Distinguished guests, I want to thank the Universal Peace Federation for its continuous activities to promote the desire for peace and the need for peace, and the importance of creating a peaceful environment for people living in different parts of the world.
Of course, this conference, in addition to the many others that are organized by the Universal Peace Federation, is a very good contribution to the cause of peace amongst people representing different parts of the world, different continents, different countries, different societies and different regions.
I’d also like to again express my admiration for the enormous historical achievements of Father Moon, and in the last ten years of Mrs. Moon, for trying to bring together people of different directions, of different beliefs, of different desires into something that is fundamentally common to all of us. This is the need for peace, the desire for peace, and the benefit of peace for all of us.
The truth is that we live in a very difficult and somewhat complex period. In the last few months, we have seen the invasion of Russia into Ukraine and the threat that it poses to the integrity—the physical integrity—and the safety of millions of people. I personally dealt with some individuals who were escaping Ukraine and had lost everything that they had, and most importantly, they had lost their faith in the possibility of a future without wars and without confrontations. This is true about millions of Ukrainians.
We don’t have enough time to go into all the computations and all the importance of the need to resolve it. But I pray that the Russians will not feel that they need to carry on this threat and that they will understand that there is not really a genuine threat to the safety, security and the well-being of Russian people in the Russian Federation.
Russia is very strong. No one can threaten Russia, no one can destroy Russia, and there is no need for Russia to destroy anyone or any other country, regardless of the historical background and relations between that country and Russia.
Ukraine deserves to be independent, and the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people in the country must be recognized by Russia, and the sooner the better. I pray that the president of Russia, President Putin, will understand his historic responsibility in restoring the situation on the border between Russia and Ukraine into what it used to be before this all started and caused so much pain and so much suffering to so many people.
In my part of the world, the Middle East, we just had a visit by President Biden. There is a feeling that something is moving, is changing, and it still remains to be seen how it will be resolved. But I think that the Abraham Accords, which created the follow-up peace between Israel, Emirates and Bahrain and some more intense contacts between Israel and other Arab countries, is a very important process that can change the Middle East and maybe restore a certain stability in spite of the continuous threat of Iran which is a fundamentalist society and somewhat of a sponsor of terror in different parts of the Middle East.
Iranians must be stopped and perhaps this creation of, as President Biden called it, the architecture of defense and security for countries in the region can be a very good signal to the Iranians that they should refrain from any further attempts to destabilize this part of the world.
Finally, may I say that after the conference that I was privileged to be a guest of back in the beginning of this year in Korea, I visited Korea again for another conference and I was happy to see that people are—at least some of them—more relaxed and the tension which has characterized the mood of South Korea earlier has somewhat subsided.
The desire that we all have is to ultimately bring peace to the two parts of Korea. You are the same people. You are the same nation. You are a divided family. You should unite the families and you should unite the countries.
I hope that the heritage and the legacy of Father Moon and the energy and intensity and leadership of Mother Moon will help bring together the two parts of Korea into one thriving, successful and happy nation.