Peace BAR Festival 2013 was held from September 25 to 27, 2013 in commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace.
Under the theme, “Civilizations and Higher Education: In Search of Great Learning,” Peace Bar Festival 2013 included various cultural and academic events, such as an international conference, student forum, and commemorative concert.
The Peace BAR Festival is an annual event in which members of the Kyung Hee family come together to build a global common society that is “spiritually beautiful, materially affluent, and humanly rewarding,” and seek new ways to promote “Academe and Peace” and “Global Eminence”. Kyung Hee University has held the festival every year since 1982 in commemoration of the UN International Day of Peace.
Kyung Hee President Inwon Choue: “We must promote education that further enhances human values”
The opening ceremony took place on September 26 at Grand Peace Hall. In his welcoming address, President Inwon Choue of Kyung Hee University remarked, “Deep insight into the correlation between civilizations and education is the foundation for the future of the world and mankind. It is essential that we not tolerate any attempts to violate basic human rights and concentrate on education that further enhances human values. Institutions of higher education were founded to cultivate better human beings and it is the calling of universities to proactively seek a civilization of peace through education, research, practice, and social service. However, today’s higher education is leaning far too heavily towards providing the knowledge necessary promoting competition among individuals.” Speaking of the difficult position of higher education due to such trends in society, President Choue closed saying, “Universities must transcend survival, competition, and achievement to pave the way to a better civilization and great learning.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
“Education is essential in boosting global civic consciousness and building a
In his video message, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations said, “Education is essential in boosting global civic consciousness and building a peaceful society.” He spoke about Malala Yousafzai, who said last year at the United Nations, “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world” and emphasized the importance of education. Since being shot in the head by the Taliban in 2009 because of her campaign for girls' and children’s rights to education, Malala has made efforts to bring the issue of peace and women’s education to global attention.
Roundtable: “We must strengthen the
social role of universities to cultivate sustainable
The opening ceremony was followed by a roundtable discussion in the Main Conference Room of the University Administration Building on the Seoul Campus. The theme of the roundtable was “Civilizations and Higher Education: Challenges and Responsibilities of University in Times of Civilizational Transformation.” In his keynote presentation, President Dzulkifli Abdul Razak of the Albukhary International University in Malaysia stated, “We should reconstruct human civilizations by pursuing sustainability, common values, and receptivity. The human consciousness required to achieve this can be fostered by education.”
Participants of the roundtable shared the view that we are experiencing a global-scale paradigm shift as witnessed by climate change, energy and food depletion, globalization of capital, conflicts between civilizations, and a digital revolution in information technology. They also agreed on the need to look into the role of universities in times of civilizational transformation and to prepare for a future in which higher education can promote sustainable civilizations.
Some suggested that we must strengthen the social role of universities to cultivate sustainable, prosperous, and co-existing civilizations. Dean Hahnkyu Park of Kyung Hee’s College of International Studies commented, “In cultivating sustainable civilizations, today’s universities are asked not only to conduct research and education, but also to carry out public services. Universities should foster student introspection and consideration for others to fulfill the meaning of community and human beings. By doing so, we will be able to resolve today’s problems.”
Student forum: “We should constantly pursue world peace by promoting common security”
The UNAI ASPIRE Kyung Hee Peace Forum took place from September 26 to 27 at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies under the theme of “How Is It Possible to Achieve Peace That Can Satisfy Everyone: Human Security”. In the forum, students discussed ways to realize peace through human security and the roles and responsibilities of students in achieving world peace. Participants shared the view that although it is not easy to achieve peace fitting the different values of each global citizen, we must constantly pursue world peace by respecting each other and promoting common security.
Peace BAR Festival 2013 ended with a commemorative concert at Grand Peace Hall. Students from the Department of Vocal Music, Department of Instrumental Music, School of Dance, and Kyung Hee Elementary School performed the opera, “Un Ballo in Maschera.”