June 15, 2017
The 12th Jeju Forum for Peace & Prosperity Opening Address
Sharing a Common Vision for Asia’s Future
Governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you to this Jeju forum for peace and prosperity. We have here with us many dignitaries, including their excellencies, committed to world peace and prosperity for humanity, I would like to thank
Former President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia
Former President Punsalmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia
Former President Anibal Cavaco Silva of Portugal
Former Vice President Al Gore of the United States
And Former Secretary of State for State Reform and Simplication Jean Vincent Placé of France. My gratitude also goes to all other distinguished guests who are here with us today to share their knowledge for the future of Asia and co-existence of humanity.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Peace and prosperity is a long-standing homework for humanity throughout history. Jeju went through the height of the Cold War in the 20th century and is therefore well aware of the values of peace, human rights and co-existence. So Jeju started this Jeju forum in 2001 to open a new era of peace and prosperity in East Asia based on mutual trust and cooperation. And you are the ones who have been committed to fulfilling your share of responsibility in addressing various global issues. Your experience and wisdom along with that of other global leaders and world intellectuals have served as a catalyst for the Jeju forum to push its boundary beyond Asia and toward the whole world as an international forum with five(5) thousand people from 80 countries across the world. I hope this year’s forum will be a venue for future-oriented discussions, bringing the entire world together under the umbrella of peace where peaceful order in Asia can be further expanded. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Jeju forum with the theme of “Sharing a Common Vision for Asia’s Future”. Complicated and diverse issues and challenges, as characterized by “deglobalization”, have been posing a threat to mankind. Security threats have become more diverse and even more widespread, including not only nuclear but also energy, food and cyber issues. Supranational challenges, such as terrorism, continue to surface. These kinds of supranational challenges cannot be overcome by one single country alone. They require globally and locally shared visions. The Jeju forum is designed to share a common vision for Asia’s future for more universal hope and better future for humanity by seeking discourse for stronger cooperation among nations in more creative ways.
Ladies and gentlemen!
The world now faces global warming, a serious environmental crisis, threatening the human future. “An Inconvenient Truth”, as former US vice president Al Gore put it, has become better known across the world. Not only super powers but also developing countries have been working together to tackle the global warming.
Local governments are also actively involved in the efforts. You don’t have to look farther than Jeju. Jeju has been promoting a carbon-neutral island using wind and solar power. The so-called Green Revolution to respond to climate change has gained the most attention globally in the 21st century. The sustainability of the global environment has become a future vision for the world. Recently, the world has been facing an “inconvenient truth” which threatens to peace of humanity as a new world order was created centering on strong powers, threatening dreams and futures of small and less powerful countries. Protectionism and hegemony on the part of superpowers have emerged, but no country dares to tell the inconvenient truth. The world seems to be heading back toward a new cold-war era. Peace is not the prerogative of the superpowers. A world with no interest and understanding in small and less powerful countries cannot be regarded as a peaceful one. That appears to be peaceful only on the surface, leading to a “fake peace”, which is another “inconvenient truth” the world faces. To pursue a true world peace requires sharing a vision of peace and prosperity for humanity. A “true peace” can be achieved by going toward co-existence and harmony beyond differences in power, race, ideology or religion. A true peace can be accomplished through cooperation among nations and unity among regions, rather than competition and conflicts only for its own national interests. Peace and prosperity in Asia that the Jeju forum is pursuing cannot be made possible without cooperation among different countries. And that cooperation should come from sharing a common vision for Asia’s future and for world peace and prosperity. A peaceful world should mean not only the absence of war but also the absence of disorder, discrimination, conflicts and inequality. So communities can be united harmoniously in a vibrant and cooperative way. That is a true peace. Jeju is a local government which has promoted peace for more than 10 years since it was designated as an island of peace by the national government in 2005. Recently Jeju has also promoted more actively a new concept of peace going beyond the conventional concept of peace. The new concept of peace in Jeju includes “healing peace” emanating from Jeju’s clean nature, “peace through tolerance” embracing different values and appreciations of each other, and “peace of energy” making peaceful production and consumption of energy. The new concept of peace Jeju has been trying to put in place does not remain to be only a concept. Economic benefits can be generated through taking root and spreading out of peace, which in turn helps further expand peace. This is the peace industry. The project to turn Jeju into a carbon-neutral island is a good example of the peace industry. Peace should not remain just a topic for discussion or a rhetoric to showcase a desirable state. Peace should be a practical solution to resolve different kinds of issues humanity faces. Peace is a value and vision we run into on the path towards prosperity. Geographical tensions, going back to protectionist trade, decline of liberalism, and spread of populism all of these make the world all the more uncertain. We need a global platform for peace where future visions can be presented and shared to respond collectively to issues that make our future more insecure. That is the role the Jeju forum wants to play.
Ladies and gentlemen!
The Jeju forum can and will serve as a venue for discussing the new concept of peace and gathering the will to achieve a true peace and as an entrepreneur for peace to further boost the peace industry. We will renew our efforts to pave the way for the new concept of peace for our prosperity. I hope this forum will also offer an opportunity to share future visions to new values and build a stable order for peace and prosperity in Asia. I expect the world to hear out what kind of peace message Jeju has to send. I would like all of you to enjoy the charm of the nature in a peaceful and beautiful island of Jeju while staying here.
* This is the opening address(full-text) of Mr. WON Hee-ryong, Governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, in the 12th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity.
posted on June 15, 2017