2017년 5월 31일 수요일

United youth voice demands for peace in South Korea

28.05.2016 - Tony Henderson
United youth voice demands for peace in South Korea
South Korea May 25, 2016 (Image by HWPL)
In many cities besides Seoul, including Sydney, New York City, Manila, Shanghai, Cape Town and Oakland; youth, women, and citizens generally marched for peace on May 25, 2016, with the behest to replace the current culture of war with a culture of peace.
The World Peace Gate in Seoul’s Olympic Park was filled with vibrant young people from all across Korea and from overseas for the upcoming 3rd Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and Peace Walk on the day.
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a UN department of information registered non-governmental organization, hosted the event in Seoul together with the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). Ecuador Earthquake Relief Donation Booths were set up to call for united actions among youth to care for people of Ecuador in their time of need.
Just last year, over 200,000 people showed their commitment for peace by participating in HWPL peace walks in 50 cities held in 30 countries simultaneously, igniting the flame of peace in the hearts of many.
This year’s commemorative event will highlight the global peace advocacy movement, and the Legislate Peace Campaign, recently launched to bring all wars to an end by establishing an enforceable law compatible with the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Drafted by the HWPL International Law Peace Committee and proclaimed on March 14th this year the DPCW has steadily received public attention. It represents the voices of all those yearning for peace and urges states wherever to protect their citizen’s rights to enjoy peaceful lives.
The Legislate Peace Campaign calls on global citizens to unite as one to voice their positive demands for peace by adding their signatures to its list. World leaders and governments are also being called on to make and enforce a national law based on the principles of the DPCW. Many heads of state have written letters of support for the DPCW and over 190,000 signatures from 152 countries have been collected through on and offline platforms worldwide in less than two months.
Marking this the 3rd anniversary of its proclamation, the Declaration of World Peace has borne fruit through the DPCW as the document states: “Of what use is a young life, born in our day and age, if it is thrown away in this manner – thrown away without having had a chance to bloom? What price can compensate for the loss of a life? … In whatever way you can, we ask that you work to further the cause of world peace and restoration, making it a reality in your direct environments.”
The Legislate Peace Campaign is promoting an online gathering for peace through its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/legislatepeace that started May 24, this year.

