* Solidarity for the Abolition of Capital Punishment
The CBCK Sub-Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment of the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace held its ordinary meeting at the conference room of the CBCK on June 20, 2008. At the meeting, it was decided that the Sub-Committee will find a new way to extend the social support for the abolition of capital punishment, along with the efforts for the expansion of the national and international capacity for the cause of the abolition of the capital punishment around the 'World Day against the Death Penalty', which will be celebrated on October 10, 2008.
The participants of the meeting affirmed unanimously the positive effects of the event of the 'Evening of Poem and Song for the Abolition of Capital Punishment,' held on last June 16, especially for the cause of public awareness of the abolition of capital punishment. Motivated by such a success, the Sub-Committee is planning now to publish a comic book about the abolition of the capital punishment and make an exhibition tour around the nation before October 10, 2008.
The Sub-Committee also decided to go ahead with a plan of international conference for the abolition of capital punishment, inviting many international distinguished guests. As a concrete way of such a plan, the Sub-Committee will try to make an arrangement to start the 'Journey of Hope' in Korea. The 'Journey of Hope' was suggested at the Conference of the Asia-Pacific Coalition for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, which was held at Hongkong from June 14 - 15, 2008.
* Symposium for the Reconciliation and Unity of the Korean People
The CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People held a symposium with the theme 'Human Rights in North Korea in the midst of the Changing Situation around the Korean Peninsula' at the conference hall of Seoul Catholic Seminary on June 20, 2008.
Three experts presented their papers: on the situation in North Korea, a modus vivendi of North Koreans, and the condition of North Korean escapees.
Also, Ms. Won Seong-ae, a Saeteomin (a North Korean escapee settled in South Korea), gave personal witness about her first-hand experiences of the severe situation in North Korea, especially the acute food shortage.
* The 6th Catholic International Stem Cell Symposium
The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine held the 6th Catholic International Stem Cell Symposium with the theme 'Integrating Asia-Pacific Stem Cell Research' at Maria Hall of the university of Korea on June 20, 2008.
Along with Dr. Martin Murphy, Chief Editor of Stem Cells, a world renowned magazine in the field of stem cell research, many national and international experts presented their papers on the treatment of incurable disease by applying adult stem cell therapy and on the recent trends in stem cell research.
In his congratulatory remarks, His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, said, "The Catholic Church in Korea established the Committee for Life in 2005, and since then has managed it to support the research of incurable disease in the culture of respect for life. ...... I have a plan to establish an international academy which will play the role of locomotive for future adult stem cell research. This will be in addition to financial support of 10 million U.S. dollars for the Catholic Institute for Cell Therapy."
Among the many papers that attracted special interest of the symposium participants were: 'Dynamic Interactions between the Nervous and Immune Systems with the Microenvironment Regulate Hematopoietic Stem Cells' by Dr. Tsvee Lapidot of Weizzman Institute, Israel; 'Stem Cells with Genomic Instability: The Best Vehicle with the Best Engine for Colon Cancer' by Eric Lagasse of Pittsburgh University, USA; and 'Repair of Bone and Other Tissues by the Adult Stem/Progenitor Cells from Bone Marrow Referred to as Mesenchymal Stem Cells or Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells(MSCs)' by Darwin J. Prockop of Tulane University, USA.