Congratulatory Addresses

2010 Northeast Asian Women's Peace Conference

 

 

Han Myeong-Sook

Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea

 

Hello. I am delighted to be here. I have the pleasure to be here at the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference after having the opportunity to present the key address at this same conference in Washington DC last year. I would like to extend my deepest congratulations on the successful opening of the third annual conference and my gratitude to the Northern Ireland, Japan and China representatives for their attendance as well as the participants from all over the world.

 

The history of Korea, from the past until today, have been male-dominated and led by the thinking of men. The topic of this year’s conference is the peace regime, which too, is currently being led by men. Thus, I believe this conference to be exceedingly significant in the intent that we, as women, must demonstrate by participating with men in the making of peace in Northeast Asia and in history. I firmly believe that this framework of the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference can be used as a foundation for future development and to gather the voices of women in Northeast Asia as one, to unite women and contribute to establishing peace and order in the region.

 

As you all know, the axes of politics, economy and culture have been Western-oriented and more specifically, centered on the United States. However, this axis is gradually shifting towards East Asia. The economy of China is predicted to surpass the United States’ economy in the near future. In times like this, a peace regime is necessitated to create peace and order in East Asia. It is imperative and crucial to construct peace and order in this region that has been historically checkered with wars. The past ten years of a democratic government and peaceful inter-Korean relations in Korea, is too, digressing into conflict and tension. I believe it is at this time women must step forward to mold the environment towards attaining a successful resumption of the Six-Party Talks, inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation as well as taking the lead towards resolving the nuclear weapons issue.

Moreover, we must encourage the government and party in power to convert their way of thinking and continually extend our efforts to find a new direction towards achieving peace between the two Koreas. The theme for the forum this year is ‘The Korean Peninsula and the Construction of a Northeast Asia Peace Regime’. For this purpose, I believe that it is markedly significant that the report generated by documenting the unified voices of women in Northeast Asia at this conference be sent to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Ministry of National Unification, the Blue House as well as other nations in the region.

 

I am certain that though we are in the process of taking baby steps, if we consistently maintain a clear goal and dream; if we, as women, continue to come together to lift one voice, we will one day assume a noteworthy role in the cause for establishing a Northeast Asia peace order.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

Paik, Hee Young

 Minister of Gender Equality and Family

 

 

Hello!

 

I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to the successful opening of the 2010 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference themed “The Formation of a Peace Regime on the Korean Peninsula and the Role of Women.”

 

I would also like to send my warmest welcome to all the presenters and participants from around the world including the former Joint Chairwoman of the Women’s Federation in Northern Ireland, Bronagh Hinds.

 

Moreover, I would like to thank those that have contributed their efforts in opening this Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference including Chairwomen Chung Hyun-back and Lee Sun-jong, in addition to all the members of various women’s organizations who have come to participate in today’s event.

 

Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to Ms. Choi, Young-hee, Chairwoman of the Gender Equality & Family Committee, who set aside time in her busy schedule and ongoing parliamentary inspections at the National Assembly, to attend this conference.

 

The Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference has been organized for the purpose of seeking out a plan to expand the role of women in the process of realizing peace in Northeast Asia and for the formation of a peace regime in Northeast Asia.

 

Recently, the outbreak of several occurrences such as the Cheonan corvette sinking, the third generation of hereditary succession of power in North Korea and such, have influenced the peace environment on the Korean peninsula. Subsequent to the 1970s, peace and the maintenance of security have evolved into a main interest of the region rather than a problem of each individual nation. Now is the time to take active measures aimed at dealing with these recent incidences at a regional level and discuss the ‘creation of a new peace structure’ and ‘a vision for reunification’.

 

Additionally, through the pursuit of a resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue, tension reduction on the Korean peninsula and confidence-building measures, a new structure of peace should be sought out for the Korean peninsula.

 

Peace and security on the Korean peninsula is a pivotal point in maintaining peace in the Northeast Asian region, as well as a critical factor directly connected to global peace. If peace on the Korean peninsula is not firmly established and tension, conflict and anxiety components continue to remain, the greatest victims will be women.

 

Excessive militarism creates difficulty for women as well as obstacles in resource allocation in the social welfare industry, while simultaneously generating a patriarchal culture. One reason the international society is giving impetus to interest and aid to women under armed conflict is because of the vulnerabilities women possess under military tensions.

