HWPL Presents Practical Peace for the End of War and Conflict in Mindanao, Philippines

Published in World
Monday, 20 June 2022 10:39

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. A terrible war, which is on the scale of the world war, devastated the country and caused millions of casualties. The war has forced Korean Peninsula to spend decades in confrontation and tension up until now. In the peninsula, which is divided in two, young people are still holding guns and aiming at each other. Moreover, as the recent war in Ukraine has had a big impact on the daily lives of the Republic of Korea, which is on the other side of the globe, people are once again feeling the need for peace.

Analysis of past Israeli-Palestinian and northeastern African conflicts mentions in many cases that knowing the cause of the conflict is a very important factor, and that the approach of ethnic-religious elements is inevitable for conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Also, the need for a peaceful process has been further raised as Russia's recent blockade of grain exports has been criticized as a criminal act that incites food shortages in countries such as Africa and the Middle East.

In a statement by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, "I call on political, religious and community leaders to reject violence and speak up against those who try to inflame the situation. We must all work toward restoring hope and the prospect of a political resolution to this conflict." As mentioned, the voices of leaders play an important role in achieving peace. As can be seen in the Eritrean-Ethiopian case, international organizations such as the African Union provide a better opportunity to mediate the peace process in conflict zone, and the leader's decision could lead to the end of the war.

In this reality, there is an international peace organization in Korea that leads the change so that the global village may be imbued with a culture of peace, named Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL). As a veteran, HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee witnessed the horrors of the Korean War and presented answers for peace and life in the world of conflict and death. Urging everyone in the world to become one in peace, he always shouts 'We Are One!'. The representative achievement of the peace steps he and HWPL have made is the fruit of contributing to peace in Mindanao, the Philippines, ending its 50-year history of conflict.

Mindanao was a region of the largest armed conflict in Southeast Asia. The Mindanao conflict clearly shows the crisis, faced by the global community, of rampant conflicts based on ethnic, religious identity that emerged in the 21st century. Mindanao's peace was a matter of direct connection to global security issues beyond the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Efforts were made to resolve the dispute after it caused massive casualties. It’s the Mindanao peace agreement. International private organizations, along with the governments of Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, supported the peace agreement, including Malaysia, the mediator of the official peace agreement between the government and the MILF. In addition to the official process, international organizations such as the European Union, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and various private organizations have begun to establish peace by supporting it and providing humanitarian aid. Nonetheless, the signing of a peace treaty never ended the conflict. Mindanao's peace demonstrated the need for a fundamental and long-term approach across politics, economy, society, and culture to prevent a recurrence of war. Hence, HWPL, based in South Korea, began a journey of peace to Mindanao which is directly linked to world peace. The civic peace agreement mediated by the HWPL was Mindanao's declaration of permanent peace. Since then, HWPL and all involved, including local politics, religion, and civil society, have been cooperating for peace.

Regarding the achievements made in Mindanao since 2013, when the civil-level peace agreement was signed, Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, consistently says, "It’s what God did" and "God accompanied us," not personal achievements. With mysterious and miraculous powers leading to the cooperation of the global community, he always emphasizes, "Let all the global community become advocates of peace and leave peace as a legacy of future generations." The possibility of peace emphasized by the HWPL will come as a reality when people of the world decide to join and become one in peace. Global family members of peace wish this process will pave a way for the world to become a global village filled with news of peace rather than war, as “We are One” resonates around the world.

Press-release of the HWPL

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  • 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.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXlB4XzQHQ4  

  • EU expands list of sanctions against individuals and entities supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine

    The EU has expanded its list of sanctions against individuals and entities supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine. The list of the additional 57 individuals and 10 companies and organisations has been posted in the EU’s official journal. This decision comes in addition to the “maintenance and alignment” package of sanctions adopted by the Council on 21 July 2022.

    Personal sanctions under this latest package of sanctions include Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow mayor, Stanislav Chemezov, son of the head of Rostec, Yury Chaika, member of the Russian Federation Council and former prosecutor-general, well-known Russian actors Sergei Bezrukov and Vladimir Mashkov, Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of the ‘Night Wolves’ motorcycle club, and other Russians who actively support Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

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    The all-Russia ‘Young Army’ Military Patriotic Social Movement, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), Russkiy Mir Foundation and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund are also on the sanctions list.

    A number of individuals involved in the leadership of the territories of Ukraine occupied by the Russian authorities have also been put on the sanctions list.

    Altogether, EU restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine now apply to a total of 1,212 individuals and 108 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

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  • Ukraine: anti-corruption institutions stand guard over integrity even in times of war

    The EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI) has summarised the work of Ukraine’s anti-corruption institutions during the first four months of Russian aggression. 

    EUACI states that dozens of employees of all anti-corruption institutions, without exception, have joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or Territorial Defence Forces, and are defending the country with weapons in their hands. “But those who do their regular jobs daily are also fighting in the rear front for the values and principles built together over the years that should also guide the future of Ukraine,” says EUACI.

    For example, the total amount of assets in Ukraine and abroad, traced by the Asset Recovery and Management Agency, reached $1 billion. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021-2025. Eight sentences were delivered by the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC). The HACC also transferred almost 500 million hryvnias of bails for the benefit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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    Since 24 February 2022, the programme has redirected its funding to seven areas of emergency support, focusing on creating new support schemes to address wartime challenges. 

    In addition, the House of Europe has collected and informed about hundreds of opportunities for both displaced people and Ukrainians left behind: scholarships and residencies for cultural workers, scholarships for academics and scholarships for students, emergency support for NGOs, media workers and entrepreneurs, among others.

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    – Civil society representatives and House of Europe partners involved in evacuations of citizens, safeguarding of cultural heritage, volunteering, and other life-saving operations across Ukraine received 75 sets of protective and medical kits.

    – Professionals and organisations that won House of Europe grants and have not carried out their projects yet in full were offered to spend the money on emergency needs and withstanding the Russian aggression. This includes 36 selected recipients of Individual Project Grants, who were unable to proceed with their projects; those received alternative funding – a lump-sum fixed contribution, which may be spent for emergency purposes.

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    House of Europe is an EU-funded programme fostering professional and creative exchange between Ukrainians and their colleagues in EU countries and the United Kingdom. The programme focuses on different professional fields: culture and creative industries, education, health, social entrepreneurship, media, and youth. 

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