Seoul, South Korea, March 21, 2019
About 30,000 people including government officials, religious leaders, heads of NGOs and media gathered in Seoul, South Korea, on March 14, 2019 to increase efforts for the establishment of an international law for peace.
Celebrating its third anniversary, the annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO, to share the progress of activities undertaken to introduce the DPCW to the UN as a resolution.
Three Peace Initiatives
HWPL has implemented three peace initiatives – International Law for Peace, Interfaith Dialogue Meetings, and Peace Education.
The DPCW, drafted by international law experts includes principles of peacebuilding, such as the prohibition of the use of force, development of friendly relations, and peaceful dispute settlement. It also emphasises international cooperation based on interfaith dialogue, and civic participation to create and spread a culture of peace.
Pravin Harjivandas Parekh, President of Confederation of Indian Bar, who attended the March 14 event, said, “The strength of HWPL is to awaken the civil society with the idea of peace. The DPCW connects considerably with civil society’s contributors since peace cannot be continued just through the voices of elites and institutional processes. It suggests civil society’s function as the peace-building actors who aim for the implementation of the citizens’ advocacy, encouraging a culture of peace.”
Anna Cervenakova, a member of the Human Rights Research Center, said it means a certain system of values, namely, respect for human life, ending war, armed conflicts and violence; and acting on promoting peace, human rights, fundamental freedoms, sustainable development, and environmental needs for present and future generations.
According to the progress report announced at the event, the DPCW has been supported by the governments of Seychelles, eSwatini, and Comoros and international and inter-governmental organisations such as PARLACEN (Central American Parliament), PAP (Pan-African Parliament), and Centre for BBS (International Centre for Black Sea-Baltic Studies and Consensus Practices).
This year’s Anniversary discussed the ‘Peace Letter Campaign,’ a part of the advocacy plan support from women, youth, and citizens for the establishment of a legally-binding framework for an international law for peace.
International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) General Director Young Min Chung said that since 2018, the Group has sent more than 200,000 Peace Letters to Heads of States seven countries including South Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, Namibia, Malaysia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Korea.
New ‘Peace Peninsula’
“We have great expectations. The first goal is to submit the DPCW to the UN General Assembly as a draft resolution for adoption. The second is to create a new Peninsula to achieve peaceful unification in Korea,” he said.
A Lecture on ‘Civil Society’s Role for Peaceful Unification, Exchange, and Cooperation of the Korean Peninsula” was held at the Anniversary celebrations.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “Korea has undergone much sorrow from the division, which still threatens our daily lives. When I was 20 years old, I had no choice but to join the tragic war. We need to listen to what the soldiers said. They blamed their countries. Do the countries compensate for the loss of life? There should no longer be victims of war in our globe.”