Seminar to enhance global citizenship
On December 7th, an international peace organization, HWPL, hosted a webinar titled ‘Civil Human Rights Webinar for National Development’ in Rwanda. HWPL global branch 04 organized the event to raise awareness about the necessity of peace institutionalization for national development in Rwanda and to encourage people to participate in HWPL’s activities by realizing the necessity of HWPL’s peace project and the value of the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’, an international law for peace. The event, conducted via online Zoom meeting, saw the participation of approximately 15 Rwanda legal professionals, including current and former judges, lawyers, and former Supreme Court justices and former dean of the University of Rwanda Law School, HPDO, PEI civic group leaders, and a party member of the House of Representatives. They engaged in discussions on methods to promote peace activities in Rwanda.
Rwanda experienced ethnic tensions during the Belgian colonial rule in 1916, marked by favoritism towards the Tutsi ethnic group and discrimination against the Hutu majority. In 1994, against the backdrop of the civil war and the death of President Habyarimana, the Hutu-led genocide against the Tutsi population commenced, resulting in the loss of 20% of Rwanda’s total population. The country faced economic paralysis, infrastructure destruction, and a mass exodus of Hutu refugees to neighboring countries. Since the Rwandan genocide, ongoing efforts have been made for reconciliation between ethnic groups and the development of the nation.
In this webinar, titled ‘Seminar for Enhancing Global Citizenship Awareness,’ with the subtitle ‘For the Continuous Development of Rwanda,’ HWPL emphasized the significance of global citizenship education targeting Rwandan people in the global era for the sustainable development of the nation. The discussion also highlighted the necessity of institutionalizing peace to address new societal conflicts arising from increased possibilities of tension due to diverse racial, cultural, and religious exchanges.
Dennis Bikesha, former Dean of the Law School at the University of Rwanda, presented Rwanda’s case of peace institutionalization, citing the positive impact on regional community development and stability in Gacaca and Umuganda. HWPL underscored the need for more examples of institutions positively influencing societal development and introduced its efforts in peace institutionalization.
Additionally, the webinar delved into detailed explanations of Article 10, Paragraph 38 of the DPCW, focusing on religious freedom (Article 8), the rights of religious and ethnic identity (Article 9), and the pursuit of peace. Through this webinar, participants gained awareness of the necessity of peace institutionalization and explored the potential of recognizing ethnic diversity through the peace international law, DPCW, contributing to broadening perspectives and supporting the development of their own countries.
In 2024, HWPL plans to continue its ongoing collaboration with local community stakeholders not only in Rwanda but also throughout Africa to achieve peace in the region.