Filipina peace negotiator and University of the Philippines professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was bestowed with the distinguished 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award in acknowledgment of her unparalleled dedication to inclusive peace-building.
Embarking on her journey as a fervent student activist in the late 1970s, Coronel-Ferrer unflinchingly embraced her role as a cornerstone for peace, steering pivotal negotiations and drafting transformative policies that reshaped the landscape of peace efforts in the Philippines. Recognized globally, Coronel-Ferrer has illuminated paths to harmonious resolutions in complex conflicts, not only in her homeland but in tumultuous regions around the world.
With a remarkable tenure as a senior mediation adviser at the United Nations and an impactful stint as a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, she carried the mantle of peace further as a founding member of the Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators.
Taking a decisive role during the late President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, Coronel-Ferrer helmed the government peace panel in a series of high-stakes negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This groundbreaking endeavor culminated in the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014, a beacon of hope and a testament to the integrative power of collaborative diplomacy.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in a virtual ceremony on August 31 extolled her unwavering commitment to amplifying the role of women in peace processes, a pivotal stance that challenges historical norms and heralds a new dawn of inclusive peace-building. Their citation delineated the rich tapestry of Coronel-Ferrer’s career, painting a portrait of a woman whose empathy, intelligence, and courage reverberate through communities, touching lives and forging bonds that transcend boundaries.
— GoodNewsPilipinas.com (@GoodNewsPinas_) September 14, 2023
In a statement pulsating with reverence and admiration, the foundation delineated the vital strides she has championed over decades:
“In electing Miriam Coronel-Ferrer to receive the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes 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, and her unstinting devotion to the agenda of harnessing the power of women in creating a just and peaceful world.”
The distinction, often hailed as Asia’s premier prize and akin to the revered Nobel Prize, is named after the seventh Philippine president, Ramon Magsaysay. In the company of other lauded individuals— education advocate Korvi Rakshand from Bangladesh, food sovereignty visionary Eugenio Lemos from Timor-Leste, and holistic healthcare hero Ravi Kannan R. from India—Coronel-Ferrer stands as a beacon of inspiration, reminding the world to tread the path of love, care, and respect.
Joining a prestigious lineage of Filipino awardees, including 2021’s environment conservationist fisherman Robert Ballon and 2022’s children’s rights advocate Bernadette Madrid, Coronel-Ferrer kindles a flame that lights the way for future generations, displaying an immutable truth that peace is achieved through unity, understanding, and the celebration of diversity.
In the words of this prodigious peace advocate, it is through the “mutual transformation of all players towards a common vision and shared responsibilities and accountability” that true resolution can be fostered, a philosophy that stands as a beacon of hope in a world yearning for harmony and understanding.
WATCH the Magsaysay Award ceremony here and join us in spreading this uplifting story that brings pride to the Philippines and serves as a beacon of hope for future generations. SHARE this piece with your network and let us celebrate the achievements of Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, a true Filipina icon, and a beacon of peace and harmony in the modern world. Let her story inspire others to champion peace, inclusivity, and the transformative power of unity.
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