By Kevin Huh for Global Peace Foundation
On the 26th of February 2019, I attended the Global Peace Convention 2019, which included sessions on Youth Partnerships for Peace, Security and Development and Youth Initiatives for Reunification.
When we talk about unification, we never really consider the youth in our discussions. Most of us probably firstly think of the politicians—the leaders of the nation making diplomatic strides to bring nations together for dialogue. However, through this forum, I was reminded of the significance of the youth in the March 1st Movement of 1919, which was in fact sparked by the youth of Korea during the time of the Japanese occupation.
Shinwon Moon highlighted this saying, “More than 2 million Koreans proclaimed their independence in peaceful mass rallies throughout the country. Inspired by President Woodrow Wilson's 14 points the movement unified the Korean people’s spirit and became the touchstone for the ideals of freedom and national sovereignty.”
Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA, reminded us that the world is in despair. Every time we look at mainstream media, it is full of unfortunate news. Yet, when we compare our lives to our parents or grandparents, we will find that our lives are actually better. Hence, the importance of the youth in bringing forward our shared dreams and making them a reality.
Keiko Kobayashi shared with us her dream of peace not only for herself, but for the world. No one in the room would doubt her love for her dreams of world peace. She confidently proclaimed in front of the audience, “I believe in world peace! I am very happy today. Due to our common vision: One Korea, One world!”
Although many may feel that the reality of unification and political power lies in the hands of the politicians, the dreams of peace and unification is held in the hearts of many across the world. It was a humbling experience to be a part of the small gathering of the morning session of the Global Peace Convention who shared the same dream of peace and unification for the Korean peninsula.
Read more: GLOBAL PEACE CONVENTION 2019 OPENS IN SEOUL