By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Reporters Kang Su-mok, Son Da-som
Chairman Man-Hee Lee of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL) declared, “We cannot claim to desire peace and continue to provoke one another, causing conflict for the sake of valuing our own national interests above those of others.” Speaking at a large rally of citizens and international representatives at the Olympic Park in Seoul on May 25. 2019 on the occasion of the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk in Seoul, Chairman Lee said, “This will only take the lives of the youth, wasting them in the futility of war. This is not a legacy we can leave to future generations."
The opening ceremony of the 2019 HWPL Peace Walk was attended by many distinguished guests from within Korea and without.
The Korean participants included Acting Secretary General Ven. Seongo of the Korean Buddhist Taego Order, former Mayor Hwang Kyo-sun of the Goyang City, IWPG Representative Mme. Yoon Hyun-sook, HWPL Secretary General Kang Tae-ho, and HWPL Department Director Chung Young-min.
This year, a number of members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps took part in the meeting. They included Ambassadors Herbert Estuardo Meneses Coronado of Guatemala and Difie Agyarko Kusi of Ghana; Charges d’Affaires Juan Jose Plasencia of Peru with Mrs. Mrs. Cecilia Milagros Rodriguez de Placencia and Luis Pablo Ossio Bustillos with Mrs. Maria Jose Zapata; Deputy Head of Mission Zokir Saidov of Uzbekistan; First Secretary Estanislao Lezcano of Paraguay; and Economic Affairs Chief Sergio Congo of Angola with Mrs. Congo.
In a congratulatory speech to the meeting, Ambassador Kusi of Ghana said: “You have no idea what pleasure it gives me to find myself sharing this glorious spring day with you.
"Also, as it happens that today (25th May) is Africa Day, I stand here in the name of all Africans to pray for peace for our continent.":
Then she stated, “Even though I’m getting on in years, I like to kid myself into thinking that I’m still and forever 21; so I feel really energized to be surrounded today by all you 20 and 30-something beautiful people.”
Madam Kusi then introduced herself as the ambassador of Ghana and stressed the importance of peace in the world.
She disclosed, “I come from Ghana which is generally considered to be a peaceful one, but even there, occasionally, we can’t prevent the outbreak of sporadic violent incidents over land allocation, the ownership of waterways and water bodies, and even sometimes, over the mere stealing of livestock. This is just to say that peace is a matter that concerns all mankind and not just some of us.”
(See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Kusi after this report.)
The ambassadors and other senior diplomats, together with their spouses, expressed gratitude to Chairman Man-Hee Lee of the HWPL and as a token of their expression of gratitude, Ambassador Herbert Estuardo Meneses Coronado of Guatemala, the most senior ambassador of the visiting members of the SDC that day, presented Chairman Lee with a Plaque of Citation. The remarks of the Citation read in part:
“This Citation is presented to Chairman Man-Hee Lee of the Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light above mentioned in appreciation of his invitation of us to the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk on May 25, 2019, and the warm regard he has at all times for the members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corp.” Then it read: “We trust that such efforts reflect great credit not only upon himself and his organization but also on his country of the Republic of Korea.”
HWPL has seen remarkable progress in carrying out the three core peace projects, namely: Legislate peace campaign, World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) offices, and HWPL peace education.“The endorsement at the national level and the participation and support of civil societies helped to produce these results,” discloses Chairman Lee. However, he admits, they would not have been possible without the cooperation and dedication of peace messengers who are working for peace understanding the importance of it. Chairman Lee states:
“We are the messengers of peace born in this era with the mission to build a peaceful world and to leave it as a legacy to future generations. Let us fulfill this duty by putting in concerted efforts to submit the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War in the form of a resolution to the UN, so that it can be implemented as international law to achieve true peace across the globe. Then, we will be able to leave a world of peace as a lasting legacy to our children. This is a shared goal of humanity and the way to realize sustainable peace that mankind has been hoping for.
“As spring full of warmth comes after a harsh winter, we are welcoming an era of peace after a time of conflicts and division. The refreshing and sweet scent of peace spread by HWPL and peace messengers is filling the air foretelling the coming of an everlasting spring.”
Then declares Chairman Lee: “Let us take a leap forward for peace as one. We are one!”
