The 8th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit was virtually held last Sunday with the theme of ‘Peace as an Institution: A Foundation for Sustainable Development’. This event was participated by peace advocates across the world in 146 countries including USA, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Philippines, South Korea with 5,000 participants, reaffirming the importance of the sustainable development guaranteed by institutionalizing peace while the global community has yet to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and faces new threats caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Since September 18th in 2014 when the peace summit was held for the first time, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC, has called for solidarity for peacebuilding at the global level through collective actions with various actors including heads of state, ministers, law makers, religious leaders, educators, youth and women leaders, and reporters. This annual summit shares peace activities and achievements in cooperation with governments and civil society around the world.
From the Philippines, Senator Risa Hontiveros delivered a congratulatory message, “I thank the HWPL for living and breathing peace, not only in your programs to stop conflict, but also in your drive to institutionalize it into our laws, our policies and our cultures. As a long time peace advocate myself, I am one with you in your commitment to active non-violence in all the work that we do and in all the roles that we play in our lives.”
“While human dignity is besieged by disease, war, climate change and poverty, we will overcome these challenges, as ‘WE are ONE!’ with HWPL in supporting projects that improve human rights and lay the foundation for livelihood with human dignity,” said Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo in his congratulatory letter.
Regarding the cause of peacebuilding at the global level, Chairman Man-hee Lee of HWPL said, “The global village has suffered from the unexpected COVID-19 that has hit every country. People are not alone in the midst of difficulties. We live in the same global village, and we are neighbors and families. Each one of us is obliged to make our world a better place to live. And shouldn’t we pass on our good world to our descendants?”
Recognizing the crucial “role of parliaments in building peace and preventing conflict”, H.E. Marinus Bee, the chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname, expressed his willingness to collaborate with HWPL in establishing peace at the legislative level.
Octavia Alfred, Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and Nation Excellence of Dominica, said that HWPL’s peace education was introduced to the national school curriculum in Dominica as it was “integrated into Social Studies, and also as a stand-alone.” She added that the HWPL peace curriculum is helpful “in addressing the challenges of not just students, but even what they take home to their friends and their parents, and also our teachers.”
Prabhu Mahendra Das, the Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Mandir of the Philippines, presented an institutional approach to interreligious dialogue in terms of the role of religion in contributing to peace. He suggested that regularizing international exchanges and programs to prevent conflicts based on religious misunderstanding can be a starting point for a foundation of peace.
The full video of the event can be viewed through this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/UXlB4XzQHQ4