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G. Jonathan: Address to ILC

Address to International Leadership Conference 2019, Seoul, Korea, August 15-18, 2019


I want to appreciate Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the spiritual leader of the Universal Peace Federation. I admire the way she has continued to bear the light that illuminates the path to world peace, many years after the passing on of her husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, with whom she nursed the dream.

I am also grateful to the Universal Peace Federation for the regular International Leadership Conferences, which by their nature are uniting world leaders around the shared vision of peace.

We in Africa cannot but encourage her and the organizations she leads to continue to do more in this laudable direction, in the interest of peace. Our continent has more countries in conflict than any other part of the world. It is for this reason that the UPF’s peace efforts resonate more with us.

When people say that Africa lags behind other continents in terms of strategic and sustainable development, it is because the continent has yet to find answers to the problems of insecurity that have persisted in our communities. Some data from the United Nations on development have proven that a nation’s economic well-being is determined by how successful it has been in promoting lasting peace. While the ten most peaceful nations of the world are the most prosperous, the ten least developed are those mired in the worst forms of crisis, with many of them in Africa.

This shows that no country or region of the world develops if there is no peace and stability, which are necessary conditions that cultivate, nurture and protect investments.  Africa needs such investments to create jobs and employ its teeming youthful population, in order to steer them away from crime and conflict.

Any productive effort that promotes peacebuilding activities around the world, like UPF is doing, is well invested in the service of humanity. This is the core value that drives your vision in the areas of conflict prevention, education and development. In doing all these, you have proved that people of the world are indeed “one human family created by God.”

In June this year, I was invited to the International Leadership Conference that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference accorded me the opportunity of meeting fellow African leaders and provided the platform for sharing my vision of a peaceful and prosperous Africa with them and other participants.

It was at this conference that the UPF launched the African wing of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). I was subsequently inaugurated  as chair of the council, for which I am grateful to Dr. Moon and the UPF. This is in line with the outcome of the February 2019 World Summit, which took place here in South Korea, where leaders from across the globe resolved that the world needed a body like the ISCP to galvanize love, peace and shared values.

Since then, we already have started work on realizing our mandate of tactically supporting efforts to address critical problems in order to reposition our continent for peace and sustainable development. I will elaborate on this during the working group sessions.  

The idea of peaceful living is an ideal from which I drew strength and inspiration as a public servant in my country. It is the philosophy to which I have committed myself since leaving office as president of Nigeria in 2015. Promoting peace and supporting efforts toward consolidating democracy in Africa is a commitment to which I will continue to apply my time.

My approach to this cause is to continue to work with all well-meaning citizens of the world who share the view that the people’s happiness derives from a culture of good governance.  Such happiness and the attendant sense of belonging come principally from the citizens’ confidence in those who govern and how they govern.

I am committed to promoting credible, transparent elections and the peaceful transfer of power, especially on the African continent. This is also the focus of my foundation, the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), which is concentrating its efforts toward strengthening democratic governance, consolidating peace and stability as well as promoting prosperity through youth empowerment in Africa.

The dream of the ISCP is in tandem with my personal ideals and that of my foundation. I am willing to engage African leaders and the rest of humanity to deepen the conversation that will bring about a more peaceful world.

It is only when we join hands as both serving and former leaders that we can successfully harness all our energies toward building peace on our continent and around the world. I believe that if we leverage our experience as leaders and robustly organize ISCP, we will find a way to enhance lasting peace, build the capacities of our people, and engender sustainable development in our nations.

I thank you all.



To go to the International Leadership Conference Schedule 2019, click here.