Together For Peace: the WARP Summit 2018

Published in World
Monday, 03 September 2018 18:05

Collaboration for Peace Development:
Building a Peace Community through the DPCW

In today’s era with the need for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and international cooperation for world peace, a summit under the theme of “Collaboration for Peace Development” will be held in South Korea from the 17th to the 19th of September to discuss the role each sector of society plays in the achievement of peace.
Around 1,000 experts in various fields from around the world with a passionate heart for peace will be gathered in South Korea and participate in the 4th Annual Commemoration of the September 18th World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit hosted by HWPL.

During the 3 days of the 4th Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit 12 formal meetings and 3 informal meetings, for a total of 15 conferences, along with a press conference will be held. The main agenda of these meetings will be the introduction of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to the United Nations (UN) as a binding resolution and the promotion of international cooperation among individuals from all levels and sectors of society for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula through the DPCW. In addition, plans will be discussed and established regarding how to draw support from current heads of state for the introduction of the DPCW as a UN resolution.

In order to achieve these objectives, political leaders, religious leaders, legal experts, education professionals, heads of international organizations, leaders of youth and women’s organizations and civil society actors from over 100 countries around the world will attend the meetings and discuss peace projects based on the DPCW as well as concrete methods to implement them.

HWPL’s Answer for the Realization of Peace: Law for Peace, Alliance of Religions, Peace Education

Political leaders, including former and current heads of state, ministers, national assembly speakers and Supreme Court justices, together with HWPL are currently making practical efforts towards the enactment of an international law for peace through the introduction of the DPCW to the UN. At this year’s international law session, high-ranking officials and the HWPL international law advisory committee will create concrete measures to advance the process of the realization of the implementation of an international law for peace. 

Last year the world’s top religious leaders held a meeting to discuss the elimination of pain and suffering caused by religious conflict and the creation of peace between religions. There will be 13 members in attendance for the Alliance of Religions for Peace Meeting and plans are made to come together and find a trustworthy scripture that will lead to the alliance of religions. In addition, around 200 religious leaders from both Korea and abroad will share their experiences of participating in the WARP Office meetings and the effectiveness of their current strategies and efforts, as well as make a pledge to unite their religions together under the truth.
HWPL’s peace education is already receiving more attention and support as one of the essential pillars of achieving peace. In light of this, leaders in the ministries of education and other education professionals from many countries around the world will gather at the Peace Education conference to share about the best practices and methods of implementing peace education into current curriculums. Also, they will make plans to take steps to further develop the establishment of HWPL peace education within schools based on the 12 HWPL textbooks that have recently been completed.

Spreading the News of Peace: Media, Youth, Women

There are some individuals who are always at the forefront in spreading the news of HWPL around the world so that more people can participate in the peace projects and other activities of HWPL. They are the world’s journalists. They are currently working to strengthen cooperation among all journalists of the world so that the news of peace can be spread even more effectively in terms of both superior quality and quantity. During the World Peace Press Network Conference, journalists from each country will cooperate and join the Peace Initiative in order to seek a solution for peace that will be able to overcome the conflicts and turmoil in their respective countries. 

Youth and Women’s organizations have become one with the International Youth Peace Group (IPYG) and the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) in order to advocate for the DPCW to become a legally binding international instrument through the Legislate Peace Campaign. During this year’s meeting the youth and women will share the results and successes of the peace activities held throughout the previous year as well as discuss ways to further develop and sustain these activities in a more effective manner.
As peace based on the principles of the DPCW is being witnessed in various cities around the world, more and more people are joining in the peace projects of HWPL. In particular, two countries in Africa, Swaziland and Seychelles, have made a national declaration of their support for the DPCW and now advocate for its introduction as a resolution at the UN. The number of countries supporting the DPCW is expected to expand significantly following the 4th Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit.

The ultimate goal of HWPL and the WARP Summit is to establish sustainable peace in the world and leave it as a legacy for future generations. The 4th Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit is a meaningful time when people from all around the world, regardless of nationality, status and religion, can come together and form a peace network guided by the core principles of the DPCW in order to further develop action plans for peace and establish peace in their respective locations.

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    On February 15, a grand peace festival under the theme of “We are One for Peace to Attain Sustainable Development” was held with 30,000 participants in the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan in order to forge international peace solidarity.

    This festival was co-organized by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a UN-affiliated NGO headquartered in South Korea, and Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), a non-profit corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines.

    The event was attended by social, educational, and political figures such as governors, 11 Davao chiefs, presidents of 16 universities, professors, students, citizens, and media. In the opening ceremony, the students associated in 13 universities performed parades and performances for the festival.

    Hon. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Governor of the province of Bulacan, delivered his welcoming message by saying “I thank all those who made this peace rally together and will devote all my best efforts to serve you, the heroes of peace, to achieve peace.”

    In his speech, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL stressed on the importance of uniting one as we are all peace messengers regardless of religion and nationality. He also urged for collective efforts of all members of society to establish sustainable development and peace secured by international law for peace. “Every individual of the family of the global village born in this era should become a messenger of peace to end the war and make sustainable peace a legacy for future generations,” Mr. Lee said.

