The Closing Session of the Europe and the Middle East (EUME) Universal Peace Federation (UPF) International Leadership Conference “Toward a Peaceful Reunification on the Korean Peninsula: Creating the Foundation for a Unified World”, concluded a programme of eight UPF Association webinars, convening a diversity of eminent panellists as well as a wide audience from across the world. In an impressive global effort, simultaneously in four other regional groupings similar conferences have been ongoing, under the same title and focus.
One common question emerged from each of those addressing the concluding session, namely, ‘What has an unresolved conflict so far away from Europe got to do with us?’
For Dr Michael Balcomb, President of the EUME Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, it had become clear that many nations in our region had participated in the 1950-1953 Korean war that was left unresolved. Therefore we have a remaining role to fulfil in assisting its resolution.
Mr Jacques Marion, Co-Chair of UPF in EUME, quoted Italian Senator Pier Ferdinando Cassini, from the Opening Session, that it is from “the constant commitment of associations such as the UPF that a decisive contribution can be given to strengthening a spirit of collaboration between the two Koreas, in the awareness that it will be the most profitable political investment in view of resolving regional crises and building world peace.”
Continuing, Mr Marion added, ‘Representing each area of activity of the UPF Associations – as heads of state, parliamentarians, religious leaders, media professionals, scholars and business leaders, their diversity of expertise can address the problems from different and complementary perspectives.’ He concluded that it is UPF’s ‘Founders conviction that the world needs to come together again and take responsibility to resolve the division of the Korean Peninsula’
Highlighting the example of the unification of Germany that had brought great hope to the Korean peninsula, EUME UPF Co-Chair, Dr Katsumi Otsuka recollected, ‘It was unforgettable that the German reunification brought peace and tremendous economic development to Europe. The established peace in Europe sent a warm spring breeze to the people of Korean at that time. They came to have a hope that the re-unification of Korean would be realized soon.’
Dr Otsuka had quoted Mother Dr Hak Ja Han Moon, ‘The Korean Peninsula division is not simply a leftover of the Cold War in the 20th century. More than that, the division of Korea is an unavoidable major issue for realizing not only East Asian regional stability but also for world peace. Dr. Moon’s view to the division is far deeper than our thinking. The Korean Peninsula is as small in its physical size as same as a keyhole of a door is small. The UPF founders taught us saying that world peace will not be realized without the peace of the Korean Peninsula, a “Keyhole for peace.”’
Due to the influence of the two camps striving for global hegemony, USA and China, on South and North Korea, issues on the Korean peninsula would be difficult to resolve without their mutual approval.
Both Dr Balcomb and Dr Otsuka emphasised UPF’s co-founders repeated message, that both peace in the world and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula, cannot occur without God’s support and the application of godly values in the reconciliation efforts.
Mrs Carolyn Handschin reporting on the International Association of First Ladies for Peace remarked that there was not a plethora of expertise regarding the Korean peninsula in an organisation inaugurated only one year ago. She did find an enthusiasm, however, for a search for practical projects that can bring people together in one common humanity. She referred to the possibility of bringing women together, from South and North, at the DMZ to meet and campaign for a DMZ safe zone. She emphasised that, ‘Political systems alone do not make peace. It is in the hearts of people that peace is made.’ She was looking forward to bringing a ‘Wide range of women experts to look at the situation even from far away to influence change.’
Mr Marion reported on the Opening Session and the eight UPF Association Sessions that had gathered 50 speakers and included cooperation with Japan in two of those sessions. These Associations were forming Expert Working Groups, he explained, that would support the efforts for peace on the Korean peninsula.
Dr Otsuka had explained that the global International Leadership Conferences and the next Rally of Hope are to commemorate the anniversary of the visit 30 years ago, in November 1991, of the co-founders of the Universal Peace Federation, Rev Dr Sun Myung Moon and Dr Hak Ja Han Moon, to Pyongyang on a peace mission that they made despite knowing that with their reputation as anti-communist campaigners, they were risking their lives. The series of webinars around the world were to commemorate that visit and to rekindle the hope that it had brought.
Mr Marion concluded explaining that the official ILC 2021 Closing Session was going to be held together with the other four Regions on a global level with the 6th Rally of Hope on May 8 late night, or May 9th early morning. It will address the issue of Korean re-unification and will launch ‘Think Tank 2022’ which will be dedicated to the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. It will highlight the Expert Working Groups of each of the UPF Associations that we are in the process of assembling.
He added, ‘70 years ago, the world fought in Korea, but left the country divided. Today, it is our Founders conviction that the world needs to come together again and take responsibility to resolve the division of the Korean Peninsula, which is a focus point for the power struggle among the major nations of the world.’
Join us for the world’s 6th Rally of Hope that will launch this collective effort to bring reunification whose resolution would be a significant step to world peace.