The World Summit 2022 for Peace on the Korean Peninsula was held in Seoul, Korea, from February 10 to 14. Some 160 nations were represented, including 157 nations with diplomatic ties to one or both of the Koreas. The Summit was sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Hosted by UPF Co-Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the Summit was Co-Chaired by H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, and H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General (2007-2016) of the United Nations; Dr. Yun Young-ho, Director General of the Universal Peace Federation, and Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, and H.E. Khuon Sudary, Vice-President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia served as Co-Chairs of the Executive Organizing Committee.
In response to South Korea’s strict sanitary and travel restrictions caused by a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, the Summit combined in-person attendance and virtual participation. Eighty-five world leaders addressed more than 300 people attending in person, as well as a global virtual audience participating through the world’s largest 360-degree interactive broadcast. Eleven key political and civic leaders from around South Korea, including provincial governors and major city mayors, offered their congratulations.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen opened the Summit at the Lotte Hotel World in Seoul. Then, virtual greetings were given live from the Korean National Assembly by Deputy Speaker Lim Jong-seong and former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich, and from the Japanese Diet by Hon. Yoshiaki Harada, former Minister of the Environment.
An official government statement at the Opening Plenary was sent by video from H.E. Macky Sall, the African Union Chairperson and Senegalese President. In person, other former heads of state and government also gave their keynote addresses as follows: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Canadian Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, along with European Commission President Romano Prodi and Brazilian President Michel Temer by video.
The Summit sessions featured heads of state, government ministers, parliamentarians, scholars, and media representatives from each region of the world. They addressed the many challenges to peace on the Korean Peninsula, such as resistance to denuclearization, strained Korea-Japan relations, tensions between China and the United States, and core differences between North and South. At the same time, they offered a range of solutions, such as encouraging new friendships with the North Korean people through trade, tourism, sports, music, and cultural exchanges.
On February 12 in the morning, the Sunhak Peace Prize Award Ceremony honored Professor Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert of the University of Oxford for her role in developing the AstraZeneca vaccine and ensuring its availability at affordable price, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for its achievement in dealing with the COVID pandemic throughout the world as well as its ongoing work to provide vaccines to more than 800 million of the world’s neediest children. H.E. Dr. José Manuel Barroso, former EU Commission President and Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Selection Committee, presented the award to Professor Gilbert, and Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation, presented the award to Gavi.
The Founder’s Special Award was given by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, recognizing his role in lifting his country from civil war and a murderous past into prosperity and peace.
Founded by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in 2013, the Sunhak Peace Prize selects laureates for their service to global peace in the areas of sustainable human development, conflict resolution or ecological conservation. Previous awardees include climate change advocate H.E. Anote Tong, president of Kiribati (2003-2016), and Indian aquaculture pioneer Dr. Vijay Gupta; Italian humanitarian surgeon Dr. Gino Strada and Afghan refugee educator Dr. Sakena Yacoobi; African Development Bank Group President Hon. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and women’s rights activist Ms. Waris Dirie; Palestinian Bishop Munib Younan and Senegalese President Macky Sall.
The Global Summit concluded with a “One Million Rally of Hope” and renewed calls for unity on the Korean Peninsula. The main event was held at the HJ Global Arts Center near Seoul, and broadcast simultaneously in 52 locations in South Korea as well as throughout the world.
In his closing remarks H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General (2007-2016) of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the World Summit 2022, expressed his hope that “one day in the near future the people of the South can directly engage with their brothers and sisters in the North.” He was followed by speeches from former U.S. President Donald Trump, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, former European Commission President Dr. José Manuel Barroso and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Each continent was represented by prominent speakers who shared with the global audience their assessment of the prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. investor Jim Rogers spoke in person.
