Comprehensive Approaches to Build "Peace Governance" at the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit

Published in World
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:11

Regional discussion and sectoral meetings were held to plan peace projects considering local environments

“Establishing collaborative governance" for peace-building has been discussed with world leaders at the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance Religions' Peace (WARP) Summit held by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN ECOSOC in Seoul, Republic of Korea. On the third day of the summit, September 19th, sessions were held to focus on the region and sector-based peace projects.

At the 3rd International Religious Leaders' Conference, around 300 religious leaders who worked for interfaith dialogues gathered to promote harmony of religions. The participants shared the progress reports of interfaith meetings through HWPL’s WARP offices aiming to enhance mutual understanding and develop peacebuilding by religious leaders.

Rev. Acharya Prem Shankaranand Tirth, Hindu High Priest of Shree Geeta Ashram of Delhi, emphasized the value and importance of the interfaith dialogue based on the scriptures by mentioning, “The WARP Office taught us how to make religions one. The true discussion for harmony is not just comparing the knowledge of each other but it is a discussion in finding one complete truth.”

 In addition, Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, stressed on the role of the religious leaders in the current global situation and the importance of their mission for world peace. He urged religious leaders to take the lead in realizing religious reconciliation and religious peace through communication. “Religious leaders have to become the just and righteous scale measuring all religious scriptures. They gather all religious scriptures and work to define the trustworthy scripture with a legitimate standard at the WARP Office. Everything that religious leaders discuss must clearly be based on what is written in the scripture, which needs to be comprehensively analyzed and studied for the true alliance of religions.”

At the Region-Specific Discussion for the Implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), experts in various fields such as government officials, civil society leaders, and media discussed how implement the peace projects in each region.

The participants conceived peace projects in accordance with local conditions, such as implementing peace education and cultural programs, activating ‘Legislate Peace’ campaigns which are supportive signing campaigns for the DPCW, establishing a peace network, and setting up a road map for peace policy during the roundtable discussion by country or continent. Also, they wrote proposals and signed agreements to implement the projects systematically in their country.

The DPCW, drafted by HWPL advocating international cooperation for global peace, appealed to the participants in terms of inventing peace-specific policy making in countries for the legal foundation to promote peace. “The DPCW serves as a framework of a robust, global infrastructure built by sovereign states on a foundation of tolerance, mutual understanding, and dialogue developed to resist conflict. I believe that we will be able to find out ways to cooperate together with all stakeholders to work toward promoting peace in each of our respective country.” said H.E. Chin Malin, Undersecretary of State of Ministry of Justice.

Representatives of women's organizations carrying out active peace movement from 53 countries shared the role of women leaders in the enactment of the effective international law for peace and the importance of networking for urging the DPCW in cooperation with International Women‘s Peace Group (IWPG) at 2017 IWPG Network Forum.

Ms. Nam Hee Kim, Chairwoman of IWPG, said “Let us all support the implementation of an international law in order to protect our children from the suffering caused by violence and aggression and instead nurture them in an environment of peace. Peace education should start from within the family. We should become the mothers who can proudly say that we work hard to inherit the world of peace.” urging for the power of the world's 3.6 billion women in achieving world peace and their role in each field for the purpose of international law enactment.

A Global Peace Festival with 200,000 People was held in Republic of Korea

Published in World
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 16:30

A Culture of Peace was envisioned at a Peace Festival at the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit

South Korea, 18 September - A global peace festival celebrating the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the Alliance of Religions' Peace (WARP) Summit was held. Along with 1,100 international guests participating at the main venue, Hwaseong Sports Complex in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, 200,000 people in 30 countries including USA, South Africa, United Kingdom, China, and the Philippines participated in the summit by watching through live broadcasting in respective regions.

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a global NGO under the UN ECOSOC, showed colorful parade and performances to raise awareness of peacebuilding at the second day of the summit. Despite the increased tension caused by a series of North Korea’s nuclear tests, the summit has sought ways to implement peacebuilding based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) advocating conflict resolution and development of peace as a culture. The card section performance prepared by volunteers of the summit appealed to participants with images regarding a peaceful world achieved by global cooperation.

Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, urged the active participation for the implementation of the DPCW by saying, “This precious and indispensable gift was bestowed upon the human race as a legacy from heaven. Who must protect our world? It is us, the family of the global village. Neither wealth nor power can be passed down as a heritage if we fail to stop wars. Mankind and our Earth will share a fatal destiny.”

Ms. Nam Hee Kim, Chairwoman of International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), said “We already know the solution, the answer, to achieve peace, but if we do not act upon it, what will happen to the fate of this world? The choices we make can change the world. We must unite and show the world the strong influence that peace can make.”

In his congratulatory message, H.E. Dr. Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia, delivered, “Today we are closer to each other than to people sharing with us the same nationality but not the same values, the first being the protection and promotion of peace in the world. In these conditions of fragile peace and terrible wars, the permanent effort for peace must be continuous and mobilize all goodwill in the world.”

H.E. Adrien Houngbedji, President of the National Assembly of Benin, mentioned the value and future development of the DPCW, explaining that “It (the DPCW) is a praiseworthy effort which needs to be saluted. However, the different principles of this declaration must still be operationalized through a course of action, so that our countries as well as the international community can look for the possibility of implementing these measures in their national laws and treaties, agreements and international conventions.”

Plaques recognizing dedication to peacebuilding were given to the HWPL’s International Law Peace Committee for the members’ contribution to drafting the DPCW. At the end of the event, the participants held each other's hands and marched together, symbolizing a commitment of individuals transcending borders, races, and religions to work for peace.

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. 

Global Peace Summit is Held for the Establishment of Peace Governance

Published in World
Thursday, 07 September 2017 15:20

Seeking Strategies for Peacebuilding between Government and Civil Society at the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea

Seoul, South Korea - An international summit to seek global governance for peace and stability of the international society is held from September 17th to 19th in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under the UN DPI, hosts the 3rd annual commemoration of World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit, where representatives from governments and civil society groups will discuss detailed action plans for peacebuilding at local, national, and international levels.

To discuss ways to build a ‘Peace Governance’ as an international network, 1,000 participants in the summit include heads of state, ministers, members of parliament, representatives of international association in law, education, religion, press, youth and women. The theme of the summit is ‘Establishing Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development and Implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), drafted by experts in the international law to advocate conflict resolution and development of peace as a culture.

Today’s international community is trying to create "Good Governance" for the implementation of the agenda such as economy, culture, and education for sustainable development. In this global trend, HWPL has actively carried out citizen-involved peace activities supported by the government.

The ‘Legislate Peace Campaign’, a citizen-level advocacy campaign for the establishment of the international law for peacebuilding with youth and women has been conducted in the form of signatures, forums, and seminars in over 100 countries since May 2016. In cooperation with local governments, Peace Day and Peace Zone have been enacted by cities including the United States and South Africa to facilitate peacebuilding efforts by citizens.

Based on the experiences of peace activities, HWPL has been holding this annual event every year since 2014 to discuss the roles and action plans of each group of society. Under the slogan of 'Together for peace as messengers of peace', Mr. Man Hee Lee, the Chairman of HWPL, emphasized the importance of the support of the international community by saying, “For world peace and cessation of war, we should create conditions for working together with youth and women's organizations in each country. I would like to ask for the support for the unification of the Republic of Korea to the officials of each country.”

 

[Session Program] 

 

DATE

PROGRAM

TOPIC

9/17

2017  Conference  for  the  Implementation  of  the Declaration of Peace andCessation of War

Development  and  implementation  of  the  DPCW  through the establishment of peace governance

9/17

5th HWPL  International  Law  Peace  Committee Meeting

Seeking ways to make the DPCW a reality for the peaceful present and future

9/17

Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace

Seekingways to develop peace education forthepromotion ofa culture of peace

9/17

Conference for Global Peace Media Network

(1) Building a peace network for freedom of the press

(2) Planning region-specific press activities for peace

9/19

Region-Specific Discussion for the Implementation of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War

Discussingregional  projects  fortheimplementation  of  the DPCW

9/19

3rd International Religious Leaders Conference

Cooperation for the realization of religious peace

9/19

2017 IWPG Network Forum

The  role  of  3.6  billion  women  in realizingpeace  and cessation of war through international law

 

 

World Educators are Gathered in South Korea for Peace Education

Published in World
Sunday, 13 August 2017 19:34

“Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace” is held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on September 17th

Under the current global environment shaded by long-term violence around the world including terrorism and interethnic conflicts, the international society is seeking a conflict resolution through a long-term approach to peacebuilding – education.

