Russia’s current attack on Ukraine stirs disturbance and tension globally and threatens a peaceful future, which all of humanity must build for future generations.
Military aggression against a sovereign state cannot be a solution to any problem, and the perils of such war and violent conflict hit innocent citizens the hardest, including women, the youth, and children. Nothing can repay the lost lives, and the direness of being made refugees overnight cannot be consoled with anything but the cessation of hostilities and peace.
As an international peace NGO listed in UN ECOSOC and UN DGC, HWPL joins the UN and the international community in voicing condemnation against actions that cause a global crisis and violate human rights through the act of aggression.
Russia must withdraw its forces back to its country and ensure the safety of the people of Ukraine. Russia must clearly express the will to join talks and efforts to resolve the current crisis peacefully. At the same time, it must come forward with respect for the principles of international law and manner apt to rectification, with a bearing of peace. Such a decision will gain the support of the entire global community and become a milestone in the journey of building lasting peace.
HWPL calls on the youth around the world to join the voices calling for peace and the cessation of war. It is for the fellow youth citizens who share the same era with us and are made victims in the violence of war, and it is for the future of the global community.
Furthermore, for the peaceful resolution of the current crisis of Russia and Ukraine, we support and urge swift action of the UN and request all nations to demonstrate their love for humanity by offering help to refugees.
28 February 2022
HWPL Messenger of Peace, Man Hee Lee
The HWPL Global Family of Peace
HWPL’s 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)
– Institutionalizing Peace: Building a Legal Foundation for Sustainable Peace –
HWPL’s 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) will be held online on 14 March 2022. At this year’s commemoration, under the theme, Institutionalizing Peace: Building a Legal Foundation for Sustainable Peace, HWPL spotlights institutionalization as a foundation to make peace take root and develop.
Since the proclamation of the DPCW, the citizen-led peace campaign Legislate Peace captured HWPL’s efforts to expand and strengthen the global alliance for peace. Its efforts include initiatives to sew peace into the social fabric as a universally shared culture and norm. While working toward the universalization of peace values, there have been discussions regarding the need to institutionalize peace. Delving into the topic, HWPL sets out to draw the blueprint for peace as an institution, which will serve as the cornerstone for the era of peace.
International organizations such as the UN, the African Union (AU), and the EU have recently stressed normative guidance as a standard to set the course for substantial conflict resolution and peace. Notably, it is recommended that women and youth participate in discussions on peace so that the concerns of the citizens afflicted by conflict are not overlooked. The IGOs also underscore the constructive intervention of NGOs that can contribute their expertise and experience for peace issues, the inclusion of human rights policies, and the democratic process in implementing peace-related policies.
The UN and the AU have recognized the importance of ensuring inclusivity in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction by ensuring the participation of women and youth, with the aim of achieving sustainable peace. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) emphasized the importance of international efforts to select a discussion channel that includes the UN, nation-states, and all other stakeholders with the goal of resolving national crises of widespread conflict and establishing sustainable peace and democracy. More specifically, the EU started the Global Europe thematic programme on Peace, Stability and Conflict Prevention to enhance peace and safety capabilities of conflict-stricken regions. The diverse participation of actors, their cooperation, solidarity, and harmony for peace form a comprehensive approach to conflict resolution and prevention, which shows an evolutionary process that stimulates the institutional reinforcement for systemic peacebuilding through a normative framework.
Based on the DPCW, participation in peace activities and peace coalitions from around the world illustrate the collective will of the global citizens for peace. In this regard, the global alliance for peace activities led by HWPL fully aligns with the recommendations of the international community, including the UN. At the same time, it also leaves the challenge of institutionalization that establishes peace as a system, the norm, and custom through cooperation with countries and organizations that reflect the citizens’ collective will to let peace take root in nations and regions. In other words, in the process of establishing peace as the law applicable to all individuals and a social consensus, the key is the development of the institution, a mechanism that will shed the light of peace on everyone fairly and generously. It also points to the need for efforts to strengthen and complement current international law and efforts in societies to internalize the institution of peace through democratic and legal processes, all of which must go hand in hand at the international, national, and local levels. The international community is the collective action that involves all stakeholders with the capability and potential for fulfilling sustainable peace. Such collective action is founded on the collective spirit and collective will of citizens. Since the DPCW was proclaimed in 2016, HWPL has been forging a citizens’ alliance for peace under the title, Legislate Peace, as part of its efforts for the institutionalization of peace and international law for peace.
3. Content and Outcome
Proclaimed on 14 March 2014 at 3:14 p.m., the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proposes ten articles and 38 clauses that embody principles that strengthen the foundation for the prevention and resolution of the globally rampant conflicts. Violent conflicts today are traced back to sources beyond state boundaries, and the most frequent types are conflicts caused by non-state actors. This means the threat to individual lives, social stability, national constitution, and even the security of human society has become more common and personalized. Therefore, DPCW from Articles 1 to 7 reaffirms the conventional international law and norms for peace order that run current in the international community, including friendly relations, use of force, conflict resolution by international law. At the same time, it proposes actions such as repurposing weapons and related facilities to instruments and equipment that serve the daily lives of citizens and obligating nation-states to request and accept the international courts’ rulings based on international law, an innovative approach to complement the current international legal system.
In addition, in Articles 8 to 10, the DPCW suggests an evolved approach to peaceful resolution in response to evolved conflicts. It covers engaging cooperation, solidarity, and unity across IGOs, nation-states, and the citizens’ that form these actors to deal with non-state actors emerging as growing causes of conflict. Articles 8 to 10 highlight the peace mechanism in response to new types of conflict. They include giving penalizing roles to punish entities that destroy social order by inflicting violence or human rights abuse under the name of religious belief or ethnical identity and thereby threaten international stability and establishing and spreading a culture of peace through activities to promote peace and build solidarity among peace organizations, education that foster mutual respect and understanding, and ensuring freedom of the press to reflect diverse voices across societies.
The spirit of the DPCW recognizes citizens as the main actor of peacebuilding and points to a transition from the rule of power to the governing by law for harmony, fairness, and justice. In this regard, this year’s commemoration of the DPCW will view international law, religion, education, and the youth in light of the prospect of setting legal foundations to institutionalize peace and present cases from numerous social arenas. Furthermore, by charting the direction for future civic peace campaigns, the event will contribute to devising concrete plans to form cooperative public-private relations toward peace as a core value shared by all countries and societies