2017년 4월 30일 일요일

The US, not North Korea, is the biggest threat to peace

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Less than three months into President Donald Trump’s reign we can already say that there is a non-trivial chance that the United States will soon be engaged in a nuclear war.
The threat is still remote, but the pieces are in place. An aircraft carrier group is en route to the Korean peninsula and anonymous sources have threatened a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
Any misjudgments or mistakes could easily spark a shooting war in which the North Koreans will face an existential threat they can only resist with their nuclear weapons. The United States would likely respond in kind.
The main thing standing between us and this scenario? The cooler heads and good judgement of Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
Racist rhetoric
This is deeply concerning. But to hear the US media tell it, all of the irrationality and risk is on the North Korean side. NBC News, in an article announcing the US threat of unauthorised aggression against North Korea, called it “volatile and unpredictable”.
Australia’s defense industry minister called North Korea “the world’s greatest threat” less than a week after the US escalated the major power conflict in Syria with little warning. The New York Times spoke of China’s need to “rein in” the childish North Koreans, even though it is the US that has killed at least 1000 civilians in combat so far this year.
Western propaganda draws from a deep well of racist “yellow peril” prejudice to stoke irrational fears against this tiny, poor, isolated country. It amplifies this paranoia with long-standing stereotypes of East Asian “oddity” to dehumanise North Koreans.
In the hands of a war-horny bigot like Trump, this well-established, bipartisan narrative poses the fearsome threat of nuclear war.
There are three basic pieces to the West’s slander of North Korea  —  that the whole country is “crazy”, dangerous, and untrustworthy. They cannot be reasoned with, they won’t honour diplomatic agreements, and at any moment they could fly off the handle and kill millions of people for no reason.
This demands extraordinary military pressure from the US and allies and may, alas, require us to destroy them.
Each of these is a perverse misrepresentation. The claim that they are insane is a clear example of “gaslighting” —  an abusive tactic where the perpetrator drives their victim crazy and then uses such a response as proof of the victim’s irrationality, justifying further abuse.
North Korea is bordered on the south by South Korea and on the north by China. South Korea hosts 28,500 US military personnel, many of them literally amassed at the North’s border. To its east is Japan, a nation that brutally occupied Korea for decades and is home to tens of thousands more US soldiers.
North Korea is surrounded on all sides by countries that have invaded or occupied them in living memory. On top of this, the country remains technically at war with the world’s most powerful military, with no peace treaty even being signed to end the 1950-53 Korean War. This military is poised to invade at a moment’s notice.
This is the sort of scenario that would make any country not just paranoid, but legitimately insecure. In light of US military aggression against other countries deemed “rogue states”, it is no surprise North Korea works to build up its defensive capabilities.
The Korean War is within living memory. During that conflict, the US killed a quarter of the North Korean population and leveled its urban centres, leaving almost no structures standing in Pyongyang.
The US media, however, never provide this context. Instead North Korean military propaganda is presented as aggressively unhinged. But if North Korea is “crazy” for its militarism, then the US is downright certifiable.
US propaganda can dismiss North Korea’s legitimate concerns so easily because of the underlying racist assumption that these are a bizarre and simple-minded people who believe in unicorns. This feeds off orientalist logic that sees East Asians as a nearly subhuman “other” that cannot be reasoned with and so must be handled with force.
As for claims about North Korea’s unique danger to the world, this too is divorced from reality. The country has no meaningful power projection capability . Its naval surface vessels cannot operate more than about 50 kilometres off the coast  and the US military has them contained to the south.
China is still North Korea’s ally and does not view it as a significant military threat. North Korea is contained.
But what about those missiles and nukes? North Korea could maybe lob a missile at Japan  —  or maybe not, a missile test on April 15 failed  —  and they could level Seoul with artillery alone. But why would it do this? It would prompt either the US or China to respond and destroy it.
The only way to explain such a unilateral assault is to go back to that same baseless “crazy” claim. They could miscalculate of course, but claims that North Koreans are especially dangerous almost always relies on the assumption that they might just wig out and bomb everybody for no reason at all at any moment.
Again, this is rooted in an infantilising, dehumanising, racist logic.
And any claims of a direct North Korean threat to the US is ludicrous. It has no weapons capable of reaching within thousands of miles of the US, and are years away from developing any. Even if it reached that goal  —  which its very uneven history of missile tests indicates will be very difficult  —  it would still have thousands of fewer weapons than the US.
Cable news is a much bigger threat to US security than North Korea ever will be.


If North Korea’s military threat is totally derived from its desire to prevent a US attack, why not negotiate a peace between North Korea and the US? A negotiated settlement could move both back from the brink and perhaps even provide space for an opening in North Korean society.
Conventional wisdom says the North Koreans have reneged on every agreement ever made with them. But if the “crazy” claims are an example of gaslighting, this answer is a textbook case of projection.
It is not North Korea that has betrayed past agreements, but the US.
The main incident here has to do with the “Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” signed between the two countries in 1994. The Agreed Framework basically traded the end of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program for normalised economic and diplomatic relations with the US.
As a good faith step to spur the negotiations, North Korea submitted to limited weapons inspections while the US cancelled military exercises with South Korea. North Korea also used its plutonium production plants for energy, so the US agreed to help provide them with fuel oil until two light water nuclear reactors  —  which cannot be weaponised  —  could be built.
The US failed to uphold its end of the agreement almost immediately. Two weeks after it was signed, Republicans won control of Congress and labelled the agreement “appeasement”. Congress never provided sufficient funds for the fuel oil and the US never met the obligations set in the Agreed Framework.
The US also failed to take even the first preliminary steps in building the light water reactors for more than four years. It then moved at such a slow pace that there was no chance of meeting the framework’s timelines.
Most significantly, Congress blocked any attempts to begin normalising relations between North Korea and then-president Bill Clinton never pressed it to do so.
North Korea played along for at least four years and even warned that it would restart its nuclear program a year before it actually began a pilot program. North Korea did not shift from this pilot effort to a full-scale weapons program until then-president George W Bush refused new negotiations in 2001.
North Korea’s record is one of cooperating whenever Washington cooperated, and retaliating whenever it reneged. This extended to the later Six Party Talks begun in 2003 between North and South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia that almost brought North Korea back into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Talks broke down when the US refused to release US$24 million frozen in a Macau bank account, and North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon six months later. But for that $24 million there might be no nuclear threat from North Korea today.


