This year the ‘6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace’ will be held under the theme of ‘The World’s Call for Peace, Urging Support for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War’ with various peace campaigns around the globe.
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), which are clearly seen embedded within the contents of the Declaration of World Peace, directly state the responsibility that a nation has as a member of the international community, including the maintenance of friendly relations between states, repurposing weapons that kill to benefit humanity and respect for international law. It also includes a standard for the freedom of religion and the eradication of violence and illegal acts caused by religion, as well as the spreading of a culture of peace. The DPCW also emphasizes the participation of citizens in building a peaceful global village through areas such as education and welfare.
To promote peace through the voluntary participation of citizens, the event held on May 25th every year in more than 100 cities in 50 countries around the world is now being held simultaneously with the ongoing ‘Legislate Peace’ Campaign, which is a movement that has spread to 174 countries with over a million citizens around the world urging for the enactment of an international law based on the principles of peace embodied in the DPCW. In particular, approximately 160,000 letters of peace were handwritten by the youth last year to advocate for the DPCW and support the establishment of world peace, and in March of this year letters were officially sent to the heads of state from 193 countries, calling for support for the DPCW.
On 25 May 2019, with the slogan, ‘”RE: Peace Letter”, a Miracle of 193 Countries: May 25th, replies to Peace Letters start a miracle.’ participants will urge the heads of state to send letters in response to the ones they received, and also write and send additional letters with messages of peace to high-level officials of governments and international organizations in 193 different countries.
The fundamental mindset of the DPCW, which aims at building a world of peace, is the transition from the rule of power (force) that currently exists within today’s international order to the rule of law that is based on universal values of peace, including harmonious coexistence and respect for one another. The duties of a state, such as the prohibition of the use of force, reduction of war potential, respect for international law, and the development of friendly relations, have been agreed upon and emphasized as an international standard through the United Nations and the charters of various international organizations including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Resolutions, and other international documents. DPCW Articles 1 through 7 reconfirm these principles and suggest them as the core conditions that must be kept to create a world of peace.
DPCW Articles 8 through 10 suggest a new approach for peacebuilding according to the ever-changing international atmosphere. Global conflicts that have occurred since the end of the Cold War have gone beyond the differences between nations and ideologies and even spread to ethnicities and religions as the main contributing factors; the main causes of war also expanded from countries to organizations and individuals that are not bound by national boundaries.
Thus, DPCW Articles 8 to 9 emphasize legal actions, multilateral agreements, and shared participation for the freedom of religion. DPCW Article 10 deals with forming and spreading civilian participation and the culture of peace as the driving force for this era of peace, which cultivates the values of peace including political activities based on democracy, freedom of press, understanding and respect between religions, cooperative advancement of ethnic groups, gender equality, and the enhancement of welfare. We are now facing an era where it is up to individuals to either choose to start a war or create peace.
Reflecting on the current situation of the world as described above, HWPL is forming a global network of international organizations, governments, and civil society groups under the theme of “Let every person in this world become a messenger of peace, and give peace as an inheritance for the future generations.” Through the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace, we hope that all citizens will become the messengers of peace that will contribute to peace through their voluntary actions.