Intervention of Dr. Thomas Walsh

I'm very happy to say a few words at the outset of the international leadership conference 2021. I want to express my great appreciation not only to our founder, Dr Hak Ja Han Moon, but also to the regional leadership of UPF, which is truly remarkable and spreading and building the network and strengthening the effectiveness of UPF globally. it's widely recognized as a leading NGO working for peace in the world at this time in history.

As you know, 30 years ago, Father and Mother Moon visited North Korea, where they met then leader Kim Il Sung. The prospect of the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula is near and dear to their heart and lies in the background really of all the work they've done throughout their lives.

However, as Father Moon has passed on and as Mother Moon has taken up the leadership of the movement, she has particularly at this time called UPF to give undivided focus to this project to promote Inter Korean cooperation and move toward peaceful reunification. So, there is a very strong strategic plan in place.

This ILC 2021 is a central pillar of that plan. It builds off of a series of webinars that we've had over the last three months. 120 have been carried out just in these three months through our global network. ILC 2021 builds on that foundation and, as we look beyond the ILC, we will be moving into the 6th rally of hope on May 9th.

This series has caught the attention of millions of viewers throughout the world. It has had as a focus the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. In particular, last year we honored the veterans of the Korean War and we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the conflict which took place last year.

So, it's very much at the center of our work and, at that 6th rally of hope on May 9th, we will inaugurate what we're calling Think Tank 2022. it will consist of building a global network of experts in all sectors and fields of endeavour and building a series of expert working groups that are linked to our UPF associations.

We have eight associations, so we will be building these expert working groups that are linked to these various sectors, so they can very much use their unique capacities and assets to explore avenues and options for peace going forward. We are looking beyond the rally of hope as well and, after the inauguration of Think Tank 2022, we will be having a series of fact finding consultations.

So, as we form these expert working groups, there will be high level delegations formed, to visit key stakeholder nations. You can imagine an expert working group visiting South Korea and, hopefully, also North Korea, as well as Japan, Russia, the United states, China and Vietnam, the Philippines, and other nations, to explore what can we do to breakthrough toward peace and move beyond a situation in which there has never really been a peace treaty signed.

We have an Armistice, but how to truly bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula? The other major component of this strategic plan is to convene World Summit 2021, hopefully in November, which would be a gathering of many thousands of experts to discuss this initiative at the highest level, bringing together all the expert working groups and leading figures from around the world, heads of state, parliamentarians and religious leaders, media representatives and academicians. We hope to convene that in November, which would be the 30th anniversary of Father Mother Moon's visit to North Korea, if the pandemic is behind us. otherwise we will reschedule it for 2022.

This is the primary focus. This ILC 2021 is absolutely at the center of this initiative, so I thank you all for participating, I wish you well in the deliberations, and I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of ILC 2021. Thank you again for your support for UPF, and for your work to promote the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you very much.

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