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Daily Updates: Sunday, September 03, 2006 - Afternoon Session

Hiroshima, Japan -  Afternoon Session:

The afternoon and concluding session of the conference featured speeches from Honorable Yunsook Lee, the former South Korean Minister of Public Affairs, Mitsuko Horiuchi, former regional director of the Asian Pacific International Labor Organization, Charity MacDonald, daughter of the latest Navajo leader in the United States, and 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi.

The Honorable Yunsook Lee’s keynote address focused on rooting peace in the minds of people. She said that establishing stability and asserted, education is the key to sustaining peace. She detailed her experiences growing up in Korea and her address focused on building a society to enhance tolerance and peace.

Ms. Lee mentioned the unfortunate concept that peace is sought through war. She spoke of the culture of peace being deeply rooted in the world and she urged the audience and panelists to create a strong melting pot because “peace is fragile.”

She is currently undertaking a venture to create a memorial called The Bell Park of World Peace Project where metal war shells are collected from around the world are melted together to make a bell.

Mitsuko Horiuchi outlined the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals Towards Peace by the year 2015 in her keynote speech “Human Rights at Work and Peace.” One of her key points was that the sustenance of peace is essential to the survival of the world. Horiuchi outlined several challenges of globalization which include integration between countries and human development. “These are goals necessary to create a fair globalization social justice and human rights, she said.”

Horiuchi believes that gender equality is the foundation of labor market. Furthermore she called attention to child labor practices that she deems necessary to be abolished in order to promote peace. Horiuchi outlined the practices of child labor found in factories of 19th Century Europe and the United States. “Today many developing countries use child labor in agriculture, textiles, as domestic workers, their trafficking, they become child soldiers, they become involved in child prostitution, and quarry clearing,” she said.

Charity MacDonald spoke of the documentary that she is currently working on about the life of her father and President of the Navajo Native American Nation, Peter MacDonald. She stressed the importance of the language and the decline in Navajo population. She concluded her address by noting that we as humans live in the same world and that people should not compromise who they are but instead they should add to the global community.

To finalize this session, Dr. Ebadi was asked to comment on the redefinition and meaning of peace. She mentioned that the 19th Century definition of peace meant the absences of war. Today, according to Dr. Ebadi, peace means that all conditions essential for human necessity and human securities are protected. She stated that in non democratic societies, this absence of human protection damages peace.

She said that if we want to live in peace we have to build it all over the world. She used an analogy saying that no one lives on an island: “Think of us al living on the same boat that is either going to get to land or sink-lets all help to get the boat to land.”