Religions united to pray for peace and care for one another in the pandemic crisis

Published in World
Tuesday, 15 December 2020 12:59

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

No.

Country

Religion

Name

Organization

Title

1

India

Sikhism

Mr. Bhupinder Singh

Guru Teg Bahadar Jalandhar

Head Priest

2

Ukraine

Judaism

Alexander Duhovnyi

All-Ukrainian Council of Religious Associations

Chairman

3

India

Jainism

Pradyumna Shah Singh

Religious Studies, Punjabi University

Professor

4

India

Buddhism

Dhammapiya

International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)

Secretary General

5

India

ISKCON

Hare Krsna Das

ISKCON Rishikesh

Priest

6

Czech Republic

Islam

Hassen Tlili

Alfirdaus Praha

Imam

7

Romania

The Orthodox Church

Constantin Cârlan Ungureanu

Biserica “Sfântul Ştefan”

Parish Priest

8

Cambodia

Buddhism

Oeun Sam Art

Supreme Patriarch's Cabinet

Personal Assistant to The Great Supreme Patriarch

9

Sweden

Ahmadiyya

Agha Yahya Khan

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Gothenburg Mosque

Chief Imam

10

United States of America

Hinduism

Bikram Paul

The Hindu Temple of Metropolitan Washington

Chairman

11

United States of America

Protestantism

Eldon Jones

Good field church

Pastor

 

Press-release of HWPL

HWPL Hosts Peace Education Webinar by Connecting South Asian Countries during the COVID-19 Crisis

Published in World
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 11:07

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

Published in Education
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 13:55

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

Published in World
Thursday, 01 August 2019 10:26

“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.

Peace Media Education to Build “Window to the World” for Students in Georgia

Published in Education
Thursday, 13 June 2019 15:27

Peace Media education at Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 7th was hosted by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess. Cervantes Gymnasium AiaGess and HWPL have been builing their partnership peace education and peace camp.

Mr. Avtandil Otinashvili, the Chief-in-Editor of Newsday Georgia gave a lecture to the students in regard to “Peace Journalism”. As it was a participation-based lecture to learn the subjects of “Media Literacy” and “Peace Journalism”, the students got involved with giving presentations of their thoughts regarding the articles given. Ms. Tamar Lolishvili from Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess said, “Broadcasting news prepared by the students can help reaching people in different areas, even with different languages more easily that will be a model example for our young generation.”

As a global project for peacebuilding with a network of educators, peace education by HWPL has been conducted in collaboration with 214 education institutions in 23 countries. To further nurture students and citizens with the value of peace such as coexistence and respect, peace education at a national level has also been sought by national governments in 7 countries including Guatemala, Iraq, the Philippines, and Cambodia.

Interview with Phati Bukhrikidze

Published in Interview
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:13

1. Please briefly introduce yourself and your organization.

I am Phati Bukhrikidze.

I am a woman of women's peace movement and I represent Georgia Organization "Women and Development, which works in the most conflicting region in Shida Kartli, Georgia. At time of armed conflict going in Georgia, in August 2008, the state of Russia occupied the whole central region of Shida Kartli, Georgia.  Women and girls of Shida Kartli, who represent 2/3 of the whole population, were especially incurred by war activities and occupation.

 

2. First of all, we would like to ask you what “peace”; means and why you think “peace”; is needed in Georgia

The peace for me means to leave a legacy of world of peace for future generations by expanding peace work among the groups working for realization of world peace and the improvement of women's status.

 

3. What was your motivation for you to begin collaborating with International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and what kinds of projects have you been doing in “affiliation with IWPG?

Our motivation is that for to begin collaborating with IWPG is an international peace NGO that protects children with a motherly heart and works to leave a legacy of a peaceful world to the future generation. IWPG works for the prosperity of humanity and for the protection of the beautiful global village with peace. In particular, it is very important for our children and young adults, who will be our future leaders, to realize the painful history of war and to plant peaceful hearts to achieve world peace and cessation of war.

We cooperate with IWPG on women's peace education, development of women's peacekeeping movement, spreading peace and spreading culture.

