TUNDE OGUNESAN recently attended the second annual commemoration of September 18th World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit, organised by a non-governmental organisation, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), held in Seoul, South Korea. He writes on the efforts of HWPL’s Chairman, Mr Man Hee Lee. Excerpts:
One day, this world would know peace. Though, drums of war are sounding fearfully across the continents, even after the First and second World Wars. Since then, the world has been battling with various attempts to stop an unthinkable Third World War.
This is what the Chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), Mr Man Hee Lee, is taking upon himself, carrying alongside some leaders of religious groups, Heads of States, and professional groups including other Non-Governmental organisations (NGO).
The non-governmental organization was founded in 2012, with the goal of achieving world peace and the cessation of war. Today, HWPL has over 70 branches in South Korea and another 100 branches around the world. HWPL, in conjunction with the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), is actively working to bring all wars to an end.
So, in September, 2014, HWPL hosted the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit Seoul, Republic of Korea with over 200,000 participants, with one objective of soliciting working together for world peace.
With words of assurances from Chairman Lee, approximately 1,000 visitors from 130 countries, stormed Seoul, South Korea for the second annual commemoration of September 18th WARP Summit.
It brought together all stakeholders to discuss effective strategies and practical plans for the WARP Summit.
The Summit was kick started with the Advocacy Forum as the two sessions dealt more on creation of peace as universal heritage for humanity.
The opening speech by Chairman Man Lee focuses on seeking for peace and building strategies based on “Plan of Action for Advocacy to Intergovernmental Organizations, Governments and the Public.”
The Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and member of HWPL International Law Peace Committee, Dr. Kamal Hossain, stressed the importance of advocacy of international law for peace through the implementation of the DPCW.
There were also other speakers like the Secretary General of World Assembly of Youth in Albania, Ms. Ediola Pashollari, Ms. Denise Robinson who has dedicated her life to women rights, democracy and prohibition of racial discrimination as a minister and member of Parliament of South Africa and Federal Leader Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN), President of Tunisian League of Human Rights, Mr. Abdessatar Ben Moussa while the Chairwoman Nam Hee Kim of the International Women’s Peace Group appealed to the participants that, “War only gives birth to another war, leaving fear and sacrifices to our future generations.”
The HWPL International Law Peace Committee meetings, participants such as world executives, ministers, and education specialists, for the purposes of introducing the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to the United Nations, met and ratified proceedings for the success of legislation on the course.
They built on mutual respect and cooperation for the international coexistence in a community of peace.
They also offered a vision of close international cooperation among states to settle legal foundation based on the DPCW to establish an environment that can encourage, support and protect world peace.
A former legal officer, Ministry of Justice in Nigeria, Dr. Terwase Issac Sampson said “the law has become a neutral force in the settlement of disputes between religious authorities and States or secular governments. These indices underscore the essence of law in the settlement of societal disputes, religious disputes inclusive. The law is therefore, a critical element for the peaceful resolution of such religious disagreements. Whereas some States have municipal or domestic laws and mechanisms for managing or settling religious disputes, international law could ensure multi-lateral efforts towards forging a consensus on universally acceptable principles, strategies and parameters for settling religiously motivated conflicts.”
During the Media Forum for Advocacy of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, approximately 30 journalists and editors were in attendance at the Media Forum to discuss action plans in their expertise of reporting and press coverage. The action plans lay out possible ways to quickly and accurately spread peace-building news of implementing international law and promoting WARP office meetings throughout the world.
Also, over 200 religious leaders representing 16 religions met at the International Religious Leaders Conference to discuss the necessity of seeking trustworthy scripture and reaffirm their solidarity to be active proponents of achieving peace as religious leaders.
Their session began with the charge from Chairman Lee that international law that prevents wars must be implemented and must be advocated for.
Corroborating his stance, Chairperson IWPG, Nam Hee kim affirmed that “World peace starts from the alliance of religions. All of you who deliver the teachings of heaven are the light of this generation .Let us make a peaceful world to live in with our future generations.”
On Sunday afternoon of September 18, it was an electric atmosphere at the Olympic stadium, in Seoul with the celebration of Festival for the second annual commemoration of the WARP Summit. With the grand entrance into the new era of peace through the peace gate to the IPYG card stunt (war and peace) to the commemorative addresses and peace athletics races, the entire neighbourhood of Olympic stadium were not left out as the event went into the wee hours of the night.
It started from HWPL Chairman’s Lee’s call on the world to urge heads of state and religious leaders around the world to fulfil their promises
Lee’s call torn the veil of several addresses that followed.
In her speech, IWPG Chairwoman Nam Hee Kim called on world leaders “To speed up the advancement towards an era of peace.”
Then followed the Mahā Sangharājādhipati Tep Vong /The Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, H.H Samdech Preah Agga, who admonishied that “we need the extensive knowledge, experiences, commitment, and cooperation from all participants of all fields.”
Then First Lady of Albania, Odeta Nishani, the former Prime Minister of Armenia, Rt. Hon. Hrant Bagratyan came with a testament that “We promised to enact the international law and religious leaders agreed on building religious harmony in front of heaven, all the people of the world and the peace advocate.”
Despite the festival mood at the Olympic stadium which delved late Sunday night, participants’ early assemblage at the International conference centre of Hotel Grand on Monday morning raised hope of a generation that is ready to live in peace.
The six main speakers provided their addresses to represent each field of all participants and present how each sector will actively advocate and get involved in the development process of the DPCW in their respective countries.
From Mr. Carlos Villan Duran, President of the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL) who spoke about the role of civil society on the implementation process of the DPCW, to the former Vice President of Afghanistan, Honourable Karim Khalili who pledged that “the Afghanistan High Peace Council’s support, and strongly expect leaders and heads of states to extend their strong and comprehensive support to this declaration to be included in the agenda of the United Nations Organization and the contents of this declaration to be considered in the legislation and institution building processes, being reflected in the lives of world people in a practical way.”
Then for the youth, Juan Pablo Celis Garcia, a youth activist from Columbia, said the “International, national and local communities must find ways to effectively channel, strengthen, support, and expand young people’s desire to contribute to constructive change and to offer meaningful service to the global society.”
The Conference gave great attention to the messages of the speakers, which called for enhanced cooperation with HWPL in promoting the involvement of all IGOs and NGOs and international communities to establish a legally binding document inspired by the DPCW.
The Summit came to an end with a special dinner at the Palace of peace in Gyeonggi Goseong, leaving a memory why the world must live in peace.