Georgian Civil Society Leaders Call for Active Engagement of Civil Society for ‘Legislating Peace’

Published in Society
Monday, 02 April 2018 19:33

Tbilisi, Georgia, March 30 – Georgian civil society leaders with its international partner, Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL) organized a seminar on the role of civil society in peace-building process, on the occasion of the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) at David Aghmashenebeli University of Georgia.

The commemoration was initiated from Seoul, South Korea on March 14 with 1,000 participants from politics, religion, and civic groups at home and abroad. This international advocacy events were held in 166 cities of 71 countries including Georgia, Ukraine and Germany to raise awareness of local communities on how a peaceful environment can be facilitated by the principles of the DPCW.

During his speech in the Tbilisi seminar, Mr. Avtandil Otinashivili, editor-in-chief of "Newsday Georgia", who had attended the Seoul conference said, “The DPCW is of great importance for every country, including Georgia. We want to avoid wars and together we must do our best to leave our children a planet without war.”

In Tbilisi, religious leaders, youth representatives and media participated, and video materials including keynote speech of the chairman Mr. Man Hee Lee of HWPL and the footsteps of the DPCW and the world wide campaign to legislate peace were presented. 

Chairman Lee, a Korean War veteran himself, appealed the need of peaceful means of conflict resolution and the responsibility of every individual in peace-building during his speech. “Law of today cannot compensate for the lives sacrificed from war. What we need is an instrument that protects human life, the very law that prevents war.” “Rather than waiting to take peace for granted, it is we who should put an end to war to protect humanity and our globe, and leave peace as a legacy for future generations.”

The participants also discussed the urgent necessity of carrying out peacekeeping process guided under the DPCW and the role of civil society in order to avoid any tragedy like the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

Ms. Mariem Iremadze, the chairwoman of Association for Development, Education and Social Involvement said, “We[Georgians] have suffered from the negative effects of war in our country. We all need to promote peace in our society as much as we can.” She also pointed out, “Because the implementation of the DPCW is connected to the theme of collaborative governance, the government and the citizens should support each other for promoting peace and resolving conflicts in our country.”

For civil society’s part, she explained what youth can specifically do by saying, “Youth is our hope and future of the society. I think engaging and inspiring more youth groups to promote peace is the best effort that our organization can make and we will continue to involve in the activities with HWPL to the aim of promoting peace”

Ms. Kayla Jang, a former delegation of HWPL to Georgia also addressed the importance of civil society in building collaborative governance by referring the recent 43rd round of Geneva International Discussions (GID) on March 28, co-chaired by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the EU, and the UN that brings together the representatives Georgia, Russia, and Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as the US.

“Since the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the GID has been the one and only remained platform for the peace-talk. But what we heard, with a sense of disappointment, from the March 28 talk was only that, it still couldn’t finalize the draft joint statement on non-use of force among the relevant parties. In order to push it forward, we need a bottom-up approach for global peace. The civil also has to raise voice on their aspiration to the state of being without war and participate in the peace-building process with the authorities.” she said.

During the interview, Mr. A. Otinashivili also said, “Unfortunately, the round of the Geneva consultations ended in vain, but this does not mean that we should stop discussing topical issues. On the contrary, we must continue the peace process.” And he emphasized, “Civil society and the media are of great importance. Civil society must consolidate the people around one goal, to achieve peaceful resolution of conflicts. And the media should do everything so that people can hear this slogan.”

The DPCW with its 10 articles and 38 clauses is advocating a peaceful means to resolve wars and conflicts. It includes provisions such as avoiding war-related actions, respecting international law and ethnic/religious harmony, and promoting a culture of peace.

*Note

- The host organization, HWPL is affiliated with UN DPI and UN ECOSOC and announced the DPCW on March 14, 2016, to strengthen a solidarity of peace through a comprehensive cooperation of all sectors of society and to establish legally binding international law necessary for peacebuilding.

- Full Text of the DPCW, http://hwpl.kr/en/initiative/lawForPeace

- The latest Geneva International Discussions(GID), https://www.osce.org/chairmanship/376450

“We Ourselves Should be the Reality of Peace Education.” WARP Summit Seeks Solution to the Global Peace in Education

Published in World
Thursday, 28 September 2017 22:38

“Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace” at the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea

With the idea that a world of peace without conflicts and wars should start from classrooms, experts in education from the world discussed development of peace education on the first day of the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit on September 17 by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN ECOSOC.

As a part of “establishing collaborative governance for development and implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL in 2016 to advocate international cooperation with participation of civil society in peacebuilding efforts, the forum with education specialists as participants diagnosed the current issues of education in countries and discussed introduction and application of peace education inspired by HWPL.

Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL emphasized comprehensive application of peace education by saying, “We need peace education specifically for today. We ourselves should be the reality of peace education. Without the spirit of peace in himself, how can he possibly educate peace to students? To do this, peace education must start from family, so that the family becomes peaceful with the spirit of peace.”

Regarding the purpose and importance of peace education, “What role does education have in the diffusion of the culture of peace?” We are contributing in the promotion of the culture of peace in the world. We would help the citizens of tomorrow be more tolerant of each other and that a dialogue or discussion is the way to accept their differences and solve their conflicts,” emphasized Hon. Maria Eugenia Barrios Robles de Mejía, Vice Minister of Ministry of Education in Guatemala.

Participants discussed ways to enhance communication and network for inventing methodology and curriculum of peace education for future generations and to raise awareness of the need for teachers’ understanding the value of peace with detailed educational contents. “When we as teachers take up the responsibility to speak to our students, and be the necessary role models concerning how we speak, relationships and the adherence to order within society, we will start seeing the results in our students.” said Nancy Roussopoulos, Former Principal of Camps Bay Preparatory School in Cape Town.

