Institutionalizing Peace: Designing Collective Action to Bring Peace as a Culture and Norm

June 02 18:09 2022

In an effort to tackle the current threats to life and stability from wars and conflicts, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held its 9th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace online on May 25th, 2022. This year’s commemoration themed “Institutionalizing Peace: Realizing the Collective Will for Peace” was attended by 3000 representatives from politics, religion, academia, media, and civil society. The purpose of this theme was to share the progress made towards sustainable peace through international cooperation and legal instruments.

The host organization, HWPL, proclaimed the Declaration of World Peace back in 2013. This declaration addressed the endorsement of national leaders, the engagement of women and youth, the importance of cooperation among civil societies, and the expansion of media coverage on peace. Later, this declaration was developed into the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which includes a process to establish the international legal instruments for global peace.

The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW include language on the prevention and resolution of conflicts, the gradual reduction of war potential, remaking weapons into daily tools, resolving conflicts respectfully based on religion and ethnic identity, and spreading a culture of peace. The DPCW is written to engage with nations, NGOs, and individual citizens in an effort to urge them to take action for a peaceful world.

In regard to collaborative peacebuilding, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL appealed to event attendees to be united as “messengers of peace” “to bring freedom and peace to future generations.” Chairman Lee further stated, “This time (Russia) invaded Ukraine and started the war. This is why HWPL and families of peace have long called for the establishment of international law to prevent war potentials. So, we gathered experts in international law globally … and made the declaration with 10 articles and 38 clauses.”

Another focus of this event was peace activities in education. An innovative example of teaching methodology and peace was the use of Metaverse. Metaverse was demonstrated as a virtual world platform where students are able to experience peace by reading materials and observing peace activities carried out across the world. 

Mr. Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Thammasat University’s Pridi Banomyong International College Visiting Fellow and former Chief Editor of The Nation in Thailand shared that the foundation of peace is closely related to democracy as both “allow the participation of civil society” in the peace process. When explaining the stalled peace process in Southern Thailand he said, “Any peace process that would lead to lasting peace must address the problem at its root cause, and must be conducted democratically with the intensive participation of not only stakeholders, but also civil society.”

HWPL has been developing global cooperation for peace both at the national and international level by garnering the support for the DPCW and working collaboratively with many organizations to reinforce international norms for peace. Hand in hand, HWPL and civil society have been carrying out activities for the public good to ensure that peace takes root worldwide.

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