Amidst Ongoing Global Conflicts, International Experts Gather to Discuss Institutionalizing Peace

– HWPLโ€™s 8th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) Held on March 14th –

 

In 2023 alone, conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas war, and numerous international disputes tragically claimed the lives of over 33,000 civilians and displaced millions. Recognizing this dire reality, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO, held its 8th annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) on March 14th at its peace training institute in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The event’s theme resonated deeply: “Building the Minds of Peace: Promoting Institutional Peace via Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding.”

 

 

Since the DPCW’s proclamation on March 14, 2016, HWPL has consistently held annual commemorative ceremonies to advocate for the institutionalization of peace. This year, the event gathered about 12,500 distinguished experts from diverse fields โ€“ political, legal, religious, educational, media, and representatives from women and youth sectors โ€“ both online and in person. Among participants, about 10,000 HWPL members moved in an orderly manner under the guidance of staff and filled the commemorative ceremony venue.

Drafted in collaboration with international legal specialists from 15 countries, the DPCW is comprised of 10 articles and 38 clauses. It outlines the principles and tools necessary to prevent and resolve conflicts, cultivate a peaceful global society, and defines clear roles for individuals, communities, and nations in achieving lasting peace.

In his congratulatory speech, H.E. Vidura Wickramanayaka, Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, said, “The commitment and dedication shown in the pursuit of peace projects have not only been commendable but have also laid the foundation for a more harmonious world. The tireless efforts of individuals and organizations working towards the common goal of ending war and fostering understanding among nations are truly inspiring.”

As President of the Daegak Buddhism Jogye Order in South Korea, Ven. Beopsan who has been participating in interreligious dialogue for nine years, emphasized the importance of religious leaders’ participation in peacebuilding efforts including comparative study of scriptures. He said, “Intercultural dialogue and understanding can be found at HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office. The root of religion is one and its meaning is a truly noble value.”

 

โ–ฒ Mohagher M. Iqbal, the Minister of the Ministry of Basic and Higher Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Peace education is integrated into the subjects of ethics and sociology and produced as textbooks for each grade in BARMM, Philippines.

 

Following that, Mohagher M. Iqbal, the Minister of the Ministry of Basic and Higher Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) spoke on the theme of “Global Cooperation to Institutionalize Peace Education.” He stated, “The path to peace is a journey of perseverance and resilience, and our commitment remains unwavering. Peace and justice are the cornerstones of sustainable development and prosperity for the Bangsamoro Region, and they are essential for fulfilling our aspirations and our inherent right to self-determination.”

He also introduced that the Bangsamoro Government has ardently pursued Peace Education as articulated in the Bangsamoro Education Code. He continued, “We are proud to have participated in the First Bangsamoro Peace Education Summit, where we presented lesson exemplars based on the guidelines set by the Ministryโ€™s peace and justice education framework. Our partnership underscores our belief in the transformative power of education in fostering a culture of peace, understanding, and mutual respect among diverse communities.”

 

 

Having pointed out that conflicts caused by religion have threatened global peace, Chairman Man-hee Lee of HWPL said, “Different religions should come together, learn each other’s values and become one by comparative study on scriptures. Religious communities should practice faith based on scriptures, so they can live with humanity on this earth. We must create a world where people communicate, cooperate, and help each other regardless of religion,โ€

Lastly, the ceremony concluded with a variety of performances depicting the journey of peace. During the performance, there was a session where the contents of Article 10 and 38 clauses of the DPCW were explained through performance, and expressed an image of a paradise filled with flowers, in which peace was achieved.