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GBCS’s Levi Bautista Speaks at Peace BAR Festival in South Korea (Church & Society)

Commemorating the 42nd United Nations International Day of Peace, the annual festival at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea brings attention to unprecedented challenges and opportunities toward a sustainable and peaceful future for humanity and the planet.

September 26, 2023

In celebration of the 42nd United Nations International Day of Peace, Kyung Hee University System held its annual Peace BAR Festival (PBF) in Seoul, South Korea last week. Hosted at the Kyung Hee University Grand Peace Palace, the festival also provided a webcast option for remote participants. (See recording here.)

The highly anticipated event featured all day discussion sessions focusing on creating a new path for a transitional civilization in honor of the UN’s significant day.

The agenda addressed critical global concerns such as climate, artificial intelligence, nuclear threats, and Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP). The festival aimed to explore new paradigms of consciousness and politics while leveraging science and technology to create a future that ensures human values, ultimately seeking solutions beyond conventional approaches.

The Rev. Dr. Liberato (Levi) Bautista, the Assistant General Secretary of GBCS and President of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), played a significant role as a featured panelist in the round table discussion commemorating International Day of Peace.

During the discussion, Bautista emphasized the importance of reshaping our understanding of human security and the peace agenda. “This re-imagination of human security, indeed a re-imagination of the peace agenda, is a repudiation of a particular understanding that war is just another form of diplomacy,” said Bautista. “Nay, I agree with another understanding that war is the failure of imagination, that another world is possible, and that another relation of peoples, not just nations, can be had and prospered.”

In his statement, Bautista made clear that moving away from war entails imagining and constructing a global future representing the diversity and multiplicity of peoples and cultures who are abounding with food and bursting with freedom, adequate with jobs and flourishing with justice, self-determining in their lands and prospering in their liberty.

“To achieve a humanitarian planet, we need humanity (peoples and not just citizens) to commit to a civic partnership that does not point alone to one’s allegiance to the nation-state but solidarity across sovereign borders on those things that are far better addressed together rather than alone, for example issues such as global climate change, global migration or global health,” Bautista said.

The Rev. Dr. Liberato Bautista is Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church and serves as the Non-government Organization’s (NGO) Main Representative to the United Nations worldwide. Rev. Bautista has traveled extensively in the Korean Peninsula for the last four decades.