Public Defender Marked International Day of Peace by Film Screening
The Public Defender hosted a screening of Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s film - "Where do we go now?" in the Cinema House to mark the International Day of Peace.
Before the screening, the Public Defender greeted the audience and talked about the importance of protection of human rights in conflict regions as well as in countries at peace. Ucha Nanuashvili highlighted the necessity of engagement of citizens and specific public groups in conflict resolution processes. According to him, "each of us has the responsibility to contribute to prevention of conflicts and normalization of relations, since peace is both our right and obligation".
The film tells a story of women and religious leaders of different faiths, who try to prevent a growing conflict between the opposing communities in one of the villages of Lebanon.
The event was supported by the Ahuahu Foundation for Cultural Development and the National Union of Cinematographers. The film was translated into Georgian by “adjaranet.com” for this very event.
September 21 is the International Day of Peace and it is devoted to strengthening the ideas of peace among all nations. The International Day of Peace was first observed in 1982, while in 2001 the United Nations General Assembly established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.
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
Public Defender’s Statement on Necessity of Holding Talks to Resolve Political Crisis
The Public Defender of Georgia calls on both the ruling party and the opposition parties participating in the elections to immediately launch negotiations in order to find a way out of the political crisis caused by the election violations.
The Public Defender, as a constitutional body supervising the protection of the right to vote in the country, considers that apart from the violent incidents that took place during the October 31 elections, use of administrative resources, control of the will of voters on the election day, and attacks on observers and representatives of the media, serious problems were observed in the process of counting votes and summing up the results. Unfortunately, the election commissions did not respond properly to the substantive violations detected in the summary protocols during consideration of complaints, which deepened public outcry and distrust in the election process.
The shortcomings identified during the October 31 elections have created a political crisis in the country. The situation is further aggravated by the severe epidemiological situation and economic crisis caused by the global pandemic. Therefore, it is important to hold negotiations with all election entities in order to agree on a common legal and political solution. It is necessary to find ways to recount the results of disputed polling stations in a transparent manner and to ensure the fair conduct of the second round.
In view of the above, we call on the ruling and opposition parties to start negotiations as soon as possible and agree on an appropriate format in order to find a way out of the crisis. At the same time, the involvement of Georgia's strategic partners as well as independent monitoring organizations should be ensured to monitor and facilitate the process.
HWPL Hosts Peace Education Webinar by Connecting South Asian Countries during the COVID-19 Crisis
The Department of Peace Education in Western Busan branch, HWPL held the peace education webinar (web-based seminar) with about 30 people including education classes in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in South Asia on September 19 (local time).
In spite of the global panic in the news about COVID-19, participants had a time to raise awareness of the importance of peace education through a video conferencing solution by sharing practical examples of peace education conducted in schools in South Asia, and live Q&A.
With the congratulatory remarks by Dr. Har Prasad Kain, chairperson Indian branch of HWPL (former commissioner of Indian Tax Commission) Mr. Mahbubur Rahman Mollah, principal of Bangladesh Shamsul Hoque Khan school and college, gave a speech on the necessity of peace education. Afterwards, Mr. Imran Maqsood, the founder of Faisalabad School for Peace in Pakistan, introduced cases of peace education, and Ms. Firoza Moradi, a teacher in Afghanistan Mukhtar private school, presented the role of peace education in countries including Afghanistan.
Mr. Imran Maqsood who signed MOU with HWPL for peace education addressed, “School aims to break down the religious and social barriers of all religious people in Pakistan, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhs, through diversity and harmony, the first subject of peace education, by creating a community where children from different religions gather together to learn, play and grow together.”
“To improve critical thinking and communication skills, students should have a concept of peace in their minds and find how to solve problems peacefully. Although classes have not been conducted since COVID-19, students have actively suggested that they want to take peace education classes even through online sessions,” Ms. Firoza Moradi, who has taught HWPL peace education since January last year, said.
In particular, HWPL's examples of peace education which have been actively implemented in each country drew attention from the participants in the webinar. 214 schools from 36 countries in Africa participated at the HWPL Peace Education’ sessions hosted by Ethiopia's Kotebe Metropolitan University. Since then the peace education has been regularly conducted. In addition, HWPL signed an MOA with Kenya National Commission for UNESCO to prepare for the annual Peace Educator workshop. In Philippines, Commission on Higher Education and HWPL have formed an MOA, which currently performs monthly peace education more than 50 schools. Especially, the HWPL Peace Education Camp between Israel and Palestine was the historical antecedents attended by 150 faculty and students crossing border despite the disputed territory.
