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I. Italeli: Address to World Summit

Address to World Summit 2019, Seoul, Korea, February 7–11, 2019


Co-Founder of Universal Peace Federation Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Hon. Dr. Hyun Cho Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs, Korea, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of UPF International, Excellenciess, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed a privilege and honor to be invited to this renowned Universal Peace Summit this year, 2019, and to address the first plenary session on the "Critical Challenges of our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.”

There is perhaps no greater challenge, no more urgent task, than to resolve the provocations in our world so that we can leave for our children an environment of peace, security and sustainability. That is a task of the most serious magnitude. National and regional challenges are placed mercilessly before us: terrorism, poverty, a lack of peace and justice, refugees, and migration, to name but a few. We find a world that is agitated and restless; eager to find for itself the fragrance of freedom from strife. Economic injustices, misuse of religion for political gain, violence, terrorism and incitement to hatred are constant features in a 24-hour news cycle.

The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is imperative that we double our efforts to spread the message of good neighborliness based on our common humanity, a message shared by all faith traditions. As the world's problems become bigger, our world becomes smaller, and our Fragile existences ever more vulnerable. We are learning to live in a complex, interdependent multiracial, multipolar world.

It is a volatile world. Our fortunes are inextricably linked. None of us is secure in a world that is so fragile— a world where the feeling of “otherness” continues at incalculable human cost and whose victims number so many millions of our fellow men, women and children. Such practices represent a threat to international security and are a weapon of division and conflict in our interdependent world. They strike at the roots of our common humanity; fundamentalism and extremism have reaped a tragic harvest in our times. Who can know how many lives have been maimed and destroyed by them? In considering new pathways to peace and prosperity, we want to consider how so gross a system of evil practices can be eradicated to make our world safe for one humanity.

We face many other challenges, too, because among these grave problems rests the international, collective and borderless responsibility of all of us to ensure a sustainable planet that is a safe and secure home for our children, their children and their children to come. We cannot do that without addressing the serious consequences of man-made climate change.

Although humankind may have good eyes, some see nothing because they have no vision. Sight is the purpose of the eye, but vision is the purpose of the heart. Conferences like this one offer vision and knowledge. These are tools of a most powerful empowerment—precisely because they help us to think, assess, make decisions and be inspired to act for ourselves and our children.

They also give our children hope that we will honor them, teach them and help build for them a better and brighter future. There is perhaps no greater power of change for our future than a child who discovers, learns and studies what he or she most cares about. Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

As we experience the calamities of nature and bear the consequences of the tragic failings of humankind, we must not allow either to snatch from us our unwavering faith in new possibilities, our steadfast and unswerving courage to stand firm and stand tall with an enduring conviction that we can make our world a better place for the future generations. We can together make so many more miracles happen because our loyalties as a global family and a united humankind surpass race, religion, caste and nation.

We are a world family, and we must be brave. We know that climate change is a fearsome adversary, but true bravery is doing what we are afraid to do. There can be no bravery unless we are afraid. Never must we fear failure. What we must fear, what we must avoid at all costs, is a fear that stops us from trying at all

Thank you. May God bless us all!



To go to the 2019 World Summit Schedule page, click here.