Young Peace Leaders Are Voicing Out the Need for Youth Empowerment in Peacebuilding
- Tunisian youth activists volunteered to spread a culture of peace in their community.
TUNIS, 7 October – A youth empowerment workshop titled “Peace in Children’s Eyes” was held by local youth group members along with an international youth NGO. Thirteen to Sixteen-year-old students were invited to join the discussion on how they can contribute to peacebuilding.
The local host, Peace Excellency Academy members were motivated to take this event in place after participating in the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) Youth Empowerment Workshop held in Seoul on the sideline of the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit.
50 youth group representatives, including members of Peace Excellency Academy, had a discussion on practical ways to implement this global youth empowerment workshop for peace in their respective regions. Participants were from 13 countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, France, Germany, and the United States.
Mr. Yassino Bdiri, one of the Tunisian participants and the organizer of the Peace in Children’s Eyes workshop said, “IPYG workshop gave us hope that peace is possible when I saw the motivation of IPYG members.” After hosting the local workshop, he added, “The children were sensitized to the importance of peace. This makes me more believe in peace. We are planning to do other workshops in many regions with youth. We must be one heart and one voice.”
The curriculum of IPYG Youth Empowerment Workshop consists of 10 different topics under the theme of ‘fundamental rights,’ ‘diversity,’ and ‘co-existence’; all of which help young leaders to reflect upon the qualities of sustainable peace leadership.
Ms. Kate Shin, the coordinator of the empowerment workshop in IPYG Northern Seoul branch said, “We witnessed how the youth’s voices have been changing the society we live in. When it comes to resolving conflicts, we believe it is achievable if youth can gather and spread a culture of peace in each region. So, we are glad to organize this event together with Tunisian youth. We will continue it upon the strong belief that youth can empower each other to be future peace leaders with a sense of ownership.”
IPYG Empowerment Workshops for Peacebuilding are going to be held as well in Poland, Lithuania and Morocco in upcoming months.
A group of 18,000 blood donation contributes to stability of blood supply in South Korea
Blood shortages due to COVID-19 are prevalent across the world. In January, the American Red Cross declared “a national blood crisis” poising a great risk to patient care. In March, a US-based non-profit organization Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) declared the blood “emergency” due to a lack of the stock of type O blood at only 1-2 day supply and appealed to the public participation in a single blood donation that can save up to three lives.
According to the Red Cross, blood is used for a variety of purposes, including serious injuries caused by accidents, surgical procedures, anemia, childbirth, and cancer treatment. But since blood cannot be artificially produced, experts say the only solution to the blood supply lies in donating blood.
In South Korea, in cooperation with Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL), 18,000 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL participated in blood donation for two weeks from April 18th. This number was recorded as the largest group blood donation in the country.
Namsun Cho, head of the Korean Red Cross Blood Services, said, “When the impact of the Omicron reached its peak, Shincheonji Church of Jesus launched a large scale of blood donation. It was like rain during a drought. We are surprised that the number of donors exceeded 6,000 in 3 days and more people participated. We appreciate their life-saving dedication.”
“They did a really great job in the life-sharing movement. This scale is equivalent to one army corps donating blood for a year. The number of blood donors is nearly four times the number in a normal day, a great help in overcoming the current blood supply crisis,” said an official from the Blood Services.
“We also appreciate the members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus who participated in the nationwide plasma donation for the development of a treatment for COVID-19 back in 2020,” he added.
In South Korea, blood donation certificates are issued to blood donors. The certificate can be used when paying for a blood transfusion so that the transfusion fee to patients is deducted. All the donors of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL also donated their certificates to alleviate the financial burden of patients who need blood for treatment.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, headquartered in Gwacheon, South Korea, is contributing to the communities through volunteer activities including plasma and blood donations, although the church suffered greatly from the initial stage of COVID-19 pandemic.
HWPL, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a non-governmental organization under the UN Economic and Social Council and Department of Global Communication is carrying out long-term peace projects through education, relief, and youth empowerment based on solidarity with civil society and international organizations in 193 countries.
Press-release of the HWPL
International NGOs Urge International community to Enact International Law for Peace to End Wars in Ukraine
Organizations from all over the world gathered at the “International Conference on the Restoration of Peace in Ukraine” hosted by international peace NGO, HWPL and Business Woman Magazine
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues for more than 50 days, the international community is seeking and proposing ways to end the war from various angles.
At 11am (GMT+0) On April 21, 2022, Ukraine branch of Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL) and Business Woman Magazine co-hosted <International Conference on the Restoration of Peace in Ukraine> online in attendance with around 500 participants in 15 countries. The conference was held to share the results of humanitarian aid and call for collaborative efforts by the international community to restore peace in Ukraine.
