HWPL Discusses the Way to Monitor Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa
On 28th August, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held “2021 MENA Webinar: Monitoring Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa” to present human rights violence cases throughout the region and find ways to a constant human rights watch. It especially highlighted cases of the vulnerable and minor social group falsely blamed on being a perpetrator of Covid 19.
Honorable. Essam Shiha, chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) shared human rights issues in the Middle East during the pandemic like inadequate healthcare to detainees, vaccination inequality to Palestinians, and suggested a role of all levels of society to build more resilient societies.
And Mr. Mogues Worku, Executive Director of Lem Ethiopia stressed the necessity of education to minimize the gap between the poor and the “Violation of human rights should be stopped be it at national or international level for peace and security of the planet. Education that coined respecting human dignity and human rights should be applied from the lower to the higher level of education system to let the coming generations enjoy peace and security”.
HWPL has stressed the role of states and civil society to ease the tension caused by the pandemic. To find solutions to protecting from violence, HWPL has endorsed international cooperation for sustainable development and raising awareness of peace building, including voluntary work, webinars on human rights in the Middle East, and peace education for students and citizens. Its recent joint statement on Myanmar’s human rights crisis advocated seeking peaceful solutions without armed conflict.
Following this event, there will be the 7th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit for peace and the cessation of war sharing results of a year that help emphasizing the role of civil society to build sustainable peace in a pandemic-hit new normal like this event.
Press-release of the HWPL
TALKS WITH THE REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UN OHCHR FOR CENTRAL ASIA
On November 3, 2021, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev met with the Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia, Ryszard Komenda, via videoconference.
Dmitry Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, also took part in the meeting.
During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN specialized agencies on human rights. There was a constructive exchange of views on strengthening and protection of human rights, including implementation of the obligations and provisions of the human rights conventions in which Turkmenistan takes part.
Noting Turkmenistan's achievements in the field of human rights, the sides discussed procedures for the practical implementation of humanitarian standards in national legislation.
As is known, Turkmenistan, consistently fulfilling its obligations in the humanitarian sphere, has acceded to most UN conventions, covenants and protocols on human rights. The protection of human rights and gender development issues are reflected in the national programs of socio-economic development of Turkmenistan.
The sides also discussed the activities of the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law. In this regard, the sides considered the key areas of implementation of the Joint Action Plan of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law and of the United Nations (UN) Mission in Turkmenistan for the second half of 2021.
Regular contacts between the Government of Turkmenistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the coordination of joint projects and the organization of visits to Turkmenistan by ILO experts were emphasized.
During the talks, gratitude was expressed to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia for organizing and conducting meetings related to the provision of technical assistance and coordination of activities in the implementation of UN projects on human rights.
Connection to the Real World: Revelation is Revealed
Amid the rise of uncertainty about the present and future of humanity triggered by the pandemic, COVID misinformation, including the lack of trust in the medical field and misunderstanding in the religious world, increases various concerns in daily life.
In the United States, rumors are circulating that the COVID vaccine is the “mark of the beast.” This apocalyptic biblical term is from Revelation 13 and is usually interpreted as being attached to Satan and subsequently diverging from God. Additionally, people regardless of religious background frequently encounter the question – does the COVID-19 signify “the end of the earth?”
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, announced that it will hold a round of weekly seminars titled, “Testimony on Prophecy and Fulfillment of Revelation, God's New Covenant” from October 18th to December 27th.
The seminars, broadcasting live on YouTube, will provide explanation of prophecies recorded from every chapter of Revelation based on the 5W1H (who, what, when, where, why, how) method. The lecturers include Chairman Lee Man-hee, who has said that he is a witness who saw and heard all the events of the book physically fulfilled in the real world (Revelation 22:16).
Previously, the SCJ Word Seminar held in August attracted 1,700 pastors and 28,000 people globally. “The number of participants at this time reflects their interest and effort to understand the words of Revelation consistently with the words of the rest of the books of the Bible,” said Mr. Kim Shin-chang, General Director of the International Mission Department of Shincheonji Church.
The Shincheonji Church also added that the book of Revelation is written in parables and has not been explained through the real world, but instead only through human thoughts and non-biblical speculative theories which has misguided believers and instigated social disorder. The church also emphasizes that understanding the true meaning of the book of Revelation is to see how the prophecies expressed in parables have been physically fulfilled in the world today according to the Bible.
(Seminar on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/ShincheonjiChurchofJesus)
World Peace Summit Calling for Concerted Action for Sustainable Peace in the New Normal Era
On September 18th, 2021, the 7th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit was held online. This year's event dealt with the progress of international efforts and the plans to promote the peace agenda in the 'New Normal' era shifting from the post-Covid to the with-Covid.
The organizer of the event, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), has been conducting citizen-centered peacebuilding activities to create “a culture of peace” advocated by the UN and international community to set up an environment of peaceful coexistence since the World Peace Summit in 2014.
This event presented the concerted action for sustainable peace with cases from various sectors such as international law, religion, education, and the media. Also, it addressed international cooperation to overcome the current crisis that threatens the coexistence and harmony of mankind, which has come to the fore during the pandemic.
Peacebuilding efforts led by HWPL to establish legal foundations and international norms for peace through connecting global actors are embodied with its effort to advocate the international law for peace by drafting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
“The DPCW Handbook enables us to systematically teach international law and the essence of peace to these students and others. It enables them to become lecturers in the following course,” said Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chief Advisor of Asian Association of Law Professors (AALP) as well as Former Chair of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (NHRC-BD), highlighting the need to encourage public discourse on peacebuilding by academia.
