Impression of the International Summit in South Korea

17 AUG 2022 16:00 | Stichting Familiefederatie voor Wereldvrede en Unificatie

SEOUL, KOREA (Aug. 14, 2022)— International leaders at the Universal Peace Federation’s (UPF) Summit 2022 and Leadership Conference affirmed their support for global peacebuilding, especially on the Korean Peninsula. Sessions also addressed the universal right to religious freedom, and called for more education of youth in Africa, which is emerging as a global power.

Some 350 world leaders from the 157 nations with diplomatic relations with either North or South Korea attended the August 11-15, 2022, conference, either in person or virtually, at Jamsil Lotte Hotel in Seoul, to discuss “Toward Peace on the Korean Peninsula: Toward a World Culture of Peace.” 

In his welcoming remarks, UPF Chairman Thomas G. Walsh expressed hope that the focus and vision for peace on the Korean Peninsula would be taken to a broader level, and that soon “the divided world will be reconciled into one humanity and one global culture of peace.” 

In addition to calling for peace, the leaders expressed deep condolences for the loss of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. UPF offered a video and floral tribute.

Sheikh Mansour Diouf of the Murid Brotherhood in Senega expressed an important sentiment which was echoed by many of the religious leaders. “We are supposed to be brothers…My grandfather said the one thing people cannot go without is peace.” 

Korean reconciliation was a major theme, due to the passion of UPF co-founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who were born in what is now North Korea. In 1991, anti-communist Rev. Moon went to Pyongyang to meet communist North Korea leader Kim Il-sung. The two men embraced as brothers and agreed to launch various goodwill projects together. That unity underscores the hope to bring peace to the 80 million people on the Korean Peninsula, despite decades of division, said Dr. Michael Jenkins, President, UPF International.

Still, there are discouraging signs. This year, North Korea has launched 31 missiles; it threatens to end the Trump-era moratorium on ICBM launches and nuclear tests, and “is showing no interest in talks with Washington,” said former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In video remarks, former US President Donald Trump said his administration worked to first keep “us out of war,” and then seek a breakthrough. That led to the strategy of putting “the toughest pressure” on North Korea while offering “unprecedented outreach and engagement” to the nation.

Along with the conference, UPF organized a Fact-Finding Delegation for Peace on the Korean Peninsula with US officials and South Korean leaders. One topic of conversation was “audacious plans to move North Korea to rapprochement,” said Amb. Joseph DeTrani, Special Envoy to the Six-Party Talks with DPRK (2003-2006).

“Idealism must be rooted in realism,” and “dialogue and military readiness must go hand-in-hand,” said Amb. Harry Harris, a Navy admiral who served as US Ambassador to South Korea from 2018 to 2021. “I’m encouraged,” he added, that South Korea President Suk-yeol Yoon intends “to make the US-ROK Alliance the centerpiece of his foreign policy,” as that means outreach to Japan as well as readiness.

It will “take all elements of power”—diplomatic, intelligence, military, economic—to bring Korea closer to peaceful reunification, said (Ret.) Gen. Walter Sharp, who led US forces, the UN Command, and ROK-US Combined Forces Command (2008-2011).

Dr. Alexandre Mansourov, Adjunct Professor at Edmund Walsh School of Foriegn Studies at Georgetown University, said North Korea’s silence about dialogue was “worrisome,” but praised our  alliances with the regional powers as “rock solid.”

Dr. Subash Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Secretary General of the Asian Regional Institute of Juche Idea in Nepal, said North Korea seeks peaceful reunification, but based on Universal Humanism—and “without the interference of foreign powers.” The 2018 Panmunjom Agreement sought reunification on the principles and spirit of “By Our Nation Itself,” Dr. Shrestha said, but current inter-Korean relations are now “brought back to the time before the publication” of that agreement. “We who are gathering here” at the UPF summit “should try our best” to understand the situation, Dr. Shrestha said, adding UPF is “very much appreciated for its Track II diplomatic peace initiatives” on the Korean Peninsula.

This August summit builds on the Seoul Resolution 2022, which was signed in February, at UPF’s World Summit 2022, by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, chairman of UPF’s THINK TANK 2022, and Kingdom of Cambodia Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen. That resolution calls for Korea to become a two-state nation that is “one peninsula, one people, and one culture.”

The Seoul Resolution lays the foundation for a future global agreement to be “one planet, one humanity, and one global peace culture,” said UPF Chairman Thomas G. Walsh

Dr. Sok Siphana, head of Asian Vision Institute, a think-tank in Cambodia working to advance the Seoul Resolution, said they and others have been developing a Universal Peace Charter based on core principles of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect; tolerance; unity in diversity; non-interference; and peaceful settlement of disputes. Dr. Sok read a letter of congratulations from Prime Minister Hun Sen, who called on the UPF members to “unswervingly pursue their peace mission.” H.E. Muhammad Buhari, President of Nigeria also sent a letter thanking Dr. Moon and encouraging the participants to work for peace. 

Taiwan Vice President Lu Hsiu-lien (2000-2008) invited the world leaders to “make another miracle”—helping Taiwan stay “distant relatives and close neighbors” and dissuade the People’s Republic of China from its “One China” policy.

Other highlights of the summit:

—The 40th Anniversary of The Washington Times.