Yes, North Korea is governing by a repressive regime. But this is beside the point. The US does not pick its enemies for their moral qualities.
The US’s long history of supporting, and often imposing, brutal dictatorships shows it does not care about human rights or freedom when deciding which nations to support or oppose.
Notice how much less hand-wringing you hear about Pakistan, even though it does have a nuclear arsenal probably 15 times the size of North Korea’s, while also actively collaborating with jihadists.
The difference is that, unlike North Korean, Pakistan is subject to the US empire — and it buys it weapons from the US military-industrial complex.
North Korea dares to not only maintain its independence, but to seek to defend it. Therefore, it cannot be rewarded with negotiation.
It is our responsibility to push back against our governments lying their way into nuclear war.
[Abridged from Defiant. Andrew Dobbs is an activist, organiser, and writer based in Austin, Texas.]

2017년 4월 11일 화요일

Malala Yousafzai made youngest UN Messenger of Peace

Malala Yousafzai

                               Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been made the youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace

The 19-year-old, who is doing her A-levels and has an offer from a top UK university, will take the role with a special focus on girls' education.
In 2012 Ms Yousafzai was nearly killed by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' rights to education.
Accepting the accolade in New York, she said: "(Bringing change) starts with us and it should start now."
"If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now (and) not wait for anyone else," he said.
United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres described her as a "symbol of perhaps the most important thing in the world - education for all".

Malala Yousafzai being selected as UN Messenger of Peace

Last month, Ms Yousafzai said she had received an offer to study politics, politics, philosophy and economics at a UK university, on condition of achieving three As in her A-levels. Ms Yousafzai, who narrowly escaped death after being attacked on her way home from school in Pakistan, did not confirm which university had made the offer. But previously she revealed she had interviewed for a degree place at an Oxford college. UN Messengers of Peace are selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life. Other messengers have included Muhammad Ali, George Clooney, Michael Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stevie Wonder and Charlize Theron.


2017년 4월 6일 목요일

Peace Forum for the 1st Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) Was Held in Korea

Seoul, 16 Jumadil Akhir 1438/15 March 2017 (MINA) – Faced with the reality of uncertainty in global cooperation triggered by a chain of political upheavals from the Brexit to elections in the United States and European states, a new approach to pursue an international peaceful order is discussed.
On March 14, with 1800 stakeholders in governance, Peace Forum for the 1st Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) was held in Seoul, South Korea by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace organization under the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).
In commemoration of the DPCW proclaimed on the same date in 2016, the forum reaffirmed the importance of global peace movement currently on progress under the Legislate Peace Campaign to establish the principle of international law for peace through the introduction of a UN resolution based on the DPCW.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL emphasized that peacebuilding “is not an individual task”, but “is relevant to everyone” as a common purpose of the global community. He offered the role of religion as a bridgebuilder of peace rather than the core of conflict and violence by adding “our orientations must be one for peace. Whether religious secular world it is, there is no exception.”
In the progress report, Dong Min Im, the secretary general of HWPL, explained the significance of peace projects in HWPL by saying, “The work is to put an end to war in our globe and make a foundation of a world of everlasting peace, which is unprecedented in history.” He continued, “The solution to peace is all of us becoming messengers of peace.”
Bup Hye Kim, chairman of Buddhist Central Council for National Unification, offered a picture of concrete action plans of HWPL in achieving peace. “Youth and women are the main scapegoats in war, but even in this reality we must face the fact that youth and women are voluntarily standing at the forefront to build the foundation of peace with HWPL”, he said.
The DPCW with its 10 articles and 38 clauses was drafted by HWPL and legal experts in international law. Based on the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and Declaration of Human Rights, the DPCW advocates peace as a global order through respect on international law, ethnic/religious freedom, and spreading a culture of peace.
Efforts of promoting peaceful coexistence with initiatives of HWPL contribute to conflict resolution to raise mutual understanding that can restrain hostility. Seminars and culture events at both local and national levels have been hosted by HWPL with the local community to overcome religious or ethnic boundaries. Areas of conflict where threats of life are persistent including Syria, Israel and Palestine are included to raise awareness for peacebuilding. (L/R01/RS5)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