 

4. I heard you had a meeting with the first advisor to the president of Georgia to deliver the peace letters. Who wrote those Peace Letters? How did you get to take part in the Peace Letters campaign?

I personally handed peace letters to give the President's Advisor. These peace letters were written by women activists of the peace movement, who have experimented with the horrors of war pain. I participated in the Peace Letter campaign. I wrote a letter of peace in my hand, where I asked the President of Georgia, to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) is the answer to achieving peace, which was first declared by an NGO HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light), in 2016.

 

5. Please tell us how the first advisor to the president of Georgia reacted about those Peace Letters? Did she give you any reply?

Meeting with the President's Advisor is very positive. In response to DPCW’s support for UN and IWPG Ms. Ketevan Makharashvili said: that the president’s administration is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue and they will give us about decision information.

 

6. What are the ultimate aims and goals that you would like to achieve through this Peace Letters Campaign? I would like to ask you if you have any further plan to achieve such aims and goals.

Through this peace letter campaign, my goal is to make more women in this movement in order to force the Georgian government to support the UN DPCW

 

7. Please give some words to the women’s organizations in Georgia and the organizations working for peace in Georgia.

My initiative and active member of Women's Peace Movement in Georgia, In Shida Kartli there are hundreds of women and girls and this movement is headed by Women and Development and Feminist Initiatives Foundation

“From a victim of war to the leader of peace”

Published in World
Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:32

6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk is Held in a Global Scale

In May this year, marking the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace, about 70 countries host various citizen-participating events and peace walk. This event is aimed to mobilize a worldwide network of youths and citizens to spread a culture of peace in respective communities and to urge for the cooperation for building sustainable peace in the global society. Especially, Seoul in South Korea, where the Declaration of World Peace was proclaimed, will have the commemoration on May 25th.

With 30,000 youths from all over the world present, the Declaration was announced on 25 May, 2013 by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC).

Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, a war veteran, stated the background of proclaiming the Declaration. "We cannot claim to desire peace and continue to provoke one another, causing conflict for the sake of valuing our own national interests above those of others. This will only take the lives of the youth, wasting them in the futility of war. This is not a legacy we can leave to future generations."

The Declaration addresses the value of shared effort of all members of society as they work as peace messengers. It includes principles such as that the heads of each state to sign an international agreement—a commitment to bring all wars to an end, that all youth to unite in an effort to stop wars and pursue the restoration of peace, and that the media to report responsibly and promote a message of peace to the world.

Such values from the Declaration led to drafting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as an advanced designation of global responsibility to establish a legally binding international legal framework for peace. This year’s event will be focused on the “Peace Letter Campaign” led by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliated youth organization of HWPL. The campaign is aimed to urge for the support of the heads of each state to develop it into a legally binding document by submitting it as a resolution to the UN.

According to the official of HWPL, the foundation of the DPCW is to build a world of peace secured by the rule of law that is based on the universal values including coexistence, cooperation, and mutual respect. The 10 articles and 38 clauses with the settlement of a dispute and measures for sustainable peace address the international cooperation at the governmental level as well as the role of individual of the global society to achieve peace.

At the commemoration of this year, the participants will call for the replies against the heads of state for the peace letters that have been already sent to them and the messages of peace written by citizens will be delivered to high-level officials of governments and international organizations in 193 different countries.

Religious Leaders’ Peace Network from 130 Countries Examine the Nature of Religion through Comparative Studies on Scriptures

Published in World
Thursday, 02 May 2019 17:53

The Era of Religion Never Fades Away

Scientific innovation and technological progress led many countries to hold unproven prospect that social changes from economic development and industrial advancement will bring out the end of religion.

Far from this “faith”, the issue of religion rises to the surface again, creating new phenomena. While traditional roles of Christianity has diminished in the United States and Europe, the void is filled by increasing presence of new religion through the migration of people with different religious orientations. Also, the governance and social integration have been carried out with the influence of religion in Asian and African countries. Since the 9/11, the rise of extremism and terrorism or such acts of violence in the name of religion persisted. These events have brought the issue of religion to surface both positively and negatively. In order to cope with the latest trend of religion, the international society and religion have created platforms and dialogue in search of new roles religion plays in realization of peace, justice and stability.

