By The Nation
Thailand was among 50 countries participating in the annual global peace campaign to promote the “International Law and Culture of Peace” last month.
More than 100 cities, including those in South Sudan, Japan, the United States, India and Iraq, took part in the “5th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace”, carried out to advocate peace-building led by grass-roots sectors of society such as youth, citizens, civic groups and the media.
The original “Declaration of World Peace” was announced in 2013 by an international peace non-governmental organisation affiliated with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council – the South Korea-based Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) – to call for all members of society to work together as peace messengers.
This year’s fifth-commemoration event in Bangkok took place at the Islamic College of Thailand, where around 2,000 students and 150 teachers joined the event.
Participating students wrote “Peace Letters” and put them into post boxes before a “Peace Walk” in the capital.
“I appreciate that they can learn about peace,” teacher Chollada Suawong said. “Like the Arabic greeting ‘As salam aleykum’ means ‘Peace be upon you’. Peace is very important for us.”
Student Napat Sinthong also expressed his feelings: “I felt very proud during the event all day. We did our best. It was a very nice memory. We will surely organise a ‘Peace Walk’ again for the next generation.”
Meanwhile, in South Korea, which recently experienced an inter-Korean summit breaking a decade of turbulence and tension on the divided peninsula, a fifth-commemoration event – themed “Realising Peace on the Korean Peninsula” – a was held simultaneously in 12 cities on May 25, the date the original declaration was announced five years ago.
The themed event aimed to seek ways to interact freely between North and South Korea, based on citizen-centred peace activities, and to encourage citizens to take an active role in the progress of peace-building on the Korean peninsula.
HWPL chairman Man Hee Lee emphasised the importance of the role that politicians should play in supporting the HWPL-proposed “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War” (DPCW): “All the public have to make the politicians build a peaceful world. If politicians insist that they love the nation and the public, they should agree on all articles of the DPCW. The president, politicians only exist for the nation and public, hence they have a duty to do what the public wants [peace].”
The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), the Korean host organisation affiliated with the HWPL, has collected “Peace Letters” from government officials, social representatives and citizens with the message content of world peace and reunification of the two Koreas.
‘Peace Letters’ to be delivered to Korean leaders
According to the IPYG, the supporting letters for peace on the Korean peninsula received from the global family will be delivered to the leaders of the two Koreas.
With global conflicts from terrorism and disputes pervading media coverage, international society is throwing back the answer of “peace”.
Citizens around the world, watching disputes arising from religious intolerance or power struggles, are voluntarily seeking practical solutions to achieve peace and taking appropriate action.
Responding to the necessity of establishing a legal framework to eradicate disputes or armed conflicts, the HWPL proposed the DPCW – which embodies the value of the “Declaration of World Peace” – as a solution of world peace not only to the political, religious and educational leaders of international society, but also to youth, women and media.
The DPCW, consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses, addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peace-building, such as respect for international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace.
Civil society throughout the world is carrying out peace education, peace culture projects, and a “Legislate Peace Campaign” to establish a legally binding international law for peace and to create a peaceful environment in society in cooperation with the HWPL, the NGO said.