Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivered a speech at the inaugural ceremony of 2nd Asia Pacific Summit held the Peace Palace in the Prime Minister’s Office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, yesterday morning.
The ceremony was also attended by the state leaders and heads of governments from Asia Pacific countries, speakers of parliaments, parliamentary representatives, representatives from religious organizations and Stockholm World Peace Prize winner Dr Ashin Sobita.
The Prime Minister of Cambodia welcomed the attendees at the ceremony where Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines Jose de Venecia Jr, and co-founder of Universal Peace Federation Dr Hak Ja Han Moon made their opening remarks on the summit.
Vice President U Henry Van Thao also delivered a speech at the ceremony.
He first extended greeting to the summit and expressing thanks to the government of Cambodia and the Universal Peace Federation.
The Vice President also said: The Summit is an opportunity for enthusiastic global people who are promoting the practices of peace cultures to hold discussions and exchange views and their experiences how to develop a better world by ensuring peace and prosperity for the human beings.
All of us have known that the world is now encountering many challenging situations resulted by natural disasters affected by climate changes and man-made hazards. These challenges are threatening peace, sustainable development and fundamental existence of all mankind in every country. The negative forces are also existing every corner of the world to dismantle the basic foundation for peace.
The collective strength is required to make a response in unity to these challenges of the interdependent world with diverse cultures. Therefore, developing the theme of “Addressing the critical challenges of our times: Peace, reconciliation, independence, mutual prosperity and universal values” for the summit is very suitable for the instability and uncertainty of the world.
The former and late UN Secretary General U Thant said that the wars broke out from the minds of people, however, the minds can also develop loving-kindness and sympathy to protect the peace. Therefore, mental peace needs to be developed necessarily, and it is required to spread the importance of peace and reconciliation among the people through religious teachings and education. Education is very fundamental to change the attitude of people and is also a key to cultivate peace and sustainable development.
Peace also plays crucial role for ensuring sustainable development. Some countries define peace as free of violence and conflicts. However, the meaning of peace is subtler. It represents harmony with neighbours, diverse communities and environments. Development of peaceful practices among the people is an approach to prevent violence and conflicts, and it is also a substitution of war and violence ideologies.
The lack of peaceful situations could not retain development and prosperity, as well as sustainable development. The historical records have proved that conflicts and instabilities have destroyed development of a country, and the absence of sustainable development could not guarantee peace and security. Sustainable development is very helpful for preventing the root causes for conflicts. And that the lasting peace is interrelated with sustainable development.
With diverse races and faiths, Myanmar is striving for internal peace and national reconciliation with ethnic armed groups that have rooted in the country for many years. The incumbent government has taken priority on peace and reconciliation works since it took office. The government is handling the world’s most complex peace-making process with 18 ethnic armed groups in utmost efforts.
The country has successfully held the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong three times with the commitments on 51 basic principles for establishing a democratic federal union that can guarantee security and prosperity to be able to create a peace and harmonious community.
Although the country is encountering many challenges, the stakeholders have opted political dialogue instead of forces in solving internal conflicts, strongly believing that the lasting peace is pivotal to approach the destination of all-inclusive sustainable development. Based on the previous experiences of the country, it is also understood that peace-making effort is not an easy task. It is also believed that a peaceful and prosperous democratic federal union could be established step by step with patience, brave endeavours and enthusiastic efforts.
While Myanmar government is working for peace and national reconciliation, it also takes consideration on environmental conservation and sustainability for ensuring fair development in the country. The government has adopted the ‘Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP)’ for social and economic reforms to support the sustainable development of the country. The Plan has five gals based on the three pillars.
Any country, like Myanmar with internal conflicts and diverse ethnic races, could not promote a sustainable development without peace and national reconciliation. And that the government has taken highest priority on peace, national reconciliation, security and good governance in implementing the MSDP.
While the world is experiencing the great momentum of interrelation and interdependence, the teachings of religious become crucial for global peace. The prominent religious leaders have talked about the importance of morals and moral conducts of self-admiration, due respect to others, lessening and elimination of greed, anger, hatred and consideration. Practices of these teachings could cultivate sympathetic attitudes. This harmonious relationship could lay foundation for ensuring universal peace, interdependence, prosperity and global norms for the mankind.
Peace, justice, equality, freedom and enjoyment become more necessary in the interdependent world. The global people, social communities and organizations and countries ae sharing their experiences and knowledge to conserve the global norms, and these should be implemented.
Myanmar is working together with interfaith bodies such as the Religions for Peace in implementing peace, prosperity and harmony among the communities of diverse faiths. Myanmar will also host the Asia Pacific Summit in cooperation with the UPF in mid-2020.
It is also urged to hand over a united and peaceful world that is filled with loving-kindness and sympathy to the posterity. Although there is a long march to the destination, it could be certainly reached by the powerful steps with peace, friendship and loving-kindness.
Then, Vice President Vice President Raynold B. Oilouch of the Republic of Palau, an island country in the western Pacific Ocean, Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, National Assembly of Pakistan Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Indonesian former Vice President Jusuf Kalla, former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.
Chairman of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Chairman Dr Thomas G. Walsh explained the International Summit Copuncil for Peace Resolution.
Then, Vice President U Henry Van Thio had a documentary photo taken with the attendees.
In the afternoon, the Vice President met with the Vice President of National Assembly of Cambodia, and discussed promotion of friendship ties, closer cooperation in international issues and investment of Cambodian business firms in Myanmar.
Then, the Vice President also held talks with the President of the Senate of Cambodia on fostering bilateral cooperation, organizing ceremonies to diplomatic relations between the two countries and promotion of bilateral trades.
Next, Vice President U Henry Van Thio called on Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen at the latter’s office at the Peace Palace.
They discussed bilateral ties, trade promotion, investments, religious and cultural affairs, education, tourism, holding 65th anniversary of diplomatic establishment in 2020 between the two countries and promoting cooperation in regional and international affairs. The meetings were also attended by Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Soe Han, Myanmar Ambassador to Cambodia U Thit Lin Ohn and officials.
In the evening, the Vice President and Myanmar delegation attended the dinner hosted by the Cambodian Prime Minister.—MNA
(Translated by Aung Khin)