The issues of the Korean peninsula seems to be moving from confrontation to talk recently with increase of talks between countries involved in the Korean issues.
Against this backdrop, representatives of government, academia and civil society discussed the role of citizens in the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula on May 12,2018 at the Pan-European Peace Forum in Frankfurt, Germany,
“What will bring two Koreas together is not just government cooperation but - as we have seen from Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig that contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall) - it will be by the collaboration and efforts of the people,” said Dr. Manfred F. Welker, member of Frankfurt City Council.
On May 19, the “High-Level Meeting of Former Political Leaders in Europe” was held by HWPL and Institute for Advanced Studies for Culture and Civilization of the Levant at Palace of the Parliament in Romania to gather support for reunification and peace in Korea.
"The great humanity conversation must now be encouraged so that the larger and larger groups of people could develop free flocks of ideas and knowledge worldwide. This vision can be developed only if representatives are able to act as plurality of voices, questions and desires of billions of people participating it,” said Hon. Emil Constantinescu, former president of Romania.
Advocating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula has been pursued by HWPL since 2014 when a group of former heads of state from Eastern Europe as HWPL Advisory Council was appointed at the 25thAnniversaryEventoftheFallofCommunism.
As a special session in both events in Germany and Romania, letters of support from leaders and citizens for peaceful reunification of Korea were presented. According to HWPL, it plans to collect over 100,000 peace letters around the world and deliver them to the leaders of the two Koreas.
Adoption of peace for policy and social development
As part of discussion in peace forums held in Europe this month, the need to establish a legal framework in the international community for peacebuilding was raised along with the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proposed by HWPL. It addresses principles of founding global peace such as respect on the international law, peaceful dispute settlement, friendly relations between states and spreading a culture of peace through education and freedom of media.
“The denuclearization and reunification of Korea will also be a major and lasting contribution to global peace and security ? and it will provide a strong impetus to spreading a culture of peace as envisaged in Article 10 of the DPCW. This may eventually bring the world one step closer to the enforcement of the fundamental norm of international relations ? the non-use of force between states ? as advocated for by the DPCW,” said Dr. Hans Kochler, President, International Progress Organization of Austria.
On May 10, “The Way to Unity of Society and Peace in the World” held in Kiev, Ukraine, HWPL and Ukraine organizations including International Spiritual and Moral Civilization Movement and People's Assembly of Ukraine signed an MOA to expand further peace activities based on the principles of the DPCW for peacebuilding.
Their agreement in the MOUs includes “the work on conflict prevention and building bridges between countries” and “promoting cooperation between civil society and government structures in the implementation of the DPCW” to overcome global “economic, political, religious and social problems.”
On May 20, Tirgu Mure City in Romania and HWPL signed an MOU for “Peace Culture City Project”, which promotes bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the field of education and culture. “Tirgu Mure? City with multicultural and historical backgrounds is one of the successful cases of ethnic coexistence. This work of peace led by Chairman Lee of HWPL is to raise awareness of global citizens in learning and thinking about culture,” said Mayor Dorin Florea.
Friendship from war leads to partnership for restoration and reconciliation
One of the factors affecting the stability of Korea is the role of Europe. Sweden and Norway, which HWPL visited for peacebuilding, are the ones that have played a role in settlement of peace in Korea since the Korean War.
Organized by International Youth Peace Group (IPYG) affiliated with HWPL, the “Positive Change for Tomorrow” was held at the Nobel Museum on May 15. This event was organized to recall the history of peaceful exchanges between Korea and Sweden about the Swedish Red Cross Field Hospital dispatched during the 1950s Korean War to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) in 2018 and to urge the youths of the two countries to cooperate for the realization of world peace and the practice of humanity.
Prof. Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chairman of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm said, "Sweden and Korea, and further the vision of IPYG working for peace are synonymous with the spirit of Nobel. I hope that this event will be a great opportunity to bring peace on the Korean peninsula."
On May 16th, the “Peace and Reconciliation Conference” on the theme of international partnership for global peace and human rights was held in Oslo, Norway. In the event the human rights issues regarding North Korean defectors were introduced, which led to the Korean reunification in the view of peacebuilding and the significance of a peace network with participation of European youth.
As a special speaker of the event, Ms. Min-sun Kim, North Korean defector and head of Peaceful Unification of Support Organization, stated that HWPL can "serve a key role in mediating in peace processes between the two Koreas" and asking participants for cooperation for "healing the wounds of the Korean Peninsula." “The unification of the Korean Peninsula will move one step forward when all the international society pays attention to Korea together. I hope we make world peace hand in hand,” she added.
In her presentation of action plan for Norwegian youth in support for peace in Korea, "Youth has the power to change the world. I hope that a world of peace without the walls of religion or ethnicity can be the reality. When we have courage, everything is possible," said Mariana, chairwoman of Internationalista, youth organization in Oslo university.