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H. Van Thio: Address to World Summit 2020

Address to World Summit 2020, Seoul, Korea, February 3-8, 2020


Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a distinct honor for me to deliver a keynote speech at the World Summit 2020. I wish to express our sincere appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Korea and the organizers for the warm welcome to my delegation and me since our arrival at this beautiful and vibrant city of Seoul as well as for the excellent arrangements made for this Summit.

Let me also thank the Universal Peace Federation for organizing this Summit on Peace, Security, and Human Development.

We are meeting at a time when the world is witnessing very rapid global changes, geopolitical shifts and rivalries, trade tensions and diminishing faiths in multilateralism. I strongly believe that this Summit will provide us with a great opportunity to exchange views of politicians, scholars, religious leaders, and professionals on how to contribute to promoting peace and security around the world as well as how to foster a culture of peace for all humankind. A culture of peace is prerequisite for the creation of a stable, progressive and prosperous world. We can work together to promote a culture of peace through dialogue and negotiation, enhancing tolerance, trust and mutual understanding.

The world we are living in is being confronted with various challenges and uncertainties of both natural and man-made causes. These are posing threats not only to global peace and human development but also to our very existence. They also have negative consequences on the world’s peace building endeavors. Global challenges, including climate change and terrorism, cannot be overcome by countries acting alone but require global partnership.

We are of the view that, one of the most significant ways to promote a culture of peace is peace education. It is the key to overcome mistrust, decrease racism, eliminate inequality and foster peace. Thus, participation in peace education is important for all societies. Peace of mind is important, and peaceful minded people can positively contribute to our societies in eliminating global challenges. Thus, nurturing peace in everyone’s mind is essential in making our world a more peaceful and prosperous place.

Please allow me to take this opportunity to underline the importance of peace for maintaining security and achieving human development. Promoting a culture of peace is crucial in preventing violence and conflicts in societies.

Nations today are in need of peaceful coexistence as we have several factors that are dividing us. I believe that UPF is a well-equipped institution to contribute to fostering harmony, understanding, and human development among diverse groups. We all need to pursue the goals of peaceful coexistence and development. In order to accomplish these goals, collaboration of both non-governmental and governmental organizations is essential. We look forward to strengthening our efforts in this regard.

We need to address the challenges through promotion of mutual understanding and social harmony. In this regard, youth plays a pivotal role as a huge source of potential for a country’s development. Therefore, young people must have equal access to quality education at all levels. We need to have a concerted effort of governments, civil societies, scholars, international organizations, and parents to use education as a platform in improving lives now and for future generations.

The main objective of the human development approach is to upgrade people’s freedoms and lives, which are the principal aims for sustainable development. If inequalities in human development persist and grow, the aspiration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will remain unfulfilled. Therefore, we need to intensify our efforts to achieve those objectives.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to briefly share Myanmar’s experience in promoting peace and national reconciliation. Myanmar is a multiethnic and multireligious country with a long history of prolonged infightings. Therefore, soon after assuming its responsibilities, our government has been striving for long-lasting peace as its topmost priority and pursuing this goal through a complicated peace process involving 18 ethnic armed organizations.

As part of our peace agenda, we have successfully convened three sessions of the Union Peace Conference and agreed on a total of 51 basic principles for building a Democratic Federal Union, which will help guarantee security and prosperity for all as well as create a peaceful and harmonious society that our people have been desiring for so long.

Despite many challenges ahead, it is encouraging to see that our people have started to embrace the culture of political dialogue as a means to solve internal conflicts. We firmly believe that the achievement of a durable peace is an essential part of Myanmar’s journey towards sustainable and inclusive development.

Peace can be achieved only through the culture of constructive dialogue. Based on this understanding, we, the Myanmar Government, take a more flexible approach in building peace, security and human development. The newly launched Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan articulates our commitment to long-term development of a vision of a comprehensive social, economic, environmental policy and reform agenda. With these approaches and correct policies, we are confident that Myanmar will be able to address our challenges and promote human development, along with the all-round development of the country.

As we truly believe that peace, security and human development are fundamental needs for humankind in this globalized world, we are of the view that the people, the government, together with organizations in the civil society, can and should work together by sharing knowledge and experience, positively assisting each other in promoting peace and stability as well as sustaining universal values.

So, let us join hands and renew our joint endeavors in promoting peace, security and human development across the globe.

I wish the World Summit 2020 with continued success!

Thank you.



To go to the World Summit 2020 Schedule page, click here.