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
Conflict in Georgia: Secretary General’s Consolidated Report says human rights challenges persist in conflict-affected areas
Concerns persist regarding the human rights situation in the areas affected by the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia in August 2008, according to a report by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić presented to the Committee of Ministers.
The bi-annual report (covering the period April-October 2022) on the conflict in Georgia highlighted that core issues concerning the human rights and humanitarian situation in the conflict-affected areas continue to see little progress, with restrictions on freedom of movement, including through the illegal so-called “borderisation” process, and access to education and health care remaining of serious concern, including with regard to their impact on vulnerable groups.
Against this background, the Secretary General welcomed the continuous efforts and initiatives undertaken by the Georgian government aimed at promoting dialogue and reconciliation, and their provision of access to health care, education, and social benefits to residents of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.
TÜRKIYE - Urgent Joint Opinion on the draft amendments to the Penal Code regarding the provision on “false or misleading information” issued
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission issued its Urgent Joint Opinion on the draft amendments to the Penal Code of Türkiye regarding the provision on “false or misleading information”. This Urgent Opinion was prepared jointly with the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI).
The Commission concluded that the draft criminal provision on “false or misleading information” interferes with freedom of expression (Article 10 ECHR).
The Urgent Opinion will be submitted for endorsement by the forthcoming plenary session of the Commission (Venice, 21-22 October 2022).
Documentary on International Cooperation for Peace in Mindanao Premieres in the Philippines
A documentary film about the international peacebuilding efforts for Mindanao in the Philippines, one the world's long-term conflicts sparked by violence that left over 120,000 deaths and millions of displaced persons since the 1960s was released and screened in the Philippines.
In celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month, a peace documentary titled “Great Legacy” premiered in a cinema in Davao City on the evening of September 6, 2022. Around 500 representatives from the government, education sector, media, as well as civic society leaders, religious leaders across the country and peace advocates from Mindanao have attended.
The documentary was produced by SMV Media Group, a broadcast company based in Seoul, South Korea, in collaboration with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international non-profit organization affiliated with the UN ECOSOC advocating for global peace. The film showcased HWPL and actors who engaged in peace-related activities in Mindanao.
Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte congratulated by saying, "By showing people documentaries and films on peace, we may encourage more to be one with us in our peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts for our communities."
HWPL’s peace movement in the Philippines started when HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee, a Korean war veteran and peace activist, visited Mindanao several times since 2013. He mediated a civilian peace agreement signed by Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla and then Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” G. Mangudadatu on January 24, 2014 in General Santos City. Before the audience of 300 people including politicians, university professors, religious leaders, and students, the representatives on that day promised to cooperate in ceasing the conflict and building peace especially in the Mindanao region which has long suffered the aftereffects of war.
This agreement became the starting point of HWPL in raising public awareness about peace not only in Mindanao but throughout the Philippines, based on the universal principles of mutual understanding, respect, and harmony. HWPL’s peace initiatives include law enactment for peace, interfaith dialogues, peace education, and youth and women empowerment, which has brought leaders in different countries to support peace in Mindanao.
In the film, Martin Lee Hojian, former chairperson of the UN Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, praised HWPL led by Chairman Lee, and the Filipino people who had a keen passion for peace. Also, Nabil Tirmage, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Development Organization program manager, said that the civil peace agreement in 2014 is an “amazing case of realization of peace that the world should study”.
“The conflict in Mindanao has been a major variable in not only in Southeast Asian but global situation. The establishment of peace in Mindanao was a global task and required constructive intervention from the international community. In particular, it will be possible to understand through this documentary film that the efforts at the private sector, like HWPL in Mindanao, are the foundation for peace to settle down,” said an official of HWPL.
SMV Media Group announced that the documentary film will be accessible through various channels in different countries including broadcasting stations and multiplex theater.
Global Leaders in Public and Private Sectors Call for United Voice for Peace as an Institution
On September 18th, the 8th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit was held online with the theme of ‘Peace as an Institution: A Foundation for Sustainable Development’. This event held across the world in 146 countries including offline event in Ethiopia, Tanzania and so all, with 5,000 participants aired online to reaffirm the importance of the sustainable development guaranteed by institutionalizing peace while the global community has yet to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and faces another threats caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Since September 18th in 2014 when the peace summit was held for the first time, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC, has called for solidarity for peace building at the global level through collective actions with various actors including heads of state, ministers, law makers, religious leaders, educators, youth and women leaders, and reporters. This annual summit shares peace activities and achievements in cooperation with governments and civil society around the world every year.
