Shun Negative Ethnicity and Religious Conflicts; University Students Told

15 October 2015: Global Peace Youth facilitated an outreach forum on peace at the University of Nairobi. The forum attracted 30 1st Year students and members of the Peace and Conflict club who have specialized in Peace and Conflict Management studies GPY trained the youth in leadership development and is to open up internship opportunities for students with relevant training.

As first years’ the students are vulnerable of getting into wrong peer influence. The forum acted as a platform to learn best practices from others and also offered guidance on how to achieve ones dreams through having a realistic vision and consistency in what they envision.

“Our program guides young people on how to be leaders in their own lives through different education initiatives. We advocate for the greater good. In our own understanding we believe that this can only be achieved through having ownership in the different facets of life and working as a team to achieve different objectives,” reiterated Mr. Arthur Wasonga, the Director of Global Peace Youth.

Through GPY the students will receive more training on leadership development on return for their second semester.

We need your programs to address issues like ethnic and religious differences and eventually tackle radicalization of our fellow students into militia groups. We are grateful to have this opportunity and hope to be trans formative leaders by the end of our engagement with you,” said Johnson Barasa, the chairperson the Peace Students Department.

The students pledged to embrace the program. They also proposed to initiate a program called “Slum Experience” that would entail interacting directly with residents from informal settlements to enable them understand how perpetrators of violence live and think.

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Interfaith Youth Forum on Peace and Environment

“Earth is a common home to every human being thus we all have a shared responsibility to take care of it and not destroy it.”
The office of JPIC Franciscans Africa (JPICFA) in collaboration with the Centre for Social Justice and Ethics of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CSJE-CUEA), Mother Earth Network (M-E-Net), Kenya Interfaith Network on Environmental Action (KINEA), United Religions Initiative (URI), Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace (ECJP), TOTAL Eco Challenge and Global Peace Foundation (GPF) convened the second interfaith youth forum on Environment and Peace on 9th and 10th October 2015 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

The Forum which is an annual event was started in the year 2014. It brought together over 800 young people from high schools, universities, communities and professional institutions in Nairobi with different regions backgrounds. The main aim of this year’s forum was to bring youth from diverse religious backgrounds to discuss the role they play in environment and peace.

The forum was graced by Mr. UWE Wissenbach from the European Union as the The Chief Guest. Among the invited guests were Dr. Hasmukh Dawda (URI), Fr. Charles Odira, Fr. Herman Bog, Prof. Dorcas Atieno, Mr. Abdalla Kamana (SUPKEM), Mr. Robert Njeru (TOTAL Eco-Challenge), Dr. Tuesday Gichuki (GPF) among other guests.

The peace component of the forum focused on sharing the knowledge about religions in the world and universal peace. This was mainly to help youth familiarized with the importance of inter-religious dialogue, coexistence, tolerance and the threat of radicalization.

On the other hand, the environmental component of the forum was mainly to create awareness about the forthcoming UNFCC negotiations in Paris and the role of young people in curbing global warming through environmental conservation.

In his opening remarks, Fr. Musaki from CUEA was delighted to host the Interfaith Forum for the second time at Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

I take this opportunity to welcome you all to Catholic University of Eastern Africa. It is our pleasure to host the 2nd Interfaith Youth Forum on Peace and Environment,” He noted, “My plea to the youth here is that you may take this opportunity to learn about different religions and hopefully develop tolerance amongst each other. This in the end will address how to deal with radicalization challenges

Sheikh Abdalla Kamana from Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims (SUPKEM) and Brother Lena in their speeches urged the youth to embrace each other despite the fact that they come from different religious affiliations. They quoted different verses from different holy books which shared the need for everyone to value each other and treat one another as they would do to themselves. He said that the misunderstandings among religious groups can only be dealt with if the first step is to understand the perspective of the different books and to use the similar verses that value humanity to unite all of us as one human family under God.

The following outcomes were achieved:

  • Youth understood the reasons why there were inter-religious conflicts, inter-ethnic conflicts and what was to be done to correct the thinking of young people.
  • An improved level of understanding and a change of perception in the different religions
  • The youth understood that taking care of the environment is each individual’s responsibility and this in turn will reduce climate change. They engaged in a tree planting exercise which ensured that 500 tree seedlings were planted in Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
  • A statement of Declaration had been made on youth action on peace and climate change issue.