Most of the attendees participated in the webinar emphasized, "Let's overcome the COVID-19 crisis together by continually sharing news of peace education by country!"
Press-Release of the HWPL
Peace Education for Future Generations: Workshop for Educators in Cotabato City
Representatives from the government and educators in Cotabato City from 55 public and private schools gathered at a workshop from January 17 to 18 targeting introduction and expansion of peace education for students.
The workshop was hosted by HWPL, an international non-government organization registered as the consultative status in the UN ECOSOC and affiliated as a partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines.
85 educators from 55 public and private schools in Cotabato City at the workshop developed teaching guides appropriate for each educational level, based on the curriculum drafted by HWPL to provide peace education worldwide and the collaboration of participant experts in the field of education including CHED and the DepEd Schools Division Office Cotabato City.
“We can achieve peace, first in our home, inside our classroom, in school, in our division, in our communities. That's why we are here because we want to promote peace through education,” said Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag, Cotabato City Schools Division Superintendent.
As for the need for a workshop for educators with international cooperation, Agney C. Taruc, the Regional Education Program Supervisor of Region XII, pointed out the opportunity for “joining the different cultures, different voices and different kind of people that are working to achieve peace in this world” and “bringing people together to work and to move more to achieve peace in Mindanao especially in Cotabato City.”
Teachers at this workshop wrote their lesson plans based on the DepEd guidelines and 12 HWPL Peace Education Lessons implanting such values as diversity, harmony, coexistence, respect and understanding. As HWPL’s global project of “spreading a culture of peace”, the academic sources based on pilot training programs have been applied to 214 educational institutions in 36 countries.
“All students should be taught peace from the textbooks they learn every day, and the teachings of war must be changed and discontinued. How can we achieve peace? Peace begins by teaching students about peace,” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at a press conference, Manila, back in 2018.
Prior to this, a pilot testing was held last November 2019 in 7 participating schools. Since 2016, dozens of schools including the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College established partnership with HWPL for peace education targeted to youth. In 2018, HWPL and CHED signed an MOA to integrate peace education in the curriculums of universities and colleges.
HWPL is an international organization headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea - committed to advancing peace through DPCW (Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War), associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). After proclaiming the Declaration of World Peace in 2013, HWPL expanded its peace movement in 70 countries. A few years later, HWPL has reached 127 countries.
"France Peace Media Network" establishes as an important leverage for global peace
“Journalists, as we are, will now work alongside national, regional and international institutions to make peace an important leverage for global balance.”
On July 27th ‘France Peace Media Network’ was launched at the Ibis Porte de Bercy hotel for providing a media platform for active communication among journalists and media persons who have agreed to contribute to the realization of peace journalism. About 20 French citizens and journalists attended in the ceremony and Mr. Makaila N'guebla from la Maison des journalists who proposed the peace media network made the above announcement as a congratulatory speech about establishment of the ‘France Peace Media Network’.
This network has been organized by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with journalists who participated in the last two media forums held in France. Journalists participating in the network will increase the number of regular reports based on ‘peace journalism’, contribute peace contents through a sharing platform for articles and hold regular meetings to discuss ways to implement ‘peace journalism’.
Hamid Chriet, a political commentator of BBC and RT (Russia TV) said, “I do lots of intervention on BBC and RT. It is not easy to talk about Peace in the powerful countries with many interests in it. To make this network goes on we need an online platform that is autonomous and accessible in order to promote Peace. We can develop networking with other nations like gulf countries who are interested in and directly related to the subject of Peace, not just in France.
HWPL the host organization of the establishment of this network is an international registered peace NGO based in the United Nations Department of Global Communications and has consultative status with ECOSOC. With peace and respect for life as fundamental values, HWPL is engaged in a worldwide peace movement through international legislation, peace education projects and providing forums for inter-religious conversation. In particular, peace forums by HWPL have been held 40 times since November 2016 to facilitate peace journalism and peace-related news coverage with 176 journalists from 22 countries.