Inter-continental Conference for Culture of Peace through Education Will Be Held Online
An inter-continental online peace conference will be held on January 24th, 2021, in attendance with about 2,000 participants from 17 countries, including the Philippines, India, Australia, and South Korea.
The host of this conference is a Korea-based international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) affiliated with the UN DGC and the UN ECOSOC.
This virtual peace conference is organized in commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day which was designated by the Province of Maguindanao in the Philippines to celebrate the peace agreement in Mindanao on January 24th in 2014.
The agreement was suggested by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL and signed by government, religious and civil society leaders to engage in collaboration of peacebuilding efforts to end the decades-long conflict.
Since then, the annual commemorative event such as a grand peace festival, international peace walks, exhibitions of peace in local museums, and inter-faith conferences has taken place to celebrate the peace agreement and raise awareness of peace among citizens in the region.
The event has discussed the history, current issues, and plans for long-term peace in Mindanao as a set of peacebuilding models based on the cooperation of actors in different fields with events that raised awareness of the need for securing sustainable peace.
With the theme of "The Role of Peace Education in Building a Peaceful World”, this year’s celebration, in line with the International Day of Education, aims to establish a global platform for peace educators to implement peace education in the educational system of each country.
Although the event is open online this year due to the COVID-19, more than 2,000 participants, including politicians, religious leaders, social figures, and educators are expected to attend.
The inter-continental conference will include the graduation of peace education students, the peace pledge ceremony, and various addresses regarding the value of peace education.
An official of HWPL said, “Through the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day, we aim to raise awareness of the importance of peace education and culture of peace. It will be an opportunity to revitalize people around the world who are currently experiencing various violence and conflicts, especially since the onset of COVID 19, with a hope and spirit of peace.”
Anyone interested in the event can join by signing up at https://tinyurl.com/HWPLPeaceDayZoomReg until the 23rd of January. The event will be live-streamed through https://www.facebook.com/hwplph/ from 16:00 (KST) on the day of the event.
A Recent Webinar Highlights Human Rights Violations to be Addressed in Egypt
On March 6th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) organized a webinar in Egypt to exchange ideas to address rampant human rights violations resulting from discrimination of minority religious groups during the pandemic.
Prolonged corona crisis and the internal disputes left the Egypt vulnerable to abuse and human rights violations. UN and EU also stressed the necessity of interventions to provide humanitarian assistance. The webinar invited lawyers and the heads of human rights and youth organizations to discuss the work of peace even in the pandemic situation and pave the ways to ease the tense atmosphere of the country.
"Since religious discrimination and conflict are heightened as the global crisis, causing pain and death, it should be changed so that people don’t consider these human rights issues as a personal matter and can make a society where individuals could enjoy human dignity and equality with their own identity." Hon. Adly Hussein, President of the Court of Appeal of Cairo stressed the necessity of peace activities in protecting human rights.
Mr. Tharwat Gaid Salama Gaballa, President from Horus foundation also stressed the necessity of peace activities for the protection of human rights and decrease the hatred crimes, “Thus, all activities performed last year focused on quarantine measures to carry out various activities in the post-corona era in the future, but in 2021 and all the future to come, we hope all physical and emotional obstacles posed by Corona are resolved and we can do practical activities to get closer to peace.”
When the basic human rights are violated, it deters individuals from playing contributing roles in a society. It further pushes people to neglect the importance of national or global peace which, in return, could put their future at greater risks. Growing a number of socially wounded people in a society and ignoring human rights abuse normally hinder the country from building a peaceful and sound society.
HWPL promotes the respect for human rights through a series of webinars with personnel from civil society and advances toward realizing sustainable peace development. Hence, after the webinar, HWPL plans to regularly hold online discussions to further address the human rights issues in the Middle East.
Press-release of the HWPL
A NUMBER OF BILATERAL DOCUMENT WERE SIGNED WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “TURKMENISTAN AND THE UNITED NATIONS: COOPERATION FOR PEACE AND TRUST”
Today, on March 2, the International Conference “Turkmenistan and the United Nations: Cooperation for Peace and Trust” on the occasion of
the 29th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s UN membership, has started in the MFA of Turkmenistan.
Within the framework of the event online ceremony of signing the bilateral documents was held. In particular, the following documents were signed: Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Population Fund on Co-Financing, as well as Work Plan between the Ministry of Sport and Youth Policy of Turkmenistan and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) within the framework of the project “Strengthening mechanisms of youth participation in the implementation of the national youth policy and advancement of gender equality” for 2021.
