Designing collective action to bring peace as a culture and a norm
HWPL’s 9th Annual Declaration of World Peace Commemoration Held Online May 25e, 2022, to face the current threats to life and stability due to wars and conflicts. With 3,000 attendees representing politics, religion, academia, media and civil society, the event themed “Institutionalizing Peace: Realizing the Collective Will for Peace” showcased progress international cooperation to achieve a lasting peace guaranteed by legal instruments.
The host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), proclaimed the Declaration of World Peace in 2013. The declaration addresses the endorsement of national leaders, the engagement of women and youth, cooperation between civil societies and the expansion of media coverage of peace. Subsequently, it was developed into the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as a process to establish international legal instruments for world peace.
Young Min Chung, the Managing Director of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), a HWPL affiliate group, said in his progress report, “730,000 citizens from 176 countries have signed up for the DPCW over the past past nine years, which allows them to express their opinions in the most direct way.Recently, IPYG organizes the Youth Empowerment for Peace (YEPW) Workshop, where they discuss programs such as the education, human rights and conflict and carry out joint actions as well as policy proposals.
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW include the prevention and resolution of conflicts, the gradual reduction of the potential for war and the transformation of weapons into everyday tools, the respect and resolution of conflicts based on religion and ethnic identity , and the dissemination of a culture of peace. The declaration aims to commit nations, international organizations, NGOs and citizens to take action for a peaceful world.
As for collaboration for peacebuilding, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL called on participants to unite as “messengers of peace” “to bring freedom and peace to future generations.” President Lee continued, “This time (Russia) invaded Ukraine and started the war. This is why HWPL and the Peace Families have long called for the establishment of international law to prevent the potentials for war. So we brought together international law experts globally…and made the declaration with 10 articles and 38 clauses.
As part of peace activities aimed at resolving conflicts in India, memorandums of understanding between religious leaders have been signed for further cooperation with the understanding of religions based on comparative studies of religious scriptures. In particular, the partnership between HWPL and the International Organization for Religion and Knowledge in Lampur has led to the erection of a peace monument to convey the values of peace to local citizens.
The participation of educators in peace-related activities was also introduced at the event. The teaching methodology with the use of Metaverse has been demonstrated as a virtual global platform where students can experience peace by reading materials and observing various peace activities that are carried out in many regions of the world.
One of the participating students said, “I learned about the need for international law to achieve peace. We need a law that can establish peace. It is important that people respect the law and if all people became citizens of peace, we wouldn’t even need the law.
In a press report on the event, visiting scholar from Supalak Ganjanakundi Thammasat University, Fridi Banom Mun International University and former editor of The Nation in Thailand, said the foundation of peace is that democracy works. as an open space that “allows civil society to participate” in the peace process. He continued: “For a peace process that can lead to lasting peace, the problem must be addressed at the root, and be achieved through the intensive participation of civil society as well as stakeholders.
HWPL has developed global cooperation for peace both internationally and domestically by gaining support from international organizations for the DPCW and working hand in hand to strengthen international norms to achieve peace. Together with civil organizations, HWPL has carried out activities for the public good to ensure that peace takes root.