Interfaith dialogue begins the restoration of fundamentals of religion

In these contemporary days, religion is considered as a main factor affecting the conflicts in the world. Scholars say that violent acts of extremism have the basis on the misinterpretation of religious scripture as means to mobilize the public and incite angers in the mass number of people.

Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community, pays a closer attention to religious scripture and points out that “Because many people interpret the scripture with their own thoughts and ideologies without correctly knowing what is the will of God inside the scripture, and if laymen continue to interpret without true knowledge and study, the problems caused by extremists will continue to occur.”.

There’s a rising voice calling for religious leaders to take a strong stand in restoring the true value of religion to lead humanity into a just and peaceful path, rather than leaning toward any forms of extremisms through misinterpretation.

“Terrorism, sectarian violence and religious conflicts have deprived us of basic human rights, resulting in people under pains that go beyond description. The love and tolerance of love have disappeared in the communities. Selfishness, lack of acceptance of the other and the absence of a culture of tolerance and human values have made the communication even more difficult. However, religion does call for peace among peoples. The seed of peace is possible with this desire and with this longing to change the world,” said Mr. Tharwat Gaid Salama Gaballa, Chairman of Horus foundation for Development and training in Egypt.

The role of leaders in reflecting on religion through scripture to discourage religion as means of violent conflicts

“The common objectives that all religious scriptures pursue are the realization of peace and justice, conflict resolution, human dignity, and valuing diversity. Thus, along with the diverse backgrounds and various factors that cause conflicts, we approach towards the root cause of this hospitality among beliefs, which we define as the misunderstandings that arise from the misinterpretation of these scriptures,” Mr. Gaballa added.

Regarding the role of religious leaders, Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community emphasized, “Although political extremism and the hate-speech have been in the rise in Europe, NGOs have a critical role in resisting and opposing this type of breakdown in respect of the laws of religious freedom, peace and harmony in the country. The best way to combat all types of extremism is knowledge and this part of the job is given to scholars and religious leaders.”

“In order to find the truth all the humanity wants religious leaders need to put away the thoughts that only my religion is the best and do the comparative work based on Scriptures without dividing themselves and saying ‘your religion’, ‘my religion’,” said Swami Veetamohananda, Swami (religious leader in Hinduism) of Ramakrishna Veda center.

 

A Platform for Comparative Studies on Religious Scripture – World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office

From April 1st to 2nd, an international conference named “The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Approaching the Protracted Conflicts” was held in Romania as the presidency of the European Union by a Romanian think tank Institute of Advanced Studies on Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL) in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Romania, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), University of Bucharest, and Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics.

In the conference the role of NGOs and civil societies in developing peace was included to discuss transforming religion from means of violent conflicts to source of peace.

“The culture of earth cannot disguise the one of heaven with a man’s yardstick of judgment. Religion is to learn the world of spirit and teachings of God. This is the heavenly culture that guides us to the world of peace. Through the WARP offices religious leaders have brought religious scriptures to examine trustworthy, physical evidence of religion. In search of the true teachings written in trustworthy scripture, religions should be one under the true teachings. When we continue to do this comparative studies, there will be no more wars triggered by religion,” said Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL.

A platform for religious leaders as a new attempt to establish a network of peace to enhance understanding of religions through scriptures has been carried out 220 locations from 130 countries. Named “World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office”, this platform since 2014 is designed by HWPL, an international NGO under the UN ECOSOC, to find the nature of religious values for peace building through scriptures. HWPL has its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea and seeks the role of religion in conflict resolution and prevention through the network of global religious leaders.

Oliver Kang, pastor and international missionary of the Evangelical Worldwide Mission Church, said, “Therefore, if we want peace between religions, if we want no more wars, then religions need to turn away from the path of corruption. That is why we are comparing the religious scriptures through the WARP Office meetings. Discussions based on comparing the scriptures is the optimal solution to resolve the problem of corruption.”

“The WARP office is the significant link and the great network for the worldwide religious institutions. It has come to show the cooperation and solidarity of all religious leaders and send the message of tolerance, peace and unity to all people around the world,” said Mr. Gaballa regarding the function of the WARP office.

