REPORT: The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics marked a turning point for the peace building process between the two Koreas. To commemorate the one year anniversary of PyeongChang 2018 and extend the Winter Olympics’ legacy of peace and reconciliation, a global peace forum has kicked off in Pyeongchang. A sustainable future and the end of the Korean War are two of the key actions the Pyeongchang Declaration for Peace 2019 is pushing for. The declaration calls for number of action plans including for all governments to increase their commitment to support and enforced international disarmament laws the two Koreas to bring the Korean War to an end and to craft peace and cooperation in the region and the UN to fully implement resolutions concerning preventing violations of women’s rights. The forum was held to mark the anniversary of the Winter Olympics by building on its legacy.
PyeongChang Global Peace Forum 2019 that started and contributed to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world. Many peace activists, peace promoters including Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa, as well as representatives from groups dedicated to activities towards peace all over the world. More than 500 people from 50 countries and 200 organizations reviewed different cases and the prospects of peace, collectively seeking ways to end confrontations and build a sustainable future. In-depth discussions built on the peaceful momentum created by the two Koreas, with participants discussing how they can work together to develop a comprehensive common action agenda for the whole globe, touching on matters including gender, human rights and religion.
Those were the words of the governor of Gangwon-do province when he laid out plans to use the opportunity created by the Winter Olympics to discuss global issues. The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics played a pivotal role in opening the door for eventual peace talks on all levels with North Korea. And to review and celebrate the year-long peace process on the Korean peninsula and beyond, a global forum is taking place in Pyeongchang, the birthplace of the current historic peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
The Pyeongchang forum looks to create a new model for peace building efforts for the first time since The Hague Appeal for Peace conference in the Netherlands in 1999. By the end of the three days, the forum aims to come up with a draft framework that will eventually be adopted as the official Pyeongchang agenda for peace 20-30. .
DAY ONE: The PyeongChang Global Peace Forum 2019 Roundtable session to find out. Saber Hossain Chowdhury (Moderator) – Bangladeshi Politician – Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) Ser Miang NG (Panel) – Chairman of Finance Commission at IOC – Member of the Executive Board at IOC LEE Hee-beom (Panel) – President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee – Former President of the Korea Employers Federation (2010.09-2014.02) – Former Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy (2003.12-2006.02) LEE Mi-kyung (Panel) – President of KOICA – Former National Assembly member (1996. 06-2016.05) – Co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) Lisa CLARK (Panel) – President of KOICA – Former National Assembly member (1996. 06-2016.05) – Co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) Tatsuya YOSHIOKA (Panel) – Representative of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – (ICAN: 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner) – Co-Founder and Director of Peace Boat. Many pundits believe that finding peace on the Korean Peninsula could affect global peace as well, and a special global forum was held in Pyeongyang over the past three days to call upon all related governments and civil actors to take steps to keep the peace process going even beyond the peninsula.
DAY TWO: The 2019 Pyeongchang Global Peace Forum was composed of six sessions, including disarmament, poverty, peace education, women empowerment, gender and human rights. Global participants actively shared their experiences and discussed common issues and challenges which will become part of the framework of the Pyeongchang Agenda for Peace 20-30. I also attended 3 sessions Peace Education, SDG 16+ and Disarmament. I was Speaker/Panelist in the session “Role of NGOs and CSOs for building peace”. In the session, I shared the good work of Peace Center, working with grass rote community, local organizations and collaborations with likeminded NGOs in Lahore and elsewhere in Pakistan. We are also working with interfaith groups and religious leaders for sensitizing community about the importance of peaceful co-existence. While answering a question, I explained that being Christians we faced number of challenges and hurdles but we learned how to cater them. The forum ended on Monday but the platform will serve as an invitation to a larger audience of peacemakers from around the world to engage with it over the coming year, with the aim of coming up with an official agenda when they meet again next year.
DAY THREE: All participants were distributed in round table discussions with different countries’ representatives. They discussed the given agenda with three questions. All participants shared the resolutions and action planes. Official guests shared the thank note to all the participants. Group photo was made with various slogans for example; No Nuke No War, Time to abolish War, End War in Korea Now, Peace is a Human Agenda etc. after lunch most of the guests joined to visit LOC at South and North Koreas. There we met with South Korea’s Soldiers. They shared very meaningful information regarding boarder. Later we visited DMZ Museum (Dream Making Zone, Museum) and we all observed the damages of Koreans’ war.
The celebration of Global Peace Forum 2019 and anniversary of PyeongChang Winter Olympics done well from 8th to 12th Feb, 2019 with a grand Peace Concert in which many singers, performers and models participated to amuse the honorable guests came from various countries.
All guests enjoyed and get rid from the physical exertion of their journey to South Korea.”Gathering at this forum was incredible because it gathered experts from academia and governments across the regions, and the way they can informed the policy makers are very important. I know for sure that politicians listen to what comes out from the dialogue and discussions like this. Personally, I liked, enjoyed and learned a lot regarding peace building, new interventions, engagements of weapons in peace process, South & North Korea peace urge and their efforts to end war through sports, dedication of South Korea government for spreading the message of peace and harmony. I am very thankful for Fr. James Channan OP, Director Peace Center Lahore for the concerned encouragement and guidance to attend the forum in Korea. I also pay my kindest regards for the whole steering committee members, staff and volunteers for organizing peace building oriented global forum at PyeongChang. I am very glad and fortunate to meet all the dearest participants came from 50 countries with many new ideas for the sustainable peace and sustainable world. I extremely, learned a lot from all of you. Thank you very much!
Peace Center Lahore