7 heads of states ringing Bell of Peace Committed to peace and justice
(Reporter:Wenny Tsai)One of the most important gathering of legal professionals in the world, the 17th International Conference of Chief Justice of the World was held from November 9 to 15 in Lucknow, India. This year participants include heads of states, chief justices, lawyers and other legal professionals from 59 nations. The ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love was especially arranged in the opening on November 12. Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) invited current and former heads of states of South Africa, Mauritius, Tuvalu, Croatia, Guyana and Sudan, Hon’ble Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Government of India and Hon’ble Mr. Mata Prasad Pandey, Speaker, U.P. Legislative Assembly to ring the Bell and make peace wishes. H.E. Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, gave full supports to all the fighters for peace by saying “It is always better to fight for peace than to fight in a war.”
International Conference of Chief Justice of the World was first held in 2001 with topics centered upon peace culture, human rights, rule of law and sustainability. As of today, a total of 888 heads of states, chief justices, judges, ministers and elite leaders from 121 nations have participated in the conference. The host, Jagdish Gandhi, founder of City Montessori School (CMS), encouraged students to take part in international affairs and speak out for their futures. CMS is the largest school with more than 50,000 students and faculty members. It is also the first school to receive peace award from UNESCO. FOWPAL has participated in the conference for 7 times now. This year, president of FOWPAL, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze led a group of more than 60 volunteers composed of members from FOWPAL, Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, and UN NGO Association of World Citizens to spread the message of taxpayer’s human rights, world citizenship and conscience.
“The three pillars of happiness and sustainability are conscience, rule of law and human rights.” In his opening remarks, Dr. Hong emphasized that love, kindness and harmony derived from conscience are the key to global sustainability. “No matter how advanced our technology will become and how developed the world economy is, we will be left with nothing if the world is void of peace, security and happiness. Physical construction and building will collapse one day. Only the construction of conscience will last forever with lasting impact.”
Dr. Hong presented “Award of Contribution to World Citizenship Education” to Jagdish Gandhi in recognition of his long-term dedication to the promotion of child’s rights, peace and justice, and the Conference. FOWPAL invited 9 distinguished leaders to ring the Bell of Peace with the hope of improving the world through the influence of leaders.
H. E. Sir Iakoba T. Italeli, Governor General of the Republic of Tuvalu, made the wish that “No peace will be possible without justice. Peace and justice co-exist because of love.” He thought the best way to realize justice is through democracy and education.
Cassam Uteem, former president of Mauritius, and Anerood Jugnauth, current president of Mauritius were both in the Conference and rang the Bell. Cassam Uteem, former president of Mauritius, said that the moment was like standing in front of God with strong emotions. “Let us pledge to eradicate all forms of violence caused by discrimination, injustice and poverty.”
H.E. Moses Nagamootoo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Guyana, also make his peace wishes. He indicated that Guyana practice peace through actions, including legislations against terrorism, protecting child’s rights and gender equality. For example, one-third of parliament members have to be female. “The peace bell is also a bell of harmony, a bell of humanity. What we need is more than rule of law. We also need rule of love.”
H. E. Abdul Rahman Swar Al Dahab, former president of the Republic of Sudan, has been through second world war. Therefore he wishes that children will be free from wars. H. E. Kgalema Motlanthe, former president of the Republic of South Africa, commented that “The meaning of peace is not just stop wars. The message of peace should be spread across the world.” H. E. Stjepan Mesic, former president of the Republic of Croatia, said “Ringing the bell of peace is to deliver the important message of peace and prosperity.”
FOWPAL is an international love and peace organization established by Dr. Hong in 2000 in the US. The core philosophy of FOWPAL is to turn a good though to change the world. For years, FOWPAL has held ceremonies of ringing the Bell of Peace and cultural exchange programs to inspire collective efforts to promote peace. The Bell of World Peace and Love has travelled around the world collecting global leader’s commitments to peace. As of today, 288 leaders from 96 nations have rung the Bell, including 36 heads of states, 8 Nobel Prize Laurates, UN ambassadors and many other elite leaders.