COTABATO CITY (March 16, 2023) — Amidst the pressing issues threatening global security and peace, an international non-governmental organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), seeks for the Philippine Congress to legalize the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), a document being pushed to become a United Nations resolution.
In celebration of its proclamation in 2016, HWPL held the 7th Annual Commemoration of the DPCW on March 14th participated by 41 countries around the world. In the Philippines, a total of 1,600 people in the fields of politics, the legal profession and religion, education, media, women, and youth attended online.
Under the theme of “Institutional Peace:
Strengthening Communication to Build Trust”, participants shared the cases of conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution to institutionalize peace through the DPCW as a universal culture and norm.
“This declaration, comprising 10 articles and 38 clauses, aims to restore the spirit that served as the basis for the establishment of the United Nations and to achieve sustainable peace by promoting the universal values of the global community. The DPCW contains the message of no war, peace between nations and societies, friendly relations, prosperity, happiness,” said Prof. Dr. Md Nazrul Islam, Chairman of International Law, University of Dhaka who was part of the committee that drafted the DPCW.
The DPCW was drafted by international law experts to advocate peacebuilding efforts by citizens and governments. The DPCW supports the Philippine President’s Executive Order No. 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. In order for the DPCW to be submitted to the United Nations to be implemented as a legally-binding document, HWPL and its peace partners are working on getting National Solidarity Support especially in the Philippines. For this, a resolution was adopted during the 1st National Peace Convention last January 25 to call for President Bongbong Marcos to declare a “National Peace Day”—a special working holiday.
Government officials and public figures from the Philippines gave congratulatory messages including Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic, Commissioner of National Amnesty Commission, Congressman Edwin Olivarez, and Unang Hirit host Suzi Entrata-Abrera.
“The pursuit of these noble goals is more pressing now especially as we continue to face unexpected circumstances and life-threatening situations across the globe. In the spirit of unity, I encourage everyone to communicate and work tirelessly towards institutionalizing peace in our post-pandemic world,” said Sen. Gatchalian.
In his speech, Vice Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy of Davao de Oro also shared the case of peace-building in their province through effective communication among the leaders and communities, “In June 2022, Davao de Oro was officially declared an insurgency-free province and communication played a good part in the attainment of this objective… I am confident that through HWPL’s guidance, more areas will be appreciative of communication as a major peace initiative.”
The Province of Davao de Oro is one of the local government units that expressed support toward DPCW through a resolution. Aside from Davao de Oro, the Philippine branch of HWPL also received resolutions of support from Davao City, the Municipality of Kapalong (Davao del Norte), Cotabato City, and the City of Manila.
Moreover, during the event, action plans to advocate peace in Ukraine were prepared. Participants from over 100 countries write “Peace Letters” to denounce Russian invasion of Ukraine as a violation of international law and demand Russian President Putin a total withdrawal from the Ukraine territory. “Future generations of Russians will remember you and this war as an indelible and shameful history, and you will be left in history as the one responsible for sacrificing countless innocent lives,” one of the letters stated. These letters will be collected and sent to Ukraine, where a peace monument will be erected.
Chairman Lee Man-hee of HWPL emphasized, “Peace cannot be achieved alone. If everyone can live together as one, there will be no wars or conflicts. The DPCW was introduced to renew the inoperative international law to eliminate war. If people’s hearts change, a better world will be created. Let everyone in the global village become messengers of peace.” ### (Press Release and Photo by HWPL)