Peace Messengers Build Friendship in the Midst of a Pandemic

From 17 October to 2 November, HWPL and peace messengers have held 31 rounds of online meetings under the tittle, "The Unceasing Way Forward for Sustainable Peace." In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, HWPL branches around the globe and peace messengers came together to share the peace activities that have been carried out in 2020, and leaders from different walks of life pointed out situations that are threatening peace in their respective countries.

The peace messengers wished each other good health and safety through the screens. A total of 2,472 people participated in this online event, and the number of participants ranged from 3 to more than 400 at a time. They shared their views on peace in the present-day world, major issues confronting each country, and their determination to seek and implement solutions to such issues.

▲ Kamal Hossain, President of International Law Association (ILA) Bangladesh Branch, is delivering a congratulatory address on behalf of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee

Under the slogan, "Webinar to Promote Value of the DPCW through DPCW Handbook," university professors of law and legal organizations in Bangladesh and Pakistan started a project, where they will have a five-month discussion on pending issues related to peace and human rights that are addressed in the DPCW.

About 400 people from 10 African countries, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, participated in the online meeting. The participants included government officials, religious leaders, youth, women, educational experts, and journalists. They discussed the role of each sector of society in addressing the current issues of southern Africa and ways to promote a culture of peace.

The meeting was broken into six sessions, which were held on the following themes: ▲The Role of African Governance: Building on Our Past to Shape A Brighter Future, ▲Educating with Hope: Achieving the Africa We Imagine through Teaching the Values of Peace, ▲The Role of Religion during the Time of Pandemic in Peace Keeping, ▲The Progressive Efforts of Young People in the Peace and Security Agenda, ▲The Role of Media in Curbing Gender-Based Violence and Promoting Peace, and ▲Women's Role in Nurturing Sustainable Peace.

▲ Mzwakhe Louis Nqavashe, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Safety and Security (Cape Town), is giving a speech

Meanwhile in Iraq, peace messengers hosted 2020 Iraq Webinar: Overcoming Human Rights Violations After Covid-19 Pandemic, where they discussed about the protection of human rights of the underprivileged, a topic that has drawn attention since the onset of COVID-19. The webinar was joined by heads of human rights groups, university professors, and heads of youth organizations in Iraq. Speeches were delivered on not only human rights issues but also the role of peace education and youth in establishing social peace in Iraq.

"Peace education refers to the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to resolve conflict peacefully and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, intergroup, national or international level. We implemented Peace Education as a formal course in our department," said Nizar Ismat, a lecturer of the Department of General Psychology at University of Zakho.

"Peace Education tries to investigate the causes of conflicts and violence embedded within the values, perception and attitudes of the individuals within the social as well as political structure of the society. Peace Education helps to develop the values and skills to assist the students in striving for the fullness of life through the creation of constructive behaviors for dealing with problems so as to minimize and eliminate conflict. Students can learn from nature that living in harmony is the notion of respect," Mr. Ismat continued.

▲ 2020 Iraq Webinar: Overcoming Human Rights Violations After Covid-19 Pandemic

Epeli Vakatawa, a freelance journalist of Fiji One TV, spoke about the economic crisis, human rights issues, and climate change in the South Pacific and noted that HPWL's activities are important in resolving these problems. He urged the journalists in attendance to continue reporting news of peace.

Maneck Bhujwala, a priest of California Zoroastrian Center, said in his speech, " So always when I talk about the religion that there are two parts. One part is the basic principles of love, charity, justice, compassion, you know, happiness for everyone. And the rest of the part of religion is what is created by the followers. So my goal is to continue educating people wherever I give a talk about these two things that we call religion."

▲ Peace messenger in the US

The webinar was also attended by former and current political leaders of different countries, including Rosalia Arteaga Serrano (Former President of Ecuador), Donald Ramotar (Former President of Guyana), Alando Terrelonge (Minster of State of Jamaica), Osorno Coleman Salomon (Member of the National Assembly of Nicaragua), Cristina Eugenia Reyes Hidalgo (Member of the National Assembly of Ecuador), Paula Lorena Rodriguez Lima (Representative of Central American Parliament), and Gilberto Manuel Succari (Senator of Central American Parliament). During the event, HWPL and different ministries signed memoranda of agreement, promising to advance peace together.

Even at times when confusion continues globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the peace messengers are carrying out the work of peace across the world. They could not meet in person, but through online meetings, they reaffirmed that they belong to the same family of peace and built friendship beyond all barriers.

HWPL's October Online Meeting: "The Unceasing Way Forward for Sustainable Peace"

Event TitleNo. of
No. of CountriesParticipating Countries
1HWPL Peace Education Celebrates World Teacher's Day714Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda
2HWPL Peace Forum: Creating the Infrastructure for Peace26310Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, United States
3Peace Messengers: The Unceasing Way Forward for Sustainable Peace3259Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States, Venezuela
4Light in Nepal and Peace Education during the Pandemic684Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines
5HWPL Gwangju Jeonnam Online Peace Conference351South Korea
6HWPL and Friends: Progressing the Light of Peace in this Global Pandemic351Australia
72020 Iraq Webinar: Overcoming Human Rights Violations After Coronavirus Pandemic311Iraq
82020 LEBANON WEBINAR: COVID-19, Human Rights Protected by Citizen Practice251Lebanon
9HWPL and Friends: Progressing the Light of Peace in this Global Pandemic291Australia
10Peace Activities of Religious Leaders to Overcome COVID-19244Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
11Future Education for Peaceful Pakistan351Pakistan
12Webinar to Promote Value of the DPCW through DPCW Handbook203Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
13International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists87Australia, Egypt, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, South Korea, United Kingdom
14A steady march toward peace: Peace Seminar for the 6th Annual Commemoration of September 18th World Peace Summit376Burundi, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Rwanda, Sudan, Thailand
15A steady march toward peace: The Initial Seed of HWPL's Peace Education61Rwanda
16A steady march toward peace: What We Found in the HWPL World Peace Summit63Myanmar (Burma), Rwanda, South Sudan
17A steady march toward peace: The Role of Youth After COVID-19217Burundi, Cameroon, East Timor, Rwanda, South Korea, South Sudan, Thailand
18A steady march toward peace: Peace Talk - Pieces of Peace from Sudan111Sudan
19A steady march toward peace: Peace Talk - Pieces of Peace from Timor-Leste31East Timor
20A steady march toward peace: Peace Talk - Pieces of Peace from Myanmar61Myanmar(Burma)
21The Sounds of Peace during a Global Pandemic1679Benin, Comoros, Gambia, Guyana, India, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, United States
22Peace Messengers: The Unceasing Way Forward for Sustainable4044Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
23Shaping a Peaceful Future Together ‘He waka eke noa’ we’re in this together611New Zealand
24Continuous Progression for Sustainable Peace37116Austria, Bulgaria, Cote d'lvoire, Cyprus, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Madagascar, Mali, Malaysia, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Tunisia, United States
25Appreciation to Zambian Peace Messengers - HWPL Zambia Regular Meeting281Zambia
26World Media Forum304Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Spain
27Pakistan Peace Education Conference191Pakistan
28Remembrance of WARP Office and Discussion for the 2021 WARP Office586Albania, Croatia, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, United States
292020 HWPL World Peace Webinar in South Pacific: Sustainable Non-Stop Development for Peace348Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Tonga, Vanuatu
302020 HWPL Peace Education Forum in East Africa - Peace Education, the Answer for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa1852Kenya, Uganda
31The Sounds of Peace During a Global Pandemic: We are One!563Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda