The Global Peace Foundation conferred Global Peace Awards in the fields of Faith, Strengthening the Family, Service, Advancing a Culture of Peace, Philanthropy, and Scholarship at a Gala Celebration on December 7, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In a statement, Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon said the award winners demonstrated in their respective areas “an uncommon passion for excellence and commitment to realizing a world of peace. . . . Your efforts, while diverse, underscore a mutual commitment and shared vision to realize a more peaceful world—One Family under God.”
The awards were presented at the conclusion of 2013 Global Peace Convention, “Unity in Diversity: Building Social Cohesion for Sustainable Peace through Universal Aspirations, Principles, and Values.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received the 2013 Global Peace Award for Promoting a Culture of Peace at the ceremony. The Prime Minister was chosen for his efforts in building cross-cultural relationships, for pioneering the Global Movement of Moderates and for his role in resolving the Bangsamoro conflict between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Prime Minister Najib said it was an honor to receive such award. “The purpose is to achieve peace not just during our time, but for all times,” he wrote in a Facebook posting. “Although the path to true peace is long and arduous, I am confident that we have made great strides towards promoting understanding and goodwill among our fellow men.”
Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Executive Director of the Nigeria Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) in the Republic of Nigeria was recognized with the Interfaith Leadership Award. NIFAA unites Christian and Muslim leaders in a multi-sector efforts to engage religious communities in the fight against poverty and disease. A key faith-based partner of the Nigerian government’s National Malaria Control Programme, NIFAA is training some 300,000 religious leaders through its “Faiths United for Health” campaign to spearhead the distribution of anti-malarial bed nets throughout the country. Bishop Sunday was also recognized for his exemplary national leadership in the GPF Nigeria One Family under God campaign.
The 2013 Leadership in Strengthening Families Award was presented to Professor Leah T. Marangu, Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University, Kenya. The founding Chair of the Kenya National CCI Council Professor Marangu has provided exemplary leadership and expertise on the implementation and development of the GPF Character and Creativity education initiative. Dr. Marangu is also the first Kenyan woman to serve at the helm of a university and has devoted her teaching career to research on women’s health, the role of women in food production, and science education for girls.
His Eminence Cardinal Guadencio Borbon Rosales, the Archbishop of Manila (2003-2011), was selected for the 2013 Outstanding Service Award. Cardinal Rosales is the founder of Pondo ng Pinoy, a poverty alleviation program which can be considered as Rosales’ legacy to the Church and the poor, and he is Patron of Alllights Village Project Philippines which provides solar lights and other community development support to far-flung provinces and islands in the Philippines.
Hon. Lilian Samaniego, a National Senator in the Republic of Paraguay, was honored with the Good Governance Award. She earned her Doctorate in Biochemistry from the National University of Asuncion. She joined the Colorado Party in1982, the largest political party in Paraguay, and is currently the party’s president as well as president of the Central Commission of Women of the Colorado Party. She is credited with rebuilding the party after its defeat in the 2008 general elections, based on a platform of transparency and good governance. Senator Samaniego was reelected for a third term in 2013.
Dr. Oscar Alvarez Araya, former Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Republic of China and current Professor of Latin America International Policy at the University of Costa Rica and the Manuel María de Peralta Foreign Affairs Institute was recognized with the Innovative Scholarship for Peace Award. Dr. Alvarez is the Coordinator of the Latin American Network of the World Movement for Democracy since 2008 and a Professor of International Relations at National University since 2006. Dr. Alvarez was a consultant for the Culture of Peace and Democracy Program of the University for Peace of the United Nations (1996-1998) and a consultant of the United Nations Development Programme. In recent years he taught World Religion, inviting guest speakers representing the world’s major faiths, promoting comparative studies, and focusing on their shared values and principles as a way to build a culture of peace.