This year, according to HWPL, about 70 countries host various citizen-participating events and peace walk. This event is aimed to mobilize a worldwide network of youths and citizens to spread a culture of peace in respective communities and to urge for the cooperation for building sustainable peace in the global society. Especially, Seoul in South Korea, where the Declaration of World Peace was proclaimed, will have the commemoration on May 25th.
With 30,000 youths from all over the world present, the Declaration was announced on 25 May, 2013 by HWPL in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC).
Chairman Man-Hee Lee of HWPL, a Korean War veteran, stated the background of proclaiming the Declaration.: "We cannot claim to desire peace and continue to provoke one another, causing conflict for the sake of valuing our own national interests above those of others. This will only take the lives of the youth, wasting them in the futility of war. This is not a legacy we can leave to future generations."
The Declaration addresses the value of shared effort of all members of society as they work as peace messengers. It includes principles such as that the heads of each state to sign an international agreement—a commitment to bring all wars to an end, that all youth to unite in an effort to stop wars and pursue the restoration of peace, and that the media to report responsibly and promote a message of peace to the world.
Such values from the Declaration led to drafting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as an advanced designation of global responsibility to establish a legally binding international legal framework for peace. This year’s event will be focused on the “Peace Letter Campaign” led by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliated youth organization of HWPL. The campaign is aimed to urge for the support of the heads of each state to develop it into a legally binding document by submitting it as a resolution to the UN.
According to official of HWPL, the foundation of the DPCW is to build a world of peace secured by the rule of law that is based on the universal values including coexistence, cooperation, and mutual respect. The 10 articles and 38 clauses with the settlement of a dispute and measures for sustainable peace address the international cooperation at the governmental level as well as the role of individual of the global society to achieve peace.
At the commemoration of this year, the participants will call for the replies from the heads of state for the peace letters that have been already sent to them and the messages of peace written by citizens will be delivered to high-level officials of governments and international organizations in 193 different countries.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Kusi of Ghana in Seoul:
Chairman Lee, Man-Hee of the HWPL, Excellencies and other members of the diplomatic corps, dear friends and especially dear members of IPYG; You have no idea what pleasure it gives me to find myself sharing this glorious spring day with you.
Also, as it happens that today (25th May) is Africa Day, I stand here in the name of all Africans to pray for peace for our continent.
Even though I’m getting on in years, I like to kid myself into thinking that I’m still and forever 21; so I feel really energized to be surrounded today by all you 20 and 30-something beautiful people.
I come from a country (GHANA) which is generally considered to be a peaceful one, but even there, occasionally, we can’t prevent the outbreak of sporadic violent incidents over land allocation, the ownership of waterways and water bodies, and even sometimes, over the mere stealing of livestock.
This is just to say that peace is a matter that concerns all mankind and not just some of us.
Nations have forever talked about and tried to work for peace, but unfortunately, we always end up fighting each other.
International organizations, starting with the League of Nations after the First World War, through to the United Nations after the 2nd, have been trying their hand at the game of peace for decades.
The first line of the Preamble of UNESCO’s Constitution (for example) reads: “Since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed…” But have they gotten anywhere with all these declarations?
The generations before you, my young friends, are now old and tired, but universal peace is still waiting to be achieved. So we are counting on you, all those of you who are now in their twenties and thirties, to pick up the mantle and make good on peace.
I can’t think of any one region in the world where there isn’t some conflict playing out or erupting as I speak.
We here in Korea live with the constant threat of war or something akin to it.
We should all therefore be grateful to the HPWL for being in the forefront of the crusade to “construct the defences of peace in the minds of men” with their push for the adoption by the international community, of the DECLARATION OF PEACE AND CESSATION OF WAR (DPCW) and would strongly urge all right-thinking people; anyone who believes in a peaceful future for humanity, to lend their unflinching support to this endeavor: write to your leaders, your lawmakers, policy makers, heads of states and governments, to kings and queens if you must, to tell them how much we are pinning our hopes on them to support this declaration and make it real.
Let’s keep peace alive in our hearts.
Thank you all once again for being here and happy walking!!!
Peace Letter, a Miracle of 193 Countries:
May 25th, replies to Peace Letters start a miracle
This year the ‘6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace’ will be held under the theme of ‘The World’s Call for Peace, Urging Support for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War’ with various peace campaigns around the globe.
