Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished friends. It is great pleasure for me to address this distinguished audience from Istanbul on a very important subject: world peace, and world peace directly related to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

First, I want to express my deep appreciation to my great friend, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, and of course the organizers and especially to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for this excellent and very timely conference.

Now we are facing several challenges everywhere in the world: climate change, migration, nuclear issues and lastly, of course, pandemics. Our experience on pandemics shows us clearly that we have a common destiny, which means the need for a common cooperation and effort for the future of humanity.

In my last book, published by Cambridge University Press last year, I used the term “systemic earthquake” and world order. Yes, today we are facing several systemic crises. We have to work together: Asians and Europeans, Americans and Africans. Everywhere in the world there is a need of global cooperation for the future of our next generations.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula has a symbolic meaning for all of us. Why? The Cold War of the 20th century, the last century, divided the nation of Korea, having the same history, culture, and language. Like East Germany and West Germany, South Yemen and North Yemen, South Vietnam and North Vietnam, and, of course, South Korea and North Korea. All the other nations, after very sad and painful experiences, reunited again. Today, we have one Germany, one Yemen, one Vietnam, but the Cold War is continuing only on the Korean Peninsula. The Cold War has ended everywhere else. Korea is the abnormality, a historical abnormality, but still it continues on the Korean Peninsula.

In fact, today, the great nation of the Korean Peninsula, with which we as Turks have the same linguistic background, I want to address to them that it is now time for a new era on the Korean Peninsula. This new era will bring peace, a final peace, after a long-lasting armistice. It will not only bring peace on the Korean Peninsula, but that peace will be a call for all humanity, for an eternal peace everywhere in the world.

Several other issues are on the table, such as denuclearization. I know there are several challenges for the Korean people, for this great nation, a nation of pride. But challenges mean at the same time new opportunities. Therefore, I hope this conference on world peace, with the special reference to peace on Korean Peninsula, will be a new beginning and will be a new vision for the Korean people.

Now it is time for peace for all Korean people. I know there are several challenges, yes, I know there is a huge gap between the two leaderships or administrations because of ideological and economic backgrounds. But the same challenges existed for the German people before their unification. I know the issue of denuclearization will be a great challenge for all Koreans as well as for all humanity. But if a nation having the same culture, same language, same history, has the will to reunite, I think nobody can prevent this common destiny. If there is peace on the Korean Peninsula after so many decades of armistice, if there is a final peace, this will be a strong message to all humanity that there is a new era of peace starting everywhere in the world. Therefore, it is time for the Korean people to reunite and bring all the families together as one entity of common destiny.

Therefore, this conference, this meeting, has historic significance. It is very timely, direct to the point. Therefore, again I want to express my thanks as someone living seemingly far away from Korea, in Istanbul, but I always felt the destiny of Korea is our common destiny and felt close affinity to Korean people.

I want to make another call that this conference will bring a new era for the Korean people. With this I want to send best greetings from Istanbul, the capital of three imperial traditions and a capital of multiculturalism, a historic place. To the great Korean people and our friends everywhere in this conference, my best wishes and a wish for success.

Thank you very much.

H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of Turkey (2014-2018)

H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister of Turkey (2014-2018)

Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu was born in Konya, Turkey in 1959, and graduated with a double major in Political Science and Economics from Bosphorus University, where he went on to gain an M.A., followed by a PhD from the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He has lectured and performed senior administrative roles at various universities in Istanbul. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Turkey from 1 May 2009 – 29 August 2014, during which time he played a prominent role in peace making and mediation efforts to overcome conflicts in the Middle East and the Balkans. He served as Prime Minister of Turkey from 28 August 2014 – 22 May 2016. Professor Davutoğlu is currently the Leader of the Future Party.

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