The 7th Rally of Hope is an affirmative testament of the perseverance and remarkable outreach of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an organization inspired by the humane and benevolent philosophies of its cofounders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
This initiative is germane to their inspiring advocacy to garner and trigger international mobilization to dismantle the inactive and unsettling state of war between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
To reach this nirvana, what is required is a resolute, unflinching, and determined belief in the process of reconciliation and reunification among all stakeholders.
Reunification and reconciliation require genuine maturity rather than filibustering, a meeting of the minds and hearts, celebrating the common good, not revisiting the painful past, but rather connecting to the intergenerational and intra-generational hope, ambition, and vision of a united Korean people.
The Think Tank 2022, emerging out of the 6th Rally of Hope, was visionary and transformational.
The Think Tank is independent, solution-oriented, and visionary and is not an incursion from outside or any attempt to manipulate the politics within.
Sports must be encouraged to be the elixir and lifeblood of reconciliation, peace, and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
I recall when South Korea hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, at the opening ceremony, athletes from North and South marched under a unified flag and as reported, fielded a combined women’s ice hockey team.
Hope lives eternal.
Who can forget the photograph of that seminal, defining, and warm selfie of two gymnasts during a training session at the Rio Olympics 2016, North Korea’s Hong Un-jong, and South Korea’s Lee Eun–ju, demonstrating in my humble view, by their warm interaction, the overwhelming supremacy of sports over cold diplomacy?
It captured in telling form, both the Olympic spirit and the deep-seated hope and desire of every Korean to be one loving family under one Nation.
In the context of conversations on reunification, reconciliation, denuclearization, and the peace process, we cannot be indifferent to the human and economic crises in North Korea.
There is a view among many international observers of the need to delink aid from the denuclearization negotiations on humanitarian grounds.
Collaborative good will is the engine of any successful peace process.
I need to reiterate the importance and efficacy of the concept of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint inter-Korean economic project, closed in 2016, as a conduit of the Peace Economy.
The reunification and pacification of the Korean Peninsula have the capacity of realizing and achieving Goal Number 16 of the United Nations Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions for North and South Korea.
Persons around the world must be made aware of the phenomenal strides and efforts made by the UPF and its esteemed cofounders in the reunification and peace process.
The Fourth Estate must not only share the messages of the 7th Rally of Hope, but commit to consistently presenting the advances being made for reunification, reconciliation, and peace in the Korean Peninsula.
Effective dissemination of information can ensure our young people globally are made aware and sensitized about the complexities of the Korean Peninsula, so they too can become empowering advocates of peace and be seated at the table of reconciliation, reunification, and peace for a united Korea.
I am inspired by Rev. Dr Moon’s youth initiative and visionary rapprochement some 30 years ago, when he organized a youth ballet contingent, the Little Angel’s Dance Troupe, to perform in North Korea with a view to utilizing the force of youth culture to bring the family of a united Korea (North and South) together.
We in the UPF must continue to be relentless in our mission to culture peace by becoming gatekeepers and sentinels of peace.
I thank you.