Honorable excellencies, heads of state, leaders of different nations and distinguished personalities, I convey to you all my warmest greetings from Albania.

I express my highest consideration for this important event—the World Summit 2022—which addresses such an important theme: reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

My deepest gratitude goes to the founder of the Universal Peace Federation, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and the two co-chairs of the World Summit: His Excellency Samdech Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations.

Distinguished guests, peace on the Korean Peninsula is of great importance. A breakthrough of peace on the Korean Peninsula would reflect globally. What the people in the Korean Peninsula have in common is far more than what divides them.

If all the countries focused on the ideals of mutual prosperity, universal values, democracy, human rights and the well-being of the people, a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and in many regions of the world could be achieved.

Reconciliation, stability and prosperity of the peoples are the key to the architecture of peace. History and the tragic conflicts of the past have taught us the importance of peace and also how vigilant we must be to preserve it.

After World War II, strengthening cooperation between the states, economic development and, in particular, the preservation of world peace were the only path and hope for a lasting peace and a better world for all humanity.

The United Nations was created as a mechanism for maintaining peace and security in the world, to build more trust between nations, to guarantee equality between the nations, and create mutual respect, regardless of their strength and size.

The world today is more peaceful than 77 years ago, but the dangers and challenges we face are many. Peace always remains fragile and threatened; therefore it never should be taken for granted, but serious work and efforts must be made to protect it.

The world today is experiencing political, cultural, social and demographic changes and developments, as well as a global pandemic. But the path to enduring peace is only through democracy.

Democracy is at the heart of NATO, as Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated. Democracy is at the heart of the European Union, the United Nations, and all developed countries and democratic alliances. Where there is democracy there is peace. Nations of the world need democratic government and not regimes, and each country must begin by promoting peace, democracy and respect for human rights at home.

I wish to share with you the words of the Albanian saint who dedicated her life to peace and humanity, Mother Teresa, who said: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

If all leaders loved their people as their family, then humankind would be at peace without conflicts and divisions. Furthermore, education and youth are the foundation of all societies and the perspective of the future.

On the other hand, religious actors are a great force for social justice and peace. Religious communities and leaders of religious institutions can mediate in conflict situations and unite peoples and nations.

Albania remains a model of peace and harmony between religious communities. Faiths in Albania unite the people even more. And this makes us proud.

Dear friends, the world today is experiencing the rise of populist, nationalist and extremist currents in some countries. Therefore, governments and the civil society must come together and speak the language of peace and act on it. It is not enough just to talk about peace. We must believe in peace, for it is not permanent. It is not a gift—it must be protected at all times.

If we sleep in democracy, we will wake up in dictatorship. And if we are not vigilant in peace, one day we will wake up at war. Peace must be the mission of every leader and the aspiration of every nation. We must believe in peace and work on it every day.

If peace will be the cornerstone of every nation and every generation, then the 38th parallel can become a symbol of peace rather than division.

Thanking you once again for this important summit, I wish that peace will prevail in the Korean Peninsula and the entire world.

Thank you!

H.E. Ilir Meta, President of Albania

H.E. Ilir Meta, President of Albania

H.E. Ilir Meta graduated in Political Economy fromthe Faculty of Economy, University of Tirana, Albania, where he conducted postgraduate studies. Since 1992, he has been a Member of Parliament in all legislatures of the Albanian Parliament. In September 2013, he was elected Speaker of the Albanian Parliament, a position he held until 28 April 2017, when he was elected President of the Republic of Albania.

During his political career, Ilir Meta has served as State Secretary for European Integration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March-October 1998 and then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Governmental Coordination (October 1998-October 1999).

During November 1999 – February 2002, he served as Prime Minister of Albania. During September 2009 – September 2010, Ilir Meta served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and later on as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy (September 2010-January 2011).

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