Peace studies has hardly been researched in Korea, but as a nation develops economically, the importance of peace and human rights grows. As a developed nation, Korea must now acknowledge the importance of peace. That is why Ewha launched the Center for Peace Studies (CPS), a pioneering research institute in Korea that will study the nation's peace and human rights.
The CPS launched unofficially in August 2007, and was recognized by the Korean government as a research institute in January 2009. It received 1 billion won in support from the government to study peace for five years.
"We benchmarked the Helsinki Process of 1977 in East and West Germany and the European Peace Community to apply these two role models to the divided Korean Peninsula," said Park. The Helsinki Process was an attempt to achieve peace between the Communist bloc and the West through peaceful means. The two Koreas have been technically at war since July 27, 1953, when the Korean War ended with an armistice. "Although there is no 'physical' war going on, Korea is still in a state of war and CPS members are working on finding a solution to peacefully end the wawr."
Besides the CPS on Ewha Sinchon campus, a center will be built on the Ewha Paju campus. The centers focus on five goals: peace within oneself, human security to eradicate extreme poverty, peace with nature, peace in the world and care for the marginalized and solve the problems of Korea's multicultural society.
"We are also planning to invite Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2003 and a female Iranian human rights lawyer to give lectures for students," said Park.
For International Human Rights Day, the center will hold a joint ceremony with the National Human Rights Commission of Korea to emphasize the importance of human rights.