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ILC2021 Asia Pacific: Heads of State and Government Leaders

Asia Pacific-2021-04-29-ILC2021 Asia Pacific: Heads of State and Government Leaders

Asia Pacific—Three former heads of state and government leaders from Kyrgyzstan, the Marshall Islands and Nepal shared their perspectives on the theme, “The Role of Government and Political Leaders in Contributing to Peace in North East Asia and the World,” during Session Two of the International Leadership Conference 2021 (ILC2021)—Asia Pacific program, which was held on April 29, 2021 and hosted by the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP).

The session, which was moderated by Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, vice chairman of UPF-Asia Pacific, began with opening remarks by Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chairman of UPF-Asia Pacific. He expressed his confidence that peace in Korea, in Northeast Asia and globally is possible and explained that the goal of the ILC2021 is to discuss various dimensions of a unified Korea.

Dr. Thomas Walsh, chairman of UPF International, gave the first of four keynote addresses. He noted that the 70th anniversary of the Korean War was commemorated just last year in 2020. But the war was not effectively ended, as only an armistice (not a treaty) silenced the guns, and Korea remains divided.

UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has called on UPF to give full focus to the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula, he elucidated. Hence, there have been a series of Rallies of Hope focusing on this issue and these have caught the attention of millions of people around the world. The 6th Rally of Hope will take place on May 9 in Korea and inaugurate the Alliance for a Unified Korea, a “think tank” that will focus on building a global network of experts in all sectors and fields that will comprise expert working groups linked to UPF’s eight associations.

H.E. Kessai Note, former president of the Marshall Islands (2000-2008), spoke of the devastation of war to lives, property, families, livelihoods and the environment—for generations. He shared some details about the Korean War and World War II, and the subsequent nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. He quoted UPF co-founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, saying: “War is the last resort. It is the most primitive and least effective method of resolving conflict.” H.E. Note commented that the world is becoming a small global village and what affects one nation affects us all. It is imperative to avoid war at all costs, he cautioned. “Regarding the Korean Peninsula, we must work diligently and wisely, and employ all intelligent ways that can bring about reunification. If war broke out again, many nations would be drawn in,” he concluded.

H.E. Parmanand Jha, former vice president of Nepal (2008-2015), highlighted the multidimensional efforts of UPF, which are expanding the consciousness of peace, harmony and brotherhood. Notably, the Rally of Hope series have made remarkable positive contributions to the cause of peace and human welfare, he said.

Hon. Zainadin Kurmanov, former speaker of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan (2009), drew on parallels to the situation in his own homeland. He emphasized, “If we want to become triumphant in achieving world peace and peace on the Korean Peninsula, it [will be] unachievable where geopolitics and unhealthy competition dominate.” His opinion is that “only the two parties should participate which are directly interested in a positive outcome of this issue, relying on a commonly shared bloodline.” He commented that a proper foundation has already been laid due to the enormous personal role and merit of Rev. and Mrs. Moon and UPF.

The session concluded with summary remarks made by Dr. Venus Agustin, vice chairman of UPF-Asia Pacific.

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