Regarding the cause of peacebuilding at the global level, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “The global village has suffered from the unexpected COVID-19 that has hit every country. People are not alone in the midst of difficulties. We live in the same global village, and we are neighbors and families. Each one of us is the one who are obliged to make our world a better place to live. And shouldn't we pass on our good world to our descendants?”
H.E. Marinus Bee, the chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname, expressed his willingness to establish peace at the legislative level by saying, “The role of parliaments in building peace and preventing conflict is crucial.” He added, “In collaboration with HWPL the National Assembly would like to establish a framework of cooperation in achieving cessation of war and spread a culture of peace through activities to raise awareness of peace and encourage policies and programs regarding peace education.”
Octavia Alfred, Octavia Alfred, Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and Nation Excellence of Dominica, said that HWPL’s peace education was introduced to the national school curriculum in Dominica as it was “integrated into Social Studies, and also as a stand-alone.” For the reason to develop the educational source into the civics curriculum in the country, she said that the HWPL peace curriculum is helpful “in addressing the challenges of … not just students, but even what they take home to their friends and their parents, and also out teachers.”
Mahendra Das, the Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Mandir of the Philippines, presented an institutional approach to interreligious dialogue in terms of the role of religion in contributing to peace. He suggested that regularizing international exchanges and programs to prevent conflicts based on religious misunderstanding can be a starting point for a foundation of peace.
Mr. Chung Young-min, General Director of the IPYG emphasized the role of youth as the main player of international action for peace by saying that education programs for 1,500 global youth in 59 countries are hosted to “protect the basic rights of youth around the world so that everyone can live a happy life without being left behind.”
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW underscore conflict prevention and resolution, gradual reduction of armament and the transition to instruments for daily lives, mutual respect and conflict resolution of religious and ethnic groups, and spreading a culture of peace. The DPCW urges all actors in the global community including international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, and civic groups to play respective roles in institutionalizing peace.
Details of the event can be viewed through the following YouTube link.
Learning human rights to make a difference in Georgia
The European Union and the United Nations are working in partnership to equip Georgia’s public and civic sectors with real-world, practical insights into human rights protection, organising a series of trainings last month for public servants, civic activists and journalists.
The trainings brought together representatives of state institutions, media, professional associations and civil society, and focused on the available tools and mechanisms to ensure respect for human rights in all areas.
On 15-16 July, a training session for journalists, carried out in partnership with the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, addressed the impact of misinformation and disinformation on protecting the rights of ethnic and national minorities. The training programme highlighted the critical role of the media in combating hate speech and fake news and providing the public with reliable and trustworthy information.
On 17-18 July, lawyers from the Legal Aid Service and the Georgian Bar Association participated in a training on the rights of people with disabilities. They discussed international standards in protecting disability rights and the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Georgia in getting access to justice.
On 19-20 July, human rights activists and representatives of organisations engaged in protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons learned how to prepare and submit alternative reports and communications to the UN human rights Treaty Bodies and how to use the UN human rights mechanisms for advocacy and strategic litigation.
Finally, on 28-29 July, representatives of Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office discussed how better to protect the right to health in Georgia, and refreshed their knowledge of international standards in this area.
“At UNDP, we deeply believe that respect for human rights is the foundation of democracy,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia. “A democratic society is primarily assessed by how it protects the rights of minorities and not just the rights of the majority. With this in mind, we join hands with the European Union and our partners to assist journalists, lawyers, civic activists and the LGBTQI+ communities to better understand and more effectively protect human rights, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
The European Union and the United Nations, through their ‘Human Rights for All’ programme, promote a human rights culture in Georgia and help increase public awareness of human rights values and principles. Working with a wide range of local and international partners, the EU and the UN seek to ensure that all citizens can enjoy the rights and freedoms safeguarded by Georgia’s Constitution and major policy documents in line with the country’s national priorities and international commitments under the Association Agreement with the European Union, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN human rights treaties.
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