Seoul, South Korea—World Summit 2022 (Summit for Peace on the Korean Peninsula) was held February 11-14, 2022, with global leaders calling for an end to the Cold War’s last remaining vestige—the divided Korean peninsula. Because of quarantine measures and travel limitations, the Summit was held combining 20% in-person participation and 80% online platforms all around the world. Dignitaries engaged in interactive sessions, including the 157 nations with diplomatic ties to one or both of the Koreas. Twenty incumbent heads of state and government attended either in-person or virtually from Albania, Cambodia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and United States.
In addition, more than 80 video recordings were received from high-level personages who are collaborating through UPF’s associations—heads of state, first ladies, parliamentarians, religious leaders, media, business leaders, and the cultural arts—but were unable to travel due to pandemic restrictions.
World Summit 2022 was sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and the Royal Government of Cambodia, hosted by UPF Co-Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and co-chaired by H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, and H.E. Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Opening Plenary (Feb. 11)
After a video introduction to World Summit 2022, vocalist Kim Jeongjin graced the participants with a beautiful performance. TV host and former Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) announcer Mr. Young-il Shin served as emcee.
Participants in the Interfaith Water Ceremony and Prayer for Peace were Pastor Paula White-Cain, spiritual advisor to President Donald J. Trump; Samdech Dr. Khy Sovanaratana, chief abbot of the Mongkolvan Temple in Cambodia; Hon. Kim Youngwan, vice chairman of the Christian Federation of Korea; and Rev. Gi-seong Lee, president, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification-Korea.
Pastor Paula White-Cain, speaking on behalf of Christianity, thanked the Universal Peace Federation and the Washington Times Foundation for sponsoring this historic event and H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, for supporting Mother Moon’s work for peace. She quoted Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” She said that the spiritual battle we are waging can only be won with truth and love. Spiritual and political leaders must cooperate to complete the task of making a peaceful world, as they are called by God to restore and reconstitute this nation of Korea. Mother Moon has always kept that dream.
Samdech Dr. Khy Sovanaratana, representing Buddhism, said that peace is achievable only when each and every individual “is peace.” Peaceful persons, peaceful families, peaceful communities, peaceful societies, peaceful countries and a peaceful world—one leads to the other. Peace is in the minds of people, as the preamble to the UNESCO charter states, and it is also what the Buddha said more than 2500 years ago. We can coexist harmoniously only if we have a peaceful mind.
Dr. Yun Young-ho, Executive Committee Co-Chair, World Summit 2022, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tremendous difficulties are arising in politics, economics and society. There is also the temptation to pursue populist and self-centered policies that could lead to greater division and conflict among societies and nations. In particular, in the Asia Pacific region, the fight for hegemony between the superpowers greatly influences the situation on the Korean peninsula. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is advocating that a heavenly unified world can be realized only when we recognize that God is in a parental position to humanity and when Korea is unified first. More than 10,000 VIPs were invited to the World Summit 2020, on the themes of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, to realize lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and to unify this divided peninsula. Since then, despite the pandemic, various online platforms have been used, such as the seven Rallies of Hope. Live broadcasts hosted by, amongst others, the IAPP, ISCP, IAPD, IMAP, IAAP, as well as Think Tank 2022 sessions, have been gathering more than 2,200 stakeholders and experts from all over the world to bring viable policies and suggestions on realizing peace on the Korean peninsula.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Co-chair, World Summit 2022 and recipient of the Founder’s Special Sunhak 2022 Achievement Award, called attention to the fact that this year marks the 72nd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, which ended with only an armistice treaty in 1953. He said we urgently need an end-of-war declaration on the Korean peninsula. World Summit 2022 has gathered leaders and experts from more than 157 countries to share their wisdom and vision on peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula and in the Asia Pacific region. Part of the program is the One-Million Person Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The UPF, in cooperation with the Asian Cultural Council and the Asian Region Institute based in Cambodia, is developing an ecofriendly Mekong Peace Park to promote the value and culture of peace. We must use peaceful dialogue. We cannot use war to end war, he said. This Summit is taking place in the shadow of heightening geopolitical rivalry and multiple crises caused by the pandemic. Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula is one of the most pressing and complex global issues that needs to be addressed. This Summit will deliver two key outcome documents, namely, the Seoul Resolution 2022 on “Toward Sustainable Peace and Prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” and the initiative on “Two States toward One Nation: One Peninsula, One People, One Culture.” His Excellency Hun Sen then declared the opening of World Summit 2022.
Livestreamed from the Korean National Assembly, Hon. Lim Jong Seong, Deputy Speaker, congratulated the opening of World Summit 2022 and expressed his gratitude to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and all distinguished guests for joining this meaningful event for establishing peace on the Korean peninsula and addressing the global crisis. He hopes that the pending bill HR 3446, cited as the “Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act,” which was signed by 35 representatives, will pass the South Korean Congress. The bill seeks, amongst others, a formal end to the Korean War, the signing of a peace agreement and the formation of an alliance liaison office.