Chairman Thomas P. McDevitt and President, Executive Editor Christopher Dolan, and Opinion Editor Charles Hurt spoke of The Times’ impact and its dedication to accurate news and ideals of freedom, faith, and family. The Times, as a “guest in your home,” will never mock you or your faith, said Mr. Dolan.

—The 60th Anniversary of The Little Angels. The world famous children’s folk ballet company, founded by Rev. and Mrs. Moon gave a beautiful special performance to the delight of the conference participants. Co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, known as the Mother of Peace, attended and shared words of gratitude and love for the children and the world leaders.

 —Session on Protecting Religious Freedom Worldwide: 

In video remarks, former US Vice President Mike Pence said religious freedom is the “first freedom” because it is “the foundation for true national greatness.”

Religious freedom is “the most important single topic on the planet,” said US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (1995-1999). It presupposes the existence of God, God’s giving humanity their rights (versus other people), and forms the basis of freedom, he said.

Religious freedom is key to security concerns, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2018-2021), recalling how he left his Bible open on his desk for inspiration. “Nations that threaten others, like China and Iran,'' he said, also “have death holds” on religious freedoms.

Globally, while 84% of the population claims religious affiliation, 79% live in countries “with high or very high obstacles to religious freedom,” said Hon. Jan Figel, Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion, European Union (2016-2019).

Religious prejudice generates three evils—”intoleration, discrimination, and persecution,” said Dr. Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of the Center for Studies on New Religions in Italy.

Other speakers were Pastor Paula White-Cain of City of Destiny Church; Bishop Don Meares of the Evangel Cathedral; Mr. McDevitt of The Washington Times, which champions religious freedom; and Hee-Taek Chung, President of the Segye Ilbo newspaper in Seoul.

—Sessions on Africa with Commitments to Peace, Youth Education, and Religious Cooperation

The growing power of Africa—where the average age is 20—brings opportunities for education, jobs, encouraging peace, and protecting the environment, especially against desertification.

“It is imperative for us: We must train our youth so that they can resolutely take charge of their destiny,” said H.E. Brigi Rafini, Executive Secretary of the Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and former Prime Minister of Niger. 

CEN-SAD has 25 Member States, with 650 million people covering about half of the continent, and is one of the eight regional economic communities that make up the African Union, now led by Senegal President Macky Sall. Later, at an International Youth Leaders Conference, leaders from Malawi, Nigeria, Eswatini, Cape Verde, Somalia, DR Congo, and Niger discussed the importance of vocational training and character education for African youth. This was followed by the signing of an agreement to raise “youth for peace.”

In a separate session, the issue of African religions and spirituality was discussed. Imboni Dr. Uzwi-Lezwe Radebe, founder of the Revelation Spiritual Home in South Africa, joined Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria; Hon. Issaka Sourwema, Minister of Religious and Customary Affairs of Burkina Faso; H.E. Rev. Nevers Mumba, Founder of the National Christian Coalition in Zambia; and Dr. Nokuzola Mndende, National Chairperson of the Council of African Religion in South Africa to discuss a resolution to protect religious freedom in Africa. This resolution was subsequently signed.


Summit participants were invited to sign three pledges: the Resolution for a Universal Peace Charter; Resolution to Establish an IAPD-Africa Advisory Council in Partnership with the African Union (to promote interfaith cooperation within Africa); and a Declaration on the Universal Value of Religious Freedom (to protect the absolute right to freedom of religion for all people).

In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CEN-SAD), UPF, International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP) and the Sunhak Educational Foundation to develop vocational training and character education for African youth.

  • On August 14, a separate program held outside Seoul commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, “a pioneer of peace and reunification,” said UPF International Director-General Dr. Yun Young-ho. North Korean Premier Kim Jong-un sent flowers and a personal message to Mrs. Moon, Dr. Yun said.

Among the more than 100 distinguished speakers were: Senegal President Macky Sall; H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President, Nigeria; Hon. Mike Pence, US Vice President (2017-2021); Hon. Dan Burton, US Member of Congress (1983-2013); Beeland Interests Chairman Jim Rogers; Pastor Paula White-Cain, City of Destiny Church; Bishop Don Meares, the Evangel Cathedral; Hee-Taek Chung, President of the Segye Ilbo newspaper; H.E. Boris Tadic, President (2004-2012), Serbia; H.E. Yves Leterme, Prime Minister (2008, 2009-2011), Belgium; H.E. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister (2006-2009), Israel; Hon. Neziha Labidi, Minister of Women, Family & Children (2016-2020), Tunisia; Hon. German Blanco Alvarez, Senator, Colombia; Hon. Grigore Novac, Member of Parliament, Moldova; Hon. Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University, India; Mme. Adi Koila Nailatikau, First Lady (2009-2015), Fiji; H.E. Johnson Toribiong, President (2009-2013), Palau; Hon. Patricia Terrazas Baca, Member of Parliament, Mexico; Dr. Ann Higgins, President, World Dance Congress, Bahamas; Hon. Dave Laksono, Member of Parliament, Indonesia; Hon. Ross Robertson, Member of Parliament (1987-2014), New Zealand; and H.E. Jose Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission, (2004-2014).

The proceedings and speeches, including videos will be processed and posted on

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