World Peace Summit Calling for Concerted Action for Sustainable Peace in the New Normal Era

Over 30 000 people gathered online on Saturday, 18th September, via Youtube live and Zoom, to commemorate the 7th Anniversary of the HWPL World Peace Summit.

The organiser of the event, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), has been conducting citizen-centered peacebuilding activities to create “a culture of peace” advocated by the UN and international community to set up an environment of peaceful coexistence since the World Peace Summit in 2014. This year’s event dealt with the progress of international efforts and the plans to promote the peace agenda in the ‘New Normal’ era shifting from the post-Covid to the with-Covid.

This event presented the concerted action for sustainable peace with cases from various sectors such as international law, religion, education, and the media. Also, it addressed international cooperation to overcome the current crisis that threatens the coexistence and harmony of mankind, which has come to the fore during the pandemic.

Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL

“Our objective is to end wars in the global village and establish peace and make it a permanent legacy for future generations. Without peace, everything that we managed to build would be destroyed. … We should not let this happen. So, to achieve peace, shouldn’t we achieve our objective with the same spirit?” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at the event.

Peacebuilding efforts led by HWPL to establish legal foundations and international norms for peace through connecting global actors are embodied with its effort to advocate the international law for peace by drafting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).

“The DPCW Handbook enables us to systematically teach international law and the essence of peace to these students and others. It enables them to become lecturers in the following course,” said Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chief Advisor of Asian Association of Law Professors (AALP) as well as Former Chair of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (NHRC-BD), highlighting the need to encourage public discourse on peacebuilding by academia.

In addition to the basic principles of peace assigned to nations to uphold, the DPCW has presented principles that should be dealt with in the present era, such as prohibiting the use of force, fostering religious freedom, and civic participation to spread a culture of peace. In particular, it states that efforts for peace come from all members of the global society by identifying not only nation-states but also international organizations and all citizens as the main actors of building peace. Former President of Ecuador, Dr. Rosalia Arteaga Serrano shared:

“We know that it will be hard to achieve peace if we are not all working for it. This is why we need to encourage children, the youth, and adults to prevent verbal abuse and work towards reducing inequalities and eradicating disparities to achieve a more equitable, stable, and peaceful world,”

Hon. Octavia Alfred, Minister of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training, and National Excellence of Dominica, said that the students learn the necessity of mutual coexistence and cooperation through HWPL peace education and pass on to their friends, parents, and teachers what they have learned. She addressed it also deals with concepts that can develop psychosocial competency skills, such as respect for diversity, order, conflict resolution, and negotiation, so it is being used for teacher’s training.

Former High Commissioner of Lesotho to South Africa, Evelyn Letooane speaking at the event.

Former High Commissioner of Lesotho to South Africa, Evelyn Letooane, encouraged women to take up their role in the work of peace, encouraging all women to actively become agents for change.

“While the pandemic chart continues, global war must cease. This is a clarion call to cease all wars and call for peace activities to continue for women and children suffering from war and conflict. Women must immerse themselves into the work for peace rather than letting themselves sit outside of it trying to get work done. Action is the operative word. To this end, women should aim for “working for peace” rather than “protected peace” and peacemaking rather than peacekeeping. It should be emphasized that women are active agents of peace in that process. I am a peace lecturer of IWPG Peace Education having undergone training. My role is to promote peace education, with the spirit of peace, in my country and region.”

Swami Vedanand Saraswati, Spiritual Head at the Arya Samaj in Durban, South Africa, speaking at the event.

Swami Vedanand Saraswati, a faith leader represented Southern Africa WARP Offices in the InterContinenal World Alliance of Religions for Peace panel discussion, saying:

“What we did today, and what HWPL continues to do and has done since its inception, was to selflessly serve through these dialogues. These dialogues help educate and to quash any form of misunderstanding or perception [between religions]. As we get the perceptions cleared, as we dialogue with each other, the heart of the issue lies out there in the community. It is now that we, as faith leaders need to take this out to our congregations so that the fighting stops.”