HWPL is a Korea-based international peace NGO associated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC. Since 2013, HWPL has carried out various peace activities for global peace and cessation of war. As a representative example, HWPL announced the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) in 2016 to enact international law for peace and received 'DPCW support signatures' from 176 countries worldwide.
The Business Woman Magazine, the co-host of the event, was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Ukraine, with 30 overseas branches in 30 countries. The magazine introduces business cases of women entrepreneurs worldwide and is certified as the only Ukrainian international magazine by the European Parliament and the European Commission.
At the conference, leaders from all walks of life in Ukraine in a state of war, professors, and journalists cooperating with HWPL, made presentations accusing the inhumane realities of the current war. It included Maryna Popatenko, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine who gave a speech on the topic of “The current situation in Ukraine and requests for international community support,” and Hanna Krysiuk, founder of the international magazine "Business Woman", Professor Rommel Santos Diaz, and journalist Igor Shevyrov.
HWPL introduced the ongoing refugee assistance projects of its partner organizations, International assistance headquarters for Ukrainians, NGO “Poruch”, Charitable Foundation “SWAN”, Women's Union of Ukraine, and encouraged attendees to raise funds for humanitarian aid.
Prof. Rommel Santos Diaz, President of the Dominican Federalist Foundation and Professor of international law at the Universidad INCE said, "HWPL has discovered the document that best complements the charter of the United Nations. Also with the charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the OAS’s Statute of International Court is the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)" and he announced the value of DPCW as "A transcendental document that, at this time, would exert a very positive influence as a foundation for the search for solutions in Ukraine."
“I would like to emphasize that there are now about 8 million young people left in Ukraine, of whom 2 million have become internally displaced, many are in hostilities, many have lost their homes, many have lost their jobs, businesses and forced to suspend their studies. They all need special attention and support.,” said Maryna Popatenko who is Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine.
“Right after the outbreak of the war, HWPL condemned Russia’s invasion, which resulted in countless civilian casualties, and urged it to uphold the principles of international law through an official statement,” said Maria Zakharchenko, coordinator of HWPL’s Ukraine branch. She added, “Through this event, HWPL shared humanitarian support and campaign activities to restore peace in Ukraine and will continue to carry out peace activities with the spirit of DPCW. We expect more attention and aid from the international community to support the Ukrainian people.
HWPL emphasized the need for international support for Ukrainian citizens as the war became protracted. HWPL has created an introduction page for fundraising information for partner organizations, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ngo.HWPL.cis/.
Meanwhile, HWPL Ukraine branch sent groceries such as macaroni to help the students of HWPL Peace Education suffering from food shortages from April 1st. -The goods were provided by the raising funds from HWPL members in other countries. As a result, about 300 people -including faculty and staff- of the schools located in Kherson and Donetsk Provinces received the relief supplies.
EU-China Summit: Restoring peace and stability in Ukraine is a shared responsibility
The European Union and China held their 23rd bilateral Summit via videoconference on 1 April, bringing together President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
The EU and China discussed extensively Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the world’s economy, food and energy security, and the fight against COVID-19.
The EU called on China to support efforts to bring about an immediate end to the bloodshed in Ukraine, consistent with China’s role in the world as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and its uniquely close relations with Russia.
“As major global powers, the EU and China must work together on stopping Russia’s war in Ukraine as soon as possible. We have a common responsibility to maintain peace and stability, and a safe and sustainable world,” Charles Michel said. “We count on China’s support to achieve a lasting ceasefire, to stop the unjustifiable war and address the dramatic humanitarian crisis it has generated.”
“We underlined that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not only a defining moment for our continent, but also for our relationship with the rest of the world. There must be respect for international law, as well as for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Ursula von der Leyen, adding that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has a special responsibility.
Referring to the tightening of sanctions against Russia, von der Leyen said that more than 40 countries in total have joined these sanctions. “So we also made it very clear that China should, if not support, at least not interfere with our sanctions,” she stated in a joint press conference following the summit.
She also said that in terms of bilateral trade between the EU and China, continuing business with Russia carries great reputational risks: “This is a question of trust, of reliability and, of course, of decisions on long-term investments. Let me remind you that every day, China and the European Union trade almost €2 billion worth of goods and services. In comparison, trade between China and Russia is only some €330 million per day. So a prolongation of the war, and the disruptions it brings to the world economy, is therefore in no-one’s interest, certainly not in China’s.”
