Intervention of Dr. Katsumi Otsuka

Excellencies, eminent presenters, Ambassadors for Peace and dear UPF friends!

It is my greatest happiness to greet you representing UPF Europe and the Middle East. Thank you very much for joining the International Leadership Conference 2021. It is very historic that the ILC is held under the worldwide difficult situation of the Corona Pandemic. Thank you very much again for taking part in the ILC.

First of all, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the Corona Pandemic. I also would like to express my greatest gratitude to the uncountable numbers of Corona fighters who have been working tirelessly day and night to overcome the Covid 19. The Corona crisis has brought many changes to the way the world is. I hope that we can restart toward the new horizon of world peace beyond this global issue.

The 20th century is often referred to as the century of war and revolution. The 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history. The tragedy of the Cold War manifested itself in the division of Germany in the West and in the divided Korean peninsula in the East. The reunification and peace in Germany brought peace in Europe to some extent at the end of the 20th century, but Korea is still in severe conflict and tension despite various efforts for peace building.

Both of UPF's Founders, Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, were born in what is now North Korea during its 40-year occupation by Japan. They experienced the 2nd World War and the Korean War. They were both refugees during the Korean War. This is one of the factors that have motivated them to work for peace and unification through dialogue with mutual respect. Dr. and Mrs. Moon visited North Korea for the purpose of opening the dialogue channel between North and South in December 1991. It was very impressive that they were invited to the State Guest House in Majon and had a talk for peace with the supreme leader Kim Il Sung who once attempted to kill Dr. Moon.

The ILC 2021, as you know well, was specially designed as a program to focus on the peaceful unification of Korea, commemorating the UPF founders’ visit to North Korea. It is also meaningful that ILC 2021 is laying the foundation to launch Think Tank 2022 consisting of multiple experts and working groups for peace on the Korean peninsula. 

The series of webinars you are going to participate in will help to elevate consciousness of the potential and importance of the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula, examining how valuable Europe's role could be in helping to facilitate this. 

Europe and the Middle East had to pass through a process of trials and errors, develop a spirit of reconciliation, apply modern values and create common security mechanisms. To what extent could the lessons learned in Europe be relevant in the Korean Peninsula context? There are so many issues to talk about regarding the unification of Korea. 

I hope that the ILC 2021 will be a great help in bringing about the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula. Asking for your active participation, let me finish my greeting here. 

Thank you very much.