Then Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov handed over to the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan Christine Weigand the Note verbale of the MFA of Turkmenistan officially announcing on behalf of the Government of Turkmenistan about the Resolution of the President of Turkmenistan on the approval of the procedure for visa-free entry to Turkmenistan of foreign citizens with UN passports.
As is known, that Resolution had been signed by the President of Turkmenistan on the 28th of February 2021, according to which, starting from March 2 this year, foreign citizens holding UN passports are allowed to come to Turkmenistan, stay in the country, leave it, and cross the territory of Turkmenistan in transit without visa.
Besides that, the document prescribed those foreign citizens – officers of the UN or its specialized structures, accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, as well as their family members, are exempted from obtaining visa during the period of work in Turkmenistan.
The adoption of this Resolution is in line with the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
HWPL Hosts ‘HWPL Peace Education Development Forum in Africa’
On February 6th, Heavenly Culture World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL) hosted a HWPL Peace Education Development Forum in Africa. 500 people from 24 countries in the sectors of African national education ministries, UNESCO national committee, MOU-signed schools and organizations participated to discuss ‘the Roles and Cooperation of Educations in the Post-COVID-19 Era.’
The host organization, HWPL, is promoting international projects in 25 countries to develop long-term peacebuilding in Africa based on the its initiative ‘Spreading a Culture of Peace’ also proposed by the United Nations resolution.
The forum highlighted the necessity of developing and applying a new educational policy to stop the disparities in education and human right violations such as sexual exploitation of children and women rampant in Africa during COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, speakers shared the examples of implementing HWPL Peace education curricula in their classrooms and reaffirmed the solidarity in promoting peace as educators in Africa.
A member of the University of Zambia Youths of United Nations Association(UNZAYUNA) as well as the case presenter of HWPL Peace Education, Grace Mutale highlighted the importance of HWPL Peace Education, “Through HWPL Peace Education, I realized that I am the answer to realizing peace and determined to take part in peace work.”
Deputy Director of Ministry of Education Kenya, Science and Technology, Bartholomew Lumbasi Wanikina said “Peace Education is important since through the teachers, children able to build and sustainable peace in their respective families, friends, community, workplace, and country. Therefore, as educators, we must disseminate the message of peace so that children can have peace and have a sustainable peace,” emphasizing the responsibility and the role of educators in building sustainable peace.
General Secretary, Cote d’lvoire National Commission for UNESCO, SORO N’ golo Aboudo said, “We would like to have an associated school so that this culture of peace program is taught in these schools, and that the children are really aware about the issue of peace and especially the issue of nonviolence.”
During the forum, HWPL signed a MOA(‘Memorandum of Agreement’) with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Kenya, and signed Peace Academy MOUs(‘Memorandum of Understanding) with 13 schools. The department of peace education will work closely with peace academies to appoint and train on-and offline peace educators and conduct pilot classes on the value of peace.
Press-release of the HWPL
Inter-continental Online Conference to Discuss the Role of Peace Education
On January 24th, over 2,400 pre-registered attendees from 70 countries, including the Philippines, the U.S.A, Germany, South Africa, China, and South Korea, joined the online inter-continental peace conference to discuss the role of peace education.
The conference was organized by a Korea-based international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN DGC and the UN ECOSOC in celebration of the 7th Anniversary of the January 24 HWPL Peace Day.
The January 24 HWPL Peace Day declared by the Province of Maguindanao in the Philippines has been commemorated annually since the Mindanao Peace Agreement was made by the local government and civil society leaders on January 24th, 2014.
The Peace Day was named after HWPL since the agreement was suggested by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, known as a Korean war veteran, to overcome the 50 years of conflict that resulted in approximately 120,000 victims in the region.
With the theme, "The Role of Peace Education in Building a Peaceful World”, the celebration of this year aimed to raise awareness of peace education around the world and establish a global platform for peace educators to implement peace education in the educational system of each country.
Followed by the congratulatory messages from social, educational, religious, and political figures including President of Court of Appeal of Cairo, Former President of the UN Human Rights Council, Former Adviser of the Ministry of Education of Guatemala, Archbishop Emeritus of Davao Archdiocese of the Philippines, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL delivered his commemorative message.
“Today, Mindanao is no longer a place of conflict; rather, it has become a model of peace to which the world looks. Once, the people of this region used to point guns at each other—now, they share food while sitting at the same table, despite their differences in religion and ideologies. Students who were once being trained to kill are now learning the precious value of life and peace through HWPL Peace Education,” he said.
Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines(CHED), who has made an effort to implement HWPL Peace Education by integrating peace education into the relevant higher education curricula, addressed the value of HWPL Peace Day and the progress of the peace education in the Philippines.