The Peace Education Workshop Trained 50 Educators from Five Countries, Including Ethiopia and Yemen
From February 25, 54 educators from Iraq, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Yemen, and Georgia participate at the peace education training, twice a week online until April 9. Prolonged pandemic could not stop the peace educators from sharing significant moments together at the joint conference online.
Tamar Corzaze, a teacher at Georgia's Chervantes Aiges School, who completed HWPL peace education teacher's training last year, emphasized the role of educators in promoting students with the value of peace and humanity through peace-building activities, "We all have our own roles in making peace. You don't have to have a special ability or position."
Ethiopia Omort, who attended the training first time this year, emphasized that "the peace education platform is changing the culture of war into a culture of peace, and the corruption should also be changed to a culture of peace. It should be applied to each country."
Despite the growing education divide, HWPL, an international peace organization, held 59 peace teachers' training sessions in 26 countries in 2021, training a total of 392 peace teachers and signing MOUs for each educational institution and online peace education webinar.
HWPL staff who attended the education training said, "HWPL believes education should be a stepping stone for citizens to realize the value of peace. This year, teachers will systematically organize the curriculum and provide education to convey what they learned and felt through the training to students."
Six weeks of training will teach participants the role of peace educators and equip them with tools to tackle the problems such as war, starvation, and the economic and social disparity. Trainees who successfully complete the curriculums will be appointed as "HWPL Peace Educators" and carry out the peace education to students at their respective schools, universities, and institutions.
Department of Public Relations HWPL
Institutional Peace to Counteract the Threats of Global Conflicts is Examined
In the present era where the safety of individual lives is constantly threatened by widespread conflicts, peacebuilding is currently demanded to develop into a system that promotes the values, norms, and culture of peace for all countries, communities and, individuals, based on the shared principles of coexistence and interdependence of the global community.
'HWPL's 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)' was held online on 14 March 2022 with over 5,000 participants, under the theme, Institutionalizing Peace: Building a Legal Foundation for Sustainable Peace.
An UN-affiliated NGO Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), has endorsed combined efforts of governments and civil society efforts that lead to the institutionalization of peace in each society. Its DPCW proclaimed in 2016 has provided a guide to citizen-led peace advocacy, in line with international organizations including the UN, the African Union (AU), and the EU that have stressed normative guidance as a standard for substantial conflict resolution with the participation of women and youth.
As for the need to "build a legal foundation for sustainable peace," Dr. Kamal Hossain, the President of International Law Association (ILA) Bangladesh Branch said, "The precondition for achieving peace is securing peoples’ inalienable rights, which include equality before the law, equal protection of the law, non-discrimination, freedom to associate, freedom to assemble, and freedom to express."
In addition, Ms. Anna Cervenakova, a member of HWPL International Law Peace Committee, mentioned "In the world’s ongoing crisis, governments question themselves, what kind of action would be the best action to take in order to overcome the emergency crisis. The need for human development, by overcoming the public health emergency, climate change, economic decline, restrictions on human rights, brings us to the point of how these burdens are solved by the institutions of the governments. Much of the burdens of the work is, therefore, on the side of the governments, so it is important what are the priorities in their institutional agenda."
As one of the speakers, Prof. Rommel Santos Diaz of international law at the Universidad INCE said that government offices including the Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Attorney General’s Office in the Dominican Republic have been working with NGOs for the purpose of the “state’s decision-making for public policies on citizen security and human rights” based on the DPCW.
Responding to prevalent threats from religious conflicts, Imam Moulana Shafiek Nolan in Westridge of South Africa expressed, "(T)he DPCW emphasises the importance of peace between religions and the cessation of religious conflict. The monthly scripture dialogue hosted by HWPL particularly aims to create a platform to break down misunderstandings of religious scripture and practices, mirroring the values expressed in the DPCW."
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said that wars and conflicts continue to occur since “wars can be triggered if it is allegedly necessary according to the current international law, which is why this cannot put an end to war.” He highlighted that all members of the global village need to be united as one as “messengers of peace” to “certainly create a thing (international law for peace) that can bring about peace.”
On February 28, HWPL issued a statement on Russia's invasion of Ukraine that includes refugee protection and global youth solidarity against war and is delivering it to 192 countries. The DPCW presents principles of peace to be promoted by the international society such as prohibiting the use of force, fostering religious freedom, and civic participation to spread a culture of peace. It highlights that sustainable peace can be achieved through all members of the global society by identifying not only nation-states but also international organizations and all citizens as the main actors in building peace.
For the full text of the DPCW or Statement Regarding Russia and Ukraine, you may visit : www.hwpl.kr