Civil Society in 71 Countries Urges International Law for Peace and Justice for Religious Freedom
HWPL and civil society groups in 117 cities advocate comprehensive cooperation for peace and denounce anti-peace activities
While the global society has been sending an interest and encouragement to the historic decision of the North Korea-US dialogue following the ‘Peace Olympics’ held in South Korea, a Korea-based international peace NGO held an event commemorating “The 2nd Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)” on March 14. In Seoul, South Korea, on the theme of "A Call for Building a World of Peace and Realizing Justice" was attended by 1,000 participants including representatives of politics, religion, and civic groups at home and abroad.
The host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) affiliated with UN DPI and UN ECOSOC, announced the DPCW on March 14, 2016, to strengthen a solidarity of peace through a comprehensive cooperation of all sectors of society and to establish legally binding international law necessary for peacebuilding. The DPCW with 10 articles and 38 clauses, drafted by international law experts, includes provisions to avoid war-related actions and achieve peace, including respect on international law, ethnic/religious harmony, and a culture of peace.
Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, highlighted that every individual in the global society is responsible for constructing global peace. He appealed to the participants by saying, “Rather than waiting to take peace for granted, it is we who should put an end to war to protect humanity and our globe, and leave peace as a legacy for future generations.” “Law of today cannot compensate for the lives sacrificed from war. What we need is an instrument that protects human life, the very law that prevents war,” he added.
“No human being and no animal on planet Earth can survive from weapons (of mass destruction). Even an error or an accident can cause widespread damage to human life and property which cannot be replenished. We all have to work 365 days and 24 hours together for peace as a messenger of peace,” said, Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, President of Confederation of Indian Bar who participated in drafting the DPCW.
“If we want to put an end to war and build peace, let us work together for peace and overcome the boundary of state, ethnicity and religion. We have to think about how to resolve international conflicts through the adoption of the DPCW as a UN resolution. And the international society should provide assistance to facilitate peace education proposed by HWPL,” emphasized Mr. Deok Gyu Lim, former president of the International Law Association Korean Branch.
In the event, HWPL issued the official statement against anti-peace actions that hinder peace and justice with unsubstantiated information and distortion from socio-economic motives and human rights abuses by religious intolerance. In the statement it addressed that HWPL “will no longer tolerate attempts to obstruct the work for peace, putting personal gain over the common good of humanity. We urge all those yearning for peace and justice to take the right path, not the path marked with lies, and join the effort to build peace together.”
The multi-national events for the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the DPCW calling for building a world of peace and realizing justice were organized in 166 cities in 71 countries, including South Korea, the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Britain, and China. 150,000 citizens and leaders of all sectors in the world took part in this global event urging the establishment of international law for the realization of a peaceful, just society and the denunciation of anti-peace activity.
Turkmen leader addresses the greetings to the participants of International tourist forum
Let me extend my gratitude on the beginning of work of International tourist exhibition and conference “Tourism and Travel” in Avaza National tourist zone. I am confident that the forum would be very important in popularization of tourist potential of the country, - greeting message of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
Turkmenistan works on the formation of relevant infrastructure, legal, economic and social bases of tourist activity. Adoption of legal acts on regulation of tourism sphere, construction and opening of fashionable hotel complexes in free economic zone of Avaza, in Ashgabat and velayats, new health improving and entertainment centres cause the growth of potential of the country in the world tourist market.
International rally Amul – Hazar 2018, which was held recently, became not only big important competitions but also excellent event that revealed Turkmen land as attracting direction on the world map for tourists and travellers.
The rally brought together masters and amateurs of this captivating sport from different countries. This project was not only the sport event but also excellent opportunity for popularization of national cultural heritage, historical monuments, variety of bright traditions and rites of our nation in the world, - the message noted.
Formation of modern tourism industry in Turkmenistan as an important factor in development of international cooperation, attraction of innovative technologies to he country and integrated modernization of national economy.
I am confident that international forum on the coast of Caspian Sea would support the establishment and improvement of new partnership relations, successful implementation of innovative approaches to the practice of our country, improvement of Turkmenistan authority as perspective centre of international tourism industry, - the message of the President highlighted.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
International Educators Design a Peaceful Future
Peace education is introduced in Guatemala, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Iraq in cooperation with an international NGO - HWPL
Government ministries in Guatemala, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Iraq signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with an international peace NGO, HWPL, to implement nationwide peace education in respective countries.
