On August 26th the HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) came together to introduce the 2nd Annual World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit and the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. The WARP Summit will be held in September in Seoul, Republic of Korea. HWPL is an international peace organization that is looking to further world peace and the cessation of war. The Declaration aligns with the Charter of the United Nations and touches upon disarmament issues and the culture of peace.
During the event on August 26th a fellow City College student and youth activist Juan Pablo Garcia participated in a panel discussion with H.E. Mr. Denis Regis, Permanent Representative of Haiti, and H.E. Mr. Amadu Koroma, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone. Both representatives affirmed the commitment of their countries’ to the “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War”. H.E. Mr. Denis Regis pointed out that threats to world peace, stability and security have become large and complex. The humanitarian situation has become catastrophic in many regions. Worsening relations between countries and the cleavage between North and South has become a threat to development. H.E. Mr. Amadu Koroma recognized the document as being fundamental towards promoting peace. He then continued on to talk about Sierra Leone’s experience with conflict and solutions to conflict. Sierra Leone suffered through 11 years of civil war. The way to peace was achieved through acceptance of each other and peace was ensured by a strong leadership. Ensuring fair and peaceful elections avoids the necessity of violent uprisings. “Conflicts exist within nations, but it is our responsibility to ensure that these conflicts do not erupt into violence.” Sierra Leone is enjoying economic growth as well. Peace and economic growth go hand in hand. H.E. Mr Amadu Koroma also quoted former President “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” He continued to call for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction. “We need to learn from the mistakes of the past.” All the money that is spent on the military would go a long way if it was spent on bringing people out of poverty.
Juan Pablo Garcia focused on emphasizing the importance of youth participation in decision-making, and the value of coming together as a united force to inform world leaders on the essential role of youth in the discussion of conflict resolution and peace promotion. It is our duty to look for opportunities to voice our opinions on creating a community of young people invested in peace and sustainable development. We should all be inspired by the untiring work and involvement of youth around the globe, especially those in countries where doing so might put them and their loved ones in grave danger. Only by conscious efforts at inclusive participation, followed by concrete proposals for decision makers, can the voices of young people become representative of our generation. Let us usher in the next generation of even more conscientious youth leaders.