2014 No Gun Ri, South Korea

Eight International Conference of Museums for Peace

Some 150 participants, from 35 different countries, attended the 8th International Conference of Museums for Peace that was held 19-21 September at the No Gun Ri Peace Park in the Republic of Korea. The theme of the conference was ‘The Role of Museums for Peace in Preventing War and Promoting Remembrance, Historical Truth and Reconciliation’. Directors and curators from peace and human rights museums from around the world as well as peace educators, activists, and artists presented their work, engaged in discussions, and forged bonds of friendship and collaboration.

Welcome addresses, congratulatory messages and keynote speeches were delivered by, among others, the Minister of Security and Public Administration, Jeong, Jong-seop; Yeongdong-gun Governor, Park, Se-bok; Chairman of Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation, Lee, Mun-gyo; Chairperson of Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Yasuyoshi Komizo; former President of Costa Rica, and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Oscar Arias Sanchez; and former AP journalist and Pulitzer Prize Winner, Charles J. Hanley. Their texts, together with all other presentations in the many parallel, panel, and poster sessions, have been printed in a substantial, 450-page conference volume, a copy of which was given to each participant upon registration. This volume constitutes a welcome and valuable addition to the relatively scarce literature on the subject. Another volume, comprising a selection of papers, is forthcoming.

Given such factors as the theme of the conference, geographical proximity, and the number of its peace museums, it is hardly surprising that some 60 participants hailed from Japan. We should not fail to mention, however, the publicity & translation efforts of INMP board members, Professor Ikuro Anzai and Dr. Kazuyo Yamane, who facilitated the participation of their compatriots.

Participants visited the beautiful and impressive No Gun Ri Peace Park with its several memorials. They also greatly appreciated and enjoyed the various cultural interludes as well as excursions, including one to Imjingak at the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) following the end of the conference. A statement was issued drawing attention to the continued tragedy of the division of the country, and urging a resumption of the six party talks to safeguard peace on the peninsula and in the wider region. INMP would like to express its deep gratitude to the No Gun Ri International Peace Foundation, and in particular to its chairman, Dr. Chung, Koo-do, for their hospitality, and for having organised such an excellent and memorable conference.

Conference Papers

During the 8th International Conference of Museums for Peace, an almost 500-pages book with all conference papers was published. The book is now available as PDF. Download it via this link and enjoy reading it.

A report of the conference was published in Newsletter 9, November 2014.

Click here to see photos by Museo de la Paz de Gernika.