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M. Salmon: Address to ILC

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


Distinguished colleagues and guests:

I want to begin by offering my deepest appreciation to Reverend and Mrs. Moon, whose vision for a world of cooperation and harmony among all nations, cultures, races and faith traditions remains the most ambitious, far-reaching and sincere effort to achieve peace on a global scale that is unimaginable to most people.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the conference organizers who brought us together to plan and develop the meeting we will have here in February. To Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Thomas Walsh, Michael Jenkins, Tom McDevitt and their Korean and Japanese counterparts who have already put in hundreds of hours making sure our time together would be productive, you have our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

As Chairman of the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific for several years, I’ve had more than a little experience with the roles played in this region by America, and Korea, Japan, China and Russia. Also, I lived in China for many years, as my parents were missionaries, and I was the only member of the U.S. Congress who spoke Mandarin. With this personal background I can never underestimate the importance of what is going on in this conference. I have been associated with Reverend and Mrs. Moon for twenty years, and want to say my confidence in their continually expanding efforts to bring diverse peoples together is absolutely affecting, in a good way, the direction of the world.

Unique to UPF’s vision through the IAPP and the IAPD is an appreciation for the contribution of faith leaders and Godly principles as cornerstones in the foundations for peace. What has been most special in this work over the years is the intentional effort to bring heads of state and members of parliaments together with faith leaders to break through racial and cultural barriers, to see the solutions that are possible.

The fact that The Washington Times, Segye Ilbo and Sekai Nippo—three major newspapers in the U.S., Korea and Japan—are working cooperatively is an aspect of this effort to multiply the effectiveness of the work of peacebuilding by disseminating the words of thought leaders of integrity in the private and public sectors in these countries, including legislators, heads of government and key people in the field of intelligence.

I have participated in fact-finding trips to Korea and Japan, sponsored by The Washington Times. For the past several years, we have met in thoughtful discussion with the leaders of every political party to get their insights. This not only creates dynamic exchanges, but these fact-finding trips also solidify trust and friendships that go well beyond the conferences. When we conclude our deliberations on Saturday, you can take what you have found of value here and share it with your colleagues, your presidents and prime ministers, your leaders of media, business and faith back home.

If we can be successful in bequeathing to our children a better, healthier, more prosperous, kinder and saner society and community of nations than the one we ourselves were born into—that is the last, best work of all of us.

Thank you.



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