Excellencies, dear friends, it is a great honor to have the opportunity to address you at this important summit. The Korean Peninsula has long been a symbol of conflict. The main causes were the relations of the great powers, which led to war and the division of the nation, a process in which ordinary people paid the highest price.

I am convinced that the time has come for the Korean Peninsula to become a positive example for the rest of the world. In this context, it is extremely significant that this event is dedicated to examining ways to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. It shows a significant shift and deserves every support.

It is important to appreciate the significant commitment of the founders of the Universal Peace Federation, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who established many initiatives aimed at promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. In establishing the Universal Peace Federation, I believe they made a good platform to solve not only the questions of the Korean Peninsula but also in a broader context. This kind of thinking and values should get support from all normal people.

Also, it is important to highlight the role of H.E. Hun Sen—who deserves significant appreciation because of the effort that he made in stabilizing Cambodia and bringing it into the circle of peaceful and stable democracies.

Last, but not least, I want to point out the role of H.E. Ban Ki-moon—the leader who gave enormous contributions to world peace and mutual understanding between people, not only during his role as a secretary-general of the UN but also throughout his rich diplomatic career. I myself had the pleasure to meet Mr. Ban, and I know how committed he is to peacebuilding and the promotion of understanding among people.

All three mentioned leaders bring a great importance to this summit, and thanks to them I am sure that a large number of current and former state leaders will make a significant contribution to the positive outcome of the summit.

We live in a time when the world is full of conflicts, in a time when nations isolate and distance themselves from each other. In the modern world the selfish approach dominates; nations separate themselves from each other, especially in the time of COVID. The difference between the rich and the poor is growing, while empathy for the other and the different is diminishing.

It is in such conditions that the significance of this event is very important, because only united and together can we overcome poverty. Only united and together can we overcome the problems posed by climate change that threaten humanity. Only united and together can we defeat COVID.

The topic of the summit—prospects for the peaceful reconciliation of the Korean Peninsula—is important for the peninsula and Asia, but also for the whole world. Improvement in reconciliation and peacebuilding would have major consequences for the modern world where there is little positive news. We are overwhelmed by negative news from all over the world, conflicts and wars, so more serious steps forward would have a considerable positive effect around the world.

Coming from a country that has been in a conflict of its own, I know that it is difficult to reach a compromise, but once that compromise is reached, it has positive effects not only on a particular country but also on other areas of conflict.

In order to achieve peace and reconciliation, we need people who are completely dedicated to it, and that is why this event and the organizers deserve full support and all possible help.

Our own experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina shows that an important precondition for peace is the consensus of the great powers. And the greatest effort of all of us who care about peace should be directed at putting pressure on the great powers to think not only of their own interests but also of the interests of the peoples in those conflict areas. And the interest of the people of the Korean Peninsula is peace, unity and prosperity.

Political leaders play an important role in this process, but religious leaders are also of great importance, as they should unite the world, not divide it. Furthermore, the civil sector has to have a huge role in the process of peacebuilding and reconciliation.

Any sustainable progress has to be closely linked to citizens. They need to feel the positive effects of efforts to improve relations in the region. That is why it is important to open borders and enable tourism. Contact between people is necessary to remove prejudices, and build a sustainable and prosperous region. Economic prosperity is very important, and that means easier exchange of goods, easier trade, but also the exchange of cultures. This contributes significantly to the relaxation of overall relationships.

I hope that the summit will be a success and that the Korean nation will be united in the end. Even though that path will not be easy—the people of the Korean Peninsula deserve it, and everyone who contributes to that positive goal deserves tremendous support. Positive developments in this direction would be of great importance for the entire world, and I hope that this will be the end result. The Universal Peace Federation deserves our full support in order to achieve a united, safe and prosperous Korean Peninsula.

H.E. Mladen Ivanic, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014-2018)

H.E. Mladen Ivanic, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014-2018)

H.E. Mladen Ivanić graduated from the Economic Faculty of the University of Banja Luka in 1981, and obtained his Magister diploma at the Economic Faculty of the Belgrade University in 1984, where he finished his PhD in 1988. In 1985, he started lecturing the Basics of Economics at the University of Banja Luka. From 2001 – 2003, he served as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska. He also served as a Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina between 2003 and 2007.

After the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014, he was named a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from 2016 – 2017 he served as the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He is the author of a number of books and text books, as well as a large number of scientific and expert articles.

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