At the peace education session of the 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit held in Incheon, South Korea on 17 September, global educators and policymakers had a discussion on “Looking into a Future of Peace through Peace Education".
About the need for lifetime education, Dr. Barsihannor Zuhri, Dean of Universitas Islam Negeri Alauddin Makassar, pointed out that educational institutions seem unable to uphold the values of tolerance and democracy and prepare for students to be a critical generation with a knowledge and competency base.
“Effective strategy is needed to reduce the violence that often involves students in various educational institutions. One of them is by teaching the importance of ‘love of peace’ from an early age,” he added.
In an effort to promote a culture of peace by peace education, HWPL has introduced peace education for students and citizens by cooperation with 164 educational institutions from 12 countries including the United States, India, Israel, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
In January this year, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Philippines established a cooperative relationship with HWPL to integrate peace education in the curriculum of state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the CHED, who signed the agreement back in January, spoke on the expectation to the peace education suggested by HWPL.
“Students would learn to uphold the principle of ‘unity in diversity’ and embrace the differences amongst people. They will be equipped with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values in conflict resolution and peace work and further encourage them to work for the cessation of wars, hostilities, and disunity.”
On this occasion, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia and HWPL signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to execute peace education in nationwide in Cambodia.
In this regard, H.E. Rachana Khun, Under Secretary of State of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia said “HWPL Peace education is an important part of ‘Global Citizenship Education’. Particularly, the Ministry would like to request HWPL’s assistance in the writing of books on peace education, its teaching methodology, the training of peace educators, and activities to spread a culture of peace in the education sector in Cambodia.”
The host organization, HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light), is an NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and DPI engaging in peace-building projects including the establishment of international law for peace and peace education for students.
According to its official website, this forum was intended to create an environment for the feasibility of peace education and present the specific roles of the state, government, and schools for further development of peace education.
At the conclusion of the session, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL urged educators to be good teachers as well as good parents by the reason that they grow the mind of their students in saying, “This time of world is crying out for peace since it is surrounded by wars. The world is developing weapons of destruction rather than developing a culture of peace.
“Children take after their parents and follow the environment. What should the teachers bear fruits from the students? Children should learn peace from their homes and schools then our next generation will be naturally born as peace messengers in the environment of peace.”
Special Lecture for the Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula Delivered by Former Presidents of Eastern European Nations
Path Toward the Advancement of the Unification of Korea Based on the Experience of Transitioning from Communist to Democratic Political Systems
The expectations of achieving peace on the Korean peninsula have greatly risen in light of the recent news of the success of the third Inter-Korean Summit held in Pyongyang and the signing of the “Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018”. To support the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula, a long-cherished wish of both Korean citizens and all people across the globe, former presidents from Eastern Europe gave a special lecture in Seoul that was held under the topic of achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the world.
For this special lecture, H.E. Ivo Josipović, Former President of Croatia, and Hon. Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania, both of whom experienced times under Communist rule and the transition to democracy, gave presentations on September 16th and September 20th respectively in the presence of around 2,000 Korean citizens.
Path to Peace in the Korean Peninsula:
Special Lecture by H.E. Ivo Josipović, the Former President of Croatia
On September 16th, the third president of Croatia H.E. Ivo Josipović gave a special lecture on the topic of the “Path to Peace in the Korean Peninsula”, which centered on the role of cultural exchange to achieve the successful reconciliation of Korea, at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul.
According to the lecture, Croatia is a country that experienced mass atrocities as part of the Holocaust carried out the by Nazis during World War II. At that time music was used as a tool for Nazi propaganda; however, music also served as a method to inspire and build up the resistance and protests. H.E. Ivo Josipović explained the power of culture in the achievement of peace in the currently divided peninsula by introducing about this historical aspect of the former Yugoslavian region.
“I think music, especially traditional folk music that is derived from the same cultural roots, is a tool for sharing the same sentiments that are held by individuals from both sides of the border. Although many countries, including the United States, China and Japan, support the unification of Korea it is necessary for the two leaders to meet and discuss face-to-face. I believe that we can understand one another and accept each other’s differences through cultural exchanges, such as music and sports.”
