By Kim Young Shin
Peace activists from around the world gathered in Incheon on Oct. 30 for the opening ceremony of the 2018 World Peace Convention to discuss the public’s role in bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula and East Asia.
The convention, themed “making the peace culture for reconciliation and coexistence on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia,” is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and hosted by the Korea YMCA. The participants of the event are attending lectures, symposiums and workshops in Incheon, Seoul and Cheorwon in Gangwon-do Province until Nov. 1 to discuss the civic process for settling peace.
The 21 international participants from 16 countries include Korean studies scholar Professor David Satterwhite from Temple University, German reporter Gerhard Rein who reported on the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, human rights activists Christina Miranda from the Philippines and the Assistant administrator of the World YMCA refugee program Elisabeth Kalivatsi.
The participants will share the reconciliation and healing policies from countries that experienced conflict such as Germany, Yemen, East and West Timor and Palestine at the workshops held on Oct. 31. They will also talk about the civic roles for building peace in the region, promoting peace through international sports events and ways to reinforce international advocacy for peace on the Korean Peninsula based on their own experience.
A memorial ceremony at the site where the Labor Party Office existed before the Korean War and a candlelight event at the summit of Soi Mountain in Cheorwon, Gangwon-do Province, for the victims of the Korean War (1950-53) will also be held that day.
On the last day of the event, Nov. 1, the participants will tour the Demilitarized Zone in Cheorwon and travel back to Seoul to host a peace parade at Gwanghwamun Square, the city center.
“As the peace paradigm on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia is experiencing major change now, the event will be an opportunity to boost public interest in bringing peace to the region and strengthen international cooperation among private organizations,” said an official from the culture ministry.