Peace is Possible (Posible ang Kapayapaan): The 2017 International Summit on Peace
By Aries B. Balanay (2015 LO President, JCI Makati, Philippines)
The International Summit on Peace was held last September 6-8, 2017 at Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia hosted by JCI and the Government of Sarawak, Malaysia. The summit aimed to provide a “platform for active citizens and global experts to join in building a common vision to create an everlasting world peace”.
The event gathered participants and members of the JCI from all over the world, as the Peace is Possible campaign is one of Flagship projects of JCI. Almost 100+ nations participated, including the Philippines who sent 16 delegates.
The Philippine delegation was led by the 2017 JCI EVP Brian Lim, 2009 JCI EVP Boydee Dizon and representatives from various JCI Philippines local organization chapters; On-to-Chairmen for the International Peace Summit Jean Hung (JCI Ortigas) and Jade Dy (JCI Manileña); the 2017 Epic Presidents: President Jeff David (Parañaque Pambato) and President Missy Monterubio (JCI Parañaque Asinderas); the 2015 Batch Legacy Presidents, Past President Aries Balanay (JCI Makati), Past President Karen Romarate (JCI Manileña), Past President Rhea David (JCI Marikina Marikit), Past President Ayesa Pascual (JCI Marilao Marilag), JCI Members: Kiel Villamin (Past Director of JCI Alabang), Eizelle Yee (2017 Director of JCI Manileña), Erica Teehankee (JCI Manileña), Marianne Ignacio (2017 Regional Secretary of Metro East, 2018 LO President of JCI Marikina Marikit), Mariel David (JCI Parañaque Asinderas), Mafe Pastorpide (EVP of JCI Pasay Perlas).
The summit guided the attendees to identify the greatest barriers to peace and formulate sustainable solutions to these challenges. They were given a choice on which pathway to take among the 3 pathways to peace; Peace Promoter, Peace Actor, and Peace Maker. It also brought rich understanding as regards the concept of PEACE.
They said that peace is a holistic concept, that is, it is applicable in almost every aspect in the daily life. It touches aspects that most of us wouldn’t think that peace could be linked to, like climate change, food diet (vegetarian life), and even waste management.
The summit further emphasized that peace isn’t just confined to being a qualitative concept, to everyone’s surprise, it can be quantified. The participants had a hundred of questions when they heard of this, how can peace be applied in figures? How do you quantify peace in a certain aspect? The summit answered all of those.
Sarawak Chief Minister, His Excellency Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg together with delegates from JCI Philippines – 2015 JCI Marikina Marikit, LO President Rhea David and 2015 JCI Makati LO President Aries B. Balanay
The opening Keynote Address by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Malaysia, His Excellency Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg inspired and encouraged the delegates to move and take part in their respective communities. 2017 JCI President Dawn A. Hetzel urged everyone to carefully consider and choose the Pathway to Peace to empower one’s self to begin or continue taking action. 2017 JCI Peace is Possible Committee Chairperson Tshepo Thlaku reminded the participants that the Summit is a platform for active citizens to engage and share best practices on the complex subject of making everlasting peace possible.
The summit engaged the participants in different activities each day. To celebrate the launch of the International Summit on Peace and Sarawak’s uniquely diverse and peaceful environment, The Sarawak Cultural Unity Night took place. Other activities of the summit included the Peace is Possible Morning Show, presentations, and Panel Discussions wherein peacemakers from all over the world representing all sectors of society shared their knowledge and experience and helped the attendees generate ideas to bring peace in our time.
Peace One Day representative Ben Harrington led the participants to a social activity/experiment in a mall wherein the participants interacted with the general public and locals by sharing their peace thoughts with them while some gave hugs and handshakes.
Delegates of Peace Summit representing more than 100 nations worldwide during the social experiment in Spring Mall, Kuching.
A Peace Proclamation Presentation summarized the Summit, wherein the attendees brainstormed and shared the knowledge they gained and lessons that they learned with one another, so that as they leave the summit, they will go back to their respective homes in peace and as peacemakers. The Peace is Possible Rally and Concert closed the series of activities, with guest artists Tennille Amor, Emmanuel Jal, and Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein. The concert was for pause and reflection, as well as celebration for global peace promoters, actors and makers.
His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Former President of Nigeria 2010-2015, inspired everyone through his experiences in the programs that he implemented during his presidency in Nigeria. He placed his country’s unity and freedom above his own personal ambition and allowed his people to witness the peaceful transfer of powers.
Quoting 2017 JCI Immediate Past President, Paschal Dike, “Peace is possible’. It isn’t a dream that is far from happening. Nowadays, it is one of the important issues in our world that we shouldn’t ignore.
JCI took the initiative to make a step to awaken everyone’s sense of advocacy. I believe that as a JCI member, we should start with ourselves and tap as many people as possible. As JCI Secretary General Arrey Obenson emphasized, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go farther, go together.”
JCI Philippines Delegates led by 2017 JCI Executive Vice President Brian Lim together with MSNBC News anchor Richard Lui
This isn’t an exclusive calling, it’s not only for JCI local organizations, but for the international ones, as well. We should, in our own little ways, contribute to attain the peace that our world yearns for.
About the Contributor
Aries Balanay served as the 2015 Local Organization President of JCI Makati, based in Metro Manila, Philippines. During the term of Pres. Aries led JCI Makati to win Best Local Organization (Category 2) in Metro Area and JCI Philippines. He accomplished outstanding and award winning projects in the field of education. He also serves as the 2017 President of Rotary Club of Manila-Intramuros, also based in the Philippines.