Pasay City, 3 February 2023 (TDI): The first National Peace Convention, with the theme of “Peace Builds One Nation, One Future: Peace is Here,” was held on January 25, 2023.
The agenda of the Convention was to create a comprehensive roadmap for achieving national unity through peace. Over 1,500 peace advocates attended the event.
The convention was divided into two plenary sessions and five parallel sessions for media, women, religious and ethnic groups, academics, youth, and lawmakers, respectively.
In support of the peace-building initiatives of the organizers, resolutions were also drafted at each session.
The resolutions were combined during the 2nd Plenary Session to request that President Bongbong Marcos proclaim January 24 as “National Peace Day” or “Truce Day.”
In this vein, it is worth noting that this date was suggested to encourage community reconciliation following the signing of a civilian-led peace agreement in General Santos City in 2014.
It was subsequently proclaimed “HWPL Peace Day” by the then-Governor of Maguindanao, Toto Mangudadatu, and the Chief Minister of BARMM and MILF Chairman, Ahod Ebrahim, in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The declaration of a National Peace Day, in the opinion of the organizers, will serve as a mechanism for recognizing and honoring peace-related activities every year across the nation.
A big step was taken toward bettering the Philippines’ future and promoting national unity through peace at the 1st National Peace Convention.
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Dr. Ronald Adamat, Chairman of Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP) and Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines, spearheaded the event.
While addressing the participants, Dr. Adamat highlighted the necessity for peace to rule the nation and for peace to be a universally spoken and understood language.
He urged people to live in peace rather than just rest in it & declared peace to be a pandemic. It is pertinent to note that 92-year-old Korean War veteran, Chairman Lee Man-Hee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) was also present.
Chairman Lee whilst speaking reiterated that “Peacebuilding in Mindanao after the conflict is becoming known worldwide.”
He went on to state that “Starting with Mindanao and the Philippines when we unite in love, peace will come to our world. For this reason, everyone in the Philippines has to become one and work together as messengers of peace.”
As a result of their shared commitment to advancing peace, Dr. Adamat and Chairman Lee first connected in 2017 at the HWPL World Peace Summit in South Korea.
Along these lines, in 2018, CHED and HWPL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to incorporate peace education in higher education curricula.