2017년 4월 3일 월요일


From left, Davis Prize for Peace winners Madeline Curry, Jillian Randolph, Sophie Binns and Nanki Kaur will work in South Africa this summer.
From left, Davis Prize for Peace winners Madeline Curry, Jillian Randolph, Sophie Binns and Nanki Kaur will work in South Africa this summer. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)
March 31, 2017 
Aquartet of University of Virginia students will spend their summer in the South Africa trying to rekindle a deeper appreciation of “ubuntu,” an African traditional philosophy focused on compassion and community, with a Davis Projects for Peace grant.
Jillian Randolph of Baltimore; Nanki Kaur of Ashburn; Madeline Curry of Fairfax; and Sophie Binns of Douglasville, Georgia – all second-year students majoring in global studies – will seek to create a youth development center in Khayelitsha, South Africa, one of the largest townships in the world. The quartet has also received a Jefferson Public Citizen award for their project.  
This team is picking up the work a previous group of UVA students began in South Africa.
“We will create sustainable activities for youth through engaging the community in discussions of ubuntu, an African philosophy that emphasizes human commonality, community relations and compassion. It can best be captured by the phrase ‘I am because you are, and you are because we are,’” Randolph said. “We chose this topic as a result of the analysis of previous research and feedback from the women’s group we work with in the township. The women’s group calls themselves ‘Iliso Lamakhosikazi,’ which translates into ‘The Eye of the Woman.’”
Randolph, who has worked with at-risk youth in Baltimore for five years, is looking forward to creating programs and activities for the youth of South Africa.
Davis Projects for Peace awarded 120 projects nationwide $10,000 each for implementation this summer. The organization was the vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007. Until her death in 2013, Davis was intent on advancing the cause of peace and sought to motivate tomorrow’s leaders by challenging them to find ways to “prepare for peace.”
Randolph said she is pleased that their project was funded, since it is building on the work of others.
“We all are actually continuing research that was started about three years ago now,” Randolph said. “With this funding, we’ll be able to continue to build upon and extend the relationship with our community partners by integrating the results from previous research with member feedback.
“The idea of this project actually came directly from the women’s group that we work with in the township,” she said. “I know that they will be excited to see the work that we’ve been doing for the past couple of years materialize with the formation of a youth center.”
The students hope ubuntu can redirect the community’s youth from other temptations.
“The women’s group expressed deep concern regarding the unsafe activities youth engage with in their free time,” Kaur said. “Without formal after-school outlets, certain children resort to drug and alcohol use within makeshift taverns known as ‘shebeens.’ Thus, our goal is two-fold: to collaboratively design and implement after-school programming, and to better understand the rich, peace-building principle of ubuntu.”
Andrus Ashoo, director of UVA’s Center for Undergraduate Excellence, said the strength of the group comes from its members’ diverse backgrounds and collaborative methods.
“Since I have been at UVA, this is the first Davis project that is a collaborative endeavor by design,” Ashoo said. “The project will evolve as the team interacts with the host community to develop the most appropriate next steps. That’s exciting.”
Randolph, who is also minoring in health and wellbeing, is a varsity volleyball student manager, a Rotunda Ambassador, a member of the University Guide Service, a Second Year Council member and a recipient of the Stephanie Jean Charles Award and the Harambe II Award. A graduate of St. Paul’s School for Girls, she plans to join the Peace Corps after graduation.
An Echols Scholar, Kaur was part of a team that presented its research at the 2017 Human Development Conference at the University of Notre Dame. She has a minor in biology, is a member of the executive board for the Conflux Global Health Journal and the student advisory board of the Center for Global Health. She is a writer for Unsung People and a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. A graduate of Broad Run High School and the Academy of Science, Kaur hopes to work as primary care physician for Partners in Health.
​Curry, who is also a Spanish major, is a member of the Ski and Snowboarding Team and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. A graduate of W.T. Woodson High School, she plans a career in academia.
Binns is a member of Kappa Delta sorority. A graduate of Oak Mountain Academy, she plans a career in international development. After studying in Cape Town last year, she joined this research group as a way of maintaining contact with a community she had grown to love.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity,” Binns said. “Grants such as Davis are what allow us to establish and maintain these relationships across the globe, and our continuous presence in these communities is what makes the work real and meaningful. This research isn’t just defining our UVA experiences, it’s laying the foundations for our careers.”
Projects for Peace is open to undergraduates at the American colleges and universities that are partners in the Davis United World College Scholars Program.