Beginning in 2014 with peace initiatives on global cooperation in international law for peace and religious harmony, the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit has been hosted annually by HWPL to advocate participation of people from all levels of society in peacebuilding. Among its projects, followed by the high-level meeting with education specialists in 2016, detailed action plans in peace education for students and citizens will be introduced this year.

“Peace Education Development Forum for Spreading a Culture of Peace” will be held by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) on September 17th at Seoul, Republic of Korea. In the forum under the 3rd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit, 70 global experts in education including ministers of education, presidents of universities, professors, principals and teachers from 21 countries will participate. According to HWPL, this forum will address in-depth discussions in “the establishment of a network for global educators to co-develop education contents and spreading a culture of peace through peace education”.

“I have a high expectation of this very venue to discuss peace education for educators with different cultures and nationalities to make peace a reality,” emphasized Mrs. Shailaja Adhikary, Principal of Euro School, Nepal.

Juan Carlos Torres, Professor of Don Bosco University, said, “I want the upcoming generation to be able to have conflict resolution instead of thinking that the person with more guns will win. It is important to teach them how to resolve conflict with a peaceful way and have a peaceful mind. I will attend the education session in the WARP Summit and share about the peace education El Salvador needs with the teachers throughout the world.”

HWPL has formed a partnership with 117 education institutions globally to endorse and implement peace education by designating them as “HWPL Peace Academy” respectively, which includes India, Israel, Kosovo, and the Philippines. As promoted in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proclaimed by HWPL for global peacebuilding, HWPL has been building a cooperation with education specialists around the globe to provide opportunities of education to establish a culture of peace.

Along with this forum at the WARP summit, sessions for peacebuilding by global experts will be discussed, including 2017 Conference for the Implementation of the DPCW, 3rd International Religious Leaders’ Conference, Region-Specific Discussion for the Implementation of the DPCW, 5th HWPL International Law Peace Committee Forum, Conference for Global Peace Media Network, and 2017 IWPG Network Forum.

Mikheil Janelidze – “Noble Partner - 2017 contributes to peace and stability in Georgia and in the region”

Published in military
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:38

Georgian Vice Premier, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze attended the official launch of Noble Partner - 2017 multinational defence exercise.
 
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Defence Minister Levan Izoria Chief of General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces Vladimer Chachibaia and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly spoke at the opening.
“The drills contribute to peace and stability in Georgia and in the region and strengthen Georgia’s defence capacity and its European and Euro-Atlantic integration” – Mikheil Janelidze told journalist following the opening ceremony.
Georgia for the third time hosts the annual Noble Partner defence exercise with its European and regional partners with troops from eight countries joining forces for the training at the Vaziani military air base outside the capital of Tbilisi.
Service members from Georgia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Slovenia and Armenia  participate in the drills focused on improving defence and attack skills.
The Noble Partner 2017 is a part of drills of the European Command in the Black Sea region, which is being held on the territory of seven countries.
Noble Partner 2017 will continue Saber Guardian in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and Sea Breeze in Ukraine.
Established in 2015, the Noble Partner exercise was initially founded to train service members from the Georgian Armed Forces and NATO member states for the NATO Response Force (NRF) unit and to improve the Georgian troops’ interoperability with NATO units.

European Youth in Interfaith Peace Camps Call for the Role of Religion in Peacebuilding

Published in World
Friday, 21 July 2017 06:00

Warsaw, Poland/ Kaunas, Lithuania – Young leaders’ interfaith peace camps took place following one after another in Poland and Lithuania from June 23rd to July 2nd under the subject of the role of religion and youth for resolving conflicts in the world.

