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International conference for peace development held in Bucharest, Romania as the presidency of the European Union
In Romania where discussions for peace and security of the international community have been actively operated as the presidency of EU in 2019, a peace conference took place for 2days from April 1st with the presence of the heads of state, governments, civil society, and international NGOs registered under the United Nations.
It was hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies on Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL) in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Romania, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), Center for BBS, University of Bucharest, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), Romanian Foundation for Democracy – FRD, and Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics.
Starting with the inaugural session at Plenary Hall of the Romanian Senate, the conference held with the title of “The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Approaching the Protracted Conflicts: Culture of Peace through Understanding the Other”.
The 2 days event included 6 sessions such as Interreligious Dialogue – Instrument of Cultural Diplomacy; Western Balkans; 6th Baltic-Black Sea Forum; Korean Peninsula – Prospects for Reconciliation and Peaceful Reunification; Levant Initiative for Global Peace; Perspectives of Cultural Diplomacy in Conflict Areas: Practices, Instruments, Projects.
Interreligious dialogue contributing to peace through the possibility of expanding cultural diplomacy
On April 1, about 80 religious leaders from Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Romanian Orthodox, Catholic, and Bahaism gathered in a religious peace forum in the theme of “The Role of Religion for Global Peace”.
Mr. Shin Chang Kim, the General Director of Department of International Relations of HWPL, said, “Religion has the greatest influence than any other cultural elements. Not only does it establish a mental foundation in people, but it brings about changes in their behavioral patterns. When cultural diplomacy actively develops through religion, realizing peace and harmony can be advanced.”
The WARP Office that has been carried out in 128 countries to strengthen the communication among religious leaders based on mutual respect and open dialogue was introduced as a new platform for religious cultural diplomacy.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “If we cannot understand the significance in religious scripture that contains the essence of religion, religions will not serve as a good example of virtue to humanity. The first duty as a religious leader is to understand the true meaning of religion. That is why religious leaders should gather in the interfaith dialogue meeting, the WARP Office, to discuss based on the religious scriptures.”
Imam Amir Aziz from Islam of Ahmadiyya-Moschee in Wilmersdorf, Berlin stated in his speech that the WARP Office is “a phenomenal instrument as a new approach to peace building by religion.” “The religious scripture comparison held in WARP Office is an unprecedented type of discussion based on the standard of a trustworthy scripture. And I am convinced that it will unite us as one,” he added.
Expanding support from the international community for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula
On April 2, a forum for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula was held in the Royal Palace of Bucharest in attendance with five former heads of state from Eastern European countries, peace activists in Europe and Asia, heads of human rights organization, and journalists.
As the issue of security in the Korean Peninsula has been considered as an influence on global peace agenda, the participants discussed the peaceful measure for inter-Korean reconciliation by expanding the support and cooperation from the international community.
Mr. Nicolai Sprekels, President of SARAM (meaning “people” in Korean), a human rights organization for North Korea, said, “Peace that requires a sacrifice of humanity is only assumed as half peace. Peace doesn’t only refer to the unarmed state, but it is perfectly accomplished when it is consistently kept. Currently, the situation of North Korean human rights is getting worse. As an NGO in Europe, we will keep supporting the unification between the two Koreas.”
Hon. Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania, suggested the direction in peacebuilding on the Korean peninsula by saying, “It is necessary to have political and military cooperation based on the mutual trust for the unification. If we plan with the foundation of the precedents of Eastern Europe’s transition from communism to democracy, along with international exchange, it will be of great help for us to establish worldwide governance that the whole world needs.”
Gathering support for peace-building international law as a foundation of international regulation for world peace
On April 2, the session, “Levant Initiative for Global Peace”, was held to discuss the establishment of an international norm for peace. The agenda of the session was based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses that address the fundamental principles such as the prohibition of the use of force, peaceful dispute settlement, freedom of religion, and spreading a culture of peace.
It has been supported by Seychelles, eSwatini, and Comoros at the governmental level as well as the inter-governmental organizations such as PARLACEN (Central American Parliament), PAP (Pan-African Parliament), and Centre for BBS (International Centre for Black Sea-Baltic Studies and Consensus Practices).
Former presidents and political figures of Europe who participated in the event agreed to urge for the national support to present the DPCW to the United Nations Assembly as a resolution.
According to the official of HWPL, the support from citizens including women and youth from more than 170 countries that builds a massive network to urge national leaders for peace has been driving the peace-building initiatives of HWPL.
Cultivating citizens of peace through peace education
On April 2, ‘2019 Peace Education Conference’ was hosted by HWPL, organized by Master Peace, Youth Group of Romania, and sponsored by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).
Starting from the schools and teachers of Master Peace, the peace education with the materials and curriculum suggested by HWPL has been carried out in the European countries.
Mr. Dragomir Marian, President of Master Peace, presented the progress report of the peace education program. “Through Peace Education over 5 terms, we have educated children how to prevent and resolve conflicts and violence. Peace exists in the context of family, fellow groups, and societies. Through education, we have realized that teaching the principles of peace in the early stage of life can transform the youth to embrace peace.”
In response, Chairman Man-Hee Lee of HWPL said, “Likewise, who must be the teachers to the children in the world? It is family. It is neighbors. And it is society. It is never too late to start doing the work of peace for a peaceful world.”
‘Peace Education’, one of HWPL’s core initiatives, is aimed to leave peace as a legacy to the future generations by implanting the value of peace to children. To spread a culture of peace by peace education, HWPL has signed MOUs with 208 education institutes in 21 countries as HWPL Peace Academies.
HWPL, the ISACCL, and Romania’s Think Tank agreed to continue their cooperative relationship to build peace network through cultural diplomacy such as peace campaign and peace education.