Global Leaders in Public and Private Sectors Call for United Voice for Peace as an Institution
October 2022, London UK: On September 18th, the 8th annual Anniversary of the World Peace Summit was held online with the theme, ‘Peace as an Institution: A Foundation for Sustainable Development’. The event was held around the world in 146 countries including UK, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, and Ireland with about 5,000 online participants. The event reaffirmed the importance of sustainable development guaranteed by institutionalising peace. This is all whilst the world has yet to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and faces other threats caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Since September 18th of 2014, when the peace summit was held for the first time, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL, an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC), has called for solidarity for peacebuilding at a global level. Through collective actions with various actors including heads of state, ministers, religious leaders, and other representatives from all sectors of society, the annual summit shares peace activities and achievements in cooperation with governments and civil societies around the world every year.
Regarding the cause of peacebuilding at a global level, HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee said, “The global village has suffered from the unexpected COVID-19 that has hit every country. People are not alone in the midst of difficulties. We live in the same global village, and we are neighbours and families. Each one of us is the one who is obliged to make our world a better place to live. And shouldn’t we pass on a good world to our descendants?”
H.E. Marinus Bee, the chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname, expressed his willingness to establish peace at the legislative level, saying “The role of parliaments in building peace and preventing conflict is crucial.” He added, “In collaboration with HWPL, the National Assembly would like to establish a framework of cooperation in achieving cessation of war and spread a culture of peace through activities to raise awareness of peace and encourage policies and programmes regarding peace education.”
Octavia Alfred, Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and Nation Excellence of Dominica said that HWPL’s peace education was introduced to the national school curriculum in Dominica as it was “integrated into Social Studies, and also as a stand-alone.” To develop the educational source into the civics curriculum in the country, she said HWPL’s peace curriculum is helpful, “in addressing the challenges of… not just students, but even what they take home to their friends and their parents, and also our teachers.”
Mahendra Das, the Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Mandir of the Philippines, presented an institutional approach to inter-religious dialogue and religion’s role in contributing to peace. He suggested that normalising international exchanges and programmes to prevent conflicts based on religious misunderstanding can be a starting point for a foundation of peace.
Mr. Chung Young-min, General Director of IPYG (the International Peace Youth Group), emphasised the role of youth as the main player of international action for peace, saying that education programmes for 1,500 youth in 59 countries are hosted to “protect the basic rights of youth around the world so that everyone can live a happy life without being left behind.”
The main goal of peace as an institution that HWPL suggested is to weave the values of peace into our social fabric, allowing mutual respect, harmony, cooperation, and co-prosperity to become part of our institutions as the norms and cultures of each society, domestic law, and international law. The principle of peace is contained in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), which was drafted with the participation of international law experts from 15 countries and proclaimed by HWPL in 2016.
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW underscore conflict prevention and resolution, gradual reduction of armament and the transition to instruments for daily lives, mutual respect and conflict resolution of religious and ethnic groups, and spreading a culture of peace. The DPCW urges all actors in the global community including international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations, and civic groups to play respective roles in institutionalising peace.
Details of the event can be viewed through the following YouTube link.