The 1st “Mekong-Asia Pacific Peace Forum” was successfully convened on 28 August 2022. The Forum aims to promote multistakeholder dialogue and collaboration, people-centred approach, and shared prosperity for a sustainable […]
The 1st “Mekong-Asia Pacific Peace Forum” was successfully convened on 28 August 2022. The Forum aims to promote multistakeholder dialogue and collaboration, people-centred approach, and shared prosperity for a sustainable peace in the Asia-Pacific. Moreover, it also promotes dialogue on the Asian approach towards peace, conflict prevention, and resolution.
The Forum was co-organised by the Asian Vision Institute and Think Tank 2022 Asia Pacific Secretariat. It brought together more than 40 participants from government agencies, foreign embassies in Phnom Penh, think tanks, academic institutions, and private corporations joining onsite, about 100 participants from Asia Pacific and other regions joining on Zoom; and about 100 participants on Facebook Live. The recording of the Facebook live has reached about 40, 000 people in the first 20 hours.
The event was opened with welcoming remarks by H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AVI. He underscored the significance of the Mekong region as the centre of the Asia Pacific and called for the advancement of multilateral cooperation in the Mekong region.
The Forum discusses three topics: (1) School Gardening and Food Security; (2) Small States Diplomacy and Hedging Strategy; and (3) The ASEAN Way of Peacebuilding.
The panel on food security provides various perspectives on the impacts of wars and conflicts on food security, enhances food awareness through hands-on gardening experience; attitudes and education about food; and strengthens regional cooperation on food security.
The panel on small states’ diplomacy exchanged views on the pressures, challenges, and opportunities for small states like Cambodia in navigating geopolitical storms caused by the China-US rivalry. The hedging strategy was identified as the most relevant and practical strategy for small states to survive and thrive.
The panel on the ASEAN Way towards Peace stressed the relevance of the ASEAN Way in social norms and collective indemnity, which contribute to the building of the foundation of peace. Democracy, human rights, and governance are instrumental in promoting sustainable peace.
The Forum has generated important inputs for the development of the Mekong-Asia Pacific Initiative (MAPI) proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the World Summit in Seoul in February 2022 and the realisation of the Asia Pacific Union initiated at the Asia Pacific Summit in Phnom Penh in 2019.
Seoul, Korea—The third event of the Think Tank 2022 Forum Series, which brings together leaders around the world to discuss peace on the Korean Peninsula, was held at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong-gun, South Korea on December 4, 2021. The forum featured panelists who are engaged with UPF’s International Association for Peace and Economic Development (IAED), and opened with a beautiful performance by the Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet. TV host and former Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) announcer Mr. Young-il Shin served as the emcee. About 1,000 participants attended in-person, including many local dignitaries and representatives of associations working for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and peace leaders and advocates worldwide.
On October 16, the first Think Tank 2022 Forum welcomed Hon. Mike Pompeo, the 70th U.S. secretary of state, who led a meaningful discussion on diplomacy in relation to a unified Korea, and on November 20, the second Think Tank 2022 Forum hosted Hon. Mike Pence, the 48th vice president of the United States.
The welcome address was given by Think Tank 2022 Forum Organizing Committee Chairman Dr. Young-ho Yun. He pointed out that according to recent UN data, the coronavirus has cost the global economy $4.5 trillion dollars. Dr. Yun explained the background leading up to the ideological confrontation on the peninsula and concluded hopefully: “In these times of crisis, we must rise up from frustration and despair and make new plans for the planet and our future based on new imagination.”
The keynote speaker was Mr. Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and an American investor and financial commentator based in Singapore who serves as an adviser to UPF and the IAED. Mr. Rogers predicts that when the Korean Peninsula reunifies, Korea will emerge as the most successful nation in the world.
Mr. Rogers spoke about the economic potential of the Korean Peninsula once the 38th parallel opens up and North and South Korea are peacefully reunified. “I’m going to say it a hundred times. This peninsula has the potential to be an extremely, extremely exciting place going forward.” He recognized joint economic projects as symbols of inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, and gave a few examples, including the Pyeonghwa Motors auto factory, the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel project, and tourism ventures to Diamond Mountain in North Korea. While the North has natural resources and “educated, disciplined, cheap labor,” the South has huge amounts of capital, manufacturing ability and capability and knowledge, he cited. “Put them together … what could be more successful and exciting?”
