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D. Burton: Address to Latin America Summit 2018

 Address to Latin America Summit 2018, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2–5, 2018

Thank you very much for that kind introduction, Dr. Yang. And special thanks to our conference leadership, especially my good friend, Dr. Tom Walsh, President of UPF International. And congratulations to Rev. Sang Seuk Kim, Regional Chair, FFWPU Latin America. Coming from Washington, DC, I also want to recognize Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Dr. Mike Jenkins and Tom McDevitt, for their untiring efforts to make IAPP and The Washington Times a success.

Distinguished current and former heads of state, fellow Parliamentarians, pastors, dignitaries and colleagues...

I first want to applaud Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for her tremendous vision, commitment and heart in leading us over the past several years with the UPF Summit Series and so many other high-impact programs that aim to achieve peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the world. 

Together with her late husband, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, they founded UPF, the Family Federation, and so many other notable faith-based organizations, along with The Washington Times. Her Founder’s Address to us this morning was highly significant. My wife, Dr. Samia Burton, and I are always touched by Dr. Moon’s tireless commitment to make a difference in the lives of young people, families and nations worldwide for the sake of peace.

This is a special opportunity for us to be here in São Paulo, Brazil with all of you. Among the various committee assignments I had during 30 years of service in the United States Congress, one of the most memorable was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere. During those years I visited many of your countries and learned how hospitable and industrious you are.

It was a short time ago in February 2016 that I was asked to serve as co-chairman of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace together with my good friend Speaker Jose de Venecia, from the Philippines.

My friends, we’ve accomplished something significant in the past two years. IAPP has been launched in more than 80 countries with some 3,000 incumbent Members of Parliament. And here in Latin America, you have done a remarkable job of engaging top elected officials in the mission of IAPP.

When we launched IAPP in the United States, Dr. Moon spoke to the United States Congress and she offered an important challenge to those who represent the citizens of their districts. She acknowledged that the critical problems we all face in our countries and throughout the world could not be solved with human means alone. Dr. Moon was clear that we must seek God’s help and work together beyond boundaries for the highest purposes.

That’s why I believe that the time has come for the IAPP to move to the next stage of our development.

During the past several years I have been proud to work with Dr. Moon and especially my good friends at The Washington Times on similar conferences like this, and on numerous fact-finding trips to regional hot spots like the Korean Peninsula.

For example, several months ago, just prior to the landmark summit meetings between South and North Korea, and between the United States and North Korea, we conducted a trip to South Korea with distinguished IAPP delegations and policy experts from the US. Through our discussions with South Korea’s Foreign Minister, top intelligence leaders, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and others, it was clear that a global network of like-minded Parliamentarians, who share the ideals of freedom, peace, security and mutual prosperity, could have a very significant impact on world opinion in the pursuit of peaceful re-unification of the Korean peninsula.

Returning to the United States, our Congressional Fact-finding delegation and I, as always, briefed key leaders in the U.S. Congress and Administration, such as my longtime friend and colleague, Chairman Ed Royce, who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. When these leaders learn about the growth of IAPP throughout the world, it makes an impact. In addition, key experts of our delegation have written important op-eds published in The Washington Times which help to inform policy makers in the US and throughout the world.

I believe that IAPP can be a real force for the cause of world peace. Elected representatives of the people speak for their constituents and that is so important in the quest for world peace.  

I can see that forming working groups to address critical challenges like peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and other regions in the world, along with addressing regional challenges, can make a positive impact. Imagine if several dozen countries, led by IAPP statesmen, were to pass resolutions focused on the profound themes of this conference – interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

That’s why I am very grateful to be here with you today. I propose that the IAPP move forward to tackle the most difficult issues we face in the world, from a God-centered perspective, working together for purposes that go beyond each of our nation’s national interest.

I know IAPP can make a real difference on the global stage, in regional settings and even in our respective nations. Let’s work together in the coming months to make that happen! Thank you once again for the invitation to join this historic Latin American Summit of 2018. May God bless you, your families and your significant work. Thank you very much.



To go to the Latin America Summit 2018 Schedule page, click here.