Seoul, South Korea—Session III, the opening ceremony, of UPF’s Summit 2022 and Leadership Conference was held on August 12, 2022, at the Lotte Hotel World in Seoul, Korea. Fifteen current and former heads of state from 14 countries, a former U.S. vice president, a former U.S. secretary of state, and two former U.S. congressmen and a business leader were among the speakers at the event, which featured the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop educational programs for African youth and the presentation of the Resolution for a Universal Peace Charter.
Mr. Young-il Shin, former Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) announcer, served as the emcee.
Dr. Yun Young-ho, director-general of UPF International, introduced the many conferences and programs UPF has held: Rallies of Hope, Think Tank 2022 Forums, Summits for Peace and International Leadership Conferences. He stated that the Seoul Resolution is advancing one culture of peace around the world and is being expanded during this Summit toward establishing a Universal Peace Charter.
He said this year marks the 10th anniversary of the ascension of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who is remembered for his work in the areas of peace and unification. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message and bouquet of flowers in commemoration of it. Centering on Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Rev. Moon’s legacy to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula is being continued. Dr. Yun also spoke of the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who supported peace in Asia and the world and the many memorials that have taken place in honor of his life.
Hon. Newt Gingrich, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-1999), stated that UPF is dedicated to growing the possibility of peace. Under the guidance of UPF, people from every country are coming together to talk about a better future. He expressed the hope that, as Africa is the continent of the future, its development primarily benefits Africans rather than be exploited as a new economic colonialism. Rev. and Dr. Moon went into North Korea and convinced its leadership that the country’s future lies on the path of peace and hope, not that of war and disaster. He advised the leaders in attendance to make a difference in the direction of that balance and added that UPF is an organization of hope.
Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada (2006-2015), emphasized deterrence, strength, alliance and peace. Giving the example of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he stated that unity and strength are important after a war has begun, but it is far more important to build strength in peacetime through deterrence. The message to North Korea must be clear: they must stop violating the U.N. Security Council resolution which bans missile testing. He stated that the democratic alliance against this must remain strong—sending messages of weakness and hesitation opens the door to catastrophic possibilities. If North Korea commits to complete, verifiable denuclearization, he expressed confidence that other countries will support security assurances, economic development and the path to its full normalization as a nation. He advised: “Always have peace in your heart. Never miss an opportunity to each out to the North, and pursue it, but also never drop your guard. …That is how security on the Korean Peninsula will be maintained and how eventually true peace will be achieved.”
Hon. Donald Trump, president of the United States (2017-2021), described his efforts to launch a bold diplomatic initiative based on the principle of peace through strength, building an international coalition. He stated that he met with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who promised to cease all long-range missile testing. He forged a partnership with former South Korean President Moon Jae-in and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The former president underscored that a weak position leads to danger and peril, not peace. Denuclearization is not the greatest risk for North Korea; it is the greatest opportunity. There is no limit to North Korea’s potential, he continued. They must turn away from their path of aggression and provocation. He expressed hope that in the future, the United States and North Korea would be able to recapture that spirit of goodwill and optimism that characterized the first meeting in Singapore. To achieve a stable and lasting peace will require leaders who have the courage to set aside the conflicts of yesterday and forge a tomorrow of commerce and cooperation.
Hon. Dan Quayle, vice president of the United States (1989-1993), stated that religious freedom is the first freedom in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. America is proud to stand with the people of Korea and Japan and across this region in defense of religious liberty. He reminded everyone of the repression of religious minorities in North Korea and China and called on leaders across the world to work together to bring justice for all who are being persecuted for their faith.
Hon. Dan Burton, member of the U.S. Congress (1983-2013) and international co-chair of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), emphasized that family is primary, and that faith is of utmost importance. He urged everyone to call on the Almighty for guidance to move forward. A peaceful resolution to the tensions in Korea can be realized through diplomacy and all nations working together, he continued, noting that the demilitarized zone (DMZ) will be a gateway for freedom, peace, unity and happiness. He stated that the work of Dr. Moon, UPF and all those in attendance will play an essential role. Even the most critical challenges can be solved, he said, by putting aside race, religion, nationality or political views and coming together to serve a greater good—“living for the sake of others.”
H.E. Michael Temer, president of Brazil (2016-2018), reported that when he was in the South Korea, he witnessed noteworthy approaches to activities taking place, including those related to education and full-time teaching. This inspired him to introduce a reform on secondary education in Brazil, creating thousands of full-time teaching positions.
H.E. Brigi Rafini, executive secretary of CEN-SAD and prime minister of Niger (2011-2021), stated that the organization of 25 Sahel Saharan states is actively translating recommendations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action, inviting partners to reaffirm their support for the promotion of youth welfare since youth are the primary transmitters of peace. Because sustainable and true peace must be built from childhood, it is imperative for these 25 states to educate their youth so they can own their destiny.
