Worldwide campaigns by global citizens to spread a culture of peace and enact an international law for peace
Global conflicts from terror and disputes pervade media coverage, and the international society is throwing back the question of ‘peace’. Citizens around the world, watching the disputes arising from religious intolerance or power struggle, are voluntarily seeking practical solutions to achieve peace and taking actions.
In May at over 100 cities in 50 countries, worldwide peace campaigns named ‘5th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace’, have been carried out to advocate peace-building led by grassroots such as youth, citizens, civic groups, and media. The Declaration of World Peace was announced in 2013 by an international peace NGO affiliated with UN ECOSOC, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) to call for all members of society to work together as peace messengers.
In South Korea that had the recent inter-Korean summit breaking a decade of the turbulent period of tension, the event with the theme of ‘Realizing Peace on the Korean Peninsula’ was held simultaneously in 12 cities on May 25, when the declaration was announced. It aimed to seek ways to interact freely with North and South, based on the citizen-centered peace activities, and to encourage citizens to take an active role in the progress in peace-building on the Korean peninsula.
“Many leaders in many parts of the world showed their support for peaceful unification of Korea. We received ‘peace letters’ that support the idea from students and youth in the countries we visited. By liquidating the past of pointing guns to kill each other, Korea should stand as a country of peace. I am certain that, as all humanity desires peace, the Korean Peninsula and globe will indeed see peace,” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL.
In his congratulatory speech, Mr. O Hee Ryu, Manager of Korean War Veterans Association, said, “We, Koreans, miss one Korea. We miss our country without war. Let us protect our beautiful youth not to be trampled by war. Let us create a world of peace, our future where our noble life is respected.”
International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), the host organization affiliated with HWPL, has collected ‘peace letters’ from government officials, social representatives, and citizens with the contents of world peace and reunification of the two Koreas. According to IPYG, the supporting letters for peace in Korean peninsula received from the global family will be delivered to the two leaders of the two Koreas.
Volunteers and citizens from various countries including the U.S, India, China, France, Philippines, Nepal, Nigeria as well as Afghanistan and Palestine, the disputed areas, gathered for activities such as peace walk, peace letter writing, and signing campaign for international law for peace in order to enact an international peace law and spread a culture of peace.
Responding to the necessity of establishing a legal framework to eradicate disputes or armed conflicts, HWPL proposed the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’ which embodies the value of the ‘Declaration of World Peace’, as a solution of world peace not only to the political, religious, and educational leaders of the international society but to youth, women, and media.
The DPCW consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peacebuilding such as respect on the international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace. Civil society throughout the world is carrying out peace education, peace culture projects, and ‘Legislate Peace Campaign’ to establish a legally binding international law for peace and to create a peaceful environment in the society in cooperation with HWPL.
“Citizens have the power to urge political leaders to establish peace in our times. If leaders have love for the world, nations, and people, they must come together to work for the establishment of international law for peace.” added Chairman Lee, while mentioning his recent visit to European countries to advocate international cooperation for peace-building.