With total 104 participants from Catholic, Protestant, Islam, Sikhism, and ISKCON attending, HWPL Religious Youth Peace Camps were held by religious leaders in each city in collaboration with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO working to realize peace and cessation of war.

Ms. Deborah Oh, one of the coordinators of the event said, “I believe achieving peace is everyone’s agenda and, therefore, everyone is desired to work for the cause of world peace in any possible way. A research group in the US once announced more than eight people out of ten in the world are religious[1]. What if the 80% of world population who has faith takes the lead of working for peace?”

The youth of various faiths took part in lectures with lively Q&A sessions and discussions with religious leaders of the region as well as outdoor activities such as a three-legged race and campaigns on the roads. They also participated as an audience in an interfaith dialog for peace conducted based on the scriptures of each faith.

During the discussion, participants discussed on how religion can work for the cessation of war along with the society.

Jonas Klimavičius, a Catholic student from Kaunas Maironis Univesity Gimnasium said, “Religion [can be] then true religion when it teaches us how to love God. If we want to love God, we have to love all his creatures. So if we love one each other, we are creating peace. [To do so], talking with different religious people is very important.”

Also, the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office meeting was held on the second day of the camp in Kaunas at Kaunas Mosque.

The head of Islamic Community of Lithuania, Mufti Romas Jakubauskas remarked, “In every meeting, we are finding more common things than problems. Religious leaders are leaders of their community [and] they have to put more efforts to achieve this goal [peace]. They have to teach their communities, of course, they, themselves have to meet with other religious leaders to find solutions for the biggest problem which is conflicts and wars in the world.”

Warsaw, Poland, June 23rd to June 24th

Polish youth joined a series of outdoor activity where they could experience the importance of alliance of religions. An intensive version of the three-legged race was played. Pairs of competitors ran with their near legs tied together. In the camp, 6 people in 5 legs became a group and did the race step by step without making anyone fall behind or stumble.

Mr. Amandeep Sigh, a Sikh student from Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Poland recalled the moment by saying, “People from different religions are bound together as one. We are one. At first, it hurt my ankle when we had no rules. But after we set up some rules by communicating with each other and started walking again, we could walk safely and fast together.”

HWPL Religious Youth Peace Camp has also been held in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nigeria and is aiming to inspire youth and their religious communities to find solutions together for conflicts caused or excused by religions and to learn their roles to resolve them. 

Youth Network for Developing Peace-building Leadership in Malaysia

Published in World
Monday, 22 May 2017 22:02

12 civil organizations and college students from diverse ethnic groups in Johor called out for youth empowerment to lead a harmonious society.

JOHOR BAHRU, 19 May– Celebrating a global youth networking event for peace-building, ‘Youth Leaders, Driving the Future Force!’ was held in Cosmopoint College of Johor Bahru city. Participated were about 90 youth leaders from 12 national and international organizations as well as college and secondary school students from diverse ethnic and religious groups in Johor.

As mutual understanding between diverse ethnic groups has been one of the major concerns both in a global and national level, the Johor division of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community of Malaysia (JPW: Jabatan Pembangunan Wanita) hosted this event in collaboration with various international NGOs and local organizations from diverse ethnicities.

As a part of the 4th annual commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), and Johor Peace Committee (JPC) which works actively in the region as HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee co-hosted this event with the local community including Cosmopoint College Johor Bahru and AIESEC Johor Bahru.

Ms. Amy Kim, an International Press Department manager of HWPL North Seoul branch said, “It is inspiring to see how we youth can empower each other through an event like this, to realize that mutual understanding and interactive communication are much needed for future leaders. Through this value and ability, we youth can realize peace and harmony in the society.”

Ms. Amirah Dayana Azlan, the vice chairperson of GEMA Johor said “It was satisfying to address the sensitive issue of differences in races and religions particularly in Malaysia, because it has always been an issue that is used to disrupt harmony here in our country. It was great to voice out how we feel and which attitude we should adopt in terms of diversity to the younger generation. May it be an eye opener to me and to every Malaysian.”