Interfaith Breakfast to span 6 faith traditions, focus on peace

File. Anantkumar Dixit, a priest with the Hindu Temple of Toledo, on of several speakers at the annual Community Interfaith Breakfast in Bowling Green last year.
Posted: Monday, April 3, 2017 9:13 am
While Wednesday’s Interfaith Breakfast is sold out, there is still an opportunity for others to hear the various commentaries and speeches being presented.
Clint Corpe will take The Morning Show on the road to the breakfast and will air the speakers live beginning at 8 a.m. Corpe will also talk with some of the people on hand prior to the start of the breakfast.
The show airs on WBGU-FM at 88.1 FM.
The lineup of speakers spans six different faith traditions with other faiths represented as well. Speakers slated will represent Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Native American Spirituality, Buddhism and Christianity.
Music for the breakfast will be provided by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, under the direction of Bill Mathis. The Madrigal Singers from Bowling Green High School will also sing during the event.
Art from all three elementary schools in Bowling Green depicting the theme of peace will be on display
The breakfast will be held at the Junior Fair Building at the Wood County Fairgrounds.
Local dignitaries on hand will include Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards, Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey and Francis Scruci, superintendent of Bowling Green schools.
Speakers, in order of scheduled appearance, are the Rev. Lynn Kerr, pastor of Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist congregation, who will serve as moderator and chair of the event; Rehani Ahmed of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo; Srinivas Melkote of Toledo, representing Hinduism; Joseph Jacoby, representing Judaism; Lynda Dixon, representing Native American Spiritualism; Karen Christie, representing Buddhism; and the Rev. Gary Saunders, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Bowling Green, speaking on Christianity.


