International Human Solidarity Day Brings People Together for Peace
Raffles University of Johor Bahru hosted a celebratory event for International Human Solidarity Day on December 29th and 30th at Capital City Mall in Malaysia. The event was co-hosted by international NGOs called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) to raise awareness of solidarity for peace-building. Also, the Capital City joined the event in partnership.
The event included various booths, presentations and exhibitions. The Peace Letter project, one of the most-crowded booths during the event, encouraged the participants to write hand-writing letters in support of the establishment of international law for peace.
According to the volunteer of the IPYG running the booth, the letters written by the youth all over the world have been delivered to the head of each state. He added that the contents of the letters include the voice of youth urging for the legally binding document that prevents any war-like activities based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Several schools in Malaysia including Dato Osman Awang, Mohd Khalid are known to implement peace education in their curriculum. With the aim of fostering a culture of peace through peace education, HWPL carried out a survey during the event. The participants partook in the survey that collected the demands of the citizens for implementing peace education throughout the country.
Denise, Education Consultant in Raffles University Iskandar who headed the event, said ‘I hope that this event can be an example for our students like how to organize events in future, and also to bring our students and society to a next level to more concern the world's news. And we believe this will also help our students to be more responsible to the society. ’ in regards to the expected outcome of the event.
Co-hosts IPYG and HWPL also stated ‘ First I want to thanks for all the help in this events and being our partner until the end of the event. And I do hope that we can work together next time.’.
Music Peace Festival Held in Cotabato City to Mark Bangsamoro Foundation Day
COTABATO CITY—In celebration of the Bangsamoro Foundation Day, the We Are One Music Peace Festival was held at the Cotabato State University (CSU) Gymnasium on January 26, 2023.
Around 3,000 students from different schools and youth organizations attended the music peace festival to call for the cessation of wars around the world including Ukraine and Russia.
Guest performers including famous YouTuber and singer, Mikey Bustos, hyped up the youth with their performances and stage presence. Korean ‘oppa’ singers Aiden and Jin also surprised the audiences when they sang Tagalog songs.
Bangsamoro youth sang along with Samraida, “Queen of Moro Songs" and Nisha Bedaña of Idol Philippines Season 2 Top 10, and rock ‘n rolled with local bands, The Genremen Band and The Hauz Band.
In attendance also was a peace activist who has advocated peacebuilding in Mindanao, Lee Man-hee, Chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL).
“I was here before and we walked together with students for peace. Let us all become peace messengers. So, let's achieve peace without war in our time and make it a legacy for future generations," he said.
This event was organized by Kutawato Greenland Initiatives (KGI), a non-partisan civil society organization that is committed to foster a suitable environment for sustainable development with peace, justice and equality by providing services to the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the community. It is also participated by its peace partners, HWPL, International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), BARMM Government, City Government of Cotabato and SPIN Media PH.
On the following day, the HWPL-VIP Peace Monument was unveiled at the school grounds of CSU. Dr. Sema Dilna, University President of CSU, and Dr. Ronald L. Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) both attended the unveiling ceremony and expressed their support for the continuous peace efforts being conducted for the students in the university as symbolized by the peace monument.
OFFICIAL MEETING MARKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF 2023 AS A "INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF DIALOGUE AS A GUARANTEE OF PEACE"
On January 27, 2023, an official ceremony was held at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan dedicated to the announcement of 2023 as the “International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace”. The event was held in a hybrid format under the conduction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The event was attended by representatives of the main bodies of the UN and its specialized agencies and UN member states, international and regional organizations as well as teachers and students of the higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan.
In their speeches, distinguished diplomats thanked the Government of Turkmenistan for its consistent work to promote a culture of peace throughout the world, noting that this International Year has a solid cornerstone: Dialogue for Peace, based on our common belief that true peace cannot be preserved or restored without a constructive exchange of views in good faith and that such open and sincere interactions can indeed promote mutual understanding between peoples.
2023 was declared the "International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace" in accordance with resolution 77/32 of the United Nations General Assembly by the initiative of Turkmenistan. This initiative is directly linked to the "New Peace Agenda" of the UN Secretary General for building peace, which is consonant with the initiative of Turkmenistan to promote the philosophy of "Dialogue as a guarantee of peace".
Before the draft resolution "International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023" was presented, Turkmenistan held extensive consultations with UN member countries, took into account constructive opinions and proposals. The resolution was co-sponsored by 68 member countries of the Organization.
As an official document of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, under agenda item 14 "Culture of Peace", the final document was adopted, which reflects the fundamental goals and principles of the UN Charter, including obligations to resolve disputes by peaceful means and methods..
The Global Initiative “Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace” promoted by Turkmenistan is aimed at consolidating the efforts of the international community in strengthening the traditions of peaceful and trusting coexistence of the peoples of the world, restoring values and worldviews, defining a culture of peace and trust as an integral factor in international relations.
Steadily implementing the policy of peacefulness, good-neighborliness and constructive international cooperation, Turkmenistan consistently expands the geography of interested international partnership and takes an active part in the development of balanced solutions to urgent problems of mankind.
Our national development is becoming a model development at the international level in the coordination of the domestic and foreign policies of the President, which are based on the principle of permanent neutrality.
At the end of the ceremony, the participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the Leader of the Nation and the President for pursuing a policy of peace and friendship in international relations and wished them good health and longevity, success in their noble work, for the sake of a happy life for the people, and prosperity for the country.
1st National Peace Convention Held to Promote Unity
PASAY CITY—The 1st National Peace Convention was held on January 25, 2023 with the theme, “Peace Builds One Nation, One Future: Peace is Here”, attended by over 1,500 peace advocates to build a holistic roadmap towards the attainment of national unity through peace in consonance with the Marcos Administration’s agenda.
Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Founding Chairman of Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), spearheaded the event.
"We want peace to reign in our country. We want peace to be the language everyone of us will speak and every Filipino and every foreigner will understand. Today, let's declare peace as a pandemic. Infect people not to rest in peace but to live in peace," said Dr. Adamat.
Dr. Adamat is the first Filipino recipient of the prestigious Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace awarded last year in recognition of his contributions to peace-building including the higher education
In attendance also is Chairman Lee Man-hee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a 92-year old Korean war veteran.
“Peacebuilding in Mindanao after conflict is becoming known worldwide. This is the case of transforming death into life for peace. Starting with Mindanao and the Philippines, when we unite in love, peace will come to our world. For this reason, everyone in the Philippines has to become one and work together as messengers of peace,” said Chairman Lee.
The two peace advocates first met in 2017 during HWPL World Peace Summit held in South Korea. As an expression of their shared commitment to promoting peace, CHED and HWPL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2018 to integrate peace education in the higher education curricula.
The convention commenced with the first Plenary Session followed by parallel sessions in the afternoon. The parallel sessions were conducted separately for five sector groups—lawmakers and non-government organizations, academe and youth, religious and ethnic groups, women, and media. Each session drafted a resolution which contained their solidarity with the organizers’ peace-building efforts.
The five resolutions were consolidated during the second Plenary Session to call for President Bongbong Marcos to proclaim January 24 as ‘National Peace Day’ or “Truce Day”.
The date January 24 was proposed in commemoration of a civilian-led peace agreement signed at General Santos City in 2014 to boost reconciliation among the local communities. It was proposed by Chairman Lee to mediate between the existing conflict in Mindanao at the time. The date was later declared as ‘HWPL Peace Day’ by then Maguindanao governor Toto Mangudadatu in 2015 and BARMM Chief Minister and MILF Chairman Ahod Ebrahim in 2016.
The organizers believe that the declaration of a National Peace Day shall be the mechanism by which every year, peace-related activities are observed and celebrated across the country.
Peace Monument Established in Manila to Support Sustainable Peace
MANILA—On January 24, 2023, a peace monument was unveiled at Plaza Asuncion in Malate in support for cessation of war and adherence to peace. It is the first of its kind to be established at the national capital as well as the regional center of the National Capital Region.
The project was spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Manila Metro (RCMM), in collaboration with a South Korea-based organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). Since their partnership in 2021, the two organizations have collaborated on various peace activities and volunteer projects for sustainable peace in the Philippines.
Bishop Justice Raoul Victorino (Ret.), Dean of the Philippine Christian University-College of Law and Chairman of Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution from the Rotary Club of Manila Metro, said, “These monuments are not just pieces of adorned stones. Monuments serve as a constant reminder of our efforts and our commitment to reach world peace.”
In attendance also is HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee from South Korea who is visiting the Philippines for the 11th time. He said, “As I have toured the world 32 times and talked about the cessation of war as we have to leave a land of peace as a legacy for the future generation, and this country, the Philippines, is showing this. Let’s do everything we can to do the work of peace.”
The landmark, the 11th peace monument in the Philippines, also serves as an expression of support for the “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War” (DPCW), drafted by international experts in law to advocate peacebuilding efforts by citizens and governments. The DPCW supports the President’s Executive Order No. 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.
A resolution to support DPCW was signed and adopted by the City Council of Manila and its regular session on December 20, 2022. The turn-over of this document was held right before the peace monument was unveiled.
Manila Vice Mayor John Marvin Nieto expressed his support for peace-building, "The city government of Manila is advocating peaceful resolution in every concern of our citizens… We are one with you in promoting peace. Without peace, we will never attain the levels of trust, cooperation and inclusiveness which are essential for all of us… Let peace reign in our society.”
RCMM and HWPL commit to pursue peace works together through education, volunteerism projects and various activities for the youth.
Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November)
This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we would like to join hands with survivors, activists, decision-makers, and people from every walk of life to take a bold stand against this global scourge.
Stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Across the world, as well as in Georgia, violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive and latent human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.
A world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped is possible. It can and must be prevented.
As highlighted in the GREVIO baseline report on Georgia published on 22/11/2022, over the past decade, Georgia has made significant progress towards effectively addressing the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls by putting in place a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, producing data and strengthening institutions to effectively enforce the laws. Moreover, specialized services for survivors such as shelters, crisis centres and a hotline have been created, and law enforcement has been specialized to handle cases in a more sensitive and qualified manner. Importantly, there have been positive shifts in public perceptions and an increase in survivors’ trust in the justice system and services.
Despite these significant measures taken to tackle gender-based violence in Georgia, women continue to die as a result of these atrocious crimes. Often, femicide represents the continuum of other forms of violence experienced by women and girls. Sexual violence also persists in Georgia, with an extremely low number of reporting and respective cases reaching the courts. The persistent patriarchal norms and deeply entrenched stereotypes in Georgian society tend to blame victims and condone violence against women and girls.
We call for the strengthening of a holistic national framework to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls in Georgia. Efforts should be translated into concrete actions through the necessary legislative measures by, inter alia, amending the definition of rape in the Criminal Code of Georgia to ensure compliance with the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and other international standards, as well as by exercising due diligence to prevent (including through integrating the issue into the general education programmes), investigate, punish, and provide reparation for acts of violence. Building and strengthening an enabling environment for women’s economic, political, and social empowerment is paramount.
Since everyone has a pivotal role to play in tackling violence against women and girls, we remain steadfast in our determination to support the Government of Georgia, civil society, and other partners to ensure that the inalienable right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is observed and enjoyed for the benefit of everyone.