He also emphasized the important role of political leaders to cease the ongoing conflicts in the world, citing the past case of the treaty signed by Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In relation to the establishment of a legally binding international law for peace, he added, “Presenting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to the United Nations as a resolution, with our intention to build peace in the world, is novel and important.”
Suggestions on the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula Based upon the Experiences throughout the Transition Period of Eastern Europe:
Special Lecture by Hon. Emil Constantinescu, the Former President of Romania
On September 20th, the “Lecture Concert for Peaceful Unification on the Korean Peninsula” was held with the third president of Romania Hon. Emil Constantinescu. The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), The Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL), H.E. Gennady Burbulis, Former State Secretary of Russia and President of the Baltic-Black Sea Forum, and Petru Lucinschi, Former Moldova President, also attended and gave their congratulatory messages, lighting up the entire event.
Former President Hon. Emil Constantinescu prepared his speech under the theme of “Suggestions on the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula Based upon the Experiences throughout the Transition Period of Eastern Europe”, beginning his address with the memories of life under tyranny.
He stated, “I lived under a communist dictatorship that deprived the country and its citizens of freedom for 50 years. People were not allowed to move about freely and the political police monitored their private affairs, invading the privacy of all citizens. Both Romania and Korea were greatly influenced by World War II. This war caused the death of more than 25 million soldiers and over 73 million civilians, as well as created huge economic losses and led to the destruction of many world cultural heritage sites. The atrocities of the two wars in the first half of the 21st century proved to be insufficient for leaders to understand that peace cannot be strengthened only by managing frozen conflicts,” explaining the darkest times of Romania.
He then continued by reminding all in attendance of the power of the people who fought for freedom stating, “The incredible lack of fear and the solidarity of people forced the dictator to flee and freedom was gained. In one of history’s bright moments, people were willing to sacrifice themselves for the ideals of freedom and democracy. The answer regarding the future of freedom and democracy is the choice of each generation and, in the end, of each of us.”
He concluded the lecture by proclaiming, “In order to achieve the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula, leaders, politicians and even the youth must have the consciousness to achieve peace.”
As the final program of the event, an MOU promising further cooperation for peace in the Korean Peninsula and the world was signed between ISACCL, represented by its current president Hon. Emil Constantinescu, and HWPL, the international peace NGO that IPYG is affiliated with.
HWPL’s Chairman Man Hee Lee then delivered his congratulatory message to the audience stating, “In the Korean War, 4 million citizens were killed. Should we continue to point our guns and kill each other more? We must put down our weapons. The two leaders should hold hands in peace without having to feel the need to be noticed by any country in the world. We must achieve the peaceful reunification for the people of our country.”
Chairman Lee also expressed his gratitude to the two leaders saying, “I would like to express my sincere thanks to the two former presidents who delivered good lectures to the citizens of Korea with great concern and support. Now all people from all levels of society should become the messengers of peace to bring peace one step closer to us.”
Peace Conferences Led by the Peace-builders from Various Fields
Youth, women, religion, and media gathered to discuss their roles to bring world peace and peaceful unification of Korea in our times
From 17th to 19th in September, about 2,000 of representatives from various sectors such as political leaders, faith leaders, women and youth organizations, educators, and media had visited South Korea to attend 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit.
In an effort to find solutions to achieve sustainable peace, the participants discussed their roles and actionable plans in relation to the enactment of the international law for peace, the development of peace education, the promotion of a culture of peace as well as religious harmony.
On the last day of the 3-days summit, the host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held sectorial conferences for members of youth and women organizations, religious leaders, and media.
The Role of the Youth and Women in Realizing Peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the World
Organized by International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliated group of HWPL, the youth session titled ‘The Role of the Youth in Spreading a Culture of Peace for the Realization of World Peace’ had an agenda of the support and the participation of youth for the ‘Peace letter campaign’.
Peace letter campaign is one of the peace projects of IPYG to urge the government to support the implementation of the international law for peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Mr. Herculano Amaral, Coordinator of International Rotary Club of Dili Lafaek in Timor-Leste, introduced the result of the peace letter campaign. “Last year, IPYG members of Timor-Leste Branch met the former president and introduced about HWPL and IPYG’s activities. And this year, our team convey the documents of the DPCW and a peace letter to the cabinet of the president. The movement is intended to get support from the president of our country and also those who involved in the decision making.”