After taking part in interactive speech sessions and games, participants decorated the map of Malaysia with post-it cards on which they wrote their wishes for peace. During the VIP congratulatory speech, Mr. Muhammad bin Haziq Zakaria, a founder of Inspire Mind Academy who was the former member of the Youth Parliament of Malaysia emphasized that this kind of opportunity is necessary for the future leaders, youths because their mindset and perspective would be made continuously based on their experiences.

To found a peace-based education project, HWPL is developing a ‘Global Peace Leadership Program,’ a long-term mentoring program in Malaysia where students can have mentoring from professionals of various fields, on peace-building leadership in various occupations. The program is being developed in cooperation with student council associations to be applied from primary school to college.

Meanwhile, the 4th anniversary of the Declaration of World Peace is to be commemorated continuously in 44 countries in the following week. The Declaration is calling on ‘all youth to unite in an effort to stop wars and pursue the restoration of peace.’

Peace Spelling Bee Competition: Inspiring Future Generation to Cherish Peace

Published in World
Saturday, 06 May 2017 09:14

Moroccan Youth Organization Volunteered to Promote the Value of Peace and Develop Global Communication Skills of Competitors.

AIT MELLOUL, 29 April – A global English spelling competition was held in the cultural complex of Aït Melloul by Moroccan Association of Youth's Access Alumni (MAYA), a committed youth group benefited from the English Access Microscholarship Program by the United States Department of State.

28 student competitors from Agadir, Inezgane and Aït Melloul competed with each other to find correct spelling of around 200 English words such as coexistence, philanthropy as well as extremism, genocide, which are distinctively dedicated to the theme of ‘peace and war.’

Mr. Omar Bourass, the president of Association of Parents and Teachers of Saada High School, addressed “Aït Melloul is a small town and known for its multi-cultural ethnicities such as Amazigh and Sahara people. All these elements make it so far from adopting a foreign culture or language. We don’t see these kinds of contest here in Aït Melloul or in Agadir, despite the fact that we’ve got the brilliant students in the region when it comes to English. I’ll always support MAYA in the making of such events that also support peace” Saada High School and Campus University Aït Melloul supported this event.

Not only contributing to the development of global communication competency of the local students, MAYA provided student competitors and audiences with the opportunity to reflect upon the value of peace in collaboration with its international partner, International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an international youth organization with whom it shares the same vision of youth engagement in peacebuilding.

Mr. Adnane Abderrahmane, the vice president of MAYA said, “As a young leader in MAYA association, I always proposed the idea of organizing a peace-related event, and the chance finally showed up with the IPYG. The whole vocabulary list related to war and peace was specifically made to encourage youths and teens to engage peacebuilding and also so that they could start reading and analyzing the ways and methods of bringing world peace.”

Before starting the 1st round of the competition, the congratulatory video from the IPYG was presented and it addressed that the global community should not leave words such as ‘refugee,’ ‘genocide,’ and ‘massacre’ to the future generation, but rather brighten the word ‘peace’ and ‘harmony,’ by working to stop wars and conflicts which are severely violating human rights.

Farah Galil, the third prize winner of the competition said, “When it was time for the IPYG video exhibition, I was already on the stage with the other competitors stressing out. [But] as the video started, I was overwhelmed with a story of a loving and caring mother raising her son for good, only until war came and took it away. The introduction video really got my attention and made me motivated and curious about how can we as a youth to support peace more.”

The prizes were awarded to Mouna Wamra and Imane Majidi of Lbakkali high school, and Farah Galil of Saada high school in order. The next competition will be held on March next year.

MAYA aims to continuously introduce the global youth movement for peace. IPYG with partnered youth associations around the world are spreading a culture of peace through peace movements such as walks, seminars, youth camps and public art projects.

The UN Secretary-General Appeal for Peace

Published in World
Sunday, 01 January 2017 15:16

New York, 1 January 2017 - "On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.
How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?
Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.
No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all.
On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution:
Let us resolve to put peace first.
Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.
From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides… From ceasefires on the battlefield, to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions…
Peace must be our goal and our guide.
All that we strive for as a human family – dignity and hope, progress and prosperity – depends on peace.
But peace depends on us.
I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day.
Let us make 2017 a year for peace.
Thank you".

Page 4 of 5

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