World religious leaders holds peace summit in Seoul
In a world that is increasingly troubled by religious extremists and warmongers, there are some that are still concerned about world peace. A gathering of persons from all levels of society gathered in Seoul, the Republic of South Korea, for the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit on September 18. The reason for the meeting is for advocacy and development of peace into an enforceable, international legal foundation based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), proclaimed on March 14 of this year.
The summit brought together 1,000 renowned leaders from every corner of the globe, as participants from 130 countries take part in the parley, organised by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO registered in the UN DPI that conducts peace-related projects and campaigns globally. The Advocacy Forum preceded the Summit proper and it was geared towards the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. That was on September 17.
This aspect of the forum was attended by 200 people, including members of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee, ministers, representatives of organisations and civil societies.
In his opening speech, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL underlined global cooperation by stating, “For the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit, we’ve come together. All family members of peace, who have a strong will for peace, must gather our hearts and communicate with each other for peace to be settled one day sooner, for it is what all humanity has been longing for. Religious leaders have put forth their efforts for the improvement of the unity of religions at the WARP Office meetings and advocate the DPCW, as well. Just as a leader must lead his or her followers, they are striving to make a better world at the forefront.”
Chairwoman, Nam Hee Kim of the International Women’s Peace Group, also appealed to the participants, saying: “War only gives birth to another war, leaving fear and sacrifices to our future generations. We must achieve our purpose, the advocacy for this Declaration, to not repeat the atrocities of war for the next generation. When the public’s awareness of this issue increases, the powerful strength of peace in the world will arise, transcending national interests. All heads of state, justices, and UN representatives must work at the forefront to advocate the implementation of international law compatible with the DPCW.”
Part One commenced with “the Potentiality of the DPCW and the Possibility of its Implementation”, presented by Dr. Kamal Hossain, a member of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Panel discussions ensued with concentration on the roles of different levels of society and plans of action for the advocacy of the DPCW to be developed into an international legal foundation for peace building.
Part Two opened with the speech regarding “Strategies for Advocacy to Governments at City Level” given by Mr. Mihail Guzun, Councilor of Codru City Council, Republic of Moldova.
Ms. Paula Boland, Executive Director of United Nations Association said, “NGOs are well equipped to educate and advocate the principles of the DPCW and its adoption by member states through creating alternative venues for states themselves to engage in collective action and for individuals to join with other like-minded individuals in pursuit of their goals.”
Nine panels of the forum, consisting of leaders from civil societies, further discussed plans for legislation and policy making for peace building based on the DPCW, while reflecting on the environment of each nation.
2) The 4th HWPL International Law Peace Committee Meeting – High Level Meeting for the Development and Adoption of the DPCW (Group I, II, III)
Beginning with an introduction of the DPCW by Dr. MD Nazrul Islam, a member of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee and professor of international law, the meeting sought the capability of advocacy from civil society organisations through the “Role of States in the Adoption of the CSO Declaration by the UN” presented by Mr. Carlos Villan Duran, President of the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL).
Panels, as well as the audience, paid special attention to the speeches, and meetings, while foreign ministers and education specialists in Groups II and III discussed development plans for the establishment of peace in society with the help of governmental, intergovernmental and civil society organisations.
3) International Religious Leaders Conference
Two hundred religious leaders from different religions, such as Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity, were gathered in one place. The Most Rev. Martin de Jesús de Barahona, Archbishop Emeritus of the El Salvador Anglican Church, said, “We don’t just merely continue the dialogue, but amplify the Office of Alliance of Religions for peace to other communities in order to continue promoting, carrying out experiences of dialogue and inviting other sectors of the national community for the day of promise of fulfilling the peace agreement.”
After the press conference, reporters, editors, correspondents and presidents of media agencies from 20 different countries participated in the “Media Forum for Advocacy of the DPCW”. With this, Day One of the summit was completed and the “Peace Festival for the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit” will be held on Day Two.
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