There was a proposal for more youth forums to be conducted so that more young people can understand the different perspectives of different religions and even tribes. In terms of environment the suggestion of more events to be created to promote tree planting activities.

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Atlanta, Georgia: GPE Participates in the National Forum for Character Education

October 15 – 17, Altanta, Georgia: Global Peace Education participated at the 22nd National Forum on Character Education that was  held in Atlanta, Georgia. Organized by Character.org in collaboration with Global Peace Foundation, the conference was held under the theme;  “Mapping Success: Linking Smart & Good”. It brought thought leaders from around the globe to explore cutting-edge efforts to spread character research and best practices to classrooms, communities, and governments. It also attracted exhibitors from 13 countries implementing character education that opened up networking opportunities with new potential partners. The forum highlighted challenges educators face with high-impact strategies and solutions from hundreds of other like-minded educators to latest research on what works in character education.

Represented by Ms. Caroline Amollo who is currently the Director for Education Initiative in Kenya, Global Peace Foundation presented on best practices applied in Kenya that bring about cutting edge efforts in spreading 21st century character through classrooms and the communities. Her presentation focused not only on the strategies developed by Global Peace Education in Kenya but also the impact of collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and other partners in creating new possibilities in educating a total child through modeling and nurturing character and an entrepreneurial mind-set.

The highlight of the forum however was the launch of the new sports track, led by keynote speaker, Dale Murphy, a former All-star Atlanta Brave baseball player and Founder of ‘I Wont Cheat Foundation’, who provided ideas for building character outside the classroom. Other notable speakers included Darcea Narvaez, Director of Moral Psychology Lab at Notre Dame University and Clifton Taulbert, Pulitzer nominated author and entrepreneur.

A luncheon for character was done where 67 National Schools of Character were celebrated for implementing the 11 Principals of Effective Character Education to an impressive degree.

These schools stand as models of holistic character education to be emulated around the world,” concluded Clifton Taulbert in congratulating the National Winners.

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Diageo’s Head of Environment, Water and Agriculture Sustainability Tours the Kariobangi Water Project by Global Peace Foundation

October 16, Nairobi, Kenya: EABL foundation invited Global Peace Foundation together with Raslimali Enterprises Ltd for an informal lunch hour meeting at their offices in Nairobi for a brief discussion of the progress of the water project in Kariobangi that has been supported by EABL foundation, in partnership with other organizations.
The project was done through EABL foundation’s Water of Life initiative that provides safe, reliable and sustainable water supply to communities in East Africa with no access to clean and safe water.
The meeting came during Michael Alexander’s visit to Kenya, who is the Head of Environment, Water and Agriculture Sustainability at Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company and the world’s largest producer of spirits and a major producer of beer and wine headquartered in London. He plays a major role in the implementation of the Kariobangi Water Projects and his tour to the site was paramount and timing.

Kariobangi North is one of the informal settlements in Nairobi with a population of about 40,000 people experiencing limited access to safe water for drinking and other domestic use. In response to this, EABL Foundation in partnership with Global Peace Foundation and Chandaria Foundation donated towards the sinking of a borehole and gave 5 water tanks of 10,000 liters to the area’s health center, police post and youth groups.

Michael’s tour to the site began with a visit to the Kariobangi North Health Centre where EABL supported with the sinking of a borehole and also donated 2 water tanks. The hospital which is run by the local county government serves approximately 300 patients daily from the area. Prior to the donation by EABL Foundation, The hospital encountered a number of challenges in delivering effective services to its patients due to lack of sufficient water. Just to mention but a few, the hospital’s maternity clinic was shut down due to lack of water. EABL foundation’s support was a break through as the hospital has since recorded some improvements. It’s even planning of constructing another maternity hall to supplement the previous one that was constructed through the area’s Community Development Fund.

His second visit was to the site where 2 water tanks of 10,000 liters each were donated to the Kariobangi Youth Groups. These youth groups include: Kamash and Shikamana. They work under the Kariobangi Waste Management Alliance and as a way of creating employment and improving livelihoods, the groups embarked on a project to sell water to the residents at a cheaper rate. Michael started with the Kamash Group water tank site visit where he could not help hiding his excitement about the idea. Together with the team they disguised themselves as water vendors and sold water to the locals.
“Normally a 20 liter bottle of water goes for KES 7, but we have offered to sell it at KES 5,” says Mr. Erick Ravoga, CEO Raslimali Enterprise Ltd and leader, Kamash Youth Group.

