Session 7: Peace-Loving Nations Retaining Military Strength – A Prerequisite for Sustainable Peace
This session was moderated by Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General of UPF-Europe.
Dr. Werner Fasslabend, former Defense Minister of Austria, spoke about the areas of challenge in today's world. He described several areas, regions, and trouble spots but dwelled particularly on the military build-up in China. For the first time in Chinese history, there is no threat from the north (Mongolia and Siberia) or from the southwest (India and Pakistan). Therefore, China can focus on developing its strategic interests on its Eastern maritime front. China’s territorial claims go all the way down to Indonesia. Similar to NATO's role in securing the Atlantic Rim, an alliance is needed to secure the islands in the Pacific Rim. Before and during World War II, Japan's “Greater Asian Co-Prosperity System” occupied an extensive territory including Burma, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Now China is on a similar track.In the 1990s Europe was not able to prevent the Yugoslavia crisis. If it had been prepared, it could easily have prevented it. The key concept is being prepared. Col. Gjermund Eide, from the Norwegian Military College, pointed out the changing situation since the end of the Cold War. There is a growing unpredictability. With failed states and the irrationality of non-state actors, e.g. terrorists, there is increased chaos and disorder. In addition, there is also the danger of cyber attacks and long-range weapons. Obama said: “Make no mistakes about it, evil exists.”Negotiations would not have made Hitler or Al Qaida lay down their arms. Soft power includes negotiation and diplomacy. We need "smart power" combining hard and soft power in an optimal way.
Mr. Jack Corley, chair of UPF-UK, spoke about the story of Cain and Abel. Cain planned to get rid of his brother, Abel. Abel could have won the heart of Cain peacefully through communication, but Abel was unable to protect himself, and Cain slew him. In the story of Jacob and Esau, Esau tried to kill Jacob. Jacob had to flee. After 21 years Jacob came back, but still the enmity existed. Jacob had become a rich man and wisely used his position to melt the heart of his brother. Thus, Esau and Jacob reconciled as brothers.
After World War I, Germany, a proud nation, was humiliated and defeated by France. France was adamant that Germany should pay war reparations. The Versailles Treaty was a very punitive treaty with no compassion. Hitler played on the resentment of the German people and took revenge. He had the French sign the surrender treaty in the same train carriage and in the same village as the Versailles Treaty. Because of the Marshall Plan, the former enemies of the Axis Powers and Japan became the closest allies of USA, Britain and France. Thus, there is wisdom in reaching out to enemy while also cultivating a strong defense.
The lunch on Saturday was organized as a meeting between the youth participants, and Professor Yamanaka made herself available for questions and dialogue.
Session 8: Role Models and Peacemakers
While presentations about paths to peace are valuable, good role models can give extra inspiration. This session touched on this topic by speaking about a nation and an individual. Ms. Cecilie Fortune, UPF-UK, was the moderator.
Professor Öyvind Tönnesson: The Norwegian government wants Norway to be a nation known for peace. The former Prime Minister started his own peace center. Peace is trendy in Norway, and this image is confirmed by outside observers. Since 1991, the Nobel Peace Prize has been the focus of the international media. The University of Oslo carried out research to analyze whether Scandinavia has its own peace tradition. Is it true that Norway has a strong peace tradition? His interesting answer is that it is myth. But it is a good myth, and it is better to live with a good myth than no one.
While Professor Tönnesson spoke of a national tradition, Tim Miller spoke on an individual tradition. His example was from the autobiography of the UPF Founder, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace Loving Global Citizen. He spoke about how one individual could accomplish much, particularly how the meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung could change international relations. Gorbachev opened up diplomatic relations to South Korea, and Kim Il Sung stopped the anti American propaganda and opened up for the Sunshine Policy.
Session 9: Update and Conclusion
Ms. Carolyn Handschin gave an update on WFWP activities in 2012 and Mr. Mark Brann gave an update on UPF activities. In summary, there were two days with stimulating presentations, questions, and comments. Many expressed that they learned a lot and enjoyed the cultural performances. New relationships were built and new ideas were conceived. All these inspirations will make the conference have a life long after these two days in Oslo.