    As a part of combined endeavor for the establishment of international law for peace, Director of International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), Mr. Chung Young Min, encouraged the participants to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to develop it into a legally binding framework.

    The DPCW was drafted by the collaboration of international law experts and HWPL in search of a resolution to build sustainable peace in the global society. It includes provisions to cease war-related actions and achieve peace such as respect on international law, prohibition of the use of force, peaceful dispute settlement, ethnic/religious harmony, and spreading a culture of peace.

    According to organizers, this festival was the very result of a strategic partnership between HWPL and VIP to seek international cooperation for peacebuilding from civil society groups in the Philippines and South Korea through education and campaigns as a cultural approach. In their partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), the two organizations planned to expand the work of peace starting with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) and also established January 24th as ‘Day of Peace’ in support of the DPCW.

    Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as well as Chairman of VIP, expressed the expectation on the further partnership to promote peace education and projects for a culture of peace by saying “The value of our organization, so as this MoA, is to transform the Philippines into a society where people will live in harmony, respect each other to attain sustainable development.”

    The event concluded with a signing ceremony of “Philippine Peace Declaration” as a common standard protocol to achieve national and global peace by abhorring all forms of armed conflicts, supporting all unification efforts, and educating the respect, love, and understanding.

  • North and South, Let's Be "Us" Again

    Korean youth gathered to end the decades-long division of the peninsula

    The US-North Korea talks, scheduled to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, is expected to provide an important turning point for economic and security on the Korean peninsula. As the dialogue channels on the inter-Korean issue have been expanded since 2018, the issue of peace and reunification has become global attention and a major agenda of Korean society.

    In search of the role of civil society to create a unified Korea with peaceful means, an inauguration of the <North and South, Let's Be "Us" Again> with the aim of raising the awareness of peace to Korean youths was held with 1,000 participants at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea on February 9th.

    The event is held under the theme of “Youth pictures the peaceful future for the Korean peninsula”. The first half of the event was dedicated to an opening ceremony, congratulatory speech, and a series of the lecture while the second half was dedicated to the inauguration ceremony, joint statement presentation followed by the special performance.

    At a congratulatory speech, Prof. Chang Ho-Kwon, invited professor at Hanshin University, said, "By showing public support for unification of Korea through collaborative efforts of civil society and subsequent government capabilities, the gate of unification will be closer. There is no chance for a nation without history and culture. We take the lead in unification issues to leave a legacy for future generations, which can be attained by participation in IPYG peace projects."

    Mr. Ahn Chan-Il, the President of the World Institute for North Korea Studies, gave a lecture on the recent change of North Korea and the potential positive effect on the unification. "The true meaning of cessation of the Korean War is unification. When today's Korean youth who will lead the time of reunification prepares it with aspiration and achieve it in 20 years, Korea can stand firm in the global community,” said Mr. Ahn.

    The host organization, International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), is a member organization of HWPL, an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC. IPYG initiated its peace activities with the aim of realizing world peace by the voice of youth themselves, the victims of the war, and has been carrying out various peace campaign around the world in cooperation with 851 youth organizations in 111 countries.

    Regarding this youth campaign, IPYG explains that the youth of the Korean peninsula will voice to solve the problem of division and unification because the war threats on the Korean peninsula, which has been continuing since the division, can no longer be overlooked.

    Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL delivered the message encouraging the youth’s willingness on a long-awaited reunion by saying "The desire for unification is the same voice of peace. There should have no more wars in our globe. Rather than pointing each other with guns, youth should be the front to lead the way to peace."

    "I think this is a gradual process to create an environment for peace and unification empowered by youth and citizens. Through this campaign, I hope that it can contribute to the better future of peace in Korea and the world," said Ms. May Hwang, a member of IPYG.

    <North and South, Let's Be "Us" Again> is a youth-led campaign where the youth gather to advance ideas into practical action plans, and further nationwide reunification movement by collaborating with the civil societies. Starting with the inauguration ceremony on February 9th, it will be continued for 4 weeks with 3.1 commemorative events and the reunification campaign across the country.

  • “Only the educated, motivated and self-sufficient generations will bring progress and development to our country” states Prime Minister of Georgia

    "We announced a comprehensive reform of the education system several months ago at Ikalto Academy and declared the sector as a strategic priority for the development and advancement of the country.

    We all agree that education and science is a foundation for the future of our country. Today, when Georgia aspires to regain its place in the European family, significance of education is once again becoming crucial along with the introduction of high, European standard of education.

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    Only the educated, motivated and self-sufficient generations will bring progress and development to our country.

    Years back, when I was a Minister of Finance of Georgia, I stated at multiple occasions that it is essential for the state to invest heavily in the education sector. It is exactly what our team in the Government of Georgia prioritizes. We aim to reach at least 10-12 percent of the overall economy to be contributed by the education sector. We divided the reform of education system into phases and ultimately, when we complete all of them - and I pledge that we will indeed complete all the phases - education sector will dominate in our economy, which will contribute at least 10-12 percent in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    This reform, similar to any change and novelty, has its supporters and antagonists. I am confident that we both - and in fact all of us - share one goal to succeed in having a streamlined and unsurpassed education system in the country. We will by all means achieve the best results and it will be our response to sceptics.