He said that faithful to these objectives of transformation and development of Africa, the community of Sahel Saharan states intends to implement a program, “Youth Program of the Great Green Wall,” which aims at strengthening social-economic and environmental factors through the mobilization of youth. The Great Green Wall is an initiative of 11 African countries undertaking concerted actions to combat desertification, practice sustainable plant management and fight against poverty.
H.E. Macky Sall, president of Senegal, thanked Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and members of UPF for the time and effort they continue to devote to the safeguarding of humanity. He stated that if war divided the Korean people, it is through their courage and genius that the mistrust inherited from old fears can be overcome and all people can realize God’s desire for peace.
H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, president of Nigeria, began by stating that the Korean Peninsula has been a flashpoint of conflict that has lingered for many decades. Peace on the peninsula has far-reaching implications for the region, if not for the world. He assured everyone that the Nigerian government encourages and supports every effort to promote understanding among the government and people of both Koreas and will continue to pioneer and collaborate with all such efforts in resolving conflicts. Along with working to bring lasting peace and security to West Africa, Nigeria is open to continuous partnerships with both local and international organizations such as UPF to achieve lasting peace in the world.
H.E. George Weah, president of Liberia, observed that Korea has been a divided nation since the beginning of the Korean War many years ago and stated that his country, Liberia, and several other countries in West Africa have known the suffering, destruction and devastation caused by war and division. For this reason, Liberians cherish peace and hope that all peoples of the world will be able to live peacefully together. He hopes and prays that Korea will reunify soon, and he saluted UPF, which is a leading force for peace in today’s world. By working together, he believes change and the hope of peace can be achieved.
H.E. Carlos Vila-Nova, president of São Tomé and Príncipe, stated that his small island state has, by the grace of God, been an oasis of peace on the African continent. Peaceful coexistence is a universal good because, as history teaches, peace is an essential, critical condition for man and society to realize and fully develop. On behalf of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe, he congratulated Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for her spirit of mission and commitment. He affirmed that his country would continue to support the process of inter-Korean reconciliation and reunification within the United Nations, thus making its contribution to peace and security, not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in Asia and the world.
H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, called upon the delegates to work together to realize the Seoul Resolution, including the implementation of the “Two States Toward One Nation, One Peninsula, One People, One Culture” initiative, the development of a Universal Peace Charter, and the formation of a practical roadmap toward the realization of the Asia-Pacific Union. M4 - P2, in principle, refers to mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual assistance and mutual interest for peace and prosperity. M4 - P2, in practice, refers to the promotion of multilateralism, multisectoral collaboration, multi-layer partnership building and multi-faith in practicality and proactivity. He expressed his gratitude to the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon for having devoted his entire life and resources to uniting the world toward peace and prosperity.
H.E. José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission (2004-2014) and prime minister of Portugal (2002-2004), spoke on the “African Potential to Contribute to the World.” He stated that Africa is a great continent, with 54 countries and 1.4 billion people. By the end of this century, it is estimated there will be 4 billion people in Africa. The challenge will be to find employment for all those people. He said that from an economic point of view, it is a great asset because Africa will be one of the biggest markets in the world. From a pool-of-talent point of view, if there is proper education and training, Africans will be able to contribute greatly to the future of their countries, to Africa as a whole and to the world.
H.E. Barroso was instrumental in the peace negotiations in various African countries, including Angola and Mozambique. He was close to the process of anti-apartheid and the transition to multi-racial democracy in South Africa. He expressed his admiration for the resilience, the creativity, the generosity of the African people and their capacity to overcome great obstacles. Problems remain, including inequity in Africa as compared to the rest of the world. What is needed is the transfer of more knowledge, more support for local production and more investment in Africa.
He asked what Africa can contribute. Instead of being on the receiving end of this global order, or global disorder, he believes it needs to be able to contribute to the proposals for a more just world. Africa is needed for a global order, or at least to avoid a global disorder, he concluded.
H.E. Romano Prodi, prime minister of Italy (1996-1998, 2006-2008) and president of the European Commission (1999-2004), said that the efforts to unify Europe have not ended. Unifying Europe is not easy. Korea is one country with one language and one common history. The European Union has 27 countries with 22 languages. Every day there is a split, but when there is continuous dialogue, over time it is resolved.
H.E. Dominique de Villepin, prime minister of France (2005-2007), stated that the world is undergoing a geopolitical transition which is seen in the shift of global power from the West to the East, with the rise of China. Never before has the risk of war been higher than today. He went on to say that nuclear proliferation is becoming a major threat to international stability, as shown by the Iranian and North Korean crises. For fruitful dialogue to occur, the strategy should be based on political, cultural and social interactions, responding to the aspirations of both people and regimes. Peace depends on the willingness for change and the willingness for cultural dialogue. Peacebuilding makes it crucial to foster mutual understanding. For this reason, art, education, universities, foundations, churches and NGOs are necessary in facilitating cross-border exchanges. Peace also depends on a willingness for economic cooperation. Companies, banks and entrepreneurs have a major role to play in ensuring prosperity and development. With determination, pragmatism and imagination, an example can be set for new generations. He urged: “There is an opportunity today. Let’s seize it.”