 

For this reason, in 2000 the UN passed the “UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security” protecting women who are suffering in regions of war, civil war and/or conflicts and securing the participation of women in the process of resolving dissensions and peace-building. This year marks the 10th anniversary commemorating the adoption of this resolution as well as the year to examine the implementation process thus far and pursuing the direction for future.

 

I strongly believe this conference, opening in such a memorable year, will provide a space for women to overcome the differences in structures and cultures to build confidence and allow for active participation of women for peace in Northeast Asia, putting behind previous experiences of confrontation and the Cold War in this region.

 

Honorable ladies and gentlemen, “firm establishment of peace” and “women” are closely intertwined, and I confidently believe that women possess the potential to substantially promote the securing of peace on the Korean peninsula as well as in the Northeast Asia region.

 

For the establishment of peace, exchanges must be pursued between North and South Korean women. Through active exchanges, mutual and joint interests can be confirmed with the potential to build confidence and develop cooperation in the process of extending these joint efforts.

 

Additionally, in the future process of inter-Korean dialogue, active participation by women and designating women as leaders in the expansion of the peace movement is a potential plan to allow for inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation and the promotion of mutual understanding

 

Through the exchanges of experiences and suggestions by women from participating nations at this conference, we hope that fruitful discussions will be progressed for the expansion of peace and the role of women on the Korean peninsula.

 

Again, I would like to thank those that have endeavored to make this conference possible.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 Choi, Young-Hee

Chairwoman,

Gender Equality & Family Committee

National Assembly, Republic of Korea

 

Hello. I am Choi, Young-Hee, Chairwoman of the Gender Equality & Family Committee of the National Assembly.

 

First, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those that have endeavored from related organizations in United States, Japan, China, Russia, Korea, England, beginning with the women’s peace delegation from Korea in 2007 as the outset leading to the ‘2008 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference’ followed by the second in 2009 to finally make the 2010 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference today possible.

 

As the symbolic “Women’s Six Party Talks”, the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference has strived to generate discourse on peace and denuclearization in the region utilizing in tandem the tenderness and strength of women. I possess a strong conviction that women will continue to assume such leading roles in the future.

 

We hope that the conference will serve as an opportunity for women from all nations to exchange diverse experiences and suggestions for the realization of the goal for a ‘peace regime on the Korean peninsula and for the development of women’. Above all, through the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, we hope to let it be known that the core of policy decision-making must consist of an appropriately balanced voice of women and men for.

 

I would like to extend my deep respect and appreciation once again to all those of the ‘Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference’ who have dedicated themselves and sought to act as the spokesperson for women in Northeast Asia, even amidst such difficult situations.

 

Thank you.


                                                                                                                                 Cho Hyung

                                                                                     Chairperson, Korea Foundation for Women

 


  Dear Participants,


  I send you my love for peace and happiness. I am Cho Hyung, Chairperson of Korea Foundation for Women. I am delighted and honored to join all of you, the women who long for denuclearization the Korean Peninsula and building peace on Korean Peninsula and for peace in Northeast Asia. But first, I would like to thank the members of the organizing committee for your precious time and tireless energy so that we have can open this meaningful conference today.


  Yearning to change society with women's collaborative efforts, we at Korea Foundation for Women support many activities for this goal. Particularly, we support fostering global women leaders in hopes of Korea developing and expanding the scope of its activities through various exchanges and cooperation with the international society. 


  In line with this goal, the support for the organizing committee of Northeast Asian Women's Conference that launched in 2007 was very meaningful. The women gathered and started to build peace for the purposes of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and building peace on the Peninsular and attaining peace and normalizing inter-country relations in Northeast Asia. And we are already in our third year of this important conference that is the foundation of peace while we continued to meet and were having in-depth discussions.


  I hope the Conference to become a model that actually implements the UN Resolution 1325, which emphasizes "promoting women's equal participation in peace and security processes", while imagining regional and global peace away from national differences. I hope the Conference to be the peace mechanism inviting women's participation and built by women. And I hope all the participants to engage in active discussions to talk peace in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula so that all the daughters of the region can escape from the fears and scars of war and are able to create a better future.

 

  We long for peace right now, more than anything else.


  Peace belongs to those who dream peace.


  I wish that your love for peace and in-depth discussions at this Conference will be a steppingstone to change our society.


  Thank you.

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