From a victim of war to the leader of peace
Desk: In May this year, marking the 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace, 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 an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (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 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 the 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 against 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.