Caribbean Leaders Discuss Ways to Create an Infrastructure for Peace

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One of the event’s speakers, The Honorable Alando Terrelonge MP, State Minister of Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports, stated how “Security is not only about crime and violence. The COVID challenge brings along its own set of problems. Within this crisis comes the nucleus for us all to come together and survive. We must work together as one human family.”

Forum sessions covered a broad array of topics, including practical ways to amplify youth voices around peace, address gender-based violence against women in the Caribbean, and implement peace education in the Caribbean Community.  Together, leaders were able to plan ways to specifically implement the group’s peacebuilding principles found in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).

The DPCW is a legal framework for spreading a culture of peace on a local, national, and international level. The DPCW, which serves as the solution for worldwide peace and conflict resolution, has already been enacted as a National Declaration in several countries worldwide, including Antigua and Barbuda, Seychelles, and eSwatini, and international organizations such as the Central American Parliament. The goal is to present the law as a regional resolution throughout the Caribbean Community. 

The host organization, HWPL, is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The organization advocates for the cessation of war and conflict worldwide. HWPL affiliates co-hosted the event, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), and the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG). IPYG’s vision is to teach youth how to protect themselves from societal threats and cultivate a culture of peace within their communities. IWPG was established in November 2013 to advocate for peace legislation and women’s peace education.

The Virtual Peace Forum also marked the 6th Annual Commemoration of HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit held in Seoul, South Korea. Since 2014, this Summit has hosted political and religious leaders, heads of women’s and youth groups, civil society, and press worldwide. Past events have consistently provided a platform for actionable discussion and cooperation around world peace.

In a letter, HWPL Chairman Lee advised respected members of the family for peace, [thousands of HWPL members across the world that “due to the rampant COVID-19, we could not gather to meet in person at the HWPL World Peace Summit. However, this can serve as an opportunity for us to reflect upon the year that has passed from where we stand through various means and encourage and comfort each other. Furthermore, for the upcoming year of 2021, we will be striving to lay out a plan to realize peace by discussing and examining what we can do. These steps we take for peace, which will forever go down in history as the lasting light, will continue until we reach our goal.” “Let us pass down a world of peace as a legacy to the generations to come. We are one,” he said.

HWPL plans to host similar forums in 2021.

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