Korea: PyeongChang Global Peace Forum Calls on Leaders at DPRK-US Summit


An article from Tempo

On Monday, 11 February 2019, the PyeongChang Global Peace Forum issued a resolution calling for the end of the Korean War. More than 500 people from 50 countries and 200 organizations gathered to review the crises and prospects of peace. In a country where the agony of war and deep division spans seven decades, participants have collectively sought ways to end the long, tragic tradition and prepare for a sustainable future.

Taking place just following the announcement of the upcoming DPRK-US Summit, many participants held discussions to consider the importance of this historic moment. The peace process on the Korean peninsula has the potential to impact peace globally. They call on leaders at the DPRK-US Summit on 27-28 February 2019 in Vietnam to make a concrete declaration to end the Korean War. They emphasized that the Summit should also result in concrete steps to implement past agreements, including those from the 2018 Summits at Panmunjom (27 April), and Singapore (12 June) PyongYang (18-20 Sept.) and define a path towards the signing of a peace agreement.

Specifically, Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder of Peace Boat, a member of the international steering group of 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2017) the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said:

“people throughout Northeast Asia and the world deeply hope for a positive, concrete result from the upcoming Vietnam Summit., and the international community must support such an outcome.”

ICAN emphasizes that nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula should be pursued through international laws, including the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), known as the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Looking towards the summit, Christine Ahn, Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ said: 

”Trump and Kim may declare an end to the Korean War, which would be historic for the Korean people who have lived in a state of war for three generations. But it would also be great for Americans as the Korean War is the U.S.’ oldest war and set in motion massive defense spending which has diverted critical resources away from investments that would make America great again.”

Lisa Clark, International Peace Bureau (IPB), Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1910) also said:

“Ending the Korean War and signing a peace treaty will also empower the Korean people to achieve prosperity though the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We need to further enhance cooperation between citizens, mayors, parliamentarians and other groups in order to achieve both peace and sustainable development for the Korean Peninsula and for the world.”

For more information about the PGPF 2019, please refer to www.pgpf.kr.
PyeongChang Global Peace Forum (PGPF) 2019 is the civil society-led global peace conference on peace and SDGs on the first anniversary of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 20th anniversary of the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference 1999.  Its main goal was to develop a long term agenda for 2020 to 2030 to integrate peace and disarmament to the SDGs making use of the peacebuilding momentum in the Korean peninsula created at the PyeongChang Olympics. It has adopted the PyoengChang Declaration for Peace, the Framework for PyeongChang Agenda for Peace (PCAP) 2030 and the special resolution on peace in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia (attached below). It was organized by the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, Gangwon Province, PyongChang Municipality and the KOICA in cooperation with CSOs engaged in peace and SDGs in Korea and international.
The following are the excerpt:
`Resolution for Sustaining Peace Process in Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia
PyeongChang, Korea / 9-11 Feb. 2019`

We stand now at a historic moment. From the citizen-led Candlelight Revolution and the establishment of a democratic government in 2017 in South Korea, and the new inter-Korean dialogue catalyzed by the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the peace process on the Korean peninsula has the potential to impact peace globally. Northeast Asia, however, is fast plunging into an unprecedented rivalry and arms race. Peace on the Korean peninsula has great impact not only for the region, but indeed for global peace. People from around the world now look to Korea with great hope.

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Question for this article:

Can Korea be reunified in peace?

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We, the participants of PyeongChang Global Peace Forum (PGPF) 2019, are committed to supporting the Korea peace process, and call upon all government and civil society actors concerned to take the following urgent steps to sustain the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
1. We call on the Republic of Korea (hereafter South Korea), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (hear after North Korea), and other involved nations to immediately declare the end of the Korean War (1950-1953) and sign a peace treaty.
2. We call on leaders at the DPRK-US Summit on 27-28 February 2019 in Vietnam must achieve a breakthrough for both above-mentioned ends, with a concrete declaration of the end of the Korean War. The Summit should also result in concrete steps to implement past agreements, including those from the 2018 Summits at Panmunjom, Pyongyang and Singapore, and define a path towards the signing of a peace agreement.
3. We call for full implementation of established treaties, as well as other international law regarding nuclear disarmament, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968), Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1996), International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (1996), UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (2004), Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2007), Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2017) and the UN Human Rights Committee General Comment No 36 on the Right to Life (2018). We appeal to all parties to take concrete steps for regional and global denuclearization. All concerned nations in the region should establish Northeast Asia as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, which will greatly contribute to confidence-building and security for the region.
4. Ending the war and signing a peace treaty will unleash the momentum for the Korean people to participate fully in the international community and multilateral institutions, including the UN. The peace process will enable the peoples of the Korean peninsula to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Comprehensive regional cooperation by both governments and citizens should be pursued in the fields of humanitarian, economic and social development, based on the universally recognized norms and principles of human rights, democracy, human security and gender equality.
5. Such comprehensive, peace-development cooperation is necessary in Northeast Asia. This  requires close cooperation among local, regional and international agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.
6. The Korea peace process must extend to the region, focusing on the rivalry between superpowers and the ensuing dangerous arms race.  All nations in the region must immediately end politics of might and at the same time, start disarmament negotiations in all three areas of weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, and new weapon technology, in accordance with the UN Charter, international law and norms. We also call for the implementation of confidence-building measures including lifting of sanctions, and the continued freeze of military exercises.
7. Along with the Korea peace process, efforts should be made to establish regional cooperation mechanisms for peace in Northeast Asia, to reduce and resolve the escalating military tensions and conflicts in the region. We also call for the effective use of existing international mechanisms, including those within the United Nations.

8. All nations in the region must guarantee transparency and civic-democratic control in security and military sectors, immediately stop all efforts to use force or threats to resolve territorial disputes, and replace national rivalry with regional cooperation, prioritizing human security.
9. The full and meaningful involvement of civil society, and inclusion of youth and women, is vital for ensuring sustainable peace. Civic diplomacy for peace, such as the PyeongChang Agenda for Peace (PCAP) 2030, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), the Ulaanbaatar Process (UBP), and the Korea Peace Treaty Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War must continue and expand.
10. We call on sports communities to continue to advance peace and diplomacy in the region and globally, while ensuring that large scale projects like the Olympics must be developed in cooperation with local communities in consideration of social and environmental impacts.
11. Nations in the region should enhance their support for civic diplomacy for peace. We call for the forging of close cooperation between public and civic diplomacy for peace, including that led by mayors, parliamentarians, and other sectors. We highlight the influence music, culture and media can give to the peace process, as well as expanding peace education and a culture of global citizenship and belonging.