As our plane began its descent into Seoul the beauty of the mountains and city overlapping becomes evident that the country is not only blessed by nature but also with a vision that encompasses peace, prosperity and success.
Attending a forum for world peace can be a difficult topic to comprehend, but with our Korean hosts precision and detail in planning such an event turned out enriching and exciting as more than 80 journalists from 60 countries came together to learn and experience the Korean goals and principles on peace in their peninsula and the world.
The five-day Journalist Forum for World Peace hosted by the Journalist Association of Korea gave a broad yet clear perspective on some issues facing the region and the dangers that confront nations in the Korean peninsula and the world
In the 70 years since its formation South Koreans have excelled and transformed their economy into a technological advanced country with one of the best infrastructures in the world. The people are hardworking and the country ranks highly in education, job security, ease of doing business, healthcare quality and life expectancy.
The country’s economy soared at an amazing annual average of 10 per cent for over 30 years in a period called the Miracle on the Han River, rapidly transforming it into a high income economy and the world's 11th largest by 1995.
The country is now embarking on a new path known as the Creative Economy, where huge investments, financial and human are being made to ensure the innovative edge the country acquired is retained. It is indeed fascinating to hear and see firsthand these visions that the Korean people have developed for themselves.
The forum provided an exceptional platform for journalists and officials to discuss, debate and deliberate on issues of regional and global concern in an atmosphere of friendship, camaraderie and warm Korean hospitality.
Attaining such amazing success in all fields the Koreans have shown the world that with determination and resilience success follows. However, all is not well when it comes to ensuring peace to its citizens as the Korean peninsula is still gripped with the legacy of the Cold War for the last seven decades.
Koreans continue to live in the shadow of nuclear weapons from their northern neighbour since the past 20 years and as the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Lim Sungnam told us that this is not a problem created by Mother Nature but a man made one and therefore they believe they can find a solution to the problem. Hence the Koreans continue to pursue a policy of reconciliation and cooperation with North Korea and a vision of shared prosperity.
The continuation of its nuclear programme gravely undermines the hopes of seeing a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula and is a threat to world peace. Our visit to the Demilitarised Zone, at the third infiltration tunnel, among the dangerous borders in the world, gave us a glimpse of the tension that exists between the two nations. We partook in signing a Declaration of Peace on the Korean peninsula and letting the world know more about Korea’s hope and commitment for national unification and world peace.
Jung Kyu Sung, President of the Journalist Association of Korea deserves much applause for his initiative and endeavour to make a difference in bringing about peace to the world.
Learning from the Korean experience the Arab world should also undertake a vision and policy for peace and prosperity for its people. Its high time the countries the world over realise wars are the problem and not the solution.
There is no way to peace, peace is the only way
- Mahatma Gandhi
- By Reaven D’Souza