Family of peace, greetings. I am glad to see you. I am Lee Man-hee, Chairman of HWPL. We gather here for a great occasion of sharing peace, marking the ninth anniversary of [the HWPL World Peace Summit].
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to tell you a little about myself. I have traveled around the world 32 times for peace. My journey of working for peace started with my experience as a combat soldier on the frontlines during the Korean War, a tragic civil war in my nation. Words could not express the atrocities of that war.
If I may share one bit with you, brothers of one nation turned enemies and had to fight each other at such close distances in the valleys. Ammunitions from our own rained on us on the field. They were “back-up fire.” It was the same story on both sides. Could a single blade of grass survive that valley? Imagine that. Having survived that war, I looked to the heavens and prayed to God. For a while after the war, I walked out into the fields every evening and thanked God for letting me escape death and live. You can imagine how atrocious wars are. People too young to even blossom into the prime of their lives, people as young as students were driven into the valleys of death to fight in battle. This is the reality of wars. That is the reason why I travel around the world to meet with world leaders and appeal to work together to establish peace.
Having been through those times, I realized had I died back then, I would not have been able to do this work today. The thought pushed me to visit many countries and call to the leaders. Many of the leaders who have met me are joining us here today.
Such experience taught me what it is that we need to do today and what we should really leave as an inheritance for future generations. That is peace, a state free of wars. Peace without wars. That is what started this peace work. We want to leave peace for our children. To do so, I earnestly hope we can join as one and work together to bring a complete state of peace to the global community.
I speak from my heart. If I had died in the middle of the atrocities of war, I would not have lived to be myself today. This is what drives me to keep my pledge to work for the rest of my days for peace and to travel around the world to call for peace.
Not too far away from here, there is a place called Goseong. I have built a peace institute there. You can see pictures of many different people. Presidents and former presidents are in the photos that hang on the walls. When I visited leaders and asked them to work together for peace, they had signed to join the cause, and the pictures we took then are on display. Booklets that cover the talks and discussions are also there.
Now, the matter is that this work for peace should be a global cause. It is simple yet challenging at the same time. All it takes is our doing it, but it is difficult because we don’t act on it. Again, the youth who had to die before the prime of their lives – and what was that for? I believe this must resonate strongly with our leaders and political leaders. The thing about wars is that it causes more aggression. The result of wars is more violence. But now, what we must do is put an end to wars and achieve peace as a lasting legacy for generations to come. That is the task for all of us today. This is our calling. Once a war breaks out, it doesn’t take one or two lives before it ends. It takes away countless lives and takes young lives, too. And we must make sure such tragedies are not repeated. I believe this is the work worth committing to for a lifetime. What greater cause would there be? I firmly believe so.
I have witnessed such unimaginable atrocities during the war. They were indescribable brutalities. Hence, it is our job to establish peace and build a legacy of peace for future generations. It cannot be done once you are dead. This must be accomplished while I am living. This is the thought that compelled me to commit myself to this cause. It is easier said than done. I traveled around the world again and again and again to deliver this message.
Now is the time to put our thoughts into action. Yes, it is time to act. You could tell someone, “I love you. I love you,” a thousand times. Better yet, one action speaks louder than a thousand words.
Ladies and gentlemen, even if God comes, if we cannot put a stop to wars for this world, what use is it? But the people of the world must do the work for this world. For a world of peace, free of wars. It is what we must do.
As I traveled around the world for the work of peace, I once went to Romania. There, I met someone who is here with us today. It was President Emil. At that time, President Emil had already been leading a peace movement with students. It was such a pleasure. We worked together and had a joint peace statement. Since then, wherever I go and work for peace, I think of President Emil.
I wish the same for you. Once born into this world under heaven, I ask you to take it upon yourselves to work for peace to save our future generations from war and give them a world of peace. Let’s do it together.
I may be old and frail, but the word peace is engraved in my mind. Wherever I go, whatever I do, whatever I write, I never forget the cause of peace. I always think about a good world, a good world, and how to give the future generation a good world as an inheritance. Why? Because through my life journey, I have witnessed how terrible wars are first-hand. I know too well because I fought in one. In the battleground, you find that such young people, even young students, are made soldiers and sent to war. A war may start for a reason, but when you think about what those young generations are put through, it is not justifiable. What happens there, young people falling, the atrocities of wars – it is unfathomable unless you’ve lived through it. So, I firmly believe a world without wars, a world of peace must be achieved.