After the Kamash Youth Group site visit the team finally went to Shikamana Youth Group water tank site where they found a beehive of activities taking place. Unlike the other group, this was quite unique. The project is run by two groups: Shikamana and Future. The groups interval on a monthly basis and after selling water and offering other services like washing cars, each group collects its money and shares equally among its members. Even though conflicts arise at some point they believe in trusting and helping one another.

The groups are planning to expand their business by constructing a sanitation block next to the water tank and also investing in a hosepipe machine for washing cars.

The three youth groups are part of the 11 youth groups under the Kariobangi Waste Management Alliance that form Raslimali Enterprise Ltd. The company received support of KES 5 Million from EABL foundation in partnership with Global Peace Foundation, Chandaria foundation, Safaricom foundation, World Vision and other organizations to establish a community cooker that would serve the residents with a an open area for cooking, a sanitation block and a resource center.

During the meeting Mr. Ravoga affirmed that aside from the community cooker project, the company also engages in fire briquettes production and plastic waste recycling. It received a plastic crashing machine which it’s yet to start the production of plastic poles for fencing.

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High School Students Mentor Primary School Children on Hygiene in Celebration of the 2015 Global Hand Washing Day

October 15, 2015 – Kiambu, Kenya: The Global Peace Development Division of Global Peace Foundation, invited Leap Hubs students from the Education Division to demonstrate to pupils and teachers at PCEA Kandengwa Primary School in Kiambu County how to make economical liquid soap as a best practice in commemoration of the 2015 Global Hand Washing Day to promote hygienic practices in the school. The school which opted to invite class 6 pupils from their neighboring school, Fair Lawn Primary School to also learn from the day’s event, participated in various activities which included: demonstration on best hand washing techniques, tree planting exercise and a training on making soap.
This served as an opportunity for the primary school pupils to interact with their counterparts in high school for mentorship and inspiration. The excitement of the pupils could be seen through their faces as they looked the high school students with adoration.

The event was also graced by Ms. Lilian Mwende who resides the school’s neighborhood and has undergone World Vision’s training on Water Health and Sanitation. She volunteered on the importance of practicing appropriate and regular hand washing technics with the pupils in an interactive session that demonstrated the following steps as a best practice for keeping hygiene.

Step 1: Wet hands and apply soap. Rub against each other until soap concentrates with water and hand.
Step 2: Rub each palm over the back of the other hand.
Step 3: Rub between your fingers with both hand
Step 4: Rub your right hand’s finger tips against the palm of your left hand. Repeat the same procedure with your left hand.
Step 5: Rub around each of your thumbs
Step 6: Rub in circles on your palms. Then rinse and dry your hands
Unanimously, the pupils agreed that to avoid the spread of germs that cause diseases like diarrhea and others it is important that they always wash their hand before and after every meal, after visiting the toilet, after washing classes, after handling a pet or other domestic animals, after handling a sick person and before holding a baby.
The tree planting exercise that followed was supported by Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Muguga Regional Research Centre) who provided 240 seedlings (120 Grevillea and 120 Eucalyptus.) The seedlings were planted around the school compound and farm using chicken droppings from the green house project as a reminder to the pupils to always uphold best hygienic practices.
The climax of the day was however reached when the leap hubs students from Kariobangi North Girls Secondary School demonstrated to STD 6 pupils from both schools how to economically make liquid soap using industrial salt, citric sodium, ungerol, ufacid, and water through an interactive step by step session. This was mainly to impart them with skills that will not only sustain-ably promote hygienic practices in their respective schools but also enable the schools to save the money that they have been using to buy soap for other needs e.g. purchase of books.
Typically, the Leap Hub students use ingredients worth KES 100 to make a 5 liter bottle of soap which they sell at KES 250. PCEA Kandengwa Primary School uses an average of 15 litters of soap every month for cleaning which they buy at KES300 per 5 liters. In the long run, if the school adapts to this idea of making soap, they save up to KES 450 every month.
In line with the 2015 Global Hand washing day theme, at the end of the day we all raised our hands as a pledge to champion hygiene education in our schools and communities.