Hon. Newt Gingrich, U.S. Speaker of the House (1995-1999), thanked the UPF, and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in particular, for their continued effort and dedication to find a way forward to peacefully bring together the people of North and South Korea and to extend to them human rights and the opportunity of freedom. He said that many Americans are committed to helping, including a very large number of Korean Americans who are increasingly winning public office and having an impact in Congress. Parliamentarians worldwide have indeed a major role to play in leading the entire human race toward a more peaceful and free future with religious liberty for all. Every time he comes to Korea, he is astonished at how far the Korean people have carried this country towards prosperity, modernity, and towards being one of the leading scientific and technological powers on the entire planet. It is a great tribute to the human spirit. Being the son of a US Korean War veteran, he now knows that the sacrifice the US made has more than paid for itself. Preserving freedom on the peninsula is one of the most important pillars of American foreign policy. However, it is important to look beyond just defending freedom. It has been inspirational to see the Universal Peace Federation gain momentum on every continent, as more and more countries express an interest in working for a more peaceful future. This world summit, he said, is bringing together people dedicated to peace and freedom.
Plenary Session I:
The first plenary address was given by Hon. Mike Pence, U.S. Vice President (2017-2021). He said that in these times of the pandemic, every nation has been put to the test. Having led the White House Coronavirus task force, he learned that nothing is impossible when nations work together for the common good. He was proud to visit South Korea as Vice President of the United States. Under the Trump administration, the alliance between the US and the ROK was strengthened as never before and their trading relationship was improved. America reaffirmed its commitment to support the ROK and its alliances in the region with an unbreakable commitment to their common defense. Peace follows strength, while weakness arouses evil, for instance, the resurgence of missile tests and provocations from Pyeongyang. With the Abraham Accords, the Trump administration proved that much can be accomplished through a combination of strength and engagement. We also know, he said, that no oppressive regime can last forever, for inside every human heart is an unquenchable fire that burns to be free, inside every human soul is an insatiable desire for freedom.
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2006-2015), Canada, said the Korean peninsula is important not only for Northeast Asia but for the entire planet, because it involves the world’s major powers. While much of the world shut down because of the pandemic, the UPF has continued without pause or fatigue. It held Rallies for Hope, and on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, pressing geopolitical issues were discussed in a number of webcasts. One in particular focused on the Middle East Peace Initiative and the impact of the Abraham Accords. Whenever we have cause to despair at the state of the world, we must take a moment to reflect on what South Korea has achieved since the end of the Korean War, for it has risen to become one of the most prosperous, peaceful and most progressive countries in the world. Mr. Harper hopes that North Korea may someday enjoy the same progress, freedom and prosperity as the South. With pride he thinks back to the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement his government concluded in 2014. South Korea is now Canada’s seventh largest trade partner.
Jim Rogers, Chairman, Beeland Enterprises, in a somewhat funny way, touched some very important facts. He began by saying that in a previous life he spent three years driving 250,000 kilometers through 116 countries. This gave him the perspective to see that Korea—and the Korean peninsula—is probably going to be the next most exciting country in the world when the 38th parallel is opened. When it comes to demographics, Korea has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. In the south, to have a son is considered to be better than having a daughter. Once the 38th parallel is opened, there will be no more need for South Korean men to marry foreigners. The large number of girls in the north will make up for the shortage in the south. As to economics, he reminded us that Reverend Moon founded a car company in North Korea and that the UPF has other initiatives aimed at doing business in or with North Korea. Also, the undersea tunnel between Japan and Korea would allow the Korean peninsula to become an extremely important transportation hub, provided the 38th parallel is opened. Just imagine the opportunities a connection to China’s One Belt One Road Initiative and the Trans-Siberian railroad would offer. The Korean currency has been very stable. However, South Korea has been building up huge amounts of debt these last 20-30 years, while North Korea has not. Opening the 38th parallel, and a new frontier, would boost the economy and the overall debt on the peninsula would be moderated. Just imagine what both North and South Korea could do if they did not have to spend billions on defense.