If I may talk about one more thing, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light is the banner of our peace work. Wouldn’t you say it is fitting? It means that is our sole goal. On some occasions, I hosted people at the UN Cemetery to campaign for peace. During a speech, I had even told the audience, “Ask those who are lying here. I fought next to those young people at war,” at the very place, the UN Cemetery. Why did I do so? Because I am someone who had fought the war with the fallen, who knows how they were killed, who saw what it was like. For a war-free world, we need to bring the message to everyone, in households, at schools, and in society. When we share the awareness, wars will never take place again.
The current science of our world and all firearms that exist are more than enough to drive the human race to extinction. To prevent wars and to deter wars, I believe there is a need for a legal instrument specifically for this purpose in international law. That is why we made a group of respected legal experts, the International Law Peace Committee, and drafted the Ten Articles and 38 Clauses [DPCW]. When we submit the DPCW to the UN, we will have to wait and see how they decide on it. Submitting to the UN will be our next step. Eventually, instead of talking about wars, we must get rid of weapons of mass destruction. As long as weapons are at hand, how effective a deterrence could we expect? If one side starts a war, would the other side bear to lose when weapons are available? And what would happen when many lives are killed with such weapons? It may escalate into a world war and lead to destruction on a global scale.
So, such wars must not be an option. To rule out wars, the first step is to remove [weapons of mass destruction]. Isn’t it so? This is not the type of work you expect someone to do for you. Instead, we must complete the work ourselves. That is what I believe. Rather than saying “I love you” over and over again – to put it into action instead of just speaking words, I believe [weapons of mass destruction] must come to an end.
In line with such goals, the ILPC members have sufficiently drafted related content in the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW. Wouldn’t you agree that is the right direction? Speaking words only does not do any good. We see it in the current events. Why does this war have to take place? Wars should not happen. Toward this goal, let us take the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW, drafted by the ILPC, and send it to the UN so that the global village would not have to suffer any more wars. Let us get signatures of approval and build a world that is war-free as a legacy for future generations. Ladies and gentlemen, we can do it. Yes, we can do it, and we must do it.
We should not stop at talks, but we need to take action. Action. I myself registered [the group] at the UN, and it was for all of this. What good is it if I register and be done with it? We need to create an environment so that the global community can establish peace – a world of peace. It is my belief that it is the job of this generation to build such a good world, a world of peace, and pass it on to future generations. We will accomplish it. Let us do it and create a world of peace.
Now, we have traveled the world for this cause, but then COVID-19 had us tied down. Now that COVID seems to have subdued, it is time to go back on the world tour. What is it for? Since we will be submitting the DPCW to the UN, each member state needs to approve its adoption at the UN. This time, we will visit countries to share our plans and bring an invitation for cooperation. I invite all of you to work together by reaching out to leaders of nations who did not make it today. Let’s work together to have the DPCW adopted in the international community. Can we do it? We can do it.
Our peace movement will become great work. I had a model to follow. I followed the lead of President Emil of Romania. I have seen his work when I visited Romania, and we work together to this day. I hope this resonates with you. When all of us become messengers of peace at home and at school, when all of us become messengers of peace, only then will we achieve the cessation of wars.
I have grown very old, and I do not know how much time I have left on this earth. There is a saying, “A person’s life is up to the heavens.” Another saying goes, “Wealth and fortune are up to the heavens.” So, when I am called from heaven, I would have to go as anyone would. However, my wish is to see the world of peace come into being before I leave. Wouldn’t you agree?
Since we’ve started the work, I want to see peace established. Then how are we going to get there? When the clauses of the DPCW, written by ILPC members, are passed and adopted at the UN, I believe that would be a hallmark of peace setting in. I am confident it will be done, and peace will be achieved.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I truly believe this is the task for us. Let us work together toward this goal. We must not stop with words. We cannot ensure trust when we leave those weapons or other means of war and simply utter “peace,” “peace.” That is why we must remove weapons of mass destruction. Wouldn’t you say that is the way to a world where you can live rest assured? When both nations have those weapons, would they let their weapons down and give up on the war? They would not. Knowing that we need to take away these weapons, let us all work together to bring the entire global community into one family of peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what I wanted to say is this – Let’s bring the entire world together for peace as a family of peace. Let’s put in the work so that the peace we long for will come true. Ladies and gentlemen, again, no matter how many times I say it, peace is what matters. That is the reason why we do what we do. Our goal of establishing peace at its 100% mark will require the 10 articles and 38 clauses drafted by the ILPC to be adopted. I ask for your support. Let me close with that.