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M. Best: Address to World Summit 2020

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


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to extend a warmest welcome to everyone. It is a privilege to be included in the Canadian delegation of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, along with Mr. Robert Duffy, Dr. Moon-shik Kim, Mr. and Mrs. Franco and Chizuru Famularo, and Mrs. Lilly Tadin.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—a name synonymous with today’s theme of “Peace, Security and Human Development: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values”—said:

“Anyone who goes through life not concerned with others will not begin to live until they have risen above the narrow confines of their own individual concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Echoing words spoken by previous speakers, your presence here at this summit in and of itself is a demonstration that you have risen above the confines of your own individual well-being to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Thank you for being here and for recognizing your roles as leaders in a global world.  I commend Universal Peace Federation, led by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, for its continued efforts to restore peace and unification in the Korean Peninsula and for her tireless efforts to continue toward achieving the joint vision she shares with her husband, Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

It is fitting to recognize Father Moon for his contributions to the greater humanity in this, the centenary year of his birth. We thank him for his vision, hard work and dedication. More importantly, we commend him for achieving all three dimensions of life, in accordance with the blueprint laid out by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in his sermon “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”!

I would pose the question to each of you today: What is the current top story in the news globally? Let me assure you that it is not Duke and Duchess Harry and Meghan moving to Canada, but certainly there are many reasons why Canada would be appealing to them and to others from around the world, including:

  1. Canada's enviable ranking in the top 10 on the global human development indices year after year, and in most of the categories measured.
  2. Canada’s history of relative peace.
  3. Canada’s diversity of people.
  4. Canada's prosperity as a nation.
  5. Canada's Universal Health Care System which impacts positively on human development, security of individuals, mutual prosperity, interdependence and its progressive positions generally.

The top story in the global news is the coronavirus outbreak. It is an issue that demonstrates, unequivocally, that we are, in fact, a common humanity, inextricably linked as humans in a global world, as so many great minds have eloquently stated at this summit.

It is apropos to state that the coronavirus outbreak strikes at the foundation of the theme of this summit, affecting peace, security of nations and security of individuals. It has a subset of other issues including interdependence, human development, and mutual prosperity, while tugging at our universal values. It demonstrates the interdependence of individuals and nations around the world; the interdependence of global economies; and the importance of respecting and cultivating information.

We can all agree that the coronavirus issue is a global issue. However, it is just one of many pressing issues facing our global community which require our immediate attention, cooperation and collaboration as one race—the human race: climate change, war, economic and social injustices such as ageism, racism, and sanism; as well as religious, race and national oppression. 

Mother Moon referred to a world where “all people live together as one family under God.” Indeed, that is the ideal. She said, “We must look to God's ideal, which reconciles with achieving a balancing of life on this earth for all humanity.”

Let us move forward, realizing the opportunity presented to us: to enhance human development, reinforce the security of nations, buttress universal values, and develop strategic plans of action, tapping into some of the minds of leaders globally, taking positive and long-lasting lessons on which to build and develop concrete plans of action for the common good of all humankind—my family, your family, our family—the human family—one family under God!

Thank you and good afternoon!



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