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Speeches

I. Aingimea: Address to World Summit 2020

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

 

Chairman of the Universal Peace Foundation Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace International Dr. Julia H. Moon, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, “Omo Yoran Ea Kamie Memag.” I bring with me good tidings and the well wishes of my fellow Nauruans and express my gratitude for being asked to deliver a special address on the theme “Creating a Culture of Peace.” As I articulated in my address at the First Ladies Peace Summit in Palau, “The role that we play in our individual countries is underscored by the many hats that we all have to wear as First Ladies.”

In addressing the critical issues of our time and the thematic areas, we must first of all ensure that the values that we hold dear are at all times practiced so that goodwill, integrity, kindness and respect are extended at all times.

I am honored to present on the areas drawing on the question, how can civil society and governments cooperate better for the prosperity of the nation and the world?

The answer to this question is in the form of three key headings:

  1. Building People’s Power.
  2. Reversing Institutional Capture
  3. Building a Democratic Economy

Building People Power

The story of Nauru being a country of immense wealth at one point in the world is well known. When our country went through a period of economic abyss in the early 2000s, we lost all our wealth and our assets, but at the same time it showed the resilience of the people, living off the land and sea. This in turn fostered a sense of belonging and power within the communities. That sense grows out of relationships, the core of which are the authentic conversations people have as community members. From these conversations emerge the needs for real transformation.

However, for the transformation to be real, the knowledge that community members bring must be valued more than relying on the sole opinion of the government. It is the will of the people to have an understanding of community, a context of experiences and a sense of history. Real changes must be grounded in all three, with relationship building at the core. Is this not a foundation of peace?

Making democracy real requires bridge crossing within and across communities in order to ensure that the people realize that their voices are heard.

Reversing Institutional Capture

A government cannot be seen as democratic if it is not accountable to its people. My island home has 14 districts, and the political landscape is such that each district votes in its own candidate. So the will of the people is truly at play in my country. The current government’s motto, “Leave No One Behind,” is an example of being accountable to the people.

When it comes to governmental transformation, the collective imagination needs to be bigger. The recent meeting of heads of missions, heads of departments, cabinet members and members of Parliament with the theme “Desperate Imagination” took stock of where we are, ensuring that we have a future of prosperity and growth for all Nauruans.

Building a Democratic Economy

Democracy must value people over profits. One of the most important changes that need to happen is the acceptance of government that they serve the public. And as such their role should always have the good of the people at its core. Without a serious, concerted, and holistic effort to address the issues of power and inequality across civil society, government, and the economy, our democracy will never be fully realized.

Which brings me to the core of my address. I reiterate my message at the First Ladies meeting in Palau, which says that in order for us to be able to peacefully advance each other we must have mutual understanding as equals. When we look beyond power, wealth, status and influence and apply the universal values of peace and goodwill, it becomes a common cause of empowerment and prosperity for our nations. 

In Nauru, women are seen as the matriarchs, and peace builders. It is of immense pride that within the government, Women’s Affairs has established itself as the voice for women not only for Nauru but for Micronesia and also the Pacific.

Nauru will be the host of the Micronesian Women’s Conference, bringing together the Ministers for Women of the Micronesian Caucus. This is an invaluable opportunity for my country as we not only utilize areas of economic empowerment for women but also actively ensure that the thematic areas of education, health, climate change, patriarchal structures and norms and behaviors are not only discussed but challenged for a better tomorrow for our citizens.

It would be remiss of me at this stage not to pay homage to the revered founder of the Universal Peace Federation, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, in whose honor we gather at this summit. We honor his life, legacy and accomplishments, and we gather here with the collective intent of peace.

I extend my appreciation to the organizers of World Summit 2020 for the invitation and wish everyone a safe journey home

I would like to leave you with this quote, Philippians 4:8 “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good reports, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

“Tubwa Kor Ouwak.”

 

 


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