    All our efforts are targeted at the satisfaction of public demand and achievement of results as efficiently as possible.

    Today, we are presenting the education reform to general public and believe that it is fully attuned and accurately reflects our reality and challenges that we have in the education system. Reform covers all five tiers of education: early childhood and pre-school, general schooling, vocational, higher and science.

    A number of tangible steps have been made already in many directions and foundation has been made to significant developments. Nevertheless, I need to sincerely confess that problems in the education system and science are still a lot and it is impossible to overcome these challenges without radical adjustments. Deficit was created in the education sector of the country over years, which needs to be addresses immediately. The most pressing challenge is that economic development has been distanced from education and science. It is the greatest blow on our economic potential. These two directions are decisive in the Development Strategy of Georgia. Both of them together should ensure the accelerated development of our country, economic advancement and reform in the education sector. We may deem it as a common strategy consisting of two components.

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    We have already identified the professions, which are in great shortage currently and will be in high demand in our national economy in the nearest future.

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    Presented reform implies the development of competitive professionals equipped with advanced knowledge and skills, oriented at long-term development. Modern world, new technologies and fast pace of changes requires humans to have new, diverse skills, practical thinking and ability to process information and quickly respond to problems, along with logical thinking. Reform has been developed with all these attitudes, aims and goals. We are presenting it to general public today. Methodology of the education sector reform and new approaches envisage a system that zooms down to an individual child, adolescent, youth and teacher.

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    I am confident that implementation of this reform will lead to a breakthrough in the education system and we will succeed in advancing Georgia to a new level of development. We will have competitive generations equipped with advanced knowledge, who will make their due contribution to the democratic and economic transformation of Georgia. That is how we will overcome poverty, reach welfare and join a group of advanced, developed countries by succeeding in the creation of a unified, strong and European state."

  • 100 civil society groups in South Korea launch protest against the established Christian-political association

    Calling on “the shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea for its corruption and anti-social controversies”

    On 27 January, 30,000 citizens and 100 civil society groups gathered for a demonstration against a series of social disturbance by a Korean Christian complex at Gwangwhamun Square in Seoul, where symbolic political and social movements are run, including the recent democratic Candlelight Revolution.  

    “Global Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition to Call for the Shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK)”, a newly founded federation of 100 civil society groups from the field of women, youth and religions, held “Press Conference and Rally to Call for the Shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), an Anti-Nation, Anti-Society, Anti-Religion, and Anti-Peace Organization.”

    According to the Coalition, this event was organized “to disclose the reality of the CCK as a representative Christian majority receiving an indulgence for itself from committing anti-social crimes.”

    “The CCK originates its identity from the Presbyterian Church that led worship for shrine and emperor under the Japanese colonial times. For the last 10 years, it has been reported that 12,000 Christian pastors have been convicted of criminal activities including murder, sexual assault, and frauds,” said Mr. Shin Chang Kim, Secretary General of the Coalition.

    “The CCK’s orientation started from its foundation when it was created to support the military dictatorship back in the 1960s. This alliance between politics and Christianity led to pastors free from ethical and civic responsibility. We have seen many of them exchange their pastorship with money and coercive conversion for their profit, many of which had been silenced in media because of its power,” added Mr. Kim.

    In the official statement, it said, “In case of the rise of denominations that do not belong to the CCK, fake news is produced to judge them as “cult”. Also, women are targeted to force them to convert while they are confined. The recent death of two women in the coercive conversion shows how the life of citizens and human rights are at risk before the CCK.”

    In the name of participating organizations, the Coalition called on “enactment of a special law against coercive conversion programs to enhance freedom of religion.” The Coalition includes International Women’s Peace Human Rights Commission, Christian Association for Anti-Corruption National Movement, IPYG Youth’s Human Rights Committee, and World Buddhist Summit.

  • Georgia: Winners of ‘EU Prize for Peace Journalism’ for 2018 are announced

    On 29 January, the EU Delegation to Georgia and the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) held an award ceremony for the winners of the ‘EU Prize for Journalism 2018’ in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

    The EU Delegation awarded winners in six categories covering print, broadcast, online, and photo journalism. The winners of the EU Prize for Journalism 2018 received a cash prize of approximately 3800 GEL (€1250) each.

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    This year’s winner is journalist Nika Gablishvili from DIA TV, Gori. The prize will give him the opportunity to participate in a one-month fellowship at the headquarters of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London.

    The ‘EU Prize for Journalism’ was launched in 2012 by the EU Delegation and is the first of its kind in Georgia. The prize recognises works, which have contributed to promoting a better understanding of the values of the EU, and reflect high standards of journalistic ethics and professionalism. The EUMM ‘Special Prize for Peace Journalism’ was introduced in 2013.

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