In addition to the basic principles of peace assigned to nations to uphold, the DPCW has presented principles that should be dealt with in the present era, such as prohibiting the use of force, fostering religious freedom, and civic participation to spread a culture of peace. In particular, it states that efforts for peace come from all members of the global society by identifying not only nation-states but also international organizations and all citizens as the main actors of building peace.
“We know that it will be hard to achieve peace if we are not all working for it. This is why we need to encourage children, the youth, and adults to prevent verbal abuse and work towards reducing inequalities and eradicating disparities to achieve a more equitable, stable, and peaceful world,” said Former President of Ecuador, Dr. Rosalia Arteaga Serrano.
Hon. Octavia Alfred, Minister of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training, and National Excellence of Dominica, said that the students learn the necessity of mutual coexistence and cooperation through HWPL peace education and pass on to their friends, parents, and teachers what they have learned. She addressed it also deals with concepts that can develop psychosocial competency skills, such as respect for diversity, order, conflict resolution, and negotiation, so it is being used for teacher's training.
“Our objective is to end wars in the global village and establish peace and make it a permanent legacy for future generations. Without peace, everything that we managed to build would be destroyed. … We should not let this happen. So, to achieve peace, shouldn’t we achieve our objective with the same spirit?” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at the event.
Press-release of the HWPL
HWPL Civilian Peace Agreement Creates an Atmosphere of Peace in Mindanao
“Land of Changes” – After the Civilian Peace Agreement in Mindanao
On 24 January 2014, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) achieved peace to show as proof of their sincerity in their peace work to strive for sustainable peace through peace education and peace culture activities even after the peace agreement. This article will cover the process of HWPL’s civilian peace agreement and its aftermath.
A culture of peace is being fostered in Mindanao, Philippines, a land that has been group-led peace agreement that was signed on 24 January 2014 is being implemented and is raising awareness for peace among the residents. This agreement largely contributed to creating an atmosphere of peace for a peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro people.
HWPL and Peace in Mindanao
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL, Chairman Lee Man-hee) has held various events and activities in the Philippines since June 2013, including bringing relief for the slums, holding conversations with religious leaders for interfaith harmony, and establishing a youth network for peace. Amid these efforts, Chairman Lee Man-hee was invited to Mindanao by H.E. Antonio J. Ledesma, Archbishop of Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.
At the time, Mindanao was a battleground of bullets. It was not an easy decision for Chairman Lee Man-hee, an 84-year-old man, to take his life. However, Chairman Lee thought, “I cannot deny this request when I was asked to come for peace as a peace activist,” and transcended national borders, ethnicities, and religions to travel to this region.
January 2014 in Mindanao, General Santos, Philippines. Over 1,000 people, including believers from both religions, students from of the International Peace Youth Group, participated. After the peace walk, Chairman Lee spoke about the necessity of peace to Catholic and Muslim leaders, youth groups, and university professors at a hotel in General Santos.
“God’s will is peace, not war.” He then asked the attendees, “Do you want peace or do you want war,” and had them raise their hand if they wanted peace. When all the attendees raised their hand, Chairman Lee called the Catholic and Islamic representatives to the stage while saying, “Then sign the peace agreement.”
H.E. Fernado Robles Capalla, D.D, Archbishop Emeritus of Archdiocese of Davao, and Esmael G. Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao, signed an agreement for the creation of peace and the cessation of war as the representatives of Catholicism and Islam, respectively, during the spontaneous peace agreement signing ceremony.
The Mindanao peace agreement that was mediated by HWPL proposed a “civilian- centered awareness improvement and action”- based approach to peace. In line with this approach, HWPL began peace activities across the Philippines, including Mindanao, to raise public peace awareness on the universal peace principles of mutual understanding, respect, and harmony. HWPL is also carrying out peace initiatives centered around civil society, including education, religion, youth, and women, in order to eliminate the factors that are sources of conflict and also to strengthen the core values for peaceful development.
Press-release of the HWPL
HWPL Host the Stage for Peace Talks in the Middle East
On 26th June, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) organized “2021 Middle East webinar: Overcoming Human Rights Violence during Pandemic” to exchange ideas to ease social tensions and examine human rights issues during COVID-19 crisis.
HWPL has been working on human rights initiative through a series of webinars with personnel from civil society, dealing with various human right issues. After the webinar with Egypt in April, HWPL held an online discussion to further address the human rights violence in dealing with COVID-19 in the Middle East.
The virus intensified existing discrimination and violence towards social and religious minority groups. The webinar aimed at addressing the issues and sharing the perspectives from the in-depth analysis and Human Resoruces(HR) experts’ presentations.
President of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Hon. Essam Shiha called for the cooperation of the society, “Multilateralism is indispensable that these key players coordinate and collaborate to promote and integrate core values of human rights in all dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental).”
Mr. Asrawan Ibrahim Zrary, Zoroastrian from Iraqi Kurdistan stressed the necessity of respecting common grounds shared by each religion. “We must look for common points between religions for the purpose of increasing love and spreading peace. And tolerance, although there are some verses in a particular religion that are called abrogating and abrogated, and hatred must be renounced and the other accepted as he is and not as I want.”
Ms. Iman El Damarany, who also participated in the last webinar addressed the importance of ensuring human rights and safety of media to uncover the truth, “Journalists suffer from some problems in many countries of the region, and that there must be international legislation and binding laws imposed by the United Nations to protect journalists from any harassment.”
HWPL continues its webinar series to comprehensively tackles the social justice and human right issues worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an upcoming event, HWPL will hold a Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop(YEPW) online on 27th June in its commitment for the youth. HWPL peace education teachers' training will also take place in Iraq starting from this month.
Press-release of the HWPL