“Youth will fight for peace but are not given yet enough skills, understanding, or opportunity to talk for peace. I wholeheartedly support HWPL Peace Education. It raises the awareness for our youth to become peacemakers - the much-needed values of the youth. Future leaders must effect change for the world's positive transformation. Our children need to be educated on how peacebuilding works effectively. Through education, the building of a truly peaceful world can one day become a reality.”
HWPL Peace Education consisting of 12 lessons aims to train the educators and students with the value of peace by raising awareness of the importance of fostering a culture of peace. Since 2016, more than 200 educational institutions in 34 countries, including India, Israel, and the Philippines, have been designated as HWPL Peace Academies, and Ministries of Education from 9 countries have signed MOAs for implementation of peace education.
Ms. Firoza Muradi, an educator from Afghanistan, said, “The Mindanao Peace Agreement in 2014 became a great model for countries like Afghanistan who experience wars and conflicts. I hope that the miracle of peace in Mindanao will happen in Afghanistan, and the beginning is from peace education. Through HWPL Peace Education, students seek answers to achieve peace in various ways, including harmony with nature, the value of cooperation, and how to protect their rights. I believe all of my students receiving peace education will grow up to be a peace messenger.”
At the event, the official of HWPL presented the plan for 2021 such as Online Peace Educator Training Program, Peace Education Volunteering Program, and Online Youth Peace Love Exchange Project that mostly designed as online programs according to the pandemic situation.
Press-release of HWPL
Religions united to pray for peace and care for one another in the pandemic crisis
While national measures limiting social activities bring out changes of daily routine due to the pandemic, efforts to understand spiritually about life facing diseases and related social changes are underway across religion.
On December 14, 560 representatives from 31 religions in 80 countries including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and Sikhism joined in an online gathering named “HWPL End-of-year Religious Leaders’ Gathering: United Hopes & Prayers for a Brighter 2021” to express words of consolation to humanity and reaffirm inter-religious commitment to and dialogue for peace.
11 religious leaders representing different religions prayed for wisdom and solution to the multifarious life patterns affected by the current COVID-19 crisis. The video messages from religious leaders displayed their support for the role of religion in countering anti-peace movements such as discrimination, hatred and violence that can be exacerbated during the pandemic.
During the prayer, Rev. Acharya Prem Shankaranand Tirth, Hindu High Priest of Shree Geeta Ashram of Delhi, said, “For our colleagues, families of peace, let us continue endeavor of world peace. During this pandemic, we must realize the value of one another in that we all coexist with the nature and other creations. We in the human society must act as one and should exist in peace, harmony and love.”
“I remember sitting at my desk and finding out about the first infection in my own country. I prayed, asking a lot of questions. Many of my peers turned back to scripture in these times to seek answers about the Creator God, His plan, His will and what He wants us to focus on due to these events,” said Ms. Nandi Bester, manager of International Youth Peace Group in South Africa.
“Today we may be able to solve the problem of COVID-19, but another disease will come. When winter is coming, we can't stop it but can cover ourselves and protect ourselves. That's what we can do when there is challenging issue of bad health and adversities coming in life. We should maintain patience and learn the art of tolerance and tolerate the difficulty and suffering that is coming upon us,” said Rev. Hare Krsna Das, Priest of ISKCON, Rishikesh, India.
“Regarding the question about how human society should understand why suffering such as COVID-19 occurs, we found that all religions are searching for an answer. In the process, those participating in this event, transcending time difference, pray for the safety of all regardless of their faiths. This is the clear difference from the time before the pandemic when news of conflict was filled with intolerance against groups from different backgrounds. In this respect, it has proved the possibility that humanity in a crisis can be united and one in peace beyond religion,” said a HWPL official.
The organizer HWPL is an NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and had led national plasma donation from over 3,700 people in South Korea who recovered from COVID-19 to develop a cure throughout this year.
[Attachment1] Key Attendance List
Mr. Bhupinder Singh
Guru Teg Bahadar Jalandhar
All-Ukrainian Council of Religious Associations
Pradyumna Shah Singh
Religious Studies, Punjabi University
International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
Hare Krsna Das
The Orthodox Church
Constantin Cârlan Ungureanu
Biserica “Sfântul Ştefan”
Oeun Sam Art
Supreme Patriarch's Cabinet
Personal Assistant to The Great Supreme Patriarch
Agha Yahya Khan
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Gothenburg Mosque
United States of America
The Hindu Temple of Metropolitan Washington
United States of America
Good field church
Press-release of HWPL