According to HWPL, this religious network of peace further is further developed to appeal to young generations to build confidence of religion through communication and understanding. “Various religious teaching program for youth such as religious youth peace camp gives lesson for participants to learn about the general history of world religions, find the root cause of and plausible resolutions to religious conflicts and disputes, examine the religious community’s roles for peace, and experience cultural exchanges,” said Dr. Ahmed Jasem Hmood Al-Maliky, Sheikh of Office of the Religious Reference Sheikh Mohammad Al Yaqoobi in Iraq.

“Starting by taking out the prejudice that I am right and you are wrong, let us communicate and interact with each other with these questions in mind: ‘Is what I know always right? Is the other religion always wrong? Or is there something in that religion that mine doesn't have?’ Let us find the best truth and achieve the ultimate value of peace,” he added.

“Realizing Peace Starts from Peace Education” Peace Education Conference Held in Romania

Published in Education
Thursday, 02 May 2019 17:46

Early in April, about 700 people from various sectors in the society such as educators, leaders of politics and religions, women and youth groups, global peace activists, and journalists gathered in Pentagon Events in Bucharest to discuss the practical approaches for realizing peace through peace education.

With the title of ‘The role of teachers for peace education’, 2019 Peace Education Conference was an event that presented the progress of the peace curriculum customized for European background and the direction of developing a culture of peace backed by international law for peace. 

Planting the value of peace to the students, Peace Education

“This is a very complex subject. But just like all journey starts with a first step, raising the awareness of peace should be done for the most basic level. Through this education, children understood that they have the power to do good acts on their level. They can actually change their lives and the lives of their family in the future. I try to make them see the importance of the value of respect, helping others, and tolerance that create better students as righteous adults,” said Mr. Dumitru Marius-Gabriel, a teacher of 1  Mai Technical High-school of Ploiesti, who has operated the peace education.

“Working with HWPL for this project brought me much joy and fulfillment because I could blend my normal lessons with the message of peace. I realized how important it is for us, teachers, to become a role model of our students. I’d like to add this peace education exists to create a peaceful world for future generation to cease all wars. Furthermore, this education should spread not only to our students but to all the students everywhere. They are the future of our peace,” he added.

One of the distinguishing aspects of this education was the collaboration between a local organization and an international NGO to proceed with the curriculum. The teachers belong to Master Peace, a local Romanian youth group, have carried out the peace education. And the curriculum and materials for peace education were provided by an international peace NGO called HWPL.

According to the official of HWPL, the peace education is designed with the aim of to leave peace as a legacy to the future generations by raising the awareness of the importance of realizing peace and fostering a culture of peace. It recently provides the books, which contains the worldwide peace activities and peace agreements that HWPL has carried out, to the schools and libraries to encourage every citizen to participate in peace work.

As a part of peace initiatives, more than 200 educational institutions in 21 countries including Romania, Republic of South Africa, India, Israel, Kosovo, the Philippines are designated as HWPL Peace Academies to train the educators and students with the value of peace beyond boundaries, races, and religions.

Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said “As you can see the name of our organization, “Heavenly Culture” refers to the highest culture from heaven above worldly cultures that can realize peace by harmonizing all the people in the world. Even if you are born in a family or in a country with great wealth, you may feel infernal when there’s no peace in your family or your country. The first start is important, so the peace education should start from the family, and then to the schools and society. Everything you see, hear, feel, and learn should be engaged with peace education. We can call it practical peace education. And it starts with the mindset that we can achieve peace. HWPL aims to create a world like this. That’s the reason why we designed the peace materials and textbooks under several times of advice so that we send the materials to every educational institute to help encourage peace education.”