Plenary Session II
After a congratulatory performance by singer Min Woo-hyeok, Hon. Yoshiaki Harada, Minister of the Environment (2018-2019), Japan, said that members of the IAPP Japan—an officially registered caucus for Diet members—had gathered in order to contribute to the World Summit 2022. He believes that, currently, the biggest threat to the peace and security of Northeast Asia—which includes Japan and the Korean Peninsula—is China’s desire to achieve hegemony in Asia. Japan is worried about a possible contingency in Taiwan, possibly within three to four years, which would be an emergency for Japan and for the Japan-US security alliance. Japan’s constitution, which has remained unchanged for 75 years, must be revised in accordance with the current geopolitical situation. Article 9 bans the formation of armed forces, while in reality, its self-defense forces have served as de facto military. Japan cannot overlook China’s military ambitions and human rights abuses towards Tibetans and Uighurs. Japan is also concerned about the division of the Korean Peninsula, even though it does not have a specific policy to help the unification process. One more concern for Japan are North Korea’s missile launchings. Japan and the United States have affirmed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Japan is a member of the QUAD, a strategic security dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia, which aims to deter Chinese aggression. Mr. Harara hopes South Korea will join the dialogue and promises to be committed to improving bilateral relations between his country and South Korea, which, regretfully remain politically strained.
H.E. Chuichi Date, President of the House of Councillors (2016-2019), Japan, said that the Coronavirus age we are now living in, requires for people to socially distance themselves. Stringent restrictions have been imposed on people traveling across borders. It has somehow destroyed relationships between people and nations and isolated them from one another as nothing else before. We have now ushered in an age that requires a spirit of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values as spoken by the co-founders of UPF. The Korean peninsula, which could be termed as the microcosm of the world where the interests of the stronger powers are intertwined, needs such a spirit more than any other place. Most importantly, communication and cooperation between the North and the South must be encouraged to build a relationship of trust. Also, Japan welcomes a peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula, as it would also solve the problems it has with North Korea, such as the nuclear missiles and kidnapping of Japanese citizens.
H.E. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister (2006-2009) of Israel, who has attended many conferences of this nature, noted that there is great consensus on what must be safeguarded. Everyone from East and West, from right and left, is in favor of peace, friendship, relaxation and mutual respect. The question is not what we are for, but what are we prepared to do in order to make it possible. Different stakeholders in pursuit of peace, may have ideas that are not congruent to each other. This does not mean, however, that they are completely mistaken. Those who are seriously committed to peace must be prepared to find solutions that are not quite what they originally had in mind, but that can bring negotiators closer together. He believes there is only one possible solution to the conflict on the Korean peninsula, i.e., a dramatic change in the nature of North Korea. South Korea will automatically become their role model, and there is only one way they will become part of it, by changing their way of life, their government, and by becoming a free society, which they are not now. South Korea can be absolutely confident that it will be defended, supported and strengthened by all peace-loving people in the world.
Plenary Session III
H.E. Macky Sall, current President of Senegal, and Chair of the African Union, thanked Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and the UPF for the time and efforts they devote to the safeguarding of our common humanity. “You do this,” he said, “by helping to cultivate the values of tolerance and respect for our differences, to overcome suspicions and appease resentments, to foster mutual trust and to establish peaceful co-existence between peoples, cultures and civilizations.” As a laureate of the Sunhak Peace Prize, he shares with the UPF the ethical and moral values, according to which the cost of war is always higher than the price of peace. However, freedom does not come easily and is not to be taken for granted; it is cultivated in the Garden of Courage, Trust and Dialogue. This is where it flourishes to bear the fruits of mutual understanding.
H.E. Romano Prodi, Prime Minister (2006-2008) of Italy, European Union Commission President (1999-2004), and UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, said that the situation on the Korean peninsula is absolutely absurd, after almost 70 years. This is due to a combination of internal and external problems. First, political tension obviously has never helped unification, and the division on the peninsula has been used to strengthen power positions or to achieve political goals. His message: unification is a win-win process in which nobody will be damaged. A prerequisite is that North and South Korea should start to cooperate. After all, there are two governments that desire deeper cooperation. They would be well advised to start small experiments in the fields of, amongst others, sports, culture and tourism, which will create a positive atmosphere. “Of course, one might think that I am dreaming,” he said, “but I have been the President of the European Commission, and the effort to unify Europe is not easy. Korea is one country, with one language, with one common history. In Europe we are 27 countries with 22 languages, and every day there is some difference of opinion or disagreement. However, when you are constantly in dialogue, you understand that time is working in your favor. It should be clear that Korean unification is a completely different story from German unification, in which one country prevailed over the other. There must be cooperation on an equal footing, in which people understand the value of sticking together. Cooperation can be compared to an infection, such as COVID-19, that is spreading around. If we cooperate, we spread virtue.”
H.E. Michel Temer, 37th president (2016-18) of Brazil, especially thanked Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, whose vision and work for peace has extended beyond her country and spread throughout the world. He said that when he visited south Korea as the president of Brazil, he was very impressed with the education system there. He used it as a model for reforming Brazil’s secondary education system, which resulted in thousands of vacancies for full-time teachers.
The session closed with a stirring performance by Nam Sang Il, a Korean traditional musician.