During World Summit 2022, official government statements from European heads of state were conveyed through video by President Ilir Meta of Albania and Prime Minister Albin Kurti of Kosovo. Other prominent speakers spoke by video. These included former heads of government: European Commission President Romano Prodi, H.E. Dominique de Villepin of France, H.E. José Maria Aznar of Spain, and H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu of Turkey.
The prestigious speakers from Africa included: H.E. Macky Sall, Chairman of the African Union and President of Senegal; H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President, Nigeria; H.E. Carlos Vila Nova, President, São Tomé and Príncipe; Mdm. Monica Chakwera, First Lady of Malawi; and H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, President (2010-2015), Nigeria.
Others included: H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President, Côte d’Ivoire; H.E. Dr. Luc Adolphe Tiao, Prime Minister (2011-2014), Burkina Faso; H.E. Paul Mba, Prime Minister (2009-2012), Gabon; H.E. Kwassi Klutse, Prime Minister (1996-1999), Togo; Hon. Nevers Mumba, Vice President (2003-2004), Zambia; Dame Patience Jonathan, First Lady (2010-2015), Nigeria; H.E. Mohamed El Baradei, Vice President of Egypt (2013) and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1997-2009); Hon. Delfim Santiago das Neves, President of the National Assembly, São Tomé and Príncipe; Hon. Antonio Niquice, Speaker of the Parliament, Mozambique; Sheikh Mansour Diouf, Representative of the Murid brotherhood, Dakar; Hon. Dr. Andre Dassoundo, Vice President, National Assembly (2007-2011), Benin; Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, Speaker of the Parliament, Gabon, Hon. Kassoum Yacouba Miaga, Member of Parliament, Niger; Rev. Dr. Bellow Adetola, World President of Churches of Celestial Christianity, Togo; and Dr. Goni Muhammad Ali Gabchiya, Chief Imam, University of Maiduguri, co-founder Taha Islamic Center, Nigeria.
From Asia Pacific, speakers included: H.E. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Cambodia; H.E. Suos Yara, Chairman of Commission of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Cambodia; Mdm. Adi Koila Nailatikau, First Lady (2009-2015), Fiji; H.E. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister (2015-2016 and 2018-2021), Nepal; Rt. Hon. Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Chairman of the National Assembly, Nepal; H.E. Gloria Arroyo, President (2001-2010), Philippines; Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr., Speaker of the House (1992-1998, 2001-2008), Philippines; H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President (2015-2019), Sri Lanka; and Mdm. Shiranthi Rajapaksa, First Lady (2005-2015) of Sri Lanka.
Others included: H.E. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister (2008-2012), Pakistan; Hon. Lord Fatafehi Fakafanua, Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Tonga; Mr. Hexilon G. Alvarez, President and CEO, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp., Philippines; Prof. Paul Teng, RSIS Singapore (Food Security), Singapore; Mr. Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace, Australia; Rev. Taishu Nara, Chief Eternal Priest of Ameno Iwakura Shrine, Japan; Bishop Charles A. Hall, Presiding Bishop, Far East District Council, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Japan; Prof. Masahisa Hayashi, Professor at Waseda University, Japan; Hon. Yoshinori Ohno, Minister of Defense (2004-2005), Japan; Hon. Kim Hyon Hwan, First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Korea; Hon. Hyung Suk Kim, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Unification (2016-2017), South Korea; Hon. Yoshiaki Harada, Minister of the Environment (2018-2019), Japan; and Hon. Chuichi Date, President of the House of Councillors (2016-2019), Japan.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon closed the Summit with a moving speech thanking world leaders for their contributions in support of peace on the Korean Peninsula. She expressed her concern for the multiple challenges to peace in the world, notably in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia, and for the damage caused to the environment by the lack of human responsibility. “These challenges cannot be met by human effort alone,” she said. “Building one family under God is the only way to bring about a world filled with freedom, equality and peace.” In an emotional conclusion, she asked the citizens of North and South Korea and all nations present to join with her to achieve unification on the Korean Peninsula and true peace throughout the world.