Experts Promote Dialogue and Shared Values as Foundation for Peacebuilding
“Nobody knows everything about anything. Therefore: dialogue,” said Dr. Leonard Swidler, Founder and President of the Dialogue Institute, one of several distinguished panelists addressing global security issues during the plenary entitled “Global Strategic Priorities.” The panel was part of the Global Peace Convention that opened on February 28.
Panelists encouraged dialogue and consensus building around shared values as they presented approaches that address mounting religious and ethnic tension and the rise of violent extremism, as well as the threat to global security and Northeast Asian peace posed by the ongoing conflict on the Korean peninsula.
Vision and Values Toward a Shared Future: addressing identity-based conflict and violent extremism
Dr. Swidler and other panelists acknowledged the importance of shared values as the foundation for resolving identity-based conflict and creating just and equitable societies. “It is important for us humans to recognize that we do in fact have the same ethical principles in common,” emphasized Dr. Swidler, “and not share ignorance, but search together deeply for the truth.” He presented “the Golden Rule,” a Christian tenant encouraging adherents to love one’s neighbor as oneself, as an example of a value shared by most faith traditions.
Dr. Marsudi Syuhud, Chairman of Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest civic organization, concurred, adding that in Islam peace is a primary purpose in life. Where the fundamental principles of faith traditions have been hijacked by violent extremists, Dr. Syuhud urged religious leaders to seek out shared values and understand the original purpose of their religions. He acknowledged the importance of such spiritual values as the foundation for vibrant and peaceful communities, referencing recent events in Indonesia as an example. Indonesia’s national motto, “Unity in Diversity,” has protected the rights and religious freedoms of not only the Muslim majority, but all the diverse faiths who call Indonesia home.
Honorable Diosita T. Andot, Undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, described the principles that drive the various initiatives supported by the office asking the audience to "embrace these three values: inclusivity, transparency, and unity." The office has multiple peacemaking processes that seek to end conflicts in regions such as Mindanao.
Peace and Security in Northeast Asia: One Dream One Korea
Honorable Hwa Gahp Hahn, President of Korea Peace Foundation addressed the global urgency of bringing peace to the Korean peninsula. “Peace and security on the Korean peninsula is at its most unstable in history.” Mr. Hahn said. “I have experienced terrible destruction through the Korean War and have witnessed the fears and horrors of war. If war breaks out again on the Korean peninsula, the stability of the world will be threatened.”
“This is about everybody, not just about reunifying North and South Korea, but reunifying the world. We are more powerful as all of us together than just as one person.”
Mr. Hahn called for a reunifying vision to advance peace processes in his homeland, and around the world. He highlighted the ancient Korean ethic of “hongik ingan,” living for the benefit of humanity, as an example of a vision powerful enough to bridge ideological divides. He urged convention participants embrace their shared values and close the “opinion gap” in order to re-engage an apathetic younger generation in the urgent task of Korean reunification.
The six-time Grammy award-winning production team, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who joined the One Korea Global Campaign in 2016, expressed their commitment to the shared vision of a reunified Korea and global peace. The duo is producing a highly anticipated “unification song,” which will make its debut at the One Korea Global Peace Concert on March 2, the final day of the Global Peace Convention.
“It’s an example of people coming together, under a common vision, and that vision is global peace,” said Jimmy Jam of the song. “This is about everybody, not just about reunifying North and South Korea, but reunifying the world. We are more powerful as all of us together than just as one person.”
The three-day Global Peace Convention, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: New Models for Peace and Development”, covers six distinct tracks including interfaith peacebuilding; Korean reunification; transforming education; youth leadership for peace and development; women’s leadership culture; and global peace business and economics.
The Convention will conclude on March 2nd, followed by the One K Global Peace Concert: One Dream One World.