Peace and Development in Southeast Europe
Tirana, Albania—Participants from over 50 nations attended the Southeast Europe Peace Summit organized by UPF. The summit, held from October 25 to 27, 2019, featured a wide range of activities.
Three main events were held at the large, 3,000-seat Tirana Congress Hall. On the morning of October 26, the summit’s Opening Plenary was attended by the founder of the Universal Peace Federation Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon; the president of North Macedonia, H.E. Stevo Pendarovski; and the president of Kosovo, H.E. Hashim Thaçi; as well as ten former heads of state and government and key political figures from the Balkan region.
On the afternoon of October 26, a rally of Youth and Students for Peace, an organization that is affiliated with UPF, drew more than 2,000 young participants to attend cultural performances and discuss peace projects. On the afternoon of the next day, October 27, the summit concluded in the Tirana Congress Hall with a standing-room-only Family Blessing Festival.
More than 70 current and former parliamentarians and government ministers attended the event, including Dr. Enver Hoxhaj, the deputy prime minister of Kosovo; H.E. Skender Reçica, the minister of labor and social welfare of Kosovo; and H.E. May Chidiac, the minister of state for administrative development of Lebanon.
Dr. Moon said that she envisioned a bright future for Albania and for the Balkans. Pointing to the historical role of peninsulas as cradles of civilization, she compared the Balkan Peninsula with the Korean Peninsula and expressed her conviction that the Balkan nations had come to a time of opportunity. Instead of lamenting the rejection by the EU, she said, if Albania and the Balkan nations focus on strengthening their base with strong families and spiritual values, they will become a transforming power for Europe. Quoting the Bible and drawing great applause from the audience, she concluded that although Albania was considered last in Europe after a long history of suffering, the time had come for the last to become the first.