JM Busha Investment Group CEO Joseph Busha launches the JM Busha 54 Races for Peace & Unity in Africa. Picture: SUPPLIED
JM Busha Investment Group CEO Joseph Busha launches the JM Busha 54 Races for Peace & Unity in Africa. Picture: SUPPLIED
Peace as the foundation for business and sustainable economic growth was the focus of the Financial Mail Private Lounge, held in Johannesburg recently in association with JM Busha Investment Group.
In his welcome address, JM Busha Investment Group CEO Joseph Busha called on the leaders and citizens of Africa to understand it is their collective responsibility to ensure peace and a better future for Africa and unlock its potential.  
Economies thrive during times of peace, said Transcend Talent Management MD Zanele Luvuno. She cited Rwanda as an example of a country that has experienced a remarkable economic turnaround since ensuring peace.
A little more than two decades ago Rwanda was on its knees economically following the genocide that killed almost a million people. Today it is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and it has made significant strides in gender equality and in creating better economic conditions for all its citizens, she said. 
If you can put a stop to conflict and corruption, it opens the door to a much brighter future
Stewart Bailey, senior vice-president of investor relations and group communications at AngloGold Ashanti
Africa stands at the threshold of greatness, said Stewart Bailey, senior vice-president of investor relations and group communications at AngloGold Ashanti. However, corruption and conflict are major impediments to economic growth.
“If you can put a stop to conflict and corruption, it opens the door to a much brighter future,” he said. “In South Africa, while we have different pasts, we share a common goal for a prosperous future.”
Africa gives too much prominence to politics, said Innocent Dutiro, CEO for Africa and Asia at MMI Holdings. Wealth in Africa needs to be distributed more equitably, he added, and the continent needs to address its issues to ensure sustainable peace. Each African country needs to put its citizens first and start a deliberate process to ensure economic prosperity and lasting peace. 
Democracy, Dutiro said, works when one has a well-developed economy. Providing the youth with quality education is key to ensuring a prosperous future.
One of the biggest impediments to growth is poor education infrastructure, said Bailey, and South Africa has not addressed this sufficiently. He agreed with Busha that citizens need to be more politically aware and active. “We need regional solutions to our problems. You can be a bastion of prosperity but if your neighbouring countries have free-falling economies, it will ultimately affect you.”
Citizens need to act before it’s too late, said Busha. “If we want peace and a prosperous future, we have to participate and be accountable for our own future.”
If we want peace and a prosperous future, we have to participate and be accountable for our own future
JM Busha Investment Group CEO Joseph Busha
He said it was time for South Africans to take responsibility for their own future and no longer rely on the political leadership to dictate their future. 
Busha questioned whether business in South Africa had not left it too late to engage government leadership on social and economic development. Following decisions that hurt business and the economy, business focused on President Jacob Zuma.
“In Zimbabwe,” he said, “business focused on making money and some [on] pleasing the government. Business did not engage on good public governance, policies and President [Robert] Mugabe until the collapse of many businesses and the economy. By the time Zimbabwean business tried to engage the Zimbabwean government, it was too late. It’s always a disaster whenever there is collusion between business and government.”
State capture, he added, has negative implications for South Africa. 
From left, Joanne Joseph, Zanele Luvuno, Stewart Bailey, Innocent Dutiro, Peter Bruce and Joseph Busha at the FM Private Lounge in Johannesburg. Picture: SUPPLIED
From left, Joanne Joseph, Zanele Luvuno, Stewart Bailey, Innocent Dutiro, Peter Bruce and Joseph Busha at the FM Private Lounge in Johannesburg. Picture: SUPPLIED
While Peter Bruce, editor-in-chief of BDFM Publishers, said he was in favour of active citizenry, he added there was much the state could do to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. He said the South African economy needed a long-term strategy and suggested that the government introduce tax incentives to encourage people to hold onto their shares for longer.
He also called for a more inclusive style of capitalism to redesign the way South Africans create and distribute wealth and to change the way the economy reacts. Business, too, he said, could do much to ensure it acted in the long term. “The style of capitalism we practise in Africa is too Victorian,” said Bruce. “It’s a destructive mechanism which needs to change.”
There was some debate on whether legislation needed to force change, with Luvuno arguing that businesses that merely ticked the compliance box were not contributing to a meaningful transfer of wealth. Bailey said South Africa needs a more imaginative approach to broaden the pool of equity, while balancing this with the need to attract investment and capital. 
The JM Busha 54 Races for Peace & Unity in Africa, said Busha, is about engaging the youth of Africa amid calls for the continent’s citizens to participate in its economic development and political governance. It encourages citizens to hold leaders to account and asks individuals, organisations and governments to enrol as signatories to a peace pledge.