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K.M. Nailatikau: Address to World Summit 2014

Address to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

Before anything, I would like to first convey to the people of the Republic of Korea, my deepest sympathies for the heart-breaking ferry disaster. May God heal the families coping still with the tragic loss of loved ones and know that our prayers are with you all.

I bring warm greetings from my country and its people, the Republic of the Fiji Islands. It is indeed an honor and privilege, to be present here at this most meaningful assembly of world leaders and delegates, and to contribute to the discussions in promoting our collective hopes for a more peaceful world.

I wish to also take this opportunity, to commend the exceptional and most important work of the Universal Peace Federation in its continuing and persistent efforts to promote peace, security and human development among the nations and peoples of this world.

The current on-going conflicts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and in Asia, make it almost impossible for anyone to imagine a world without violence, conflict and tensions because of competing claims for sovereignty, power and control.

But in my view, this should never deter us from continuing to draw the world’s attention to the critical importance of peace, understanding and goodwill for our common survival and coexistence.

It has been repeated throughout these meetings, and I wholly agree, that it is only when peace and stability prevails that countries can work together and cooperate with each other to promote economic and social development to improve the quality of life of their peoples.

The last few weeks have seen the world remember the glorious dead and reflect on the declaration of the First World War 100 years ago. In our own moments of reflection we should also remember

  • November 11, 1918
  • June 28, 1919 (end of World War I)
  • August 15, 1945 (end of World War II)
  • and July 27, 1953 (end of the Korean War)

Those were days that people thought would never come, but they did. And though we still have a long way to a united peace amongst all our nations we should always look to those days of the past as beacon of lights and symbols of hope for our present and future.

This is our collective responsibility entrusted to us by our Divine Creator, Almighty God.

Therefore, at this World Summit, we should express our consistent, strong and unanimous support for the work of the United Nations in discharging its responsibility under its Charter for the promotion and maintenance of global peace and security.

Furthermore, we should fervently endorse the Universal Peace Federation’s support and encouragement of regional and bilateral efforts for the peaceful resolutions of conflicts and tensions through direct dialogue and consensus.

Moreover, I firmly believe that in order to reconcile current conflicts, prevent future ones and create a more prosperous and harmonious society, it would be most wise that governments make every effort to include women as equal partners in all sectors of national development and nation building.

What women can bring to the table of building peace, development and security is vividly illustrated by Madame Co Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in continuing the renowned efforts and work of her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and I commend her for her conviction and perseverance in living his legacy.

I come from the Pacific islands region where our countries, despite our smallness in geographical size and populations, are determined to advance the pace of human development to meet the challenges of our national Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These include:

  • a healthy population free from non-communicable diseases,
  • reducing child and maternal mortality,
  • safe water and improved sanitation,
  • quality education for all children,
  • eradication of poverty and;
  • enabling people to live in dignity with a secure livelihood through decent and honest employment.

Additionally, Pacific island countries are also paying particular attention to the protection of our natural environment and the sustainability of the commercial development of our natural resources, including those of the Pacific Ocean as our common heritage.

Before continuing, I would like to echo the unanimous belief here that it is only with enduring peace within our countries and between states that people everywhere can feel more confident and secure about their future.

In the Pacific, this confidence and security is wavering, due to one concern that stands above all others in their endeavors to ensure a sustainable future for their people. That great concern is the growing, irreversible and steady rise in sea levels. At present coral atoll countries like Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tokelau are challenged with this daily, making this problem so serious that it is now considered a threat to their very physical existence as viable nation States.

Even Fiji has started to suffer the effects of global warming when 2012 saw that an entire village community had to be relocated from their traditional coastal location to higher ground due to rising sea levels.

This has seen the Fiji government further commit to the fight against climate change by recently establishing a Green Growth Framework to confirm Fiji’s commitment to improving its disaster risk management efforts and its effective responses to the impacts of climate change.

However, this rise in sea levels, as we all know, is a direct consequence of the warming of the earth’s atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions, most especially from industrialized countries.

Thus, in the context of the overall theme of this World Summit of Peace, Security and Human Development, I humbly request and urge this distinguished assembly to take note of these very serious challenges and to not only support but also to join and endure with us our ongoing appeals to the international community for assistance in mitigating this real threat to the permanent existence of our Pacific sovereign island states.

Each country and region represented here today is suffering from conflicts that are threatening the existence of its countries and people, and each country - whether admittedly or not - requires the support of the developed, the developing and even the least developed countries to support and encourage its cause in the global arena.

Therefore, it is evident that it is crucial that we work together in stanch faith and with equal leadership to be able to truly overcome our individual conflicts and struggles to be able to achieve lasting world peace.

I wish the Universal Peace Federation a successful World Summit. Vinaka vakalevu, Kam sa ham ni da, Thank you.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.