This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. A terrible war, on the scale of a world war, devastated the country and caused millions of casualties. The war has forced Korean Peninsula to spend decades in confrontation and tension up until now. In the peninsula divided in two, young people are still holding guns and aiming at each other. Moreover, as the recent war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on the daily lives of the Republic of Korea, which is on the other side of the globe, people are again feeling the need for peace.
Analysis of past Israeli-Palestinian and northeastern African conflicts mentions in many cases that knowing the cause of the competition is a significant factor and that the approach of ethnic-religious elements is inevitable for conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Also, the need for a peaceful process has been further raised. Russia’s recent blockade of grain exports has been criticized as a criminal act that incites food shortages in countries such as Africa and the Middle East.
In a statement by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, “I call on political, religious and community leaders to reject violence and speak up against those trying to inflame the situation. We must all work toward restoring hope and the prospect of a political resolution to this conflict.” As mentioned, the voices of leaders play an essential role in achieving peace. As seen in the Eritrean-Ethiopian case, international organizations such as the African Union provide a better opportunity to mediate the peace process in a conflict zone, and the leader’s decision could lead to the war’s end.
In this reality, an international peace organization in Korea leads the change so that the global village may be imbued with a culture of peace, named Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL). As a veteran, HWPL Chairman ManHeeLee witnessed the horrors of the Korean War and presented answers for peace and life in the world of conflict and death. Urging everyone in the world to become one in peace, he always shouts, ‘We Are One!’. The representative achievement of the peace steps he and HWPL have made is the fruit of contributing to peace in Mindanao, the Philippines, ending its 50-year history of conflict.
Mindanao was a region of the most significant armed conflict in Southeast Asia. The Mindanao conflict clearly shows the crisis faced by the global community of rampant disputes based on an ethnic and religious identity that emerged in the 21st century. Mindanao’s peace was a matter of direct connection to international security issues beyond the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Efforts were made to resolve the dispute after it caused massive casualties. It’s the Mindanao peace agreement. International private organizations, along with the governments of Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, supported the peace agreement, including Malaysia, the mediator of the official peace agreement between the government and the MILF. In addition to the official process, international organizations such as the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and various private organizations have begun to establish peace by supporting it and providing humanitarian aid. Nonetheless, the signing of a peace treaty never ended the conflict. Mindanao’s peace demonstrated the need for a fundamental and long-term approach across politics, economy, society, and culture to prevent war recurrence. Hence, HWPL, based in South Korea, began a journey of peace to Mindanao, which is directly linked to world peace. The civic peace agreement mediated by the HWPL was Mindanao’s declaration of permanent peace. Since then, HWPL and all involved, including local politics, religion, and civil society, have been cooperating for peace.
Regarding the achievements made in Mindanao since 2013, when the civil-level peace agreement was signed, ManHee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, consistently says, “It’s what God did” and “God accompanied us,” not personal achievements. With mysterious and miraculous powers leading to the cooperation of the global community, he always emphasizes, “Let all the global community become advocates of peace and leave peace as a legacy of future generations.” The possibility of peace highlighted by the HWPL will become a reality when people of the world decide to join and become one in peace. Global family members of peace wish this process will pave the way for the world to become a global village filled with news of peace rather than war, as “We Are One” resonates worldwide.