08/31/2023, 13.53
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Philippine peace negotiator awarded the 2023 'Asian Nobel'

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced today this year's recipients. The award ceremony is set for 11 November in Manila. Prof Miriam Coronel-Ferrer embodies the "important role" women play in building paths of reconciliation among people. Her role was instrumental in reaching an agreement with the MILF. Awardees include an education activist from Bangladesh.

Manila (AsiaNews) – Philippine scholar and peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was named one of the recipients of the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, also known as the "Nobel Prize of Asia”.

Prof Coronel-Ferrer is a former senior mediation adviser at the United Nations and a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines. She is also a founding member of the Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators.

During the administration of the late President Benigno Aquino III, she chaired the government peace panel in negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that led to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) chose Coronel-Ferrer for "the important role that women play in inclusive peace building”.

It  cited her “deep, unwavering belief in the transformative power of non-violent strategies in peace building, her cool intelligence and courage in surmounting difficulties to convey the truth that it is through inclusion rather than division that peace can be won and sustained.”

The Manila-based foundation also praised her “unstinting devotion to the agenda of harnessing the power of women in creating a just and peaceful world.”

In 2020 Prof Coronel-Ferrer and other women cofounded a pioneering group for creating safe spaces for dialogue and supporting mediation initiatives in countries like Afghanistan and Myanmar.

The RMAF also awarded the prestigious prize to Korvi Rakshand, from Bangladesh, for championing education for all, especially the poorest and neediest; Eugenio Lemos, from Timor-Leste (East Timor), a visionary of food sovereignty committed to fight hunger; and Ravi Kannan R., from India, a holistic healthcare advocate.

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards will be formally handed over in Manila, on 11 November.

According to RMAF chairperson Aurelio R. Montinola III, the four recipients “are redefining inclusivity in these modern yet troubled times. [T]heir collective message is very simple yet often forgotten: treat one another with love, care and respect.”

Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957) was the seventh president of the Philippines, the third after World War II. He died in a plane crash, but his life and example have exerted a considerable influence both at home and abroad.

The award dedicated to his memory was created in 1958, a year after his death; since then, hundreds of individuals from all over Asia have received what some have called the Nobel Prize of Asia.

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