World Peace Convention 2018

Seoul Declaration on a peaceful future of

the Korean Peninsula and East Asia


Under the theme “Restoration of Just Relations, Historical Reconciliation and Nurturing a Culture of Peace for SangSaeng (Life Together) in the Korean Peninsula”, 250 peace-loving citizens from 17 countries met together at World Peace Convention 2018 held in Incheon, Cheorwon and Seoul, Korea from 29th October to 1st November 2018.

We learned from theme presentations and symposia on peace and conflict-related topics. We also had the benefit of hearing the diverse experiences of participants from several countries that had gone through conflicts of various kinds – racial, ethnic, religious, colonial and ideological. They spoke about their efforts  for healing, reconciliation and peace-building. We also visited Cheorwon DMZ area witnessing the stark reality of the long-lasting suffering of divided nation and people of Korea. 

The Context of the World Peace Convention:

We, participants of the World Peace Convention 2018, have witnessed a long and perseverant journey of the Korean people towards democracy and peace. Among the most recent developments is the candle light revolution during 2016-17, which led to the birth of a new democratic government. South Korea's President Moon Jae-In is pushing forward a peace-building process on the Korean Peninsula by engaging proactively with the DPRK and the USA.

The Korean Peninsula peace movement must be seen in a broader historical perspective. In the context of recent geo-political dynamics in the region and beyond, the Korean peace movement has shown the need for pivotal action in order to untie the entangled knot of the dominant status quo, which is ruled by global hegemonic superpowers. 

We affirm that: 

- It is solely the Korean people’s inalienable right to make decisions for their own national future. Therefore, we are in strong solidarity with the peoples’ initiatives for building a lasting peace. We believe the empowerment of citizens/peoples is key to peace-building process.

- There is a strong inter-connectedness between peace-building efforts of Korean people and world peace movements, which share many of the same values. We recognize the continued vulnerability of the candle-light revolution in South Korea in the face of the interests of superpowers surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Therefore there is a strong need for building/strengthening solidarity with world peace movement initiated by diverse groups of global citizens.

- The present moment is a Kairos time to strengthen people’s networks so that civil society’s peace renaissance can blossom beyond borders!

- A paradigm shift is called upon: The current “Strategic Security-first” paradigm seeks to maintain a “peace” by relying on a constant militarized war-footing. This paradigm needs to be replaced by a “Peace-first” paradigm, which seeks alternative mechanisms that will build trust, instill confidence, promote mutual understanding and dialogue, seek non-military solutions, and enable the free flow of ideas towards a shared Korean vision of unity and reunification.

Our commitments to people-led civil society actions:  

Peace and reconciliation is accomplished by fostering relationship and solidarity. The most effective way to do this is to create opportunities for direct dialogues at all possible levels. In practical terms, we commit ourselves to concrete actions within the three major objectives: 

1.     Advocacy for peace:

Support the current summit process and engage in dialogues at all levels of society.

◦ Join efforts for ending the Armistice and declaring peace (treaty) in Korea.

◦ Lobby UN to end the UN Command structure in Korea, and advocate for a phased end to UN Security Council and other sanctions.

2.     Public education:

Prepare and disseminate educational material that provides background to the Korean conflict and efforts toward peace and reconciliation.

Challenge mass media when they publish unfair interpretation of facts and events.

◦ Use alternative media to propagate positive stories on inter-Korean relations, including delegation visits to and from North Korea.

3.     Dialogue and cooperative relationship building:

Provide humanitarian aid, food security and development assistance.

Encourage people-to-people contacts via mutual visits, cultural, academic, artistic, sporting and other exchanges.

◦ Organize information sharing, capacity building, and educational scholarships.

We need to turn either/or thinking into both/and thinking. We need to transform win/lose propositions into win/win strategies.

We therefore call for a global solidarity with the people’s democratic and non-violent initiatives towards a lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.


1st November 2018

Participants of World Peace Convention 2018