In particular, this year’s conference also aimed to call for the support for the peaceful reunification on the Korean Peninsula. According to the General Director of IPYG, Mr. Young Min Chung, IPYG has made progress within Korea. The Declaration of Unification of Korea, declared by Chairman of HWPL in 2010, stated the need for the two leaders of Korea to listen to the voices of the Korean citizens. To achieve this, thousands of youths in Korea have written peace letters to President Moon to voice their support for the unification. At the same time, hundreds of political leaders from around the world wrote letters to urge the leader of North Korea to talk to HWPL for the peace of the Korean peninsula.
In the same vein, “2018 Worldwide Women’s Peace Conference” was held by International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) affiliated with HWPL to share the progress of its peace activity such as women’s peace education and plant peace campaign and to discuss the role of women leaders to bring peace in the world as well as to the last divided nation, Korea.
On the topic of the conference, Former First Lady of Croatia, Dr. Tatjana Josipović said, “The only legitimate and reasonable politics is to search for the permanent peace, without any violence. Women in the creative fields of activities can contribute to the implementation of peace influencing other people to advocate the DPCW to become a binding legal instrument. I think the provisions of the DPCW should be not only a moral obligation but to be binding rules for all world leaders. Our voice must be heard from political institutions, art scene, sports fields, classrooms, and media to warn humanity that we must do everything to stop wars and violence once forever.”
4th International Religious Leaders’ Conference: Spreading the Culture of Seeking a Trustworthy Scripture to Realize the Era of Peace
World religious leaders from 20 different denominations gathered together to promote the culture of peace among religions and seek for the dedication of faith leaders to realize peace. For this, the members of ‘Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee’ were appointed as a role of spreading the culture of seeking a trustworthy scripture.
The Most Rev. Wattegama Dhammawasa Nayaka Thero, President of Sri Subodharama International Buddhist Center in Sri Lanka, said, “Even though my place is peaceful right now, we cannot be completely free from conflicts deeply. Religious extremists do not practice their own religion and some hold strongly to their own religious views, hence conflicts and misunderstandings occur due to this discrepancy. Therefore, I could agree the goal of HWPL that we should find out the most trustworthy scripture that can overcome the differences of ideologies among religions to achieve world peace.” stressing the need for the religious harmony based on a trustworthy scripture.
Speaking about the need of the comparative studies of the scripture, Chairman of HWPL said, “Why do people need the scripture? It is because the scripture leads the righteous way for people. Thoughts or wisdom of one’s own can’t be defined as a scripture. At this time, the comparative studies of scripture are the most urgent since it is the definite way for the religions to become one.”
2nd Conference for Global Peace Media Network: International Peace Media Community, “Peace Initiative”
Journalists and representatives of media outlets from about 30 countries took part in the conference for global peace media network where the peace media platform ‘Peace Initiative (PI)’ launched.
‘Peace Initiative’ is designed by the ideas of the journalists around the world in order to spread the news of peace and promote peace journalism with protecting the freedom of the press. To forge the cooperative partnership for ‘PI’, participated representatives of media outlets and HWPL signed an MOU.
Ahead of the addresses from the journalist, Former President of Tunisia and Bishop of Poona diocese delivered the messages on the significance of the role of media to promote peace in the mind of people and the society.
As a special speaker, H.E. Dr. Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia, emphasized the mission of the media. “As a human rights activist, I know how much I owe to the independent press that has always unveiled the violations of the dictatorship in Tunisia and the Arab world and thus contributed largely to the Arab Spring. Today there is a new mission. In the face of the surge of hatred, rumors and false information that infect social networks, only honest and serious journalists are the guarantors of the truth, which is the essential condition for peace in hearts and minds. I am sure you will live up to the immense task ahead and wish you good luck in this vital mission.”
Mr. Avtandil Otinashvili, Editor in Chief of Newsday in Georgia, said “We journalists should let the whole society know about the peace-building efforts of various sectors of the society. By raising awareness of peace through news reporting, we can stop those innocent people, especially youth from losing their lives in the futility of war. I believe it is our noble duty and responsibility as a journalist.”
“In this context, I am glad that HWPL and journalists from different countries considered the need to create a ‘Global Peace Media Network’ in order not only to inform the population about the existence of conflicts but also to outline ways to resolve them. We are confident that the content called ‘peaceinitiative.net’ will become the platform that will prepare and disseminate information on the subject of peace, which, in turn, contributes to establishing peace on our planet.” he added.
