Peace as culture!
HWPL’s response to the peace that renews the future of the global village
HWPL presents concrete peace to end wars and conflicts in Mindanao, Philippines
HWPL encourages people in the world to have the “We are one” mentality to become one in peace!
HWPL, a Korean peace organization that exports peace
The world has made an effort to resolve conflicts and establish peace, but in recent decades there has been a major shift in the origins of conflicts. After the end of the Cold War, ethnic and religious identities emerged as a major source of conflict. Ethnic and religious conflicts have increased significantly, accounting for over 80% of the conflicts that arise worldwide. The emergence of this new conflict structure requires a new approach. Although entities that can cause conflict have expanded to groups and individuals beyond the state, it also means that entities that can resolve conflicts can expand to the private level of organizations and individuals, rather than just the state. In this world, anyone can act to create global peace.
Mindanao was once the site of the largest armed conflict in Southeast Asia. Due to the political, economic and cultural discrimination and contradictions accumulated by the colonial era in Spain and the United States, armed groups have been formed and fought since the 1960s. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), active in Mindanao as a base, was the largest armed group in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. In the 2010s, the Philippine government declared a total war against the MILF, claiming 120,000 lives. The conflict in Mindanao clearly shows the crisis in the global village and the spread of conflicts based on ethnic / religious identities that arose in the 21st century. Peace in Mindanao was an issue directly related to security issues, not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia and the world as a whole.
As a result of these losses, the Mindanao peace process was born. The peace process was supported by international NGOs and the governments of Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as well as 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 and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and several private organizations have supported peace and provided humanitarian aid to bring peace. The conflict did not end with the simple signing of a peace agreement. Peace in Mindanao has demonstrated the need for a fundamental and long-term approach that includes politics, economics, society and culture to avoid a repeat of the war. HWPL, based in the Republic of Korea, has started this peace path in Mindanao.
Mindanao Peace Declaration, HWPL Mindanao Peace Agreement
Peace efforts in Mindanao, which had not even been attempted at the Korean government level, started in the private sector. In 2013, HWPL President Man-Hee Lee visited Mindanao, where tensions were high due to military clashes. President Lee has visited many nations to build international solidarity for peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the world and to appeal for cooperation and support. It was a new private approach to concluding a peace agreement between local Mindanao leaders and non-governmental organizations.
At the time of the agreement, President Lee asked the participants, “Do you want peace or war?” and when all the participants raised their hands to declare that they wanted peace, he said: “Then please sign the peace agreement” and greeted the present Catholic-Muslims. He urged them to stop the conflict and do their best in reconciliation and cooperation for the sake of peace. Following the signing of the agreement, two leaders representing local Islam and Catholicism, government and the private sector, politics and religion joined forces. It was the declaration of the beginning of the road to peace in Mindanao, and it was the signal to enter a world where religions and countries can become one in peace. January 24 is now the anniversary of the Mindanao Peace Agreement and is celebrated with holidays and events to celebrate peace.
Peace as an institution and culture: The cornerstone of long-term peace
The HWPL-mediated civil peace agreement was a declaration of a permanent peace in Mindanao. Subsequently, HWPL and all interested parties, including local political and religious groups and civil society, began working together for peace. At the regional level, from 2019 to 2020, the major cities of Mindanao, such as Cotabato and Davao, have decided to support and implement the Declaration of Peace and End of War (DPCW) announced by HWPL. It is the political base for President and current Vice President Sarah Duterte. DPCW aims to disseminate the culture of peace and the basic principles of prohibition, prevention and resolution of conflicts and wars and has been developed jointly by HWPL and international law experts. The DPCW is developed and functions as an international legal document with the legal, institutional and regulatory functions of international organizations, central and local governments and civil society.
In addition, together with civil society organizations, we are conducting a peace awareness campaign in which citizens participate and build a monument to peace. The Peace Monument is a symbol of peace that reminds us of coexistence and respect in our daily lives. Examples include Sultan Kudarat’s Camp Dharapanan, a former military base for militants, and a peace monument built in the Purok Tongkie area of the city of Cotabato, where armed conflicts between Muslims, Christians and indigenous peoples were frequent in the past. . As warriors returned to their daily lives, one after another, thanks to the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the armed groups, they melted their weapons and erected a monument as a symbol of the transition to a world of peace. .
At the national level, efforts are being made to create peace through cooperation with government departments in the field of education. HWPL has implemented peace education internationally, as proposed by the UN and UNESCO, for students and citizens of the Philippines, starting with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 70 educational institutions in Mindanao in February 2016. Education focused on character development in line with the era of peace is a recent international education trend. Recently, HWPL peace education has been rated as more systematic than UNESCO civilian education, which was recently introduced on a pilot basis by some local governments in Korea.
In the Philippines, in 2018, an MOU was signed with the Commission for Higher Education (CHED), an organization under the president’s direct control in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to develop curricula and expand education to peace at the national level. Thanks to this collaboration, 2,551 teachers from 557 schools were trained in the Philippines alone, contributing to the peace education of 23,000 students (200 teachers in Mindanao and 5,000 students).
Regarding the results in Mindanao since 2013, when a private peace agreement was signed, HWPL President Man-Hee Lee says it is not an individual achievement, but a “work done by God” and “A work accompanied by God.” While the fruits of peace are bearing fruit wherever mysterious and miraculous forces rule the co-operation of the global village, he always emphasizes: “Let us all become messengers of peace and leave peace as a legacy for future generations.” The opportunity for peace highlighted by HWPL will become a reality when people around the world take the initiative and become one in peace.