After Mr. Rogers’ stimulating presentation, a commentary was given by Dr. Young Chul Kim, former minister of unification of South Korea, former president of the Korea Institute for National Unification, and current chairman of the Korean Peninsula Policy Forum.
Dr. Kim spoke about the promising beginning that everyone expected the Kaesong Industrial Park, located about six miles north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), would bring when the first factory was completed on December 15, 2004. There was great hope that the park would be a collaborative economic effort that would draw North and South Korea together, but rising tensions between the two countries resulted in the closure of the park in February 2016.
Due to economic sanctions that have been placed on North Korea since 2017, most projects for inter-Korean economic cooperation have not been able to be pursued. “This is very frustrating for establishing a peace economy on the Korean Peninsula,” Dr. Kim said.
He added that “we should also prepare bridges of cooperation in various fields such as industrial cooperation and transportation logistics.” He spoke about the rail lines connecting North and South Korea, the train that runs between Beijing-Pyongyang and the train that runs between Russia-Pyongyang, which connects the peninsula to the rest of the Asian continent. Denuclearizing North Korea is an important issue that must be dealt with as is the promotion of inter-Korean summits.
The Forum’s first session focused on “How to Realize a Peace Economy on the Korean Peninsula.”
The first speaker was Mr. Sang-Kwon Park, honorary chairman of Pyeonghwa Motors. Mr. Park, who headed the North Korea project for many years, visited the country 241 times since 1994, and had many occasions to meet the late Kim Jong-il, the supreme leader of North Korea from 1994 to 2011.
Mr. Park said we are living at a very important time for peace and the future of the Korean Peninsula. “We are at a crossroads. Will the North and South continue their history of conflict or will they create a new history of harmony and peace?”
The nuclear issue and the pandemic, which is preventing travel, are key obstacles blocking progress. The nuclear issue, in particular, is not only a problem for North and South Korea; it is a shared problem for the U.S. and neighboring nations. Mr. Park compared the issues on the peninsula to that of the pandemic, saying “these are global problems, which require global solutions.”
The era of the peace economy must move forward, he said. Echoing Jim Rogers, he continued: “It is time to formulate an innovative peace economy that goes beyond the denuclearization issue.” He highlighted the proposal to turn the DMZ into a peace park as a way to promote inter-Korean cooperation and demonstrate to the world that the challenges are not insurmountable. “If the two Koreas combine their resolve, and if the U.S. is more patient and takes the lead, I believe our countries can work together and that peaceful reunification can be achieved.”
Afterwards, commentators from the U.S. and Korea interacted with the speakers.
Hon. Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Amb. Joseph DeTrani, former U.S. special envoy to the Six-Party Talks
Mr. Thomas McDevitt, chairman of The Washington Times
Dr. Alexandre Mansourov, adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University
Mr. Gerard Willis, chairman of the HJ Magnolia Korea Foundation
Mr. Dal-soon Shin, president of Yongpyong Resort, Korea
Mr. Sang-kyun Kim, chairman of the HJ Magnolia Global Medical Foundation
Dr. Hyung-tae Min, professor of the Korea Institute for National Unification
Mr. Young-jae Jeon, head of Chuncheon MBC TV-Press Production Team
Mr. Guk Hwangbo, chairman of Think Tank 2022 in Gangwon-Gyeonggi provinces, Korea
The Forum’s second session was “Road to a Heavenly Unified Korea: The Korea Japan Undersea Tunnel.”
Mr. Byung-min Ahn, president of the Korea Peninsula Economic Cooperation Agency
Dr. Jae-wan Huh, professor of social sciences, Chung University, Korea
Dr. Heon-yung Jung, professor of urban engineering, Pusan National University, Korea
Mr. Young-bae Park, chairman of Think Tank 2022 Yeongnam province, Korea
Dr. Masayoshi Kajikuri, chairman of UPF-Japan and president of the International Highway Foundation, which oversees the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel project
Hon. Harada Yoshiaki, former minister of the environment of Japan
Dr. Noda Toshiyasu, professor of law, Seinan Gakuin University, Japan
Congratulatory video messages were given by Hon. Dan Burton, former U.S. Congressman and co-chairman of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP); Hon. John Doolittle, former U.S. Congressman and chairman of the IAPP in North America; Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, chairman of UPF International; and Mr. Thomas McDevitt, chair of the International Association for Peace and Economic Development.
