The 2023 Global Peace Awards recipients were honored at an awards gala in Manila, the Philippines, on December 14. The Global Peace Awards underscore the importance of moral and innovative leadership, an ethic of public service, and a willingness to transcend boundaries of religion, ethnicity, culture, and nationality. The distinguished awardees are moral and innovative leaders who have dedicated their lives to peacebuilding and public service with a strong sense of integrity and a willingness to serve others under the vision expressed by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF): we are One Family Under God.
The following describes each of the nine award categories and honorees.
Legacy of Service and Peace–Honors distinguished persons whose lifelong achievements have created a legacy of service to others through their commitment to peacebuilding and taking responsibility to address difficult community and national challenges, inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.
Dr. Manu Chandaria is the Chairman and CEO of Comcraft Group, a business conglomerate that oversees operations in over 40 countries worldwide. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Chandaria practices a simplistic lifestyle and actively engages in service to humanity. He is well-known for his charitable work and global contributions to peacebuilding, including forming the Chandaria Foundation and funding healthcare, education, and environmental initiatives. Dr. Chandaria is also on the Board of GPF Kenya, where his guidance and support have been invaluable in creating character education initiatives, promoting entrepreneurial skills for youth, and establishing the Million Tree planting project.
Vinicio Cerezo is the former President of Guatemala and a visionary leader dedicated to peacebuilding who, since the inception of GPF, has worked to advance GPF’s goals in Latin America and beyond. As a GPF Global Leadership member, he has tirelessly dedicated himself to peacebuilding. President Cerezo is a founding member of the GPF-affiliated Latin American Presidential Mission—a collaborative effort involving more than 30 former Latin American presidents committed to regional integration, effective and transparent governance, and sustainable and equitable development. He founded the Esquipulas Foundation for Central America Integration in 2008 and was elected as the first-ever former president to serve as Secretary General of the Central American Integration System in 2017.
Interfaith and Spiritual Leadership—Honors a leader who recognizes the central importance of spiritual leadership as a moral compass and embraces interfaith collaboration to resolve conflicts, build peace, and create ethical societies based on universal principles and shared values that honor the value, dignity, and God-given rights of all humans.
Reverend Father Joseph Mutie is the National Chairman of the Interreligious Council of Kenya and the General Secretary of the Organization of African Institutional Churches—Kenya Chapter. Rev. Mutie has led the council in providing moral guidance to the nation using interfaith relations, shuttle diplomacy, and mediation. He champions peacebuilding through interfaith cooperation and unity, engaging and inspiring people from different religious, racial, and tribal backgrounds to partner to create a peaceful coexistence. Partnering with GPF Kenya, Rev. Mutie has supported interfaith outreach as a critical means to mitigate conflict in local and national elections and address important social issues. His belief in a ministry of presence and including spiritual values as a natural part of the peacebuilding process continues to set a positive example for future leaders.
Freedom of Conscience and Religion—Honors an outstanding leader who has championed the fundamental freedoms the Creator endowed to all human beings, especially the right of every person to follow their conscience and live according to their faith or beliefs.
Greg Scarlatoiu was born and raised in communist Romania, where he learned the fundamental importance of human rights and freedoms to peace and a developed society. While a university student in South Korea, he was exposed to the realities of the divided nation. Later, as a naturalized U.S. citizen, Mr. Scarlatoiu became the director of the Committee for Human Rights In North Korea in Washington, D.C., promoting human rights as the mainstay of North Korean policies. His organization uses extensive research to collect facts and reports on the plight of North Koreans. He teaches at Yonsei University, is a frequent guest speaker on various news channels worldwide, has testified before Congress on North Korea’s human rights issues, and is a strong GPF partner working towards achieving the goal of a free and unified Korea.
Strengthening Families—Honors an individual for their efforts in uplifting the family as the most important social institution and for effectively promoting committed marriages and a healthy environment for nurturing and building character in children.
