Seoul, Republic of Korea - A flurry of anticipation filled the room of over 1,000 internationally-renowned figures including heads of state, legal representatives, and media who convened at the Coex Auditorium on March 14 for the Proclamation Ceremony of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War.
Since its official inauguration in September 2015, the HWPL International Law Peace Committee has contributed their expertise to develop the draft of the Declaration through in-depth discussions and conferences. The committee consists of highly respected international law experts including Dr. Kamal Hossain, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Dr. Fathi Kemicha, member of the ICCA Governing Board, Mr. Narinder Singh, member of the UN International Law Commission, Mr. Gustaf Moller, Chairman of Finnish Chamber of Commerce, Said El Dakkak, professor of International Law at Alexandria University, etc.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, "In order to accomplish the collective wishes of all humanity, we have gathered here today. This very moment at this very place will never be forgotten in the history of mankind because the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War will be publicly proclaimed. All citizens of this globe will have to gather their hearts to acknowledge and urge this Declaration to embrace the new era and new life full of peace."
IWPG Chairwoman Nam Hee Kim gave a keynote speech by saying, "Once the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War is proclaimed today, youth and women all around the world will quickly rise to urge the international community to support the Declaration As stated in the Declaration, removing all potentials that cause conflicts is the most valuable work which will become the eternal legacy for the future generations."
Chairman Lee presented the articles of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. The core elements include prohibition of: the threat or use of force; obtaining war potential; and dispute settlement; freedom of religion; spreading a culture of peace. The Declaration is a powerful and ground-breaking tool to dispose of all means that initiate war and armed conflicts, thus further attaining humanity's fundamental goal, peace.
In the Preamble, it says, the Declaration aims to 'maintain international peace and security and (is) determined to pass on to successive generations an invaluable inheritance of a world free of wars' and to 'bear in mind the universal commitment of the world's religions to the promotion of peaceful coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect, and the common spirit that permeates all religious scriptures and holy texts.'
H.E. Ali Abu Diak, Minister of Justice of State of Palestine, gave a congratulatory speech and said, "This Ceremony and Declaration of the start for drafting an International Agreement intended to renounce armed conflicts and to stop wars is an important turning point for the protection of Human Rights regardless of nationality, residence, gender, race, color, religion or language."
H.E. Lex Mpati, President of Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, said, "I think I can see that it is no longer lip service that we need but rather an action to make this (the Declaration) a reality for all people in this generation and generations to follow. I urge all people in influence to use their influence for the improvement of the humanity rather than its destruction."
Undertaken by representatives of various legal and cultural backgrounds from around the world, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has had a profound influence on the international community as the standard for human rights since its proclamation on December 10, 1948.
Likewise, representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds worked together to create the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War which signifies that peace is possible yet urgent. The declaration will continue to develop as the most widely accepted and cited document to ensure international security and worldwide enjoyment of peace.
Although HWPL and its counterparts are paving the way for the world to encounter unparalleled changes, it is up to every individual to recognize their inalienable rights to enjoy peace and their responsibility to urge the world where the life of all youth and women shall bloom without having to encounter the tragedy of war.
The Proclamation Ceremony of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War was followed by a press conference where renowned international media such as Aljazeera, GMA, and Jordan news agency, gathered to cover the events of the day. The HWPL Peace Advisory Committee, comprising of youth and women representatives, will be established on March 15th to support and maximize the potential of the Declaration.