The conference concluded that the participants signed “Joint Statement on Media Cooperation for Press Freedom and Global Peace” which contained the mutual assistance and cooperation to foster global peace through sharing peace-related news, to report to help protect human rights as well as democracy, and to take joint action onto inhumane atrocities.
The host of this summit, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL participated in each session and delivered his message to the attendees, the peace-builders. “We founded HWPL for the security and peace in the world. However, HWPL cannot achieve world peace and the cessation of war by itself. Power of an individual is merely that of one person. However, if these individuals gather, we can foster great strength. If we abide by the DPCW of 10 articles 38 clauses, we can achieve peace. For this very reason, everyone should acknowledge and promote the DPCW. Let every one of you become one and achieve peace. We are one!”
Shouts for World Peace and Unification of the Korean Peninsula
A Festival of “Heavenly Culture on Earth, Onward to a World of Lasting Peace” Held in South Korea
On September 18th, leaders of the two Koreas have met in Pyongyang, North Korea, for the third meeting for inter-Korean reconciliation. With the international attention focused on the movements of the two leaders, families from around the world expecting the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula, further world peace attended a peace festival held in South Korea.
The peace festival with the theme of “Heavenly Culture on Earth, Onward to a World of Lasting Peace” was held at Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in South Korea, a spot of 2014 Asian Games. On the occasion of the 4th Anniversary of the WARP Summit, this outdoor event invited world political leaders, religious leaders, social representatives from women and youth groups, educators, media along with citizens from across the country.
Started with the trumpet sound of a marching band that signaled the era of peace has come, the daylong festival continued with the various cultural performances such as Korean folk music tradition called ‘Nongak’, 12 different peace parade, and Korean traditional dance performance.
According to the host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), the peace parade contained the message about the peaceful world that the global village dreams of achieved through religious harmony, peace education, and international law for peace.
In the parade, the performances of young people who wish to spread a culture of peace through peace education followed by the performance of urging 'OK' sign to establish international law for peace based on the DPCW.
In particular, a parade featuring the desire for peaceful reunification of two Koreas with 70 years of division attracted spectators from around the world. Collecting international supports for a unified one Korean state by peaceful means is one of the HWPL’s peace initiatives.
Following the live broadcasting of the on-the-spot participants from 97 cities in 39 countries including Germany, India, Australia, South Africa, France, El Salvador, and the USA, dignitaries of international society delivered the congratulatory messages to the audiences.
In his address, H.E. Donald Ramotar, Former President of Guyana, stressed on the collaborative efforts for the world peace as well as the reunification of Korean Peninsula. “I am particularly happy that one of the emphases of your work is to get the ordinary women and men involved in the work and struggle for world peace. Many times, we have seen that it is through our collective voices and representation of progressive leaders that changes can be made and resources can be diverted to raise the quality of life and standards of living of humankind.”
“It is most gratifying to see Korean people united in sports and families are once more able to meet and greet each other. I wish to extend my support to all of you working for this unification of this great land. I am happy to be here at this time and hope to return to see the border which now separates the two Koreas, will be turned into a line of the unity of your people and century.”
H.E. Viktor Yushchenko, Former President of Ukraine, said, “Together with you, we feel the pain of your people unfairly divided by the two great empires and pray for the unification of your country. I believe that peace is approaching every day due to the indefinite activities of Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL and his organization, as well as the genuine desire of millions of people. I sincerely thank you for the fact that your organization is carrying the peace initiatives with the concrete action plans. The DPCW is a perfect and balanced document that can be the basis of solidarity for peacekeeping in all countries of the world. I think all the leaders of the countries should support the DPCW.”
At the end of the festival, the whole stadium was filled with the lights and the chants of 100,000 attendees, shouting “We are one!” wishing for a harmonious world of peace.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, the host of this festival, delivered his thanks message to the attendees, saying “I have noticed that no one in this world wanted war, but everyone wanted peace. Hence, I am certain that peace will be achieved. Journalists, former and incumbent presidents, chief justices, university chancellors, ministers of education, presidents of parliaments, and mayors of different cities and nations have expressed their endorsement of the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW, and they are signing MOUs with HWPL. I would also like to express my gratitude to politicians, religious leaders, and heads of organizations for supporting the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula and the DPCW, and working together with HWPL shouting, “We Are One!”.