LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21. “As a human family, we face a stark choice —Peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres states in his message commemorating the day.
As an avid peace advocate, the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) hosted a virtual forum in celebration of this meaningful day, and it marks the 36th webinar that FOWPAL has organized in support of various UN days to awaken the conscience in more people and foster world peace since the pandemic began. In this forum, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL, nine influential leaders, and other promoters of peace shared their thoughts on how to make the world a better and more peaceful place.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze emphasized, “Now is a critical time as the world needs to recover quickly and global solidarity and dialogue are urgently needed. Only by providing mutual support and care and uniting with love and conscience will we create a win-win situation to enhance our collective well-being and to usher in true peace.”
Dr. Hong also stated, “The key to peace lies in promoting the purest form of human love and practicing it with perseverance. Actions based on love and conscience will be the strongest force for peaceful reform and the best way to maintain long-term peace in the world.”
“There is no peace without love. Peace needs love, and love needs to be balanced,” Dr. Hong further explained, adding, “Conscience is like a compass, guiding people onto the right path and unleashing their boundless potential. Conscience enables people to become compassionate and courageous and empowers them to use wisdom to resolve conflict. When people act in accordance with their conscience, they benefit both themselves and others. By handling people and things with conscience, we will know how to tolerate and forgive each other, love and care for others, shorten the distance between people and between nations, and promote an all-round stable and peaceful society.”
Teburoro Tito, former President of Kiribati and current Ambassador of Kiribati to the UN, encouraged everyone to cultivate an abundance of love, peace, kindness, care, and happiness within. He said, “I firmly believe that an international cooperation involving the collaboration of national, regional, and international organizations headed by persons who are richly endowed with the aforementioned positive human attributes and who are powered and driven by human conscience as I have explained, and who will put people before profits and human values before dollar values, and the ‘we’ before the ‘I,’ we will surely have a good chance of winning the fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic and in liberating the world out of such crisis as soon as possible.”
Rosy S. Akbar, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts of Fiji, pointed out, “We must encourage and support one another, as well as push ourselves to act in good conscience all the time, for the benefit of everyone now, and for our future generations to come.” “If we create a conviction within ourselves to do what we can to support our fellow humans, and work together as one, we will surely have a more equitable and sustainable world to look forward to,” she added.
Rosalia Arteaga Serrano, former President of Ecuador, stated, “I value a lot the initiative of FOWPAL to celebrate 21 of September, the Day of Peace. And they are working through consciousness. I really support this initiative because I believe on peace and consciousness on the world.”
Justice Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, former President of Trinidad and Tobago, said, “I wish to propose once more, that world leaders and citizens advocate for and support the establishment of an environmental Court, that is, the International Environmental Court (IEC), without prejudice to the mandates of existing institutions. The International Environmental Court (IEC) will be telling violators of environmental impunity, you can run but you cannot hide.”
Reema Harrysingh-Carmona, former First Lady of Trinidad and Tobago, emphasized women’s role in fostering a peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world, quoting a UN statement: “Without women’s participation, we will not achieve lasting peace; and without the stability of peace, we will not achieve sustainable development.”
Stjepan Mesic, former President of Croatia, said, “All wars always end with peace, so why to wage them at all? This is a thought to be considered by everyone, especially those who are in position to lead and decide about war.”
Filip Vujanovic, former President of Montenegro, said, “We need to recall the necessity for solidarity, understanding, consciousness, mutual respect, and humanity. We can only do that by powering our international community and strengthening our bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations. More than ever in our history, we need the strong and proactive UN to lead our global society in times of uncertainty. Failing in this joint goal shall not be an option whatsoever.”
Dr. Akkan Suver, president of the Marmara Group Foundation in Turkey, said, “In order to reach peace and approach a culture of peace, we first need dialogue, then tolerance and then love.” He also illustrated the difference between war and peace by quoting the words of Herodotus: “In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.”
Dr. Kuiljeit Uppaal, the world’s first image scientist and impact strategist and a recipient of the prestigious Karmaveer Chakra Award, instituted by the UN, encouraged everyone to have compassion and do good deeds, saying, “Let’s stand in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people in our environment and society, and as good human beings, to do whatever we can, no matter how big or small, to ensure that we all live in peace, good health and mutual respect as global citizens of the world.”
