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World leaders gather in South Korea to promote institutional peace

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Over 1,800 prominent figures from 121 nations, including delegates from the United States, the Philippines, Ukraine, South Africa, Pakistan, Thailand, Romania, and India, gathered at the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit held in Incheon, South Korea, from September 18th to 21st.

Under the theme “Implementing a Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace,” this four-day event brought together leaders and experts across diverse fields such as international law, religion, education, youth, women, and media.

Throughout the summit’s 30 sessions, participants engaged in in-depth discussions, not only categorized by their respective domains but also by their countries of origin, aiming to formulate practical strategies for the establishment of a legally binding international law for peace.

During a press conference on the 18th, Lee Man-hee, Chairman of the host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), made a compelling plea for global political leaders to unite in their pursuit of peace.

Drawing from his own experiences as a war veteran, he questioned why young lives should be sacrificed in war and underscored the urgent need for collaborative action. Lee stated, “Peace cannot be achieved through words alone.

If we don’t have one, we have to create one, so we have traveled 32 times around the world to carry out peace activities. If peace had won in this world, there would have been no regrettable deaths. Through the enactment of international law, we must leave peace as a legacy to the global community where our descendants will live.”

At the summit’s main session on the 18th, H.E. Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, the 3rd President of Romania, emphasized the tangible value of peace and its capacity to create a calm environment free from the threat of violent conflict or psychological pressure. Prof. Constantinescu expressed the consensus reached at the summit, stating, “We agreed to work towards the implementation of concrete measures, both in the short but above all in the long term, in order to fashion a new system of reference that replaces attitudes of ‘man against man’ with ‘man alongside man,’ expressed in the motto we adopted in 2014, ‘We Are One.'”

HWPL’s mission centers on establishing an internationally agreed-upon institutional peace framework rooted in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). This declaration outlines comprehensive measures for the entire peace continuum, from conflict prevention to peace maintenance. Additionally, HWPL actively promotes interreligious dialogue, encourages peace initiatives led by youth and women, provides peace education, and fosters a culture of peace through media outreach.

During the event, Kang Tae-ho, Managing Director of HWPL, presented a progress report on the DPCW, highlighting its widespread support, with approximately 900,000 endorsements from civil society in 176 countries, including the Central American Parliament. Notably, the peace agreement in Mindanao, Philippines, was cited as an exemplar of private-level peace agreements.

Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim, Al haj, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), shared the transformation of his region into a land of peace, prosperity, and justice where diverse communities coexist harmoniously. He called upon influential leaders and policymakers worldwide to champion peace, disarmament, and a sustainable future.

HWPL’s initiatives extend globally, with the Religious Peace Academy (RPA) promoting interreligious dialogue in 130 countries and the implementation of HWPL Peace Education in educational institutions across 90 countries.

HWPL officials expressed gratitude to the international peace messengers who visited South Korea, including former heads of state and ministerial-level leaders, and called for the continued support of the South Korean government and the global community to ensure that this nongovernmental diplomacy contributes to lasting peace. The event also celebrated the HWPL Peace Award recipients, including H.E. Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, H.E. Mr. Oumar Keita, and Dr. Ciaran Burke, recognizing their outstanding contributions to HWPL’s peace endeavors.

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