GPF’s Kariobangi Community Cooker Project Inspires Youth in a National Forum

October 6, Nairobi Kenya: The Global Peace Foundation took part in the 2nd National Youth Green Growth Summit 2015 that was held at Multimedia University from 5th – 9th October. Held under the theme “Youth as Active Partners to Drive the Green Growth Agenda in Kenya” the summit brought youth representatives from the 47 counties to deliberate on the role of young people in driving the green growth agenda.

In line with the summit’s theme, Raslimali Enterprises Ltd, a development partner of Global Peace Foundation showcased the Community Cooker Project that turns waste into resources as a best practice to drive the green growth agenda in Kenya. The project is an idea owned by 11 youth groups from Kariobangi who form Raslimali Enterprises Ltd.

Kariobangi being an informal settlement with huge population and many activities, it produces a lot of waste which represent an environment and health hazard. The community cooker project brings in a profound impact on the lives of the settlement’s inhabitants by recycling solid waste to a form of energy that can be used for cooking and heating water. It comprises a community cooker, sanitation block and a resource centre.

Speaking at the summit, the CEO of Raslimali Enterprises Ltd. Mr. Erick Ravoga inspired other youth to implement the project in their counties as an income generating activity to improving their livelihoods and transform their communities.

We started Raslimali Enterprises by bringing together 11 youth groups who manage waste in Kariobangi. Through our partnership with Global Peace Foundation we managed to bring on board other organizations including Safaricom Foundation, Chandaria Foundation and EABL Foundation among others who gave us KES 5,000,000 to set up a community cooker. Now the company is worth KES 10 million and in five years’ time we shall replicate the same model in another area.” Said Mr. Ravoga, Raslimali Enterprises Ltd.

Cook N’ Lite Ltd which has also partnered with Global Peace Foundation presented the SIMBA solar lantern to Ms. Judith Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources on the last day of the summit as a best practise to drive the green growth agenda in Kenya. She showed interest in the idea as a way of improving livelihoods in low income families and promised to bring in other stakeholders to support it.

The solar lantern is an improvement of the hurricane lantern, which uses kerosene for lighting. This poses threat to human health as it causes indoor air pollution through the emission of health hazardous carbon monoxide and other gases.

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Forum for Korean Unification Draws Multi-Sector Leaders, Launches Multiple Commemorative Events in Seoul

Scholars, researchers, civil society leaders and Korean government ministers urged greater consensus and collaboration in advancing a process of peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula at a forum convened in Seoul on October 8, 2015. The forum, “Role of Civil Society and Global Cooperation in Furthering a Unified Korea,” is part of a series of forums and public events to mark the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation, and simultaneous division of the peninsula at the 38 parallel at the conclusion of World War II.

The forum emphasized the significance of shared national values and the role of economic opportunity and development in the unification process and was co-convened by the Global Peace Foundation, Hansun Foundation, and the National Strategy Institute.  Additional sponsorship was provided by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Unification, Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, and the National Unification Advisory Council.

In welcoming remarks, Hon. Yong Pyo Hong, Minister of Unification for the Republic of Korea, noted that the Korean government was actively working to build national and international consensus. “It is conducting various programs aimed at raising public awareness of the necessity for unification,” he said, “so that the Korean people would enhance support for the unification, and is continuing dialogue and cooperation with civic groups. At the same time, the government is trying to fully utilize the opportunities of summits and other international conferences to widespread the vision for peaceful unification to the international community, under the banner of unification diplomacy.”

Hansun Foundation President Jae Wan Bahk reminded forum participants that in the 70 years since Korea was divided into North and South, few South Koreans have ever visited North Korea. North Korea, he said, “has become a hermit kingdom that is stranger than not only neighboring China or Japan but also faraway European countries or the United States. Reunification of the Korean Peninsula is destiny of the Korean people, which transcends its costs and benefits, or paths and phases.”

Citing the example of divided Germany, Bahk said it was East Germans’ “enthusiasm for national reunification than anything else” that led to collapse of the Berlin Wall. “We need to endeavor to motivate North Korean residents to long for reunification and disseminate the desire. It cannot be done by the government alone.”