Dr. Young-ho Yun read a letter from UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who expressed her gratitude to all the attendees for their participation in the forum and made a generous financial contribution to show her commitment and dedication to Korean reunification.
Seoul, Korea—The Think Tank 2022 Interfaith Forum was held at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong-gun, South Korea on December 18, 2021. Attended by several hundred participants onsite and live-streamed around the world, […]
Seoul, Korea—The Think Tank 2022 Interfaith Forum was held at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong-gun, South Korea on December 18, 2021. Attended by several hundred participants onsite and live-streamed around the world, the forum focused on the role and mission of religious and faith leaders for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
Mr. Gyeong-guk Cho, secretary-general of the Think Tank 2022 Policy Research Institute, served as the moderator. Mr. Cho briefly explained that UPF inaugurated Think Tank 2022 on May 9 in Korea this year. On October 16, the first Think Tank 2022 Forum was held and spotlighted former U.S. Secretary of State Hon. Mike Pompeo. The second forum was held on November 20 and featured former U.S. Vice President Hon. Mike Pence, and the third forum, convened on December 4, highlighted American investor and financial commentator Mr. Jim Rogers.
The welcome address was given by Dr. Young-ho Yun, director-general of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) International, and chairman of the Think Tank 2022 Forum Organizing Committee. Speaking extemporaneously, Dr. Yun shared his personal doubts that religious leaders could actually put aside their differences and come together for a common cause. However, his experience at UPF’s First Africa Summit convened in Senegal in 2018 caused him to change his opinion. At that time, UPF co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, gave a message to a largely Muslim audience that expressed and embraced the common values of all faiths and revealed the heart of God as a parent to all humankind. All the faith leaders in attendance enthusiastically received the message.
Dr. Yun, who had studied Buddhism and other faiths, said, “I witnessed that the substantial unification of religions may be possible, not through knowledge and not through the knowledge I had studied in my ivory tower at the university. No matter what you call the absolute origin, whether you call this entity God, Allah, Jehovah, or the Amitābha they speak about in Buddhism, in the end, this God is our Heavenly Parent. If we can reveal God’s identity as our parent, I’m confident that the unification of all religions will be possible.”
Dr. Yun noted the 30th anniversary since UPF’s founders met with North Korean leader Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang on December 6, 1991. Their primary goal was to encourage the reunification of North and South Korea. He also announced that in February next year, UPF will host World Summit 2022, an international meeting of the 157 nations with diplomatic ties to both North and South Korea. The summit will culminate with a one-million-person rally for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
UPF International President Michael W. Jenkins introduced the keynote speaker, Pastor Paula White (Cain), spiritual advisor to former U.S. President Donald Trump, and former senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center megachurch.
Pastor White delivered a passionate and powerful message beginning with the New Testament’s fundamental teaching, as stated in Matthew 5:43-44: “You have heard that it was said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies too. Pray for those who treat you badly.”
“We must recognize that the role of faith leaders is absolutely essential to achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula,” she said, and continued, “peace can only come when we honor God and follow His call to love one another, and respect our divine roles in strengthening the family, society, and nation through truth and love.”
Pastor White referred to the story in Exodus 3:7: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.” Just as God delivered the chosen people from suffering and affliction then, she believes it is God’s will to bring peace and resolution to the people of North and South Korea.
She announced, “God is calling Mother Moon to bring love and truth to the North, and I want to go with her,” and concluded with the prayerful hope that all faith leaders—Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and indigenous faiths—“can go to the North in peace, open the door with truth and love, and bring this land together with happiness, freedom and prosperity.”
After Pastor White’s eloquent keynote address, Rev. Stephen Kim, co-chair of the Korean Clergy Leadership Conference (KCLC), gave a response. “We are living at a very important time for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Will the history of conflict continue or will a new history of ground-breaking harmony and peace arise? Now is the time that we must choose,” he said.