H.E. Jose Maria Aznar, prime minister of Spain (1996-2004), said that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been made complicated by geopolitical competition among superpowers, not only during the 20th century’s Cold War but also today. A concerted effort is needed toward building trust, mutual respect, reconciliation and cooperation. His personal experience as former prime minister of Spain assured him that all instruments to achieve dialogue and peace must be used. Peace can be pursued not only through traditional Track I diplomacy but also through a wide range of back-channel approaches that may involve civil society, trade and commerce, humanitarian relief, interfaith dialogue, cultural exchange and tourism. Cooperation between civil societies is one of the keys to gaining popular support for future negotiations.
H.E. Albin Kurti, prime minister of Albania, commented that although the Korean Peninsula is divided, Koreans have known peace for nearly 70 years. He noted that peace is not merely the absence of war or of visible conflict, but the presence of true justice—a just peace with human and civil rights, with freedom of media and freedom of speech, and with an independent judiciary. Also needed are economic rights and a welfare state that works for everyone regardless of nationality, religion or gender. Despite suffering in the world, what remains true throughout history is the longing for freedom that stirs in the human heart. Peace must be sought on the Korean Peninsula, but also on the Balkan Peninsula. He stated that Rev. Sun Myung Moon teaches that peace flourishes where there is justice, and justice requires repentance which must be accompanied by restitution.
H.E. Ilir Meta, prime minister of Albania (1999-2002), stated that a breakthrough of peace on the Korean Peninsula would reflect globally. History and conflicts of the past have taught the importance of peace and how diligently it must be preserved. Peace remains fragile, and therefore it should not be taken for granted—serious work and effort must be made to protect it. Where there is democracy, there is peace. He advised that each country must begin by promoting peace, democracy and respect for human rights at home. He added that education and youth are the foundation of society and the prospects of the future. Religious people are a great force for social justice and peace. Religious communities and leaders of institutions can mediate in conflict situations and unite peoples and nations. Albania remains a model of peace and harmony between religious communities. Governments and civil societies must come together and speak the language of peace and act on it.
MOU Signing Ceremony for Peace
Hon. Ibrahim Natatou, minister of education of Niger, read a congratulatory message from H.E. Mohamed Bazoum, president of Niger. In his message, H.E. Bazoum expressed his gratitude for the commitment Dr. Yun Young-ho made in a meeting in May 2022 on several issues, including the education of the girl child. He continued, saying that the education of young girls is an essential condition for the development of a people and the prosperity of a nation. He concluded by thanking Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for her love for world peace.
Then, an MOU was signed between the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), UPF, the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP) and the Sunhak Educational Foundation to develop vocational training and character education for African youth.
Hon. Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state (2018-2021), spoke about truth, hope and what it means for this group, UPF, to be a federation. The Trump administration wanted peace but was prepared to do the hard work to make it more achievable. He travelled to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He learned that there is hope, but it has to be combined with the hard work that goes alongside it and the preparedness to demonstrate resolve and use power to ensure that peace can be delivered. For peace, it is essential to have dialogue, speak the truth and know who the aggressor is. The elements of peace, he stated, are prosperity, property rights, freedom and economic development. In addition, there is the need for clean water, clean air and food security for every citizen of the world.
In discussing the concept of a federation, he said there is no center point, no command-and-control structure. Rather, it requires each of the constituent communities, each of the governments and NGOs, each of the leaders and each individual to remain resolved. Peace will be possible through the love, kindness, joy and hard work of those who come together as part of this Leadership Conference and return to their communities, their schools and their families to continue to work on this goal.
Mr. Jim Rogers, chairman of Beeland Interests, Inc. and senior advisor to UPF International, stated that deterrence is great, but what is even better is engagement. If billions are no longer spent on defense, the Korean Peninsula could be the single most exciting place in the world. The North has educated, disciplined labor, and many natural resources. In the South, people have management and capital-raising ability. Mr. Rogers said he prefers the term “Open Korea.” By opening the DMZ, he believes Korea would be able to solve the problem of division and have peace again.
Universal Peace Charter Proposal
Hon. Dan Burton stated that IAPP now has over 9,700 members around the world, representing 93 countries, but more are needed. Hon. Burton said that Africa has been neglected and suggested that IAPP works further to ensure the problems in the continent are known.
Dr. Thomas Walsh, chairman of UPF International, introduced the Resolution for a Universal Peace Charter that seeks to promote peace on the Korean peninsula and globally.