From 17th to 19th in September, about 2,000 of representatives from various sectors such as political leaders, faith leaders, women and youth organizations, educators, and media had visited South Korea to attend 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit.
In an effort to find solutions to achieve sustainable peace, the participants discussed their roles and actionable plans in relation to the enactment of the international law for peace, the development of peace education, the promotion of a culture of peace as well as religious harmony.
On the last day of the 3-days summit, the host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held sectorial conferences for members of youth and women organizations, religious leaders, and media.
The Role of the Youth and Women in Realizing Peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the World
Organized by International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliated group of HWPL, the youth session titled ‘The Role of the Youth in Spreading a Culture of Peace for the Realization of World Peace’ had an agenda of the support and the participation of youth for the ‘Peace letter campaign’.
Peace letter campaign is one of the peace projects of IPYG to urge the government to support the implementation of the international law for peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Mr. Herculano Amaral, Coordinator of International Rotary Club of Dili Lafaek in Timor-Leste, introduced the result of the peace letter campaign. “Last year, IPYG members of Timor-Leste Branch met the former president and introduced about HWPL and IPYG’s activities. And this year, our team convey the documents of the DPCW and a peace letter to the cabinet of the president. The movement is intended to get support from the president of our country and also those who involved in the decision making.”
In particular, this year’s conference also aimed to call for the support for the peaceful reunification on the Korean Peninsula. According to the General Director of IPYG, Mr. Young Min Chung, IPYG has made progress within Korea. The Declaration of Unification of Korea, declared by Chairman of HWPL in 2010, stated the need for the two leaders of Korea to listen to the voices of the Korean citizens. To achieve this, thousands of youths in Korea have written peace letters to President Moon to voice their support for the unification. At the same time, hundreds of political leaders from around the world wrote letters to urge the leader of North Korea to talk to HWPL for the peace of the Korean peninsula.
In the same vein, “2018 Worldwide Women’s Peace Conference” was held by International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) affiliated with HWPL to share the progress of its peace activity such as women’s peace education and plant peace campaign and to discuss the role of women leaders to bring peace in the world as well as to the last divided nation, Korea.
On the topic of the conference, Former First Lady of Croatia, Dr. Tatjana Josipović said, “The only legitimate and reasonable politics is to search for the permanent peace, without any violence. Women in the creative fields of activities can contribute to the implementation of peace influencing other people to advocate the DPCW to become a binding legal instrument. I think the provisions of the DPCW should be not only a moral obligation but to be binding rules for all world leaders. Our voice must be heard from political institutions, art scene, sports fields, classrooms, and media to warn humanity that we must do everything to stop wars and violence once forever.”
4th International Religious Leaders’ Conference: Spreading the Culture of Seeking a Trustworthy Scripture to Realize the Era of Peace
World religious leaders from 20 different denominations gathered together to promote the culture of peace among religions and seek for the dedication of faith leaders to realize peace. For this, the members of ‘Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee’ were appointed as a role of spreading the culture of seeking a trustworthy scripture.
The Most Rev. Wattegama Dhammawasa Nayaka Thero, President of Sri Subodharama International Buddhist Center in Sri Lanka, said, “Even though my place is peaceful right now, we cannot be completely free from conflicts deeply. Religious extremists do not practice their own religion and some hold strongly to their own religious views, hence conflicts and misunderstandings occur due to this discrepancy. Therefore, I could agree the goal of HWPL that we should find out the most trustworthy scripture that can overcome the differences of ideologies among religions to achieve world peace.” stressing the need for the religious harmony based on a trustworthy scripture.
Speaking about the need of the comparative studies of the scripture, Chairman of HWPL said, “Why do people need the scripture? It is because the scripture leads the righteous way for people. Thoughts or wisdom of one’s own can’t be defined as a scripture. At this time, the comparative studies of scripture are the most urgent since it is the definite way for the religions to become one.”
2nd Conference for Global Peace Media Network: International Peace Media Community, “Peace Initiative”
Journalists and representatives of media outlets from about 30 countries took part in the conference for global peace media network where the peace media platform ‘Peace Initiative (PI)’ launched.
‘Peace Initiative’ is designed by the ideas of the journalists around the world in order to spread the news of peace and promote peace journalism with protecting the freedom of the press. To forge the cooperative partnership for ‘PI’, participated representatives of media outlets and HWPL signed an MOU.
Ahead of the addresses from the journalist, Former President of Tunisia and Bishop of Poona diocese delivered the messages on the significance of the role of media to promote peace in the mind of people and the society.
As a special speaker, H.E. Dr. Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia, emphasized the mission of the media. “As a human rights activist, I know how much I owe to the independent press that has always unveiled the violations of the dictatorship in Tunisia and the Arab world and thus contributed largely to the Arab Spring. Today there is a new mission. In the face of the surge of hatred, rumors and false information that infect social networks, only honest and serious journalists are the guarantors of the truth, which is the essential condition for peace in hearts and minds. I am sure you will live up to the immense task ahead and wish you good luck in this vital mission.”
Mr. Avtandil Otinashvili, Editor in Chief of Newsday in Georgia, said “We journalists should let the whole society know about the peace-building efforts of various sectors of the society. By raising awareness of peace through news reporting, we can stop those innocent people, especially youth from losing their lives in the futility of war. I believe it is our noble duty and responsibility as a journalist.”
“In this context, I am glad that HWPL and journalists from different countries considered the need to create a ‘Global Peace Media Network’ in order not only to inform the population about the existence of conflicts but also to outline ways to resolve them. We are confident that the content called ‘peaceinitiative.net’ will become the platform that will prepare and disseminate information on the subject of peace, which, in turn, contributes to establishing peace on our planet.” he added.
The conference concluded that the participants signed “Joint Statement on Media Cooperation for Press Freedom and Global Peace” which contained the mutual assistance and cooperation to foster global peace through sharing peace-related news, to report to help protect human rights as well as democracy, and to take joint action onto inhumane atrocities.
The host of this summit, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL participated in each session and delivered his message to the attendees, the peace-builders. “We founded HWPL for the security and peace in the world. However, HWPL cannot achieve world peace and the cessation of war by itself. Power of an individual is merely that of one person. However, if these individuals gather, we can foster great strength. If we abide by the DPCW of 10 articles 38 clauses, we can achieve peace. For this very reason, everyone should acknowledge and promote the DPCW. Let every one of you become one and achieve peace. We are one!”