Rev. Kim called for boldness to break away from “existing methods which use the logic of power and confrontation, and imagine instead new strategies and innovations for peace on the Korean Peninsula.” In particular, he called on people of faith to “lead the way to save our nation and the world by continuing the traditions of Buddhist and Christian sacrifice and devotion to protect and save our nation when it is in trouble.”
A question and answer session followed the formal presentations. Members of the panel included:
Rev. Stephen Kim, co-chair, Korean Clergy Leadership Conference
Ven. Dr. Hyoneung, head, Taegu Buddhist order
Missionary Rocky Kent Nielsen, missionary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Ven. Hye-won Shin, co-chair, Cheondogyo faith, Donghak Unification Committee of the Korean People
Rev. Young-kyu Park, chairman, KCLC Gyeong-in
Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, chair, UPF-Korea
Dr. Young Ho Yun, director-general, FFWPU International
Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder and pastor, The Revelation Church of God, South Africa
The speakers and panelists also received questions from the floor.
Pastor Chun-suk Cho of the Stream of Water Church asked Pastor White why she is so passionate and interested in a Heavenly Unified Korea. Pastor White said: “I believe it’s God’s will. That is the motivation of my heart, and why I’m here…. Anything that we do, starting with our prayers, must go to action, serving, believing and doing acts of courage. It will take forums and think tanks, coming together, bringing our influence to make a difference.”
Pastor White became emotional and shared her heart. “I grew up in a very wealthy family, but my father committed suicide when I was five years old, and there was that longing in me that there must be more to life. At 18 years old, I had a real encounter with God. I decided to surrender and give my life to God. I prayed a simple prayer: ‘May I serve You and help people the rest of my life?.’ God has allowed me to do that. That is why I’m here and what motivates me to see the reunification of North and South Korea.”
Mr. Hyeong-woo Cho, principal of the Cheongshim International Middle and High School, noted that the world where our youth will live is changing quickly—there are advancements but there are problems like cyberviolence and juvenile delinquency—and asked Pastor White: Is there a message you can send to the young people who will be the leaders in the future?
She said she is very impressed by the young people. “They are the hope of our future. While there are many challenges undoubtedly, I believe the future can be brighter than ever before. What encouragement would I give to young people? Be strong and be courageous.” She quoted futurist David Houle who said that “between the period of 2017 and 2037, the world will experience more transition and change than any generation and any people in 50 years of human history.” Optimistically, she concluded, “while these are times of transition, these are times of opportunity.”
Despite the difficulties abiding with the government’s Covid restrictions, as well as the severe cold weather, the Think Tank 2022 Interfaith Forum ended successfully. Upcoming programs will feature youth speakers and other topics relevant to the future of the peninsula.
Washington, D.C., United States—Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gave the keynote address at the second Think Tank 2022 Forum. The second in the online forum series was held on November 20, 2021 […]
Washington, D.C., United States—Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gave the keynote address at the second Think Tank 2022 Forum. The second in the online forum series was held on November 20, 2021 (Korea time), on the theme “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula.”
The event included panels of U.S., Korean and Japanese experts who responded to Mr. Pence, the 48th vice president of the United States, as part of a lively discussion.
This followed the first Think Tank 2022 Forum, which was held on October 16 under the theme “Religious Freedom and the Reunification of Korea.” Mike Pompeo, the 70th secretary of state of the United States, was the keynote speaker at that event.
The Think Tank 2022 Forums are sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The project was inspired by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who co-founded UPF and The Washington Times with her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Rev. and Mrs. Moon both were born in what is now North Korea and have worked for the peaceful reconciliation of their homeland for more than 60 years.
The second forum dealt mainly with politics. After an introduction by Dr. Young-ho Yun, chair of the Think Tank 2022 Forum, Mr. Pence gave his keynote address. This was followed by questions and comments by leaders from the United States, Japan, and Korea as well as interviews with young people living in South Korea and questions from young Koreans in the audience, including a North Korean defector.
In his introduction, Dr. Young-ho Yun asked whether it is possible to realize a world of permanent peace based on interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values. He suggested that the first step on the path to the unity of North and South, to the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula, is for North and South to agree on a system they can relate to and accept. In such circumstances, proposing a vision for a political system is an essential prerequisite and core undertaking.
