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I. Delana: Address to World Summit 2017

Address to World Summit 2017, Seoul, Korea, February 1 to 5, 2017


On behalf of my Fijian colleagues, I would like to extend a big Bula Vinaka [“warm hello”] to you all and also convey our gratitude for being extended the invitation to be part of this esteemed forum.

From around the globe, we are gathered here as collective representatives of the world’s people. It is therefore of supreme importance that their wishes, dreams and aspirations are at the center of our deliberations and discussions as we pursue our theme of “Peace, Security and Human Development.”

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen—the late theologian Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” He further added, “If we are to have peace on earth … our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation; and this means that we must develop a world perspective.”

These statements encapsulate the essence of what is needed to achieve world peace. Ever increasing and evolving technological advancement seemingly has shrunk our universe. Technology can bring us together in seconds despite the vast oceans that separate us. Advances in technology, however, have also threatened and violated our peace and security.

Ladies and gentlemen, without the assurance of security there can never be peace. The security of every human being is constantly being threatened by lack of food, economic instability, wars and nuclear threats, terrorism, climate change, gender inequality and many other global problems.

As world political leaders who influence the direction of our respective nations, it is a matter of grave urgency that we are resolute and effective in addressing these problems, for they are constantly and aggressively hindering and even destroying human development. Whether human development is slow and tardy, or rapid and thriving, hinges on how quickly and effectively we can work together to address these very problems.

The Fiji scenario is a delicate one, but one that we have embraced as a nation. Despite our multiracial and multireligious diversity, we are all Fijians. We have the strong vision to achieve racial cohesion and harmonious racial coexistence. The current Fijian government, led by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret.) Voreqe Bainimarama, envisions a peaceful Fiji where each Fijian may live harmoniously with others despite their cultural and racial differences.

Like many other countries around the world, Fiji is not fully immune from political turmoil, but we have a strong political will and resolve to enhance peace, security and human development across our entire community and nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world is indeed getting smaller. However, counter to that, we also create more walls that divide us. I wish to end with another quote from former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who said, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

We all dream of a better world with peace, development and equality for all. However, our dreams begin right now, as we peacefully share and join together as world leaders, aspiring, espousing and embracing a secure international community that will enhance peace and human development for all.

Finally, I would like to thank and congratulate Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for her vision in establishing the Sunhak Peace Prize and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, reminding the global community of the urgent need to act now to address these looming problems that threaten the lives and livelihood of so many people in the world. What a wonderful way to remember the sweet tears and blood shed by her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

Again I thank you, Madam Moon, for your amazing vision, and I wish you ongoing health and great success in all your endeavors for peace.

Dr. Walsh, I have a special request for you this morning. UPF in Fiji is doing a wonderful job centering on Character Education programs for schoolteachers, parents and students. Character Education is the brand name of UPF in Fiji. I would like to invite you to come to Fiji this year to establish the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and to witness the great work of UPF in Fiji as it cooperates hand in hand with the Ministry of Education.

Thank you very much, UPF family, for giving me this opportunity to be present at this prestigious forum.

Vinaka and thank you all.


Hon. Iliesa Delana, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Fiji

Hon. Iliesa Delana is Member of the Parliament of Fiji, and Cabinet Minister. He was the first Fijian athlete to win a medal, gold in high jump, for Fiji at the Paralympics. Delana stood in the 2014 general elections for the Fiji First party, and was elected to Parliament. He was subsequently appointed to the cabinet as Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports.

To go to the 2017 World Summit Conference Schedule, click here.