In his address to the forum, U.S. Heritage Foundation founder and forum chairman Dr. Edwin Fuelner took time to clarify the nature and scope of civil society in national life. Civil society, he said, “is a cooperative assembly of individuals working through private sector organizations which are coming together voluntarily to work toward shared goals.” Civil society remains important, he added, for the shared objective of a reunited and free people on the entire Korean peninsula.

Paraphrasing Alexis De Tocqueville, a French aristocrat who recorded his impressions of the United States almost two centuries ago,  Feulner said voluntary associations like NGOs, clubs, religious organizations and civic associations “are not some mere after-thought, but rather they are at the core of our shared democratic system.” Citing examples of China and North Korea, Feulner warned about the “spiritual impoverishment . . . , lack of friendship, connection, trust and faith” that result from tightly restricting voluntary associations by government. “The most effective way for a government to secure its power is to eliminate the civil society sector,” he cautioned.

“I see society as an organic outgrowth that begins in loving family attachments, spreads outward into personal commitments and relationships through civil society and its organizations, reaches further outward toward broader regional affinities, and concludes in a national identity. . . . So my challenge to all of you, today, is to embrace these forms of new, bottom-up ways of achieving shared objectives through our institutions of a true civil society. Encourage the new generation to commit to a true civil society. . . .

“Shared human ideas of expanded freedom, expanded opportunity in education, entrepreneurial activity, and electoral participation, are worthy of the renewed commitment of all of us who are participating in this important convocation of civil society leaders committed to our shared objectives of a unified Korea and a prosperous civil society on the entire peninsula.”

Other forums being hosted by the Global Peace Foundation in partnership with Korean government ministries and civil society organizations include “The Role of the Republic of Korea in Sustainable Development” and “Global Peace Economic Forum: Economic Implications of North-South Korea Unification.” A “Leaders Assembly of Action for Korea United 2015” and “One Dream One Korea Unification Concert at the Seoul World Cup Stadium are also scheduled as part of the seventieth anniversary commemoration.

Standard Digital Reports: CORD leader Raila Odinga calls for unification of South and North Korea

“CORD leader Raila Odinga has called on the international community to work towards the unification of South and North Korea to create one nation,” at a conference in Seoul, Korea this past Thursday October 8, 2015 Standard Digital Reports.

The forum focusing on the role of South Korea in sustainable development was hosted by the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Servie Alliance and co-convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN-HABITAT, Korean Council on Foreign Relations, and the Global Peace Foundation.

Former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga said “The Republic of Korea needs to embark on building alliances and partnerships with the regional and global community that should end in the unification of the two Koreas.” He says that Korean unification “ideally, should never have been difficult” as the two Koreas share common history and culture and have family members that have been seperated by the border. He expressed his support saying “Personally, I stand ready to visit Pyongyang if it can help bridge the divide and help with confidence-building measures.”

HE Odinga urged Korea to “embark on building alliances and partnerships with the regional and global community that should end in the unification of the two Koreas.” He said both Koreas have much to gain and “Opening economic cooperation with the immediate neighbor to the North, under clearly defined and mutually beneficial rules, will foster a more future-oriented and multi-faceted partnership in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”

He continued saying “By championing unification of the Koreas and building a global coalition in this direction, Korea will be making active contributions to the international peace and stability. ”

Source – CORD leader Raila Odinga calls for unification of South and North Korea

Kenya’s Former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Raila Odinga Meets The Chairman of Global Peace Foundation

The Rt Hon Raila Odinga accompanied by Kisii Governor H. E James Ongwae met the Chairman of the Global Peace Foundation International Dr Hyun Jin Preston Moon in Seoul, Korea.

Dr Moon founded the Global Peace Foundation International in 2009 steering it to become a vibrant international movement with representation in 19 countries (including Kenya) in all continents across the world advocating for good international relations for development and peace.

The son of the late spiritual leader Reverend Syun Moon, Dr Moon has a vision for the Unification of North and South Korea, a subject he has written about gaining significant international recognition while doing so. The Rt Hon Raila Odinga first hosted him in Kenya in 2008 as Prime Minister from where the friendship blossomed giving rise to strong cooperation on international issues.

The ODM Party Leader reiterated his support for the One Korea vision citing his experience while studying in a divided Germany before its eventual reunification to become one of the world’s leading nations. Raila Odinga believes that a unified Korea will be a boon for the developing world due to its “hangukinron” ideology of assisting mankind being its own reward.