Since last year, Romanian schools and organizations including Comuna Sotrile College, 1  Mai Technical High-school of Ploiesti, and Master Peace have signed MOUs for further participation-based peace education and activities that customized for European culture using the peace materials provided by HWPL

Spreading a culture of peace with peace education, yet needs a legally binding international framework for peace

“What HWPL is proposing is the new way of seeing topics such as anti-bullying, non-violent communication, and collaborative activities that are very important currently in the Romanian educational system. The HWPL peace curriculum emphasizes the value of tolerance, care, social equality, peace, justice, cooperation, solidarity, and human right that can create a culture of peace. It helps us define peace and its value that would lead the students to the leaders of peace. I’d also like to stress that the students should be peace messengers and work for realizing peace with this systematic peace education.” Maglan Isabe, a student of Mihai Viteazu National College, expressed her impression of the HWPL peace education.

Mr. Dragomir Marian, President of Master Peace, said “My belief, that made me work with HWPL with its peace education curriculum, is that education in personality, skill, value, and attitude is important for social, economic, and political development in any country. This role is well articulated in the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” No. 4 containing a quality education for all to promote lifelong learning. This is also shared by the article 10, “Spreading a culture of peace”, in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which mentions that education is important to promote respect and mutual understanding among different religions, ideologies, and ethnic groups.”

The DPCW consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peacebuilding such as respect on the international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace. Currently, it is in the process of submitting this declaration as a resolution to the UN in order to develop it into a legally binding document, while citizens around the world are supporting it by participating “Peace Letter Campaign”.

 “Articles 1 to 5 of the DPCW deal with preventing conflicts, articles 6 and 7 are about resolving conflicts, and articles 8 to 10 present the measures for the sustainable peaceful global society. This declaration is different from existing clauses of international law because it offers a comprehensive solution and compassing principles for conflict resolution according to the international order,” said Mr. Young Min Chung, Director of the IPYG.

“The future is counting on us to complete the world of peace. Let’s take what we’ve learned from the peace education and put it into our lives as peace citizens. World peace can be achieved with the DPCW that will lay the foundation of international law toward world peace. I invite you all to join the “Peace Letter Campaign”.” He urged for the participation for establishing a legally binding international framework for peace based on the DPCW.

The conference held in April 2nd was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under UN ECOSOC, organized by Master Peace, a youth group of Romania, and sponsored by International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).

Global Peace Building through Cultural Diplomacy is Discussed in Bucharest, Romania

Published in World
Monday, 25 March 2019 17:14

On the 30th anniversary of the collapse of dictatorship in Eastern Europe and Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), a comprehensive approach to peace building with a network and cooperation from governments and civil society groups will be discussed with 200 participants from different sectors in Bucharest, Romania.

With the title of "The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Approaching the Protracted Conflicts - Culture of Peace through Understanding the Other", this conference is held from April 1 to 2, hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Romania, co-organized by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL), and cooperated by Centre for Baltic-Black Sea Studies (Centre for BBS).

Participants include former and incumbent national leaders like former President Emil Constantinescu of Romania, religious leaders, educators, women leaders, journalists and NGO leaders from European and Asian countries.

According to the organizing group, this conference focuses on cultural diplomacy to "generate mutual trust and establish avenues for better communication through creating, transmitting and promoting representations of identity" with the recent history of Romania and Eastern Europe that presented multi-ethnic, inter-cultural communication as positive experiences.

The conference is a very result of continuous international exchange between Eastern Europe and South Korea at the civil society level. Last year, former heads of state and HWPL based on South Korea discussed mutual development of peace building efforts at the “High-Level Meeting of Former Political Leaders in Europe to spread the Culture of Peace and call for Support for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula” held in May at the House of Parliament in Bucharest.

"The great humanity conversation must now be encouraged so that the larger and larger groups of people could develop free flocks of ideas and knowledge worldwide. This vision can be developed only if representatives are able to act as plurality of voices, questions and desires of billions of people participating it,” said Hon. Emil Constantinescu in his speech at the High-Level Meeting of Former Political Leaders in Europe last year.

HWPL is a South Korea-based NGO registered in UN ECOSOC and executes global peace building campaigns with initiatives of international law for peace, inter-faith dialogue and peace education. It drafted the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to promote intergovernmental cooperation for securing principles of peace and citizen participation to develop a culture of peace. Currently, the declaration has gained official support from Central American Parliament, Pan-African Parliament and 1 million citizens from 174 countries.

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