Chief negotiator dedicates Hillary Clinton award to women from both sides of peace panel

Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer receives her award from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington D.C.

Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer receives her award from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington D.C.

Philippine government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer received the 2015 Hillary Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security on April 22 at a luncheon ceremony held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The award honors the Philippine government’s chief negotiator in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for her “indefatigable work to bring about peace in the Philippines and for [her] historic role as the first female chief negotiator to sign a comprehensive peace agreement,” said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and former US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues.

“It is a great honor not only for me but also for the Philippines to receive this award,” Coronel-Ferrer wrote in an e-mail. “It reflects the wisdom in the path to a negotiated political solution that we have forged in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”

Coronel-Ferrer said that the award also acknowledges the role that women must play in attaining peace and security in their communities and in the world. “I speak especially of the women in the Bangsamoro, who have endured the burden of strife, and who must now secure their places in the public sphere as equal partners in peace and development,” she said.

Coronel-Ferrer is a professor of politics at the University of the Philippines. A published academic, she had also been a visiting professor in several Asian universities. She is also known for her peace and humanitarian advocacies here and abroad. As chair of the government panel, she oversees the different mechanisms that have been established to implement the agreement.

Coronel-Ferrer is sharing this year’s award with Ambassador Staffan de Mistura, who was appointed in July 2014 by UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon as Special Envoy to the Syria Crisis. De Mistura, a long-time Italian-Swedish diplomat who once served the Italian government, had also served as special envoy to Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous recipients of the award include British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who organized the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict that was held in London in June last year. Deles and Coronel-Ferrer led the Philippine delegation in this major event that was co-chaired by Angelia Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, and attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Other men and women who have received the awards were Congolese humanitarian Dr. Denis Mukwege, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Guatemala’s first female Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz.

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