Peace as Institution to Change Daily Lives of People :
7th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War
Under the theme of “Institutional Peace: Strengthening Communication to Build Trust”, an international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL), held its 7th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War(DPCW) from March 14th to 19th in 41 countries including Seoul, Korea and from Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
With the foundation of “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)” as a tool for comprehensive global peacebuilding cooperation, 7,000 people in the fields of politics, legal profession and religion, education, media, women and youth joined the event in many different places of the world. Participants shared the cases of conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution to institutionalize peace as a universal culture and norm.
“This declaration, comprised of 10 articles and 38 clauses, aims to restore the spirit that served as the basis for the establishment of the United Nations and to achieve sustainable peace by promoting the universal values of the global community. The DPCW contains the message of no war, peace between nations and societies, friendly relations, prosperity, happiness, this is a simple message and everyone can relate to this message,” said Prof. Dr. Md Nazrul Islam, Chairman of International Law from University of Dhaka and one of the HWPL International Peace Law Committee members who drafted the DPCW, in the event on March 14th.
In his progress report presentation, Pravin Parekh, President of the Confederation of Indian Bar, presented major activities of overcoming disconnection and distrust and the progress for realizing the introduction of the DPCW to the United Nations. “HWPL has been strengthening trust and communication with youth, women, and civil society around the world in solidarity through activities such as Legislate Peace Project, WARP Office, and Peace Education,” he said.
Emphasizing the need for dialogues among religious leaders to facilitate tolerance and understanding, Ven. Myeong An, Vice President of Yeorae Order of Korean Buddhism, said, “Currently, many conflicts, persecutions, and conflicts among religions are taking place in the global village. It’s because of intolerance and a lack of communication. However, what if many religious people come to discuss with scriptures? It will only be a matter of time before a world of peace comes.”
In the event, action plans to advocate peace in Ukraine were prepared. Participants from over 100 countries write “Peace Letters” to denounce Russian invasion of Ukraine as a violation of international law and demand Russian President Putin a total withdrawal from the Ukraine territory. “Future generations of Russians will remember you and this war as an indelible and shameful history, and you will be left in history as the one responsible for sacrificing countless innocent lives,” the letter stated. These letters will be collected and sent to Ukraine, where a peace monument will be erected.
During the speech, Chairman Lee Man-hee of HWPL emphasized, “Peace cannot be achieved alone. If everyone can live together as one, there will be no wars or conflicts. As the saying goes, love your neighbor as yourself, war will disappear only when there is love for each other. Current international law cannot prevent war. Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations, waged a war. The DPCW was introduced to renew the inoperative international law to eliminate war. Now is the time to achieve peace. Just as people learn when they have to create (something), peace must be taught at home and at school to create peace. If people’s hearts change, a better world will be created. Let everyone in the global village become messengers of peace.”
Especially, at the event, the HWPL Peace Exhibition was organized for all participants to experience a glimpse of HWPL’s peace activities. The exhibition also had a photo zone decorated with peace monuments and articles of the DPCW for participants to take commemorative photos. At the event held in Seoul, the choir performed a beautiful song wishing for peace to celebrate the 7th commemoration of the DPCW.