On May 25th, “6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk” was held at about 126 places in 77 countries around the world including Australia, China, Germany, India, Russia, South Africa, the Philippines, and United States of America. Under the theme of “The World’s Call for Peace, Urging Support for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)”, the event was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC.
At the day when this declaration was proclaimed, on May 25th in 2013, the peace walk of global citizens initiated with the slogan of “Let every person in this world become a messenger of peace”. This peace walk has been carried out simultaneously in various places all over the world in May every year with the aim of promoting the role and participation of individuals in the international community to achieve peace and spreading a culture of peace.
In South Korea, where the declaration was proclaimed 6 years ago, more than 150,000 citizens gathered and took part in the “Peace Letter Campaign” to call for the support for the DPCW in order to develop it into a legally binding document. The DPCW, the crystallized form of the Declaration of World Peace, addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peacebuilding such as the respect on international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL announced the significance of the DPCW by saying “The DPCW that permeates the will of global citizens asks for the global community to become one under peace with respect on mutual coexistence. This Declaration advocates everyone to cooperate for building peace so that there will be no more productions of weapons that kill lives and no more invasions of other countries. As the national leaders support the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW and religions harmonize for peace, the global community can take the road to peace.”
Mr. Young Min Chung, General Director of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an organization that leads the “Peace Letter Campaign” worldwide, said “Many people are taking part in this work since they found confidence in the DPCW that this hope can be realized for sure. The DPCW is perfectly composed of the prevention of conflicts, dispute settlement, and maintenance of a world of peace. In addition, it is the possibility of realization. It has been only three years since the DPCW was proclaimed, but we have gathered a lot of support at the national level as well as the support from the citizens all across the globe.”
According to the official of HWPL, the DPCW stresses on the role of citizens as the most important peace-making nucleus, and it is the meaning of the peace walk to show the collective voice of the global citizens that voluntarily conveys the message of peace. Also, the supporting signatures and letters for the DPCW by approximately 1.3 million citizens have been sent to their respective President or Prime Minister in 192 countries with expectations for responses from heads of each state.
At her congratulatory speech, H.E. Difie Agyarko Kusi, Ambassador of Embassy of Ghana to Korea, encouraged the active participation of the civil society for the enactment of the DPCW. “I can’t think of any one region in the world where there isn’t some conflict playing out or erupting. We should all, therefore, be grateful to HWPL for being in the forefront of the crusade to ‘construct the defenses of peace in the minds of men’ with their push for the adoption of the DPCW by the international community. I would strongly urge all right-thinking people to write letters to leaders, lawmakers, policymakers, heads of states, governments, and kings or queens, to tell them how much we are pinning our hopes on them to support this declaration and make it real,” she said.
H.E. Juan Jose Plasencia, Minister Counsellor of Embassy of Peru to the Republic of Korea, spoke through the interview about the “Peace Letter Campaign”. “If the government receives one letter, probably there will be no chance. If the government receives hundreds of thousands of letters, the government will feel the pressure from the civil society about the will of the people. So, these letters are very important. Groups of ones will reach the people in the responsible positions to hear the voice of the people.”
“To say that you are taking part in making the world a better place is amazing for any person. I hope that my presence along with everybody else will bring attention here and attention to where we are trying to accomplish. My personal reason for participating in this event is to know that I don’t sit back and become a bystander. Rather, I’d be an active participant hoping to change the world. When people look back on history or when I look back on myself, I will be proud of what I supported,” said Danelle from the United States, a participant of the peace walk.