The Kisii Governor on his part put forward the potential of his County as a hub for agribusiness seeking partnerships in terms of value addition in agricultural practices, infrastructure, water and sanitation and healthcare. Dr Moon expressed his willingness to join hands with Kisii with a view to investing in the aforementioned sectors.

The Kenyan delegation later presented their Korean counterparts with gifts; signed copies of the Flame of Freedom, Kisii soapstone curio art and Kisii arabica coffee.

Source – http://rao.co.ke/rao-meets-the-chairman-of-the-global-peace-foundation-international/

Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga Remarks: Global Forum on the Role of Republic of Korea in Sustainable Development

It is a great pleasure to join you at this forum on the Role of the Republic of Korea in sustainable development. Let me thank the Global Peace Foundation, the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance, UN Habitat, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and all the other organizations that have brought us together.
There is a saying in Korea that “even the landscape changes in a decade.” It means no nation and no region is static or can afford to be static and still attain development.
Asia and Pacific region is changing rapidly.
It has changed significantly in the last ten years.

I am glad the Republic of Korea is at the center of this region’s transformation. In many ways, Korea is driving the change.
Today, I would like to reflect on the evolution of and developments in the region and share my thoughts on a future that I believe is desirable and possible for the region.

The bond between Korea and my country Kenya dates back many years.

Back home Kenya, we keep looking up to Korea as a reminder of what our nations can achieve by pursuing political, economic and social policies that are inclusive, diversified and pragmatic.

In the 1960s, Korea was among the poorest countries of the world. Today, it is one of the richest—the world’s thirteenth most prosperous economy.

Your investment in meritocracy, democracy, education, invention and innovation has paid dividends and continues to provide useful lessons for the rest of the developing world. Korea has shown the world that economic growth can also be equitable and inclusive.
For Korea, Kenya and Africa could be reliable partners in global diplomacy and economic development.

For Kenya and Africa, Korea can be, and indeed is, a trustworthy and diligent partner that provides the economic support, the skills and the manpower needed for modernization and growth. Above all, Korea remains an inspiration and a motivation that indeed, with the right policies, nations can rise.

Here within the Asia-Pacific, your relationships, like in other parts of the world, has gone through a cycle of ups and downs depending on the times. You have lived through cycles of war and peace. This region does not need another war. It should consolidate the peace and extend the benefits of growth and stability to the rest of the globe.

It is time for the Republic of Korea to rearrange its relationship with the region and the world to reflect the progress it has made over the years.

The Republic of Korea could deploy its growing economic and political muscle to develop a comprehensive partnership that creates a new horizon in the region.

We are keen to see a new partnership in the region that is less vulnerable to the changes of the times and errors of the past.
Korea needs to champion a relationship that contributes to the common prosperity of the region and the world.

More specifically, the Republic of Korea needs to embark on building alliances and partnerships with the regional and global community that should end in the unification of the two Koreas.

Ideally, this should never have been difficult. The North and the South share a common history and language. They have families across the divide. They have much to gain from increased dialogue and economic cooperation. Greater cooperation and stability will promote more investment in the South and uplift the North.

But we know the reality, informed by politics, is different.

We need to begin with the basics which are also the fundamentals; probably the only things that matter.

The key to long term political relationship on the global arena is mutual trust.

We need to complement economic relations with pursuit of mutually beneficial political relations while exploiting unifying cultural relations.

Opening economic cooperation with the immediate neighbor to the North, under clearly defined and mutually beneficial rules, will foster a more future-oriented and multi-faceted partnership in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

There is a Korean proverb that says “even a sheet of paper is held more easily by two people.” Peace and stability in this region is inseparable from the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the world. Like a sheet of paper, this region needs to be held together by two people; the two Koreas.

By championing unification of the Koreas and building a global coalition in this direction, Korea will be making active contributions to the international peace and stability.
Unity of the Koreas will give them a stronger voice and presence at the UN Security Council and enable them make positive and effective contributions in the process of resolving crisis like that in Syria.

It will be in tune with Korea’s long cherished commitment to multilateral-ism and global responsibility for the common good of all.

I recognize that the Republic of Korea has been keen on dialogue with the North. The UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon has expressed readiness to support meaningful engagement between the Koreas. The two nations must rise to the occasion. Let the two countries reduce the number of preconditions and engage in sincere dialogue.

 

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