Press conference for the 9th annual HWPL World Peace Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Noah Washington/The Atlanta Voice

SEOUL, South Korea – On Monday, September 18th, the HWPL (Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light) World Peace Summit held its opening press conference with HWPL and their associate peace organization leaders: International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) general director Chung Yung-Min, International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) chairwoman Hyun Sook Yoon, and HWPL chairman and founder, 93-year-old Lee Man Hee.

The three key figures discussed their ongoing efforts to promote peace on a global scale, shedding light on HWPL’s mission and the strategies being employed to achieve their goal of lasting peace in the world.

One of the main focuses of the summit is the “Declaration for Peace and Cessation of War” (DPCW). This declaration consists of guiding principles and effective methodologies for preventing and resolving conflicts. Another main focus of the document is objecting to the use of weapons and advocating for their removal from the world, with HWPL pushing for it to be submitted to the United Nations as a binding international law. Currently, consisting of ten articles and 38 clauses, five countries have already expressed their support for the DPCW at the national level.

During the Q&A session, journalists from various corners of the world posed several questions to the panelists, seeking insights into the organization’s mission and strategies.

Question: How can religious leaders play their part in the quest for peace?

HWPL Chairman Lee Man Hee: Whether you are a religious leader or an ordinary person, we all desire peace. Apostles have spoken about peace around the world, and everyone wants peace. Peace starts within families and extends to schools and societies.

Question: How can women promote peace, and what strategies can be implemented to do so on a global scale?

IWPG Chairman Hyun Sook Yoon: IWPG promotes peace communities. IWPG will rally the support of women worldwide, and we are confident in our efforts to do so.

Question: How does HWPL aim to address conflicts worldwide and foster peace, especially with Indonesia’s call for peaceful conflict resolution?

IPYG General Director Chung Yung-Min: HWPL focuses on resolving conflicts for peace through two pillars: 1.) Encouraging conflict participants to agree to harmony 2.) Concentrating on the efforts of civil society. Leaders cannot ignore the voice of the people. Youth participate in peace workshops, and women engage in peace meetings. Through the media, this is known to the public and our nation, creating an atmosphere of peace. People need to believe that peace education is a fundamental mindset.

Question: What do you think of the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, and what is needed for reunification? What is HWPL doing to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula?

HWPL Chairman Lee Man Hee: I have lived for 93 years, and during that time, I have witnessed many things around the world and in South Korea. It would have been great if the world lived quietly and peacefully without wars. To achieve this world, I traveled around the world 32 times and appealed to leaders for peace, and I still have their signatures. When countries cannot communicate, conflicts arise, whether between nations or races. It is not easy for people to fight. We must prevent wars. Our youth are the ones sacrificed. I was on the front lines of the Korean War, and that is how I know the harsh realities of war. If you have never experienced it, there is no way for you to know without being there. Everyone, please think about it. Think of how many youths have died on the front lines. How can we stand by and just watch when the youth are sacrificing themselves for war? I contemplated this during the drafting of the DPCW, a community composed of world-renowned lawmakers. I formed brotherhoods with leaders and former heads of state.

Question: What is the most challenging aspect of carrying out the peace movement?

HWPL Chairman Lee Man Hee: That’s a very difficult question. I wish everyone would be more orderly. We need to communicate that this isn’t only for the political world but for society as a whole. The problem is, we cannot say that world peace has been achieved if only one nation has attained it. To achieve peace, everyone has to achieve it. I have traveled around the world, and that takes time and requires many things. That’s why I have met with leaders from different countries, and I am thankful for those leaders who have met with me. The peace tour will continue soon now that COVID has died down.

The panel session concluded with a call to action from Chairman Hee.

“Starting with families, neighborhoods, and schools, let’s promote peace. Around the world, it is the youth and students who go out to fight. If peace prevails in this world, there will be no need for sacrificial deaths. Now is the time to submit to the UN, and if there are no supplements, it is time to accept the resolution,” Hee said.