. Politicians and those seeking power must desist from the tactics of divide and rule. We must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the force of a united nation, a united people, simply because they will be demanding accountability from leadership. Good leaders must be accountable to their people and not the other way around. In fact, it is a two-way street.

For more information about World Summit 2013, click here.