Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

Peace and the 21st Century

March 27, 1994

At the conference at which Dr. Pak gave the following welcoming message, the keynote speaker was Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, whose policies of openness and economic restructuring (glasnost and perestroika) led the way to the dramatic transformation of the former Soviet bloc. Dr. Pak spoke on the occasion of the Second World Peace Conference held March 26-29, 1994, in the Crystal Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Korea.

On this day, March 27, 1994, I have the great honor and pleasure of convening the Second World Peace Conference here in Seoul, Korea, under the theme of "Peace and the 21st Century."

This conference is sponsored by the Federation for World Peace and co-sponsored by the Summit Council for World Peace and the Segye Times daily newspaper in Seoul. On behalf of the organizers of this event, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you for making time in your busy schedules to take part in this historic meeting today. Once again, we welcome you and thank you.

I am very pleased to inform you that, in this forum today, we have extraordinary participation from 60 countries representing 6 continents.

This participation includes 40 former heads of state and prime ministers, 77 international dignitaries, as well as 19 charming former first ladies. The attendance by all of these important personages make this conference all the more significant and vital. I would like to provide you with a brief background and history of this conference. As you know, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Federation for World Peace, has dedicated his entire life to the purpose of achieving true world peace and harmony among mankind. He is known to the world today as a peacemaker and unifier.

His peacemaking efforts began a long time ago, and continue throughout his life. Even during the difficult period of the Cold War, he never gave up hope for the cause of world peace.

On April 11, 1990, Reverend Moon, during a visit to the former Soviet Union, held a historic meeting with President Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. Reverend Moon was deeply moved and touched by the sincerity of President Gorbachev's peacemaking efforts, especially his policies of glasnost and perestroika. After their meeting, Reverend Moon declared, "At last I have found a great champion of peace. That champion is Mikhail Gorbachev."

Today, as though by the providence of God, these two great champions of peace, Reverend Moon and President Gorbachev, are sharing the same platform on the common topic of world peace.

Following that meeting Reverend Moon founded one of the greatest peace movements of our time by creating the Federation for World Peace. In August of 1991, the inaugural First World Peace Conference was held in Seoul. In December of that same year, Reverend Moon stunned the world by visiting President Kim It Sung of North Korea, whom everyone considered to be the archenemy of Reverend Moon. Yes, these two archenemies met, and became good friends-even brothers.

Although many were surprised at the occurrence of this momentous meeting, for Reverend Moon this was only realizing words he had often spoken, and I quote: "For the sake of world peace and harmony there is no place I cannot go, no person I would not meet, no task I could not undertake. I am ready to lay down my life for the sake of world peace and for the sake of my fellow man."

Today, three years after the inaugural conference, we have assembled here to convene the Second World Peace Conference so that once again world leaders can gather together to deal with the most crucial issues of our time. It is absolutely historic, yet not surprising, that the man Reverend Moon found to be a champion of world peace, President Mikhail Gorbachev, is here today as our keynote speaker.

On behalf of the entire Korean people and on behalf of all the participants of this conference, we thank you, President Gorbachev, for your presence here today, together with your charming wife, Mrs. Raisa Gorbachev.

I now pay my deepest respect and love to all of the distinguished participants. You are all champions of peace. I pay my highest esteem for your sacrificial commitment to peace and to the triumph of true love. Thank you very much.

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