H.E. Dr. Luc Adolphe Tiao, Prime Minister (2011-2014), Burkina Faso
Dr. Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao was Prime Minister of Burkina Faso from 2011 to 2014. He is a graduate of several universities in Africa and outside the continent. Throughout his professional career, has held numerous positions in the media, and in the areas of communication and diplomacy. In particular, he was Director General of the State press group (Sidwaya), President of the Higher Council for Communication (CSC), Ambassador of Burkina Faso to France and accredited to the Holy See, Portugal, the Kingdom of Spain, UNESCO and the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
It is again with great pleasure and interest that I participate in this webinar, organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Catherine RIgney, President of the UPF for Africa and to Mr. Adama Doumbia, Coordinator of ISCP.
If there is one positive thing that COVID-19 has offered to the world, it is to have a virtual link, to give technology a human and even a humanistic dimension. I salute in this regard, the clairvoyance of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to have engaged early UPF around the world in an innovative communicational virtual dynamic, never experienced on such a scale, and on such a global scale, as we have experienced during the Rally of Hope organized on August 9th. UPF webinars broke borders by pulling us out of the isolation the world had locked itself into in the face of the coronavirus.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our debate today, which follows on from that of the Rally of Hope, invites us to reflect deeply on the theme "Opportunities and Hope in Times of Crisis: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values". In fact, the elements of this theme have always been at the heart of the thought and vision of Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. COVID-19 has confirmed the interdependence of nations, the relevance of which has always been revealed in their teachings.
We each have a reading of how the epidemic has been handled across the world. She highlighted the selfishness of men and states, insofar as in such a situation, it is always the poorest within States who have paid the highest price and, moreover, poor countries have been virtually marginalized both in terms of health care and in the search for basic solutions such as the vaccine.
In this situation, how, as an African citizen, have I experienced the highlights of the epidemic? There was the fear conveyed by the great communication channels of the North, which almost heralded the annihilation of our continent which had no means of resisting the pandemic. While alarmed at this, solidarity with Africa has been timid. Thanks to God and the voluntarism of governments, African countries have been spared for the time being from this health catastrophe.
The second observation I make is that COVID-19 has been used as a weapon of war in the geopolitical and economic confrontation of the powerful people of this world. This competition between states in vaccine development tells us about the materialist ideology that dominates the world today. The pandemic and its management have highlighted the issue of transparency in the management of information on the international scene.
What we Africans expect is no longer to continue to be spectators of major global issues. In this regard, the coronavirus has confirmed the marginalization of Africa on the international scene. Notwithstanding our own responsibilities in this marginalization, the coronavirus by its very nature - since it strikes without distinction rich and poor, North and South, East and West, Black and White - calls on the world for a cultural change to better adapt to the new challenges ; we cannot measure what they will be tomorrow.
The health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic requires a paradigm shift in international relations. It requires from the rulers, a global and united response, real planetary solidarity. It also supposes our capacity to imprint on the world new values for the very reason of our existence. Some are rightly calling for an overhaul of the economic system which so far has not led to shared happiness; which until then nourished wars; which until then maintains inequalities and injustice. All this, because this system cultivates individualism about identity, religion, community, etc. How to change all this? How to bring about a new paradigm of internal and external faith? The answer lies in the transformation of Man himself as the creation of the Heavenly Father.
The Teachings of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, following on from those of her husband, call in this sense for a new culture centered on God, the family, universal values and living for the sake of others. If humanity is inhabited by these values, peace, solidarity, and fraternity can only prosper in the world. At this time, it is evident that our world will quickly find solutions to unexpected and large-scale crises like COVID-19.
We must therefore encourage and support the initiatives of the Mother of Peace in her crusade for a world of justice, love, peace and solidarity. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon understood that COVID-19, beyond desolation, is an opportunity to bring together men and women bound by the same destiny on this earth.
This is why, I think that the debates that UPF is organizing on the state of the world in the light of the COVID-19 epidemic, for some time now, through the magic of the webinar, must have an echo in all international bodies and at the level of each country. The quality of the debates is such that it will be a shame if these debates do not reach the greatest number of leaders and decision-makers.
I express my admiration for the vision of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, which allows UPF to imprint its leadership on the issue of COVID-19 and the future of the world, as the States, international and regional cooperation organizations, caught up in the health emergency, are in fact turning in on themselves.
The Secretary-General Emeritus of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, was right to say last month that “UPF will become a cornerstone in building lasting peace in the world."
I am convinced that not only will the world defeat the coronavirus, but also and above all that it represents an opportunity to build this new world for which the Universal Peace Federation is working.