That political system will need to be a paradigm-shifting system of thought that is based on new imagination and a new philosophy of peace, Dr. Yun said. Taking a political perspective of an ideal society and nation, Rev. and Mrs. Moon proposed an alternative vision for a new political system based on the principle of common prosperity.
In his keynote address, Mr. Pence emphasized that truly great nations embrace the principles of religious liberty, freedom of speech, democracy and free enterprise, as well as strong families, education, equality under the law, and a recognition of the dignity and worth of every human life.
“These are the values that have united the people of [South] Korea and the United States for nearly 70 years, and are the same values that my late father, US Army Lieutenant Ed Pence — and freedom-loving Americans and Koreans just like him — fought to defend in the Korean War,” he said.
He described how a combination of strength and engagement enabled the administration of Donald Trump to achieve normalized relations between several Arab nations and Israel through the historic Abraham Accords.
As vice president, Mr. Pence said he was honored to convey the message of unwavering U.S. support for the Republic of Korea, first during his visit in 2017, when at President Trump’s direction it was made clear that the era of strategic patience was over.
“Few people imagined that they would see the leaders of the United States and North Korea sitting down to discuss peace,” Mr. Pence said. “At the historic summit in Singapore, we showed it was possible. And nuclear testing in North Korea stopped.”
He emphasized that weakness arouses evil. Therefore, with North Korea once again firing missiles and working to expand its nuclear capabilities, he fervently hoped that the Biden administration would display the same strength as the previous administration.
In conclusion, Mr. Pence affirmed that, despite the many challenges being faced across Northeast Asia, he remained confident that a brighter future is on the horizon – for the United States, for the Korean people, for U.S. allies in the region, and for all who stand strong for freedom and security.
The US panel was moderated by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and included Dr. Michael Jenkins, president of UPF International; former U.S. Representative Dan Burton; and U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, who has worked on Korean issues for 30 years.
The Korean panel consisted of Professor Shin Yul, a professor of political science at Myeongji University; Professor Hyeong-seok Kim, a professor at Daejin University and a former vice minister of unification; Hon. Won-shik Shin, a parliamentarian from the People Power Party; and Professor Geun-shik Kim from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Kyungnam University.
The Japanese panel was moderated by Masayoshi Kajikuri, chair of UPF-Japan, and comprised Admiral Yoji Koda, who has served as commander of the Self Defense Fleet of the Maritime Self Defense Force; Hon. Yoichi Anami, former member of the House of Representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party and an international political scientist; and Professor Yoshimitsu Nishikawa, professor emeritus, Toyo University.
Topics raised by the panels included:
The World Peace Summit called for by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of UPF, on the 30th anniversary of the meeting that she and her husband had with Kim Il Sung.
The difficulty for the United States to remain in sync with its partners and allies, especially South Korea and Japan, when younger generations may not look at these issues the way older generations look at them.
The possible lessons from the success of the Abraham Accords that could be applied to the question of how to move forward in East Asia.
The effort needed to establish the desired political system for the integration and reunification of Korea.
The question as to whether denuclearization really can be accomplished through negotiation.
The need to “think outside the box,” as Mr. Pence said that President Trump did when he made it clear early on, after some strong rhetorical differences between himself and Chairman Kim Jong-un, that he was more than willing to meet.
That it is not necessary to choose between strong resolve and dialogue: It is possible to do both.
The idea of building an undersea tunnel between Japan and Korea in order to overcome the unfortunate history of the two countries and to achieve friendship and economic development in the future, as proposed by Reverend Moon about 40 years ago.
After some interviews with young people living in South Korea, young Koreans in the audience posed questions:
Joon-hyun Kim, a student at Busan National University, asked about the possible effects of the Korea-Japan relationship and the US-China conflict on peace or reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
Na-ra Kang, a North Korean defector working as a broadcaster and YouTuber in South Korea, asked how young North Korean defectors like herself can contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula in anticipation of the unification of the two Koreas.
