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D. Burton: Address to World Summit 2017

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


Dr. Moon; distinguished chair of the National Assembly; my good friend and co-chair, Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.; excellencies, colleagues and friends. Our colleagues in the National Assembly of Korea, I bring to you and your families sincere New Year’s greetings from the United States of America for 2017 as the Year of the Red Rooster. I am truly honored to be in this unique and precious nation of Korea with all of you in this momentous time of transition, challenge and opportunity.

Ladies and gentlemen, this distinguished global association of legislators will manifest the highest ideals of selflessness in addressing the greatest problems facing humankind today—violent conflict, terrorism against innocent civilians, abject poverty, a deteriorating natural environment and others. In the globalized realm in which the world now exists, your smoke drifts into my windows. What I put into my water today you will drink tomorrow.

We need to use the power of our positions as parliamentarians to find ways to be better neighbors—and to guide our 21st century civilization in becoming a world that harmonizes the dreams of God and humankind in our daily lives, families, communities, nations and in every cherished place on our planet. And, as the founder of this significant initiative said recently in Washington, “We need to do it RIGHT NOW!”

The historic effort to do this began in February, one year ago, right here in this room in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. Based on the bold vision and generous support of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace was launched, attracting 160 current parliamentarians, government ministers and leading figures in government, religion and civil society.

A few months after that, in July 2016, the prime minister of Nepal welcomed to his country more than 300 parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and heads of state, and IAPP was born in South Asia.

The spark became a fire, and in the second half of 2016, IAPP held seven more major inaugural meetings. A hundred twenty-two parliamentarians from 23 mostly African nations gathered in Burkina Faso. In London in September, 15 nations in Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East sent 30 MPs. In October, the inaugural meetings in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Asunción, Paraguay, brought together another 300 parliamentarians.

In November, 300 distinguished guests from southern and eastern Africa gathered in Lusaka, Zambia, and all signed the IAPP Resolution. Also in November, IAPP was launched in Tokyo, Japan, where hundreds of parliamentarians convened to discuss the crisis in the Middle East, Japan-Russia relations and the U.S. elections.

At the end of November the final launch took place in Washington, D.C., where parliamentarians from 56 countries attended the conference, including many congressmen and senators who had come over from Capitol Hill, while the U.S. Congress was in session, to address crucial world issues on our session panels.

And all of that was just in the first year.

And now, my friends, on this day we have come full circle. Many of you were at one of those inaugural meetings. Perhaps you attended for the first time because the stated ideals of the organization moved something in you. Maybe you felt that, together in the right spirit of cooperation and altruism, it is possible to accomplish much—even possible to do the impossible—and you wanted to be part of that.

For the next three days, let us explore the topics presented and let us get to know and appreciate each other. I encourage you to spend time with people here who are not like you—so that together we can build a network of trusted allies who are dedicated to the proposition that all human beings deserve to live in peace, freedom, unity and happiness.

My dear friends and fellow parliamentarians, let us seize the day—and bring to life “an idea whose time has come”—as we build the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace into an innovative, effective and morally sound answer to humanity’s urgent quest for common purpose, prosperity and lasting peace.

Thank you so very much. And may God bless you, your families, your nations and this important work of IAPP.


Hon. Dan Burton, Congressman, House of Representatives (1983-2013), USA

Hon. Dan Burton served in the United States Congress for 30 years as a Representative from the State of Indiana (1983-2013). A member of the Republican Party, he served as Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee and was either Chairman or Ranking Member of the subcommittees on Asia and Pacific, Middle East, Europe and Eurasia, Africa and Western Hemisphere. Prior to entering Congress, he was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana State Senate.

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