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G. Jonathan: Address to World Summit 2020

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


I am pleased to be at this epoch-making World Summit 2020 here in Seoul. Beyond focusing on the very important themes of peace, security and human development, it also marks the centenary of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) co-founder, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

I am grateful to the leadership of UPF, especially Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the co-founder of UPF, for her vision and unyielding crusade for sustainable peace in our world.

I commend and appreciate the participation of a considerable number of high-level serving and former presidents, prime ministers, and vice presidents, as well as top government officials from all over the world.

As a democrat and peace advocate, there is no doubt that the theme of this conference and those of other International Leadership Conferences (ILC) I have attended resonate nicely with my personal ideals and peaceful disposition.

Four years after I left office as president of my country, I was invited to the ILC that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, last June. The high point of this conference was the launching of the African wing of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) for which Mother Moon graciously appointed and inaugurated me as chair of the Council.

Being the first ISCP chapter chair to be inaugurated, I hit the ground running by establishing an ISCP secretariat, from where we have been leveraging the platform provided by UPF to constantly reach out to both serving and former African leaders. We have continued to engage them individually and collectively at conferences on the desired values of love, peace, unity and sustainable development on the continent.

Through these engagements we have demonstrated ISCP’s preparedness to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between African serving and former leaders, in the interest of peace and development on the continent. We are encouraged by the kind of confidence reposed on us and our capacity to lead the push for peace across Africa by the good people of Africa.

This is evident in the overwhelming support we get from fellow Africans whenever we attend the ILCs in various countries. In some places we had received requests to intervene in existing conflicts between the incumbent head of government and his predecessors. We are willing to take up such assignments because it is the determination of ISCP to discourage such misunderstanding and promote mutuality and cooperation among leaders.

I am delighted that at this conference, UPF is bringing world leaders to renew their commitment to peace through the instrumentality of the federation’s key projects, especially ISCP, a global body that is being formally inaugurated today for more concerted action. I am convinced that through its promotion of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, UPF has presented a different and refreshing approach to peacebuilding efforts which renews hope that lasting peace is indeed possible in our world.

I believe that the weapon for guaranteeing the peace the world needs today is not in our intimidating armory and sophisticated nuclear sites but in our hearts. The world looks up to us as leaders to reach out to the innermost recesses of our hearts, leveraging our common humanity, and to embrace one another in true love and sincerity to save our peoples.

It is obvious that military capability alone has not served the intended purpose of securing our world.  In the Middle East and Africa, more than other parts of the world, insecurity, insurgency and terrorism have continued to worsen, despite all efforts by affected nations and their allies to combat them and enforce peace.

This is partly because we have paid more attention to our military might than we have given to the imperative of building honor, love, and affinity in our families and societies.

A peaceful family unit entrenched in strong bonds of kinship, ethics and a well-established tradition of honor will fight insecurity and terrorism better than any weapons.  This is because if we pay more attention to the imperative of producing well-adjusted, rational human beings, it will dry up the human supply lines that feed the cells of terrorists. They no longer will be able to recruit misguided and uneducated youths who are willing to either kill or be killed in the most dastardly and bizarre methods, in pursuit of dark and hideous ideologies. With well-educated and properly aligned youth who are future leaders, the world will have fewer leaders who prioritize war over peace.

Without global peace, the world will continue to spend more resources, which should have been channeled into development purposes, either generating or managing crises.

In closing, I wish to express my unalloyed support for this mechanism being championed by UPF to bring serving and former world leaders together to tackle the issue of peace as a collective. There is no doubt that both serving and former leaders have critical roles to play in this regard.

They therefore should engage much more under the ISCP umbrella, in a type of solidarity that will begin to dissolve our prejudices and differences. Current leaders should leverage the experiences and time available to former leaders to orchestrate the kind of understanding that will teach love, unity, understanding, mutuality and seek to restore human dignity.

I thank you all.



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