Peace negotiator among Ramon Magsaysay awardees

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
Peace negotiator among Ramon Magsaysay awardees
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipina peace negotiator and professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is among the four recipients of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, which were announced yesterday.

According to Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF) chairperson Aurelio Montinola III, Coronel-Ferrer is a woman “who champions peace in Asia and the world.”

“She emphasizes the important role that women play in inclusive peace-building,” he said during the announcement ceremony.

Coronel-Ferrer is a former senior mediation adviser at the United Nations and a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines.

In 2020, Coronel-Ferrer co-founded the Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators, a pioneering group of women engaged in convening safe spaces for dialogues and supporting mediation initiatives in countries like Myanmar and Afghanistan.

Coronel-Ferrer also initiated the drafting of the Philippines’ first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted by the government in 2010 as part of the country’s commitment to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

During the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III, Coronel-Ferrer headed the government peace panel in negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that led to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014.

According to RMAF, Coronel-Ferrer is recognized for her “deep, unwavering belief in the transformative power of non-violent strategies in peacebuilding, her cool intelligence, and courage in surmounting difficulties to convey the truth.”

The Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after the Philippines’ seventh president, is considered Asia’s premier prize and highest honor.

The foundation also recognized three other personalities: Korvi Rakshand from Bangladesh (education-for-all champion), Eugenio Lemos from Timor-Leste (food sovereignty visionary) and Ravi Kannan from India (hero for holistic health care).

According to RMAF president Susan Afan, this year’s awardees showed “boundless creativity in devising remedies for their society’s challenges, with their profound empathy with the common man, and with their greatness of spirit.”

Last year, Filipino pediatrician Bernadette Madrid was among those named as Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for providing medical, legal and psychosocial care to children and women who are victims of abuse.

In 2021, Filipino fisherman Robert Ballon was accorded the award for his work in conserving the environment and improving livelihood programs in communities.

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