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E. Nath Dhakal: Address to World Summit 2015

Address to World Summit 2015, Seoul, Korea, August 27 to 31, 2015

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, president of the Universal Peace Federation; H.E. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati and Sunhak Peace Laureate; Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, fisheries scientist and Sunhak Peace Laureate; Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, deputy prime minister of Tonga; Hon. Erna Hennicot Schoepges, former president of Parliament, Luxembourg; excellencies; ladies and gentlemen, namaste.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Dr. Gupta for winning history's first and very significant Sunhak Peace Prize (Korean Nobel Peace Prize). As I have the task to comment on Dr. Gupta’s paper, I will focus on that. I am feeling especially proud of him since I come from Nepal, one of India’s closest neighbors—both geographically, historically and culturally. As the whole world celebrates Dr. Gupta’s accomplishments, we in South Asia are also honored.

No doubt, his decades of sincere investment and laudable scientific achievements have changed the lives of many people, especially small-scale farmers and underprivileged people. Dr. Gupta is an activist who is concerned with the future of humanity as well as our global home. We must salute his five decades of untiring labor and unshakable commitment towards small-scale farming, food security and peace. I am personally very much encouraged by his life and work.

Dr. Gupta presented various facts and figures which scare us too. Rightly so! When the population is growing so rapidly and leaving behind millions of people below the poverty line, with no clear policy or strategy to produce enough food, then what will our situation be in 2050 or 2060? Will the world be safer and more prosperous if over a billion people lack sufficient vitamins and nutrition while facing unemployment? Ladies and gentlemen, our world will never have peace as long as over a billion people are hungry or unemployed. We must find alternative sources of food.

What are the alternatives? Dr. Gupta is correct: Dr. Sun Myung Moon clearly identified the role of the ocean providence in providing food and ending world hunger and poverty. Fish and marine life production are surely the best alternatives. Fish is healthy to eat and this industry can offer employment for millions.

However, not all countries have access to the ocean. For example, my country, Nepal, is landlocked. In addition, least-developed countries do not have sufficient capital needed to launch such endeavors. But only providing money is not the solution, too. We need practical ideas and doable projects. In light of this, Dr. Gupta's initiative is highly commendable. In order to reach the unreachable we need to address both the issue of poverty reduction and increase access to food.

From 2012-2013, I was in charge of the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation under the government of Nepal. In spite of my sincerest efforts, it was very challenging. We simply did not have enough resources. However, Dr. Gupta's work in Asia of integrating fish farming with rice farming brought mutual benefit. Not only did this method provide fresh fish to be consumed or sold in the market, but rice productivity increased by 9-11%, too. This is a very successful model!  Let’s again congratulate Dr. Gupta.

Dr. Gupta rightly highlighted the fact that poverty and hunger threaten peace everywhere. They are seen as underlying causes of endemic conflict and civil violence, both domestic and international. In addition, the empowerment of women is central for security and happiness in the family, both immediate and long-term through the better education of our children.

Deeply rooted corruption, unfair distribution of wealth and resources, declining moral values, and the breakdown of families are among the most serious challenges facing our world today. Governments, faith-based organizations and civil society must work collaboratively to address these burning issues. Good families and quality human relations are prerequisite elements for a better society.

Recently in Nepal, and indeed throughout Asia, there is a growing movement where couples rededicate their marriages and children make a public commitment to remain pure as the best preparation for marriage. This is taking place under the banner of the Universal Peace Federation, and is attracting tens of thousands of families. Our prime minister, education minister and other key national leaders have endorsed this moral recovery movement inspired by the vision of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. These programs are giving new hope and clear vision to effectively address fundamental issues facing all nations and people.

The people of Nepal will be very happy to hear that Dr. Gupta received this prestigious Sunhak Peace Prize, because lawmakers have incorporated the "right to food…social security and justice” as fundamental rights into our long-awaited constitution, which will pave the way towards a peaceful and prosperous Nepal. As lawmakers were finalizing the nation’s constitution, Nepal was hit by a deadly earthquake on April 25, and again on May 12, which killed 9,018 people and affected 8 million people. The earthquake has caused a drop of 25% in GDP. We are grateful that Dr. Moon donated $1 million for relief. We are recovering from the earthquake through the help of the global community.

Not only in Nepal, but also throughout the world, it is becoming clearer day by day that only through our joint efforts can we succeed in the fight against social ills. Unselfish, public‑minded people must lead our families, our societies, our nations, our faith-based organizations, our national governments, and our world. We must commend UPF for its tireless effort in bringing diverse individuals and groups together under an altruistic vision of “living for the sake of others.”

This is why Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon founded the Sunhak Peace Prize: not only to recognize people such as H.E. Anote Tong and Dr. Gupta, who have dedicated their lives for others, but also to encourage all of us to work together as one global family of peace.

Thank you and…Namaste!

For more information about the World Summit, click here.