• HWPL’s 8th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) Held on March 14 –

In 2023 alone, conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas war, and numerous international disputes tragically claimed the lives of over 33,000 civilians and displaced millions. Recognizing this dire reality, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO, held its 8th annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) on MaMarch 14t its peace training institute in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The theme resonated deeply: “Building the Minds of Peace: Promoting Institutional Peace via Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding.”

Since the DPCW’s proclamation on March 14, 2016, HWPL has consistently held annual commemorative ceremonies to advocate for the institutionalization of peace. This year, the event gathered about 12,500 distinguished experts from diverse fields – political, legal, religious, educational, media, and representatives from women and youth sectors – both online and in person. Among participants, about 10,000 HWPL members moved in an orderly manner under the guidance of staff and filled the commemorative ceremony venue.

Drafted in collaboration with international legal specialists from 15 countries, the DPCW comprises ten articles and 38 clauses. It outlines the principles and tools necessary to prevent and resolve conflicts, cultivate a peaceful global society, and define clear roles for individuals, communities, and nations in achieving lasting peace.

In his congratulatory speech, H.E. ViduraWickramanayaka, Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, said, “The commitment and dedication shown in the pursuit of peace projects have not only been commendable but have also laid the foundation for a more harmonious world. The tireless efforts of individuals and organizations working towards ending war and fostering understanding among nations are truly inspiring.”

As President of the Daegak Buddhism Jogye Order in South Korea, Ven. Beopsan, who has been participating in interreligious dialogue for nine years, emphasized the importance of religious leaders’ participation in peacebuilding efforts, including comparative study of scriptures. He said, “Intercultural dialogue and understanding can be found at HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office. The root of religion is one, and its meaning is a truly noble value.”

Having pointed out that conflicts caused by religion have threatened global peace, Chairman Man-hee Lee of HWPL said, “Different religions should come together, learn each other’s values, and become one by comparative study on scriptures. Religious communities should practice faith based on scriptures to live with humanity on this earth. We must create a world where people communicate, cooperate, and help each other regardless of religion,”

Lastly, the ceremony concluded with various performances depicting the journey of peace. During the performance, there was a session where the contents of Article 10, 38 clauses of the DPCW were explained through performance, and an image of a paradise filled with flowers where peace was achieved was expressed.

In 2024, HWPL plans to carry out last year’s peace activities focusing on youth development to give essential education to those left behind due to long-standing civil wars in Ethiopia.

Last year, HWPL strengthened its cooperation with local NGOs by holding an event like the ‘2023 Earth Run: Peace Heritage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.200 participants, including Children and Youth Development Organization and Model Africa Union-Ethiopia.

In early 2024, HWPL once again reaffirmed its will to localize peace initiative by getting advice from the regional volunteer group, New Heaven and New Earth Church’s ‘We Are One.’ They have provided peace education for the youth twice and are are ready to extend the working range to local state governments beyond the capital, Addis Ababa,, for the rest of the year.