Prior to the pandemic, FOWPAL would co-organize events with various Permanent Missions to the UN at the United Nations. Dr. Ada Okika, UN coordinator of the Africana Women Working Group at the UN, attended one of such events and was very impressed by the powerful and peaceful energy of the Bell of World Peace and Love. She invited Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze to deliver a speech and video presentation of the ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love to calm people’s hearts and pray for the world during the First Ladies International Day of Peace Forum hosted by the Africana Women Working Group on September 21, 2021. Injecting more energy of peace into the world by presenting FOWPAL’s bell ringing ceremony at such an event was very meaningful as it is tradition for the UN Secretary-General to ring the UN Peace Bell on the International Day of Peace each year.
The webinar, moderated by Princess Tshepi Motloung, founder of the FutureLift Foundation, was joined by Dr. Hong and other distinguished guests, including Princess Siphokazi Simandla, managing director of Bolunga Systems & e-Waste Social Enterprise; Pauline Soberanis Tillett, a City Councilor in Belmopan, Belize; Dr. Samuel Jacobs, executive director of Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies; Suzanne Harvey, executive director of the Peacemaker Corps; Princess Gabo Moroka, founder of the Princess Gabo Foundation; Bea Baylor, author; Dr. Diana Kenoly, youth leadership mentor; and others.
“Every woman is their first lady,” said Dr. Ada Okika, emphasizing the value of each woman. She also noted, “We cannot just be talking about world peace when the major aspects that are inclusive into the issue of peace are neglected and that is the issues about women.” She reported that the event was celebrating both the International Day of Peace and the Independence Day of Belize.
Pauline Soberanis Tillett, a City Councilor in Belmopan, Belize, expressed her delight at her country’s Independence Day and International Day of Peace being commemorated simultaneously. She spoke about how women in her city are empowered by providing opportunities for them to learn, grow, and gain confidence.
“Without action on our part, no success is going to be possible,” said Dr. Diana Kenoly, youth leadership mentor, stressing the significance of personal efforts. She encouraged everyone to keep sharpening their skills and improving themselves to have a brighter future.
Dr. Samuel Jacobs, executive director of Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies, highlighted the importance of self-reflection and solidarity, saying, “The pandemic will also encourage us to have a serious assessment of how we have lived our lives as humans and how important it is to connect around the world and build synergies and efforts in order for us to overcome challenges and situations that we found ourselves in.”
In the face of the world’s various problems, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze pointed out that the heart is at the root of everything: “From the moment they are born, humans are confronted with the five poisons hidden in their hearts: greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and skepticism. The selfish pursuit of power, fame, and wealth has led to jealousy, suspicion, comparison, bullying, and even discrimination and hatred among people.” He noted that if people realize that they all belong to the same human family and that the source of happiness is one, more conflicts and tragedies can be avoided. He also highlighted the importance of conscience in achieving world peace: “Conscience is innate and guides us onto the bright path. Only when conscience is activated can global citizens respect and care for one another and realize a peaceful world as with conscience comes a peaceful world and with happiness comes a joyful family. Conscience is the key to global peace and sustainability.”
Dr. Hong also shared some useful tips for the fight against COVID-19: “During the SARS outbreak in 2002 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in the end of 2019, we produced disease prevention guidelines (videos): three don’ts, five do’s, and six tips, as well as a trilogy of videos on epidemic prevention, which we have presented to heads of state and the world, hoping that everyone will stay safe, healthy, and happy and that the pandemic will end soon. The pandemic is in fact a warning to the world: Who can be without flaws if they are not saints? There is no greater benefit than being able to correct one’s errors. In the face of nature’s backlash, only through sincere self-reflection, repentance, and atonement, and by doing more good deeds with conscience to make up for our mistakes, can we have a chance to turn the corner.”
Following Dr. Hong’s insightful speech, FOWPAL shared a ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love. The clear sound of the Bell resonated in the hearts of the participants. Princess Tshepi Motloung said effusively, “Thank you for that peace bell. Let it keep on ringing in our lives, in our families, in our communities, in our societies, in our continents, globally, wherever we are. Thank you so much!”
“All that we are doing is working towards agenda 2030,” she said at the end of the event, encouraging people to make meaningful contributions in their communities and continue to recover and rebuild better in the post-COVID era.
About the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL): Established in 2000 in the United States by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, FOWPAL is an international love and peace organization, with members from around the world. Guided by the principle of “Changing the world for the better starting with one good thought,” it aims to promote world peace and love through various activities such as world summits of love and peace, ceremonies of ringing the “Bell of World Peace and Love,” and cultural exchange performances. To date, 399 prominent figures from 122 countries have rung the Bell, made their wishes for love and peace, and pledged to work for the world’s sustainable future. Among them are 43 heads of state and government, seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, UN ambassadors, and other visionary leaders.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fad10562-4374-466f-9616-f5ec631b3cbf
The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.
Source: Federation of World Peace and Love via GLOBE NEWSWIRE