PyeongChang Peace Forum sets out vision for a better world
The 2nd PyeongChang Global Peace Forum, which took place at the Alpensia Convention Centre from 9 to 11 February, was devoted to discussing ways to promote a peaceful future, both on the Korean peninsula and more generally around the world.
Co-hosted by the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 (POCOG) and the regional authorities of Gangwon and PyeongChang, in association with the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation, the forum focused on initiatives to promote peace and create a more sustainable future in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The PyeongChang Declaration for Peace 2019 called for a number of action plans, including for all governments to increase their commitment to supporting and enforcing international disarmament laws. It called on the two Koreas to find a way to end hostilities between them and embrace a peaceful and collaborative way of moving forward. In addition, it called on the UN to fully implement resolutions to prevent violations of women's rights.
The forum was timed to mark the one-year anniversary of the Olympic Winter Games 2018, which were hailed as a major step towards brokering peace and inclusion on the traditionally divided Korean peninsula.
The momentum created by PyeongChang 2018 served as a catalyst for political dialogue between the two Koreas, and also between the USA and North Korea, helping to bring about a thaw in their strained relations through the power of sport.
To build on that legacy, experts from around the world, including Nobel Peace Laureate Lech Walesa, the former President of Poland, Lisa Clark, the Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), and Tatsuya Yoshioka of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), gathered for three days in PyeongChang to take part in in-depth discussions with the overall goal of helping to build peace.
The 2019 PyeongChang Global Peace Forum comprised six separate sessions on disarmament, poverty, gender and human rights, with the goal of contributing to the framework of the PyeongChang Agenda for Peace 2030, which is due to be finalised at next year’s forum.
“Peace is something that needs efforts from everyone and makes progress step by step, just like how it unfolded in South Korea in the past year,” said Lee Mi-kyung, the Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), in her keynote speech.
“Peace is not simply about eliminating wars, but it needs active efforts in finding and solving the structural causes of conflicts and violence and preventing them.”
“Peace is not made by special people, as Bishop Desmond Tutu of the Republic of South Africa said at the Hague Peace Conference; peace becomes reality when it is dreamt about by many people rather than a single person. Everyone needs to participate in making a peaceful world.”