Prof. Juan Carlos Torres at Don Bosco University shared his teaching experience of peace education by saying “When I applied the focus of ‘conflict resolution’ value of HWPL, with children 5-9 years old (considered problem children for the college), the result was surprising. The change in attitude in their faces and joy was drawn on the paper like in this image. This education will change and form these values within their hearts as a permanent change.”

As an action plan to develop peace education discussed at the high-level meeting with education specialists last year at the summit, HWPL has established HWPL Peace Academies with 127 education institutions in 9 countries including India, Israel, Kosovo, and the Philippines.

 

Peace Summit Held in South Korea on Constructing Collaborative Governance for Building Peace

Published in World
Monday, 18 September 2017 12:08

3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit Discussed on the Practical Approaches to Peace-Building Based on the Declaration of the Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)

Seoul, 17September - A 3-day peace summit to discuss the implementation of peacebuilding projects at local and national levels began with 1,100 representatives of states, IGOs, NGOs, and experts in international law, education, and media from approximately 120 countries on September 17th in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under UN ECOSOC, the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit addressed global peace-building measures through the establishment of collaborative governance among governments, civil society, and international organizations. Development in peace campaigns and projects was endorsed in many parts of the world through the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proclaimed in 2016 to advocate international cooperation to establish peace as a norm and culture.

To develop this agenda, four planning sessions: 2017 Conference for the Implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, 5th HWPL International Law Peace Committee Meeting, Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace, and Conference for Global Peace Media Network were held on the first day of the event on 17th.

Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, emphasized strengthening the international law for peace advocated by the DPCW. “The most urgent need is cessation of war. The DPCW drafted by experts in international law offers practical approaches to preventing conflicts. If leaders love their people, they should work together to implement peacebuilding measures.” He added, “A world without wars applies to every person in the globe, which means that every individual’s dedication as a messenger of peace to peacebuilding will make a peaceful world.”

At the ‘5th HWPL International Law Peace Committee Meeting’, Rt. Hon. Hrant Bagratyan, Former Prime Minister of Armenia, said, “Not only this declaration and HWPL’s peace work are beneficial to a specific level of society but are definite tool to bring peace to all of us. Without having the limit to one sector, more people raised their voice for urging what is necessary at our time”, calling for the cooperation of every sector of the society to implement the DPCW into a legally binding document.

In the Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace, Hon. Maria Eugenia Barrios Robles de Mejía, Vice Minister of Ministry of Education in Guatemala, said, “We could contribute in the promotion of the culture of peace in the world. We would help the citizens of tomorrow be more tolerant of each other and that a dialogue or discussion is the way to accept their differences and solve their conflicts. You and I are responsible for promoting the culture of peace to the next generations.”

Also, the ‘Conference for Global Peace Media Network’ with 90 journalists from about 50 countries sought freedom of the press in relation to the role of journalism in the foundation of a global media network for peacebuilding. “Journalism plays a significant role in delivering the collective voice of the global community for the same, common goal of peace. Now is the time for connecting the local and the national by the governance of peace.” said Mr. Ian Seo, Chief Manager of International Press Department of HWPL HQ, introducing the initiative of the peace media network platform of HWPL. 

HWPL CHAIRMAN RECEIVED “MAHATMA MK GANDHI PRIZE FOR NONVIOLENT PEACE”

Published in World
Friday, 22 July 2016 10:16

Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) was honored with the “Mahatma Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace” on Tuesday July 19th at the Peace Palace in Gyeonggi, Korea. Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patasani, Chairman of Mahatma M.K. Gandhi Foundation for Nonviolent Peace and Secretary-General Dr. Jyoti Mohapatra came to Korea for the prize award ceremony. Chairman Patasani is also a Parliament member of the 16th Lok Sabha (House of the People) of India.
Mahatma Gandhi Prize for Nonviolent Peace, officially registered as an international award on the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, has had many renowned laureates including Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, S D Sharma etc.
Along with Chairman Lee, Chairwoman Nam Hee Kim of the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and Dr. Alexander Kim, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Sakha, Republic of the Russian Federation received the Gandhi Prize.
“The greatest peace prize is peace on Earth and this is the legacy that we should leave to our future generations. This will become the peace prize that will pave the way to the peaceful lives of humanity. I would like to accept this prize as a lesson that keeps me going for the work of peace,” said Chairman Lee during his acceptance speech.
Chairwoman Kim said, “Mahatma Gandhi was not only a leader of India but also a peace activist who awakened the whole world. I would like to extend my word of gratitude to the foundation named after him for bestowing this prestigious award. I would like to share my joy of receiving this meaningful award with the IWPG members and 3.6 billion women of the world. When the light of HWPL and the light of the Gandhi foundation meet, I believe that we will be able to overcome any obstacles before our goal.”
Two Chairpersons were recognized for their great contributions to the reconstruction of human society and world peace by spreading the noble spirits of “Non-Violence, Universal Brotherhood, Service, and Unity of all Religions & Excellence in the field of all related peace work.”
Chairman Patasani of Gandhi foundation gave a congratulatory message: “I would like to welcome the laureates to this ceremony, which is held to honor the laureates for their outstanding contributions in the field of peace work. On behalf of Mahatma M.K. Gandhi Foundation for Nonviolent Peace, I salute and honor the greatest peace lovers, Mr. Man Hee Lee and Ms. Nam Hee Kim, for their achievement following Gandhi’s philosophy and knowledge to promote world peace and development of humanity.”
As a preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India, Mahatma Gandhi inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Chairman Lee and HWPL’s initiatives for peace have been comprehensively expanding Gandhi’s vision for nonviolence through peace law campaigns and alliance of religions meetings, thus bringing forth world peace and the cessation of war. The organization has pioneered various peace activities with IWPG and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG)

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