Dear Mother Moon, Your Excellencies, Ambassadors for Peace, dear participants: I greet you on this important event, wishing you are all doing well!
We are living in a unique time of crises that has never been seen before. It is a time for world leaders to reflect deeply and build together a world strategy how to move forward as a world family.
We are proud that UPF, under Dr. Moon’s leadership, has initiated a series of Peace Talk webinars to provide a platform for leading figures from the worlds of politics, religion, academia, business, and the media to contribute to the process of outlining the kind of world that needs to emerge from the current health crisis, by highlighting the values of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
In particular, the events organized during the pandemic by the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state and government to deliberate on ways to overcome the challenges we face because of COVID-19.
As we are still in the middle of the pandemic, we can see that the world was not at all prepared for such a phenomenon.
This should serve as a strong lesson for world leaders to start to think differently. We should work together cooperatively and constructively for the sake of mutual prosperity and peace, by moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis, and being prepared for such crises in the future.
There are nations and corporations, however, that are trying to use the pandemic crisis for their own agendas and benefits, forgetting that we are one interdependent human family and that we should live and work together, respectfully and cooperatively; otherwise bigger problems will arise. More than ever, we need to improve good governance at the national, regional, and global levels as essential elements for peace and development.
As we see, the COVID-19 crisis is having a broad impact on the geopolitical balance of power as well as the global economy. It is affecting all sectors of government, academia and education, business and economy, religion, the family, women and youth, the media, and the environment.
It is necessary to emphasize that, among other things, we need to teach people to be disciplined in the implementation of medical requirements and recommendations during this time of pandemic. We need also to strengthen human solidarity, because the disease does not ask if you are rich or poor, while the consequences can be suffered all the same.
The Western Balkans region, as we know, is at a crucial moment in its process of integration into the European Union. The current crisis has brought enormous financial and economic problems in our region. However, we see that some political leaders in the Balkans are not focused totally in overcoming these crises but are investing a lot of energy to bring forward their existing selfish agendas, supported by big powers.
I would like to emphasize this point: The Balkan Peninsula can be the treasure of Europe. Historically, it has been the confrontation land of civilizations, religions, cultures and ideologies. It has been the confrontation line between East and West, but it can be the BRIDGE between East and West, and we know that there is a lot of potential.
In order for the Balkans to manifest their true potential now, they need a special focus for deep reconciliation to take place. And it is the responsibility of Europe especially to make it happen. European policymakers must be more careful in their judgments and decisions in relation to the problems in the Balkans, so that true justice prevails. Otherwise, if we do not act responsibly now, the Balkans will continue to produce more history than they can consume.
The Universal Peace Federation is to be appreciated and applauded for its unchanging and steadfast efforts to support the peace processes in the Balkans, and we, as Ambassadors for Peace, will work harder to bring forward the reconciliation process. However, in order for all of us to leave behind a legacy of peace and cooperation for future generations, all parties should work together, including governments, academicians and youth.
Thank you once again for allowing me to address this important event, and God bless you!
Thank you very much!