International peace experts gathered in Suncheon, a South Jeolla Province city about 415 kilometers south of Seoul, this week to attend the 2019 Suncheon Peace Forum, municipal officials said Friday.
After wrapping up the forum at the Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center on Thursday, Suncheon Mayor Heo Seok announced the Suncheon Peace Declaration calling for the world to support a peace process under way on the Korean Peninsula, they said.
Key forum participants included former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama; Ethiopia's Ambassador to South Korea Shiferaw Shigute; Song Jae-hun, chairman of the 2019 Suncheon Peace Forum; and Sohn Jie-ae, former Seoul bureau chief of CNN.
The Suncheon Peace Declaration expressed full support for the latest peace process on the Korean Peninsula and urged all the relevant countries to make greater efforts with an open-minded attitude.
It also called for concrete measures to achieve the denuclearization of the world, including the Korean Peninsula,
saying denuclearization should contribute to trust building and security in Northeast Asia. "Local governments and civic groups, as well as the central government, are required to increase their roles and participation in the peace efforts.
Suncheon will play a leading role in those efforts," Heo said. Hatoyama spoke on inter-Korean relations and ways to improve relations between Seoul and Tokyo in his keynote speech. The former Japanese leader stressed a peaceful settlement of diplomatic and trade conflicts between South Korea and Japan by encouraging private sector exchanges.
He also called for bilateral communications and exchanges from the perspective of Northeast Asian peace and proposed the creation of a "East Asian Consultative Meeting" based on the spirit of friendship among South Korea, China and Japan.
During the forum's sessions, scholars from the United States, China, Japan and Russia held a debate under the theme of peace for the future generation.
The city of Suncheon plans to hold another peace forum involving South Korea, China and Japan next year, while aiming to inaugurate a permanent international peace forum in 2021, like the Davos Forum, where experts from around the world discuss peace at one place. (Yonhap)