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Pan-European Peace Forum Advocates Support for Peace in Korea

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PEACE ADVOCATES: Participant are taking group photos hand-in-hand
PEACE ADVOCATES: Participant are taking group photos hand-in-hand

European experts and South Korean peace activists have voiced their support for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula at the ‘Pan-European Peace Forum’ held in Frankfurt.

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a Seoul-based peace NGO in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), organized the event to advocate international cooperation for global peacebuilding and support for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas.

Chairman Man Hee Lee, a Korean War veteran, appealed to attendants of the forum, “More than anything else, a peaceful world without war would be the greatest legacy to hand down to our children. If a single country achieves peace, it does not mean the world has become peaceful. Peace has to be realized in the entire world. If each person walks in the path towards peace, peace will be accomplished in the global community.”

Frankfurt city council member Dr. Manfred F. Welker delivered a speech on the need for civil society’s active participation. Recalling the small gatherings in Leipzig that sparked peaceful demonstrations for Germany’s reunification, he said what will bring two Koreas together is “not just government cooperation but – as we have seen from Nikolaikirche [St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig] – it will be by the collaboration and efforts of the people.”

Chairman Man Hee Lee is delivering speech at the peace forum
Chairman Man Hee Lee is delivering speech at the peace forum

Prof. Dr. Hans Köchler from Austria, president of International Progress Organization, said the issues of denuclearization and reunification of Korea are mutually reinforcing. He pointed out that the prospect of a reunified Korea will be “the best security guarantee to both the North and the South.”

He also maintained that nuclear disarmament should be carried out not only in Korea but also in the rest of the world, saying “there must be no policy of double standards concerning disarmament obligations of states.” Dr. Köchler is serving as a member of HWPL Peace Advisory Council, a group of policy makers and experts from civil society for advancing peace in the international community.

At the end of the event, Dr. Welker presented to HWPL delegation a Letter of Support for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula and global peace. As in line with its advocacy campaign for global peacebuilding, HWPL is collecting the Letters of Support from state officials to civil leaders, which aim to being sent to the leaders of two Koreas.

Meanwhile, HWPL, to build sustainable peace, is implementing peace education programs in various educational institutions and collaborating with educational experts and teachers worldwide to develop peace education textbooks and curriculums.