Peace through the eyes of youth

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • The 2018 HWPL Peace Summit to discuss the ideas and implementation required to achieve peace, a peace summit under the theme of ‘Collaboration for Peace Development: Building a Peace Community through the DPCW’ has started on 17 September and will be held till today in Seoul, Korea

Feeling for others and understanding others would not create a warring situation among people, Sasitha Gunawardena, who just pasted his most favourite phase on peace on the white board under four letters – DPCW, which means Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, said.

Gunawardena, a student following the Higher National Diploma in motor mechanism at the Lalith Athulathmudali Vocational Training Centre, Ratmalana, has joined over 100 trainees last week to pledge their commitment in achieving world peace and the cessation of war.

Various sectors of the society, including clergy gathered at the ‘2018 HWPL World Peace Summit: 4th Anniversary of the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit was held recently. 

“Everyone loves peace and hates war. Our future generation needs to be trained from their small days to live without troubling others. People need to avoid selfishness if they want peace,” the 20-year-old youth said.

Gunawardena opined that if people know how to lead harmonious lives there would not be battlefields and people needed to live in unity to make the world a beautiful place to live for all.

“We will share the practice and experiments of peace education as one of HWPL’s main peace initiatives and discuss on the way of spreading a culture of peace. There is an urgent need for cooperation in the global community to settle disputes and spread a culture of peace throughout the world. Because your contribution is very important, it is our great honour to welcome you to participate in the WARP Summit to strengthen our collective efforts towards reaching the core virtue of solidarity and world peace,” the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO, stated in a statement.

Honeida Packeer, a member of the Women’s Association of Sri Lanka Mayas, said the linked language – English – could create the strong link between all communities like in those days when she was in school, where they all got connected despite their ethnicity because of English language.

“Then everyone can understand each other and this brings peace among them. We grew up in unity and respect each other. This is the basic precept of any religion,” she said advising the younger generation to respect each other, fulfil their responsibilities and avoid criticising each other.

“You will be fear of each other when you don’t know each other. Then create aggression. But try to learn and understand each other,” Packeer said.

Addressing the gathering the minister of co-existence of the Youth Parliament M. Yusoof said after a 30-year war people of Sri Lanka had a dream of peace and were in need of freedom despite their religion, ethnicity and cast.

“This is our hope and we are as Sri Lankans are doing everything for peace. It is a responsibility of us as youth to promote peace to have no wars in future,” he said. The HWPL associated with the UN Department for Public Information and granted consultative status with UN Economic and Social Council. The invention of a legal framework to secure peace at both national and international levels in the form of an international agreement (law) will pave the way for developing peace processes in our world. In this regard, essential objectives of HWPL are manifested in the DPCW drafted by the HWPL International Law Peace Committee, which is comprised of prominent international law experts from 15 different countries, and proclaimed on 14 March, 2016 in the form of a Preamble, 10 articles and 38 clauses.

Through the DPCW, the HWPL aims to establish an international legal instrument that contains provisions concerning international cooperation, respect for international law, freedom of religion, and spreading of a culture of peace, as the basis for building a world of peace. 

The Legislate Peace Campaign is a global peace advocacy campaign aiming to bring all wars to an end and spread a culture of peace by establishing a legal framework compatible with the DPCW. Civil society, women, and youth who unite as one to voice their right to peace and freedom from wars and conflicts continue to carry out substantial coordinated activities in actualisation of the DPCW and urge those in leadership positions at community and national levels to take action. 

On 6 June, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution 2419 (2018) to call on increasing the representation of young people. The resolution was crafted to recognise the role youth could play in conflict prevention and resolutions while advancing sustainable peace and spreading a culture of peace.

The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) with a united vision to share in the love and life granted from heaven through peace projects and campaigns. The essence of IPYG has built upon the Declaration of peace. Undertaking what has been proclaimed in the Declaration of World Peace, IPYG believes in the important role youth play as a force for peace in the world. With the recognition that life and peace of all mankind are graciously given, IPYG pledges to share the unchanging love given from above that has provided us with light, water, and life without any cost and discrimination.

The organisation hosts different projects to bring change and establish world peace: Peace walk, establishing peace zones, 5.25 high five project, peace gallery, and legislate peace campaign are primary initiatives to bring world peace closer to the world and eradicating all forms of violence for the current and future generations to come.

The HWPL has promoted interfaith communication among religious leaders, who play an integral role in educating their congregations about differences in religious beliefs in a way that should not hinder the progress of establishing world peace. Now in HWPL WARP offices, religious leaders have undertaken works to find which religious scripture is the most trust worthy through religious dialogues, based on the agreed principles that constitute trustworthy scriptures.

Since its commencement in 2014, the summit has made a tremendous contribution towards enhancing peace and prosperity in the world and has established itself as one of the largest global peace summits. ​To enact the permanent international law to prevent any conflicts around the world based on ​DPCW​, the HWPL has been continuously working with political leaders and experts. ​ 

The aim of this year’s Summit which is getting agreement for DPCW as a national level and having DPCW adopted as a resolution by the United Nation. 

The HWPL, ever since 2014, has hosted the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summits with the slogan of “everyone to become messengers of peace” to discuss the realizable methods for world peace in association with the leaders from each sector of the global society. As a result of such collaborative efforts, in 2016, The HWPL and world-level international law experts proclaimed the DPCW that can prevent any armed conflict at its core. The DPCW of 10 articles and 38 clauses addresses the role of states and civic participation for peace-building through developing friendly relations between nations, prohibiting the use of the forces, fostering religious freedom, and spreading a culture of peace.

The 2018 HWPL Peace Summit to discuss the ideas and implementation required to achieve peace, a peace summit under the theme of ‘Collaboration for Peace Development: Building a Peace Community through the DPCW’ has started on 17 September and will he held till 19 September in Seoul, Korea. Over 2000 social representatives from the fields of politics, religion, law, education, youth, women, press, and civil societies is taking part in the Summit, which marks its 4th anniversary.

The HWPL has advocated the participation of international organisations, governments, and civil societies in achieving peace through ‘Establishing Collaborative Governance for Development and Implementation of the DPCW’. Based on the idea of collaborative governance, this year’s summit aims to further seek for the driving force for the enactment of the international law for peace through an all-encompassing approach involving different areas of expertise. Participants will discuss the following agenda: 1) National and regional support for developing the DPCW into a legally binding form, 2) Future direction of the interfaith dialogue meeting to find a trustworthy religious scripture, 3) Role of educators in peace education to spread a culture of peace, 4) Practical action plans for peace-related projects led by women and youth 5) Peace network platform for journalists. The Sri Lanka’s office, which is mainly working together with the National Youth Services Council to promote peace through youth has written peace letters in different areas and the main letter will be handed to President Maithripala Sirisena before end of September. (SS)

Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya