International Experts discuss institutionalizing peace at HWPL’s 8th annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War

COTABATO CITY – Considering the alone, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a global peace non-government organization, as it 
The Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a global peace non-government organization held the 8th annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) on March 14, 2024, with a theme "Building the Minds of Peace: Promoting Institutional Peace via Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding", at its peace training institute in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea reiterated the need to institutionalize peace because the international disputes like the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Israel-Palestine war in 2023 that recorded 33,000 lives lost. 

HWPL said that since the DPCW's proclamation on March 14, 2016, HWPL has consistently held annual commemorative ceremonies to advocate for the institutionalization of peace. This year's event attended 12,500 distinguished experts from diverse fields – political, legal, religious, educational, media, and representatives from women and youth sectors – both online and in person. Among participants, about 10,000 HWPL members moved in an orderly manner under the guidance of staff and filled the commemorative ceremony venue.

Drafted in collaboration with international legal specialists from 15 countries, the DPCW comprises 10 articles and 38 clauses. It outlines the principles and tools necessary to prevent and resolve conflicts, cultivate a peaceful global society, and define clear roles for individuals, communities, and nations in achieving lasting peace.

"The commitment and dedication shown in the pursuit of peace projects have not only been commendable but have also laid the foundation for a more harmonious world. The tireless efforts of individuals and organizations working towards the common goal of ending war and fostering understanding among nations are truly inspiring," H.E. Vidura Wickramanayaka, Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs, said.

As President of the Daegak Buddhism Jogye Order in South Korea, Ven. Beopsan who has been participating in interreligious dialogue for nine years emphasized the importance of religious leaders' participation in peacebuilding efforts including a comparative study of scriptures. He said, "Intercultural dialogue and understanding can be found at HWPL's World Alliance of Religions' Peace Office. The root of religion is one and its meaning is a truly noble value."

HWPL Chairman Man-hee Lee pointed out that conflicts caused by religion have threatened global peace, "Different religions should come together, learn each other's values and become one by comparative study on scriptures. Religious communities should practice faith based on scriptures, so they can live with humanity on this earth. We must create a world where people communicate, cooperate, and help each other regardless of religion.”

HWPL disclosed that there are various activities have been carried out around the world to institutionalize peace. 

In the Philippines, 10 resolutions were adopted in strong support of the DPCW which includes 4 Municipal Resolutions, 4 City Resolutions, 1 Provincial Resolution, and most recently, BARMM’s regional resolution. 

According to HWPL, the DPCW is now progressing towards gaining National Support from the President. Furthermore, BARMM passed a resolution institutionalizing January 24 as “Peace Day” in the region, to be annually celebrated by 4.4 million Bangsamoro citizens as part of the Bangsamoro Foundation Week. 

“To date, there are 18 peace monuments established in schools and communities all over the Philippines symbolizing the expansion of peace in the country and building the minds of peace,” HWPL said.

In addition, HWPL added that contextualized peace education lessons in Social Studies and Values Education were presented to BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education during the 1st Bangsamoro Peace Education Summit Conference on January 29. HWPL Peace Clubs are also emerging, with the inaugural club established at Signal Village National High School in Taguig City, actively engaging in various peace initiatives.

Another event initiated to strengthen the understanding of peace was the Voice of Press: Media Forum for Peace Journalism conducted on March 11, 2024, participated in by 30 Bangsamoro-based media held in Cotabato City organized by HWPL and Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN) Inc. to amplify peace in the region.

HWPL said that milestones achieved by the Philippine branch will be presented at the 2nd National Peace Convention at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City in a bid to achieve world peace and cessation of war through supporting the DPCW, peace journalism, peace education, and interfaith unity. The event is scheduled for April 20, 2024, with an expected 4,000 participants from various sectors including lawmakers, the government sector, academe, religious groups, media, youth, and women.