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Institutionalizing Peace: Designing Collective Action to Bring Peace as a Culture and Norm

Participants of the HWPL 9th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration

To tackle the current threats of life and stability from wars and conflicts, HWPL’s 9th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace was held online on May 25th, 2022. With 3,000 participants as representatives from politics, religion, academia, media and civil society, the event with the theme of “Institutionalizing Peace: Realizing the Collective Will for Peace” presented the progress of international cooperation to realize sustainable peace ensured by legal instruments.

The host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), proclaimed the Declaration of World Peace back in 2013. The declaration addresses the endorsement of national leaders, engagement of women and youth, cooperation among civil societies, and expansion of media coverage on peace. Afterward, it was developed into the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as a process to establish international legal instruments for global peace.

Young Min Chung, the General Director of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliate group of HWPL, said in his progress report, “730,000 citizens from 176 countries have signed in support of the DPCW for the past nine years. Recently, the IPYG is running the Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop (YEPW), where they discuss the agendas such as education, human rights, and conflicts and conduct joint action as well as policy proposals.”

The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW include prevention and resolution of conflicts, gradual reduction of war potential and turning weapons into daily tools, respecting and resolving conflicts based on religion and ethnic identity, and spreading a culture of peace. The declaration is geared towards engaging nations, international organizations, NGOs, and individual citizens in taking actions for a peaceful world.

Commemorative Speech by HWPL Chairman Lee Man hee

As for the collaboration for peacebuilding, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL appealed to the participants to be united as ‘messengers of peace’ to ‘bring freedom and peace to future generations’.

MOUs among religious leaders were signed for further cooperation with understanding religions based on comparative studies on religious scripture. In particular, the partnership between HWPL and the International Organization for Religion and Knowledge at Lampur led to the establishment of a peace monument to convey values of peace to local citizens.

In India, peace educators utilized the Metaverse as a virtual world platform to teach peace education to their students. The students are able to read e-books, visit the virtual HWPL village using avatars and observe diverse peace activities that are carried out in many parts of the world. Games and quizzes through this platform also encouraged a creative interaction among the students and teachers.

During the peace journalist report, Mr. Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Visiting Fellow at the Pridi Banomyong International College of Thammasat University and former Chief Editor of The Nation in Thailand said that the foundation of peace is closely related to democracy that serves as an open room for ‘allowing participation of civil society’ to peace process. Elaborating on the current deadlock of the peace process in Southern Thailand, he said, “Any peace process that would lead to lasting peace must address the problem at its root cause and must be conducted along with the democratization with intensive participation of not only stakeholders but also civil society.”

HWPL has been developing global cooperation for peace both at the international level and at the national level by garnering the support of international organizations for the DPCW and working hand in hand to reinforce international norms to realize peace. With civil organizations, HWPL has been carrying out activities for the public good to ensure that peace takes root.

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