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G. Jonathan: Address to ILC Working Groups

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


I welcome all of you to this working group session and thank you for your support and contributions toward the success of the plenary session.

I believe the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) is a great idea that has come at the right time, given the imperative of finding solutions to the problems we face as citizens of the world.

I agree with the resolution that birthed this council, which affirmed “the urgent need for responsible leadership and good governance in bringing about a world of lasting peace, a world in which people of all nationalities, ethnicities, races, cultures, and worldviews may live together in mutual respect, harmony and cooperation as one family under God.”

This is consistent with the theme of this conference, which is centered around peace, interdependence and mutual prosperity.

As leaders and members of the global community, the onus is on us to continue to work for a peaceful world. It is the only rational choice we have. What distinguishes us as humans from the rest of God’s creation is the ability to govern and condition our earthly space and make it conducive for the healthy exercise of people’s rights and freedoms. Once we lose this intrinsic value of rights and privileges, the love and togetherness that characterize us as humans also will be lost. There is no doubt that such rights can be guaranteed only in an atmosphere of peace and unity.

We will continue to work for peace and the well-being of our societies because the absence of peace takes us out of that rational zone that sustains vision and optimism, thereby increasing the tendency toward strife, conflicts and despair. The Hobbesian picture of the dilemma in which hope recedes and life becomes nasty, brutish and short is never far away. Therefore, as political leaders, clergy, civil society and the people, we must all—in Dr. Moon’s words—“join hands as one family under God” to cultivate a working approach to peace and development.

Since I was handed the mandate to lead ISCP-Africa at the South African Leadership Conference two months ago, I have set about the task of establishing a secretariat in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. This followed a fruitful consultative meeting with the UPF team led by the federation’s international president, Dr. Thomas Walsh, who visited me in Nigeria last month. During the visit we had an introspective engagement that underscored the imperative of the ISCP initiative and its relevance to international relations and peacebuilding.

After our meeting, I have been making efforts to reach out to as many of our African leaders as possible, with the aim of joining hands with them toward deepening those engagements that would unite our people, promote brotherly love and lay the foundation for the sustainable development of our societies.  

In my communication to many of them, I explained the aims and objectives of ISCP and the need for synergy and building common ground against the challenges of insecurity that confront us. I have apprised them of a line-up of programs, including this particular conference being held in Seoul; the Africa Summit on Peace, Unity and Sustainable Development, scheduled to be held in São Tomé and Príncipe on September 4 to 7, 2019; the ILC to be held in South Africa in December 2019; as well as the World Summit 2020 grand event, set to be held in Seoul, Korea, on February 3 to 9, 2020, where ISCP will be formally inaugurated.

We are in the process of fine-tuning details of our activities, and I believe that many of them will be attending some of these programs.

We can never overemphasize the need for global collaboration in peacebuilding. The UPF initiative that brings together various professionals and interest groups across geographical boundaries is commendable because it promotes healthy relations among nations of the world.

In this regard, ISCP-Africa is poised to work with the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), and the International Association of Traditional Rulers for Peace (IATP) to foster relations that will improve peace and security on our continent.

The stability that the world needs today for peace and security requires all voices of reason to join the effort to bring order to the chaos that stares us in the face. We need to work together as leaders to provide meaning and moral direction in every sphere of society to realize our aspirations for a just world.

The ISCP-Africa which I lead will be joining hands with other well-meaning people of the world to embark on initiatives that will contribute greatly to lasting peace for the whole human family.

I thank you all.



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