“The story of post-war Korea is a narrative of two opposing visions for the Korean people and the world,” Global Peace Foundation Chairman Hyun Jin Moon told delegates to the 2011 Global Peace Convention, “Peacebuilding in East Asia and the Reunification of the Korean Peninsula,” on November 29, 2011.
“Unlike its brethren to the north, the South continues to develop in ways that have earned the respect of the international community as well as offering the gifts of modernity, wealth and freedom to its citizens. It is a clear testament to the resilient spirit of the Korean people that, despite the challenges of a civil war, the South could so dramatically improve its destiny, while the North languishes in famine, poverty and oppression.”
In his keynote address at the opening of the November 28-30 Convention, the Korean-born Global Peace Foundation Chairman said that to close the chapter on the Korean War and the continuing uncertainty of the peninsula’s fate, the Korean people, both North and South, had to resolve their differences and come together centered upon one vision for a united Korea.
“What will that vision be and what would that vision mean and represent to a reunified Korean people?” he asked assembled government and civil society leaders. “These are questions that we, as Koreans, must address in order to find a path to reconciliation and eventual reunification.”
Dr. Moon noted that the Pacific Rim nations, including United States, China, Russia, Japan, India and the growing ASEAN block, represented the most animated and robust economies in the world, and a shift from the Atlantic era of the past five centuries to the dawning of a Pacific era that will leave an enduring legacy for humanity’s future.
“We have reached an inflection point in human history where the circumstances, today, are preparing the world for a paradigm shift of major proportions which could positively or negatively affect this century and our collective futures. Korea stands in the vortex of that historic shift and its fate will affect the lives of not only the Korean people but the entire northeast Asian region, the Pan-Pacific rim and the world.”
“To be a true global leader, Korea needs to offer more than the promise of a strong economy and recognized global corporate brands. To dream big and chart a new path of global leadership, Koreans should be moral and innovative leaders.”
He urged Koreans to adopt a global vision rooted in spiritual aspirations. In the ancient country of Gojosen, Korea’s ancestors were guided by the philosophy of “Hong Ik In Gan,” or “for the greater benefit of mankind,” he said, and that the ideal of “One Family under God” represented such a reunifying vision today.
He also noted that the global financial crisis had raised fundamental questions in the developing world about the conventional western models of development and leadership. Many nations in the developing world are now “looking to Korea because of its recent rapid economic development and its more traditional Asian culture.”
“Yet, to be a true global leader, Korea needs to offer more than the promise of a strong economy and recognized global corporate brands,” Dr. Moon told the delegates. “To dream big and chart a new path of global leadership, like our ancestral philosophy of Hong Ik In Gan, Koreans should be moral and innovative leaders…The moral aspect of leadership provides a vision rooted in universal aspirations, principles and values, while the innovative aspect of leadership provides the methods through which that vision can be realized. They are like the two sides of a coin.
“If all Koreans can become the moral and innovative leaders who truly own the reunification process and, together, build a common national destiny, then they can capture the imagination of all people, since peace and hope on the peninsula would be felt throughout the region and the world.”
Dr. Moon said that the Global Peace Convention in Seoul and recent Global Peace Leadership Conference in Mongolia are initiating a new Global Peace Foundation track-two peace initiative. The collaboration of civil society in partnership with national governments, corporations and philanthropic organizations has already established a track record for conflict resolution and peace in hot spots around the world from Mindanao in the Philippines, to Nepal and Kenya, he said.
“Let us work together to realize a world of true peace in which not only human rights are respected, and democratic values are enjoyed, but also material abundance is secured, and spiritual values are fulfilled,” he concluded. “Let us not rest until the dawn of peace on the Korean peninsula, which will cast a bright ray of hope to all the world’s peoples.”