More than 1,800 people from 121 countries, including the United States, the Philippines, Ukraine, South Africa, Pakistan, Thailand, Romania, and India, attended the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit held in Incheon, South Korea, from September 18th to 21st.
During this event themed “Implementing a Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace”, leaders and experts in the fields of international law, religion, education, youth, women, and media participated in about 30 sessions over four days. The participants engaged in discussions, tailored not only by fields but also by countries, on practical and viable strategies to establish a legally binding international law for peace.
At the press conference on the 18th, Lee Man-hee, Chairman of the host organisation, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), urged politicians and leaders of countries to work together for peace as he called for action, drawing from his personal experience as a war veteran, having witnessed the harsh realities of war.
“Why should the lives of young people be sacrificed in war? What is politics, and for whom is it for? When war breaks out, it is not politicians who go out and fight, but young people who have never bloomed before that are sacrificed. Peace cannot be achieved through words alone. If we don’t have one, we have to create one, so we have traveled 32 times around the world to carry out peace activities. If peace had won in this world, there would have been no regrettable deaths. Through the enactment of international law, we must leave peace as a legacy to the global community where our descendants will live,” he stated.
At the main session on the 18th, H.E. Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, the 3rd President of Romania, said, “During the Summit, we agreed that Peace is not an abstract concept, but rather a supreme value of humanity that can generate a calm environment in which people can live without the threat of violent conflict or psychological pressure. We agreed to work towards the implementation of concrete measures, both in the short but above all in the long term, in order to fashion a new system of reference that replaces attitudes of “man against man” with “man alongside man”, expressed in the motto we adopted in 2014, “We Are One”.”
To achieve fair and sustainable peace, HWPL advocates for building an internationally agreed concrete institutional peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) that proposes the comprehensive measures of peace continuum, ranging from conflict prevention to maintaining peace. In addition, HWPL continues activities such as facilitating inter-religious dialogues, fostering peace activities led by youth and women, providing peace education, and promoting a culture of peace through media outreach.
In the progress report presentation, Kang Tae-ho, Managing Director of HWPL, introduced the progress of the DPCW, which has received approximately 900,000 supports from civil society in 176 countries as well as the Central American Parliament, and the case of Mindanao, which is an example of a private-level peace agreement.
Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim, Al haj, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from the Philippine, said, “Today, I stand before all of you with utmost humility and say that the Bangsamoro is now a land of peace, prosperity, and justice where Muslims, Christians, Indigenous Peoples’, and our Lumad brothers and sisters co-exist and live in harmony. As we embrace a new age in the name of peace and development, I call upon every influential leader, policymaker, and peace advocate in parts of the world to become a catapult that promotes peace, disarmament, and a sustainable future. Let us continue to write a story of peace.”
HWPL has operated the Religious Peace Academy (RPA), a platform for comparative scriptural studies, in 130 countries worldwide with the aim of preventing conflict and promoting reconciliation through inter-religious dialogue. Also, HWPL Peace Education to learn and practice peaceful values has been implemented in the various schools and educational institutions in 90 countries around the world.
HWPL officials expressed gratitude for the visit to South Korea by global peace messengers, including former heads of state and leaders of ministerial rank, all united for the common aspiration of humanity: peace. They also called for the cooperation of the South Korean government along with the support of the international community, to ensure that such nongovernmental diplomacy can contribute to achievable and lasting peace.
At this event, the HWPL Peace Award was presented to 13 individuals in recognition of their contributions to cooperating with HWPL’s peace initiatives. Among the recipients were H.E. Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, the 3rd President of Romania; H.E. Mr. Oumar Keita, Former Permanent Delegate of Mali to UNESCO HQ; and Dr. Ciaran Burke, Professor of International Law at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in German.