ILC2021-8 Closing Session - Presentation of Mr. Jacques Marion

Respected Panelists, dear Participants

As we conclude this third International Leadership Conference, I warmly thank all the panelists from Europe and the Middle East, and from the Asia Pacific and North American regions, who enlightened and stimulated us with their wisdom and insights.

This 3rd ILC looked at the possibility of reunification of the Korean Peninsula from two angles: the economy and the ideology.

Each panel testified that our efforts to overcome the division of Korea is an idea whose time has come and is an idea that needs support from the rest of the world.

We heard the speech our Founder Dr Moon gave 40 years ago, in which he envisioned an International Highway for Peace linking Japan, Korea and China that would help build what he called an Asian Common Community and that would foster prosperity and equality among the regions of the world.

Our panelists convincingly exposed the economic and cultural benefits that would result from realizing a Northeast Asian Economic Community and by building undersea tunnels between Japan and Korea and at the Bering Strait between Russia and America – on the condition of putting an end to the division of the Korean Peninsula.

They also underlined the challenge for stakeholder nations to overcome national interests and the legacy of past conflicts burdening them, to implement these projects.

As our UPF chairman Dr Otsuka noted in his opening remarks two days ago, and as we could hear in the last webinars, the division of the Korean Peninsula reflects a clash of ideology that divided the world since the time of the Cold War, and which still underlies the political decisions of the leading nations involved on the Peninsula.

So, the issue of Korean reunification is an idea whose time has come, but it goes beyond the limits of Korea. It points to the need for a vision of a cooperating world that can fulfill its potential for prosperity by transcending the divide between North and South, between liberal democracy and socialism, between ideologies and religions.

The current Afghan crisis, with the withdrawal of the United States and the failure of the West to implement a successful model in Afghanistan, sheds new light on this conflict which opposes the major powers involved on the Korean Peninsula. Beyond geopolitical rivalries, it highlights the limitations of the competing worldviews at work in our post-Cold War world.

Addressing this issue from their homeland of Korea, the UPF Founders have developed what they call a “Headwing philosophy”, which we sometimes express by the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, and which guides UPF’s efforts toward peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

Since time has come to engage the process toward Korean reunification with the support of the world, on May 9 this year UPF launched Think Tank 2022, a worldwide alliance of experts who can pool their best insights as to how peaceful reunification can be accomplished in the coming years.

Following this launch we held these three conferences, in June, July and August. They will be soon followed by a Rally of Hope featuring leading world figures on September 12, and a series of forum discussions with experts from around the world and the Korean media. This will lead to a World Summit for Peace in Korea at the end of this year, or early next year, as Covid restrictions allow.

We will keep you informed and invite you to these programs.

Thank you once again for your participation in this timely peace initiative.

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