Honorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a Sunhak Peace Prize laureate, I am happy to join you on the Rallye of Hope 2020 of the Universal Peace Federation.
I would first like to salute the legacy of the prestigious founder of the UPF, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, whose centenary we are celebrating this year.
I address my affectionate tribute to the Honorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who pursues with such love and generosity the UPF's ideal of peace and human brotherhood.
This Rally of Hope is taking place at an unprecedented moment in history, when the whole world is bearing the brunt of the brutal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to being a major health crisis, this disease deeply disrupts our living conditions and our social relations. Education systems are in jeopardy, economies at half mast, companies are in trouble and workers face a precarious situation.
The COVID-19 pandemic ignores borders, social, ideological and geopolitical considerations. It brings to light the limits of the most sophisticated health systems and shows us our common vulnerabilities; men and women, young and old, rich or poor, countries of the North and the South are all equally affected.
To date, COVID-19 has not revealed all of its secrets. And there is still no medicine or vaccine to fight it. In the face of so many challenges and uncertainties, faith, confidence in science, and the resolve to act together will help us maintain hope, overcome trials, and overcome our common vulnerabilities.
We need to act together, because just as the virus has circled the planet in a few months, it will remain a threat to everyone as long as it continues to be active somewhere in the world. Self-centeredness is not the option to bring the victory. Rather we are to work in solidarity and human fraternity, as the UPF has always done.
This is what prompted me, on May 14, to co-sign the International Appeal so that the future vaccine against COVID-19 is a common good, free and accessible to all countries.
In the same spirit, I salute and support the Rallye of Hope 2020 which brings us together so that the post COVID-19 world is a better place for all.
I send you my warm congratulations and wish your event to be a complete success.