The Visitation of Dr. Yun Young-ho to Asian Vision Institute (AVI)
The Visitation of Dr. Yun Young-ho to Asian Vision Institute (AVI)
Joint Press Statement on the launching ceremony of Think Tank 2022 Asia-Pacific Secretariat. The mission of the Secretariat is to promote peace, dialogue, reconciliation, and mediation in the Asia Pacific […]
Joint Press Statement on the launching ceremony of Think Tank 2022 Asia-Pacific Secretariat. The mission of the Secretariat is to promote peace, dialogue, reconciliation, and mediation in the Asia Pacific region by connecting people, connecting knowledge, and connecting action. AVI is entrusted to be the host of the Secretariat.
Washington, DC, Sept. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Joint Press StatementThe Inauguration of “THINK TANK 2022 Asia-Pacific Secretariat” On the occasion of Think Tank 2022 Rally of Hope 12 September 2021 […]
Washington, DC, Sept. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Joint Press Statement The Inauguration of “THINK TANK 2022 Asia-Pacific Secretariat”
On the occasion of Think Tank 2022 Rally of Hope
12 September 2021
The “THINK TANK 2022 Asia-Pacific Secretariat”, with the Asian Vision Institute (AVI) serving as the host of the Secretariat, was launched on the occasion of the “THINK TANK 2022 Rally of Hope” on 12 September 2021 with the aim to promote and facilitate peace, dialogue, mediation, and the strengthening of the ecosystem of peace in the Asia Pacific region.
The event was attended by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia; Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-Founder of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF); Honorable Khuon Sudary, Chairperson of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC); Honorable Dr. Yun Young-ho, Director-General of Cheon Jeong Gung Headquarter and Chairman of Hyojeong Cultural Foundation; Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman of UPF; H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana, Chairman of the Asian Vision Institute (AVI); Honourable Suos Yara, Director General of ACC; Honourable Ek Nath Dhakal, Chair of UPF Asia Pacific, and other distinguished guests from around the world.
The objective of the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Secretariat is to implement the ideas and action plans of the Think Tank 2022 initiative, adopted at the sixth Rally of Hope in April 2021. A project of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), Think Tank 2022 is a global network of multi-stakeholder experts who collaborate to provide solutions to critical global challenges, promoting interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values of love and peace.
The Secretariat has the mandate to: (1) provide platforms for dialogue and networking; (2) conduct academic and policy research on peace and mediation; (3) promote policy communication and coordination; (4) promote capacity building on leadership for peace; (5) promote the visibility and impact of UPF in the region; and (6) support upcoming World Summit on the Peace in the Korean Peninsula be co-chaired by Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said the situation in Afghanistan evoked memories of when the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in 1975, one of the bitterest events in Cambodian history that marked the beginning of a period of utmost grief.
Hun Sen made the remarks in a speech on September 12 at the seventh World Rally of Hope: Think-Tank 2022, held via video conference and organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) with the theme “Peace in the Asia-Pacific”.
He noted that the geopolitical event in the region that had attracted a great deal of international attention was the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of its capital Kabul.
“This event is a grim and bitter reminder of what happened in Cambodia on April 17, 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh, a day which was marked by the utmost grief.
“Cambodia and the people remember this tragedy and are determined to prevent any similar events from ever happening again,” he said.
He said the geopolitical landscape in the Asia-Pacific region was fast-changing with global power shifts and geopolitical rivalries becoming more complex, delicate and fraught with the utmost dangers.
“Unfortunately, to some extent, the geopolitical fault lines have now been redrawn, which could render them vulnerable to tendencies towards atypical disruptions. That is, small states are being placed under mounting pressure to choose sides against their will and interests,” he said.
The prime minister said practical experiences from the political developments in Afghanistan and elsewhere clearly show that peace and nation-building can only be achieved by local stakeholders within the country where the conflict is occurring and other countries cannot perform the roles of the local stakeholders in achieving those objectives.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said the Biden administration should apply “maximum pressure” on North Korea but keep open the possibility of talks with its leader Kim Jong-un, replicating the approach President Trump used to engage […]
Former Vice President Mike Pence said the Biden administration should apply “maximum pressure” on North Korea but keep open the possibility of talks with its leader Kim Jong-un, replicating the approach President Trump used to engage the dictator.
“The truth is that weakness arouses evil,” Mr. Pence told dignitaries from South Korea and Japan at a virtual gathering Saturday.
He also stressed that America must firmly stand up for allies across Asia in the face of China‘s growing assault on freedom, democracy and human rights.