Mindanao of the Philippines was an island marked by a conflict that lasted for four decades and resulted in 120,000 casualties. But on January 24, 2014, political and religious leaders representing Mindanao gathered in one place. Before young people, women, and children, they signed a peace agreement at the civilian level, promising to end the conflict and cooperate for peace.
This agreement built a culture of peace, and combatants voluntarily turned in their weapons. The person who mediated such an agreement was a peace activist from the Republic of Korea. By this occasion, Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, became known to the international community. Here is a closer look into his peace movement.
Having witnessed his comrades die as a soldier in the Korean War, Chairman Man Hee Lee made it his life’s mission to achieve a peaceful world without war. In 2013, he founded Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light and started a peace movement. HWPL is associated with the UN Department of Global Communications and the Economic and Social Council. It was established for the purpose of achieving peace and cessation of war and leaving a peaceful world as a lasting legacy for future generations.
The peace work of HWPL Chairman Lee is being covered by the Korean media. A series of articles titled “Korean, Man Hee Lee, The True Story of Peace” addresses his peace movement and evidential materials. The articles published until May 2021 were compiled into a 64-page-long special issue. The series continues to be published. This will serve as an important source for world peace.
What the special issue covers in depth is the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, which is a document that offers a solution for global peace. On September 18, 2014, at the HWPL World Peace Summit, leaders from around the world promised to work towards an international legal instrument on the cessation of war and bring religions together as one under God. To fulfill this promise, the HWPL International Law Peace Committee was established, consisting of 21 renowned experts in international law. The members discussed ways to cease war and armed conflict.
Then on March 14, 2016, they proclaimed to the world the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, a document composed of 10 articles and 38 clauses that proposes a framework for the cessation of war. Experts in international law and national leaders say that the DPCW will allow the international community to overcome the limitations of the existing international law and contribute to establishing advanced principles of peace.
The DPCW also received support from the international community. The PAP, which is the legislative body of the African Union consisting of 55 African countries, the Centre BBS whose members are formers heads of Eastern European countries, and the CCLP, comprised of former heads of Caribbean countries, promised to cooperate with HWPL. Also, Seychelles, Eswatini, Comoros, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent expressed their support for the DPCW at the national level.
National leaders of Pacific Island countries signed a comprehensive agreement on advocacy for the DPCW, and the Central American Parliament passed a resolution in support of the DPCW. At a peace conference, UN Permanent Representatives of 145 countries showed their support as well. Campaigns advocating for the implementation of the DPCW are actively taking place in various sectors of society and across the world. Global citizens are sending Peace Letters to national leaders, urging them to support the DPCW. With the support of the global community, the DPCW will write a new page of peace in history.
Chairman Lee is carrying out other various peace activities as well. HWPL Peace Education is being offered at 214 educational institutions in 34 countries, training students into messengers of peace. The World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office, a platform for seeking interfaith harmony and promoting peaceful interactions among religions, is operating at 256 locations in 129 countries. In September every year, the HWPL World Peace Summit is held, gathering people from around the world to discuss peace. This event is regarded as a well-organized international conference.
The World Peace Summit has shown the potential to bring global citizens together under the banner of peace. Chairman Lee and his Peace Delegation have gone on World Peace Tours since 2012. Visiting 49 countries on 31 tours, they advocated the need for the DPCW and spread a spirit of peace. Chairman Lee’s visit was welcomed by leaders around the world, who promised to take part in his peace efforts transcending nationalities, ethnicities, and religions.
Chairman Lee’s contributions to peace are acknowledged widely. Individuals and organizations around the world have presented various gifts, awards, and certificates to Chairman Lee for his unparalleled efforts to create peace. These appreciation plaques have been received from politicians and legal professionals, cities, educational institutions, religious organizations, and more. Chairman Lee also received peace and recognition awards. Leaders sent him gifts as a token of appreciation. Cities and regions declared HWPL Day to celebrate HWPL’s achievements. Also, many people sent letters supporting the peaceful reunification of Korea, hoping peace will take root in the peninsula.