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), which are clearly seen embedded within the contents of the Declaration of World Peace, directly state the responsibility that a nation has as a member of the international community, including the maintenance of friendly relations between states, repurposing weapons that kill to benefit humanity and respect for international law. It also includes a standard for the freedom of religion and the eradication of violence and illegal acts caused by religion, as well as the spreading of a culture of peace. The DPCW also emphasizes the participation of citizens in building a peaceful global village through areas such as education and welfare.
To promote peace through the voluntary participation of citizens, the event held on May 25th every year in more than 100 cities in 50 countries around the world is now being held simultaneously with the ongoing ‘Legislate Peace’ Campaign, which is a movement that has spread to 174 countries with over a million citizens around the world urging for the enactment of an international law based on the principles of peace embodied in the DPCW. In particular, approximately 160,000 letters of peace were handwritten by the youth last year to advocate for the DPCW and support the establishment of world peace, and in March of this year letters were officially sent to the heads of state from 193 countries, calling for support for the DPCW.
On 25 May 2019, with the slogan, “Peace Letter, a Miracle of 193 Countries: May 25th, replies to Peace Letters start a miracle.” participants will urge the heads of state to send letters in response to the ones they received, and also write and send additional letters with messages of peace to high-level officials of governments and international organizations in 193 different countries.
Background & Purpose
The fundamental mindset of the DPCW, which aims at building a world of peace, is the transition from the rule of power (force) that currently exists within today’s international order to the rule of law that is based on universal values of peace, including harmonious coexistence and respect for one another. The duties of a state, such as the prohibition of the use of force, reduction of war potential, respect for international law, and the development of friendly relations, have been agreed upon and emphasized as an international standard through the United Nations and the charters of various international organizations including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Resolutions, and other international documents. DPCW Articles 1 through 7 reconfirm these principles and suggest them as the core conditions that must be kept to create a world of peace.
DPCW Articles 8 through 10 suggest a new approach for peace-building according to the ever-changing international atmosphere. Global conflicts that have occurred since the end of the Cold War have gone beyond the differences between nations and ideologies and even spread to ethnicities and religions as the main contributing factors; the main causes of war also expanded from countries to organizations and individuals that are not bound by national boundaries.
Thus, DPCW Articles 8 to 9 emphasize legal actions, multilateral agreements, and shared participation for the freedom of religion. DPCW Article 10 deals with forming and spreading civilian participation and the culture of peace as the driving force for this era of peace, which cultivates the values of peace including political activities based on democracy, freedom of press, understanding and respect between religions, cooperative advancement of ethnic groups, gender equality, and the enhancement of welfare. We are now facing an era where it is up to individuals to either choose to start a war or create peace.
Reflecting on the current situation of the world as described above, HWPL is forming a global network of international organizations, governments, and civil society groups under the theme of “Let every person in this world become a messenger of peace, and give peace as an inheritance for the future generations.” Through the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace, we hope that all citizens will become the messengers of peace that will contribute to peace through their voluntary actions. future generations.
Third, we call on every person, every man, woman, and child in the world, to pick up the mantle of peace. In whatever way you can, we ask that you work to further the cause of world peace and restoration, making it a reality in your direct environments.
And we call on the media to report responsibly and promote a message of peace to the world.
With this declaration, the work of world peace has begun.
Further details of the Declaration of World Peace and Peace Walk
The 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace was held on 25 May, 2019 in Seoul, Korea and other cities around the globe. The event
commemorates the Declaration of World Peace, which was announced on 25
May, 2013 at the Peace Gate in Seoul, Korea with 30,000 youths present and the
Peace Walk that took place the same day. The event is also in line with the
annual peace movements led every 25 May by the IPYG (International Peace
Youth Group), an affiliate group of HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace,
Restoration of Light), which mobilized a worldwide network of youths who urge for global peace in respective communities.
HWPL was founded in 2013 to build a global coalition for peace and the cessation of war. In its first large-scale peace event, HWPL proclaimed the Declaration of World Peace and announced the launch of / called for a peace movement led by the public including efforts of the youth community. In working for the common goal of peace, the Declaration of World Peace urged for shared efforts of all members of society as they work as peace messengers toward devising a legal measure recognized in the i7nternational community for peace and cessation of war and highlighted the leading role of the youth as future leaders of society.
The Declaration was later further developed into more concrete codes including
10 articles and 38 clauses.
25 May 2014, the 1st Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World
Peace was held in locations including the UN Cemetery in Busan, Korea, New
York City, and Berlin.
The event highlighted the peace progress made by the 26th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace Walk.