Promoting a Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience by
Using Education as an Instrument for Change,
Observing the Rule of Law, and Following the Guidance of Conscience
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
Zhang-men-ren, Tai Ji Men
President, Federation of World Peace and Love
Vice-President, Association of World Citizens
NGO in Consultative Status with ESOSOC and Associated with UN DPI
Thanks to the perseverance and passion of Dr. Gandhi, we are gathered here to witness the successful 20th International Conference of Chief Justices of the World. Over the past two decades, I have led the “Love of the World Cultural Goodwill Group” to visit 101 nations. We are honored to take part in this Conference for the tenth time this year. Because we share the same ideals of Dr. Gandhi and everyone here and because we love and care for the future generations, we as FOWPAL would like to share our experiences in promoting love, peace, conscience, and human rights, and we hope to work together with you for a peaceful and sustainable future.
Today’s younger generations are the key to transforming the future world. During the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the “Youth 2030: The United Nations Youth Strategy” was launched, aiming to inspire 1.8 billion of people aged between 10 and 24 to use innovative ideas to push for global peace, justice, and sustainability. However, current tensions are heightened because of various issues, such as complex and interlinked conflicts between nations, global climate change, and competition for resources. As a result, the youth are shouldering a much bigger responsibility and a more challenging mission than before. It is our duty to assist the younger generations, who are the innovators, to realize their aspirations, tread the right path and make positive contributions. What we are teaching our children today will shape the world tomorrow. At this Conference, world leaders, chief justices, and judges are gathered, sharing experiences and wisdom in various disciplines, such as sociology, economics, law, philosophy, culture, and education. As leaders of conscience, you will broaden the younger generations’ horizons and stimulate their thinking. The passing-on of life experiences will bring opportunities of change for the future.
Education is not simply about academic training or teaching of specialized skills. We firmly believe that the core value of education is to inspire everyone's inherent kindness and self-awakening. Motivated by love, we shall avoid rigidity in our thinking and behavior, and we shall foster mutual understanding and caring. We shall come to the realization that we are all interconnected and interdependent so that we are willing to do altruistic things to realize a peaceful and sustainable future for the Earth and humanity and make the world a better place. Only through a conscience-guided education, can we find the solutions to the world’s pressing problems. By doing so, we will make global sustainability and humanity’s continued existence possible.
Adhering to the rule of law is to protect human rights, which are universal values. Law is the last line of defense for human rights, and it is the embodiment of human ethics and conscience. Through the agreed upon rules and regulations, we uphold social order, fairness, justice and equality. Now the world is chaotic, and many people are confused or lost. Oftentimes, laws are not made fast enough to cope with the ever-changing types of crimes. Only when we follow our conscience and use our wisdom, can we solve endless social problems at the root causes. Therefore, conscience is the best weapon against crimes. It is the highest code of conduct, which is shared by all humanity and transcends all the laws made by humans.
Conscience is the soul of the rule of law and education. Like a compass, it guides us toward the right path and leads us toward harmony and truth. It constantly reminds us to return to our hearts, do good deeds, and make wise decisions. Conscience also empowers us to tolerate, forgive, thank and care for one another, and thus it bridges the distance between people and between nations. When people follow their conscience, they will take actions to love not just themselves but others for mutual benefits. The first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 18 indicates, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”As such, conscience is the pivot of humanity. It is also the key to changes and reforms.
Since April 5, 2018, FOWPAL has worked on a draft resolution titled “Promoting the Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience” with the ambassadors of various nations at the United Nations in New York and in Vienna. On February 5, 2019, FOWPAL launched a global endorsement campaign for the Declaration of International Day of Conscience at the United Nations in New York. To date, the declaration has been translated into 41 languages, and people in over 182 nations have endorsed it. In July 2019, during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution and declared April 5th the International Day of Conscience. The UN’s adoption of the International Day of Conscience marks a great achievement in human history. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent two letters to FOWPAL to express his kind wishes. The UN General Assembly encourages all Member States, international, regional, and civil society organizations as well as other entities to build a culture of peace with love and conscience through quality education, public awareness-raising activities, and other means. Therefore, the International Day of Conscience is not only a UN day, but also a Day of Conscience for everyone. We invite that all nations, all cities, and all families to jointly celebrate the International Day of Conscience on April 5th. We hope all people will start with themselves, stay calm, reflect on themselves, honestly look inwards, and follow the guidance of their conscience. We hope that all people’s innate sincerity and purity will be inspired, and we will all take positive actions and work together selflessly so that peace and collective prosperity will be realized.
The concepts of love, peace, and conscience have been widely accepted around the globe. It is all nations’ responsibility to practice these ideas to bring blessings to their people. Opportunities are to be created, not awaited. The prosperity of humanity calls for the awakening of conscience and positive actions. Every one of you here is an important leader in your respective field. We hope all of you will take concrete actions to observe the International Day of Conscience and endorse the Declaration of International Day of Conscience. Let’s work together to apply our conscience. Every world citizen has to follow his or her conscience and loving heart. Love and conscience will naturally lead global citizens to a better and brighter future for themselves, their nations, and the world.
*Presented in the 20th International Conference of Chief Justice of the World, Lucknow, India