Conchita “Ching” Chanyungco is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and religious and civic activist. She relies on her experience raising a family and engaging in community service to chair and support numerous GPF and Global Peace Women initiatives to strengthen families and create flourishing communities. Mrs. Chanyungco currently serves as vice president of Global Peace Women in the Philippines and other key positions in women’s organizations such as Inner Wheel Club of the Philippines Foundation, Inc., The National Council of Women of the Philippines, and President of the YWCA FFPI Marikina Chapter. As a wife, mother, and grandmother, she is most proud of her family and their community service endeavors.
Outstanding Service—Honors an individual for exceptional efforts in promoting volunteerism and advancing a service culture, contributing substantial progress in youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, education, and other social impact areas.
Dr. Markandey Rai, chairman of GPF India, has dedicated his long and distinguished career to various capacities for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). Dr. Rai strongly advocates for GPF’s vision of One Family Under God and has spearheaded various peace forums worldwide, including the Global Peace Leadership Conferences and Civil 20 (C20) of the G20 in 2023. His leadership as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the India Council for International Cooperation and as a member of GPF’s Global Peace Council has been vital to advancing global peace and the cause of the Indian diaspora. Dr. Rai has served on the boards of many academic, cultural, and social bodies. He has also served in other significant peacebuilding roles and is the founding chairman of the Indo-Pacific Peace Forum and president of the Global Peace and Development Service Alliance president.
Philanthropy and Corporate Citizenship—Recognizes leadership that has demonstrated significant commitment to peacebuilding initiatives through funding and partnership engagement that strives to improve and enhance the quality of life for all.
Steven Tan is the president of SM Supermalls, whose leadership extends well beyond the retail sector to promoting social change and global peace. His commitment to SM Cares and GPF’s peacebuilding initiatives and proposals is evident in his unwavering support for the Global Youth Summit (GYS), where he has been the driving force behind this transformative platform since 2017. Since Mr. Tan’s involvement, GYS’s success has grown exponentially—586,500 engaged youth, 950 schools reached, and a remarkable presence in 62 countries. His staunch commitment to GYS has empowered the next generation of leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue and service activities to enrich the lives of the global community. Mr. Tan’s legacy as an advocate for inclusion, women, and youth empowerment not only enriches lives but also sets a new standard for service and cooperation among public, private, and nonprofit enterprises.
Innovative Scholarship—Recognizes an individual whose research and issue advocacy at a policy institution or academia has advanced innovative solutions in building peace, social reconciliation, and human development.
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt is Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and Senior Advisor to the National Bureau of Asian Research. He is also a founding member of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and a member of the advisory council for the Korea Economic Institute. Dr. Eberstadt has authored several books on Korean affairs and holds multiple degrees from Harvard and the London School of Economics. His significant thought leadership and extensive political economy writings have provided valuable insight for addressing complex issues such as the divided Korean peninsula. His engagement with GPF and the Action for Korea United network of scholars and academics through the International Forum on One Korea has inspired much-needed international support and attention to the issue of Korean unification. His writings have underscored the plight of the North Korean people and the need for South Korea and its allies to remain vigilant in their effort to create a unified Korea.
Culture of Peace Award—Honors an individual whose significant work has helped to bridge social divisions, meet critical human needs, or promote a culture of peace through the arts, music, sports, and other creative endeavors.
Bum Hun Lee is an artist and ardent supporter of the Korean Dream Movement led by Dr. Hyun Jin Moon. His commitment to using art to achieve this dream is present throughout his artistic work and influential leadership. As President of the Korean Fine Arts Association, he curated a poignant 2018 exhibition featuring 80 masterpieces of Korean, Chinese, and North Korean artists, aligning with the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. This event emphasized global unity, transcending divisions on the Korean Peninsula. Further highlighting his visionary pursuit of unity, Chairman Lee’s dedicated effort continued in 2019 with the North-South Peace Art Exhibition at the Korea Art Festival and the North-South Art Exhibition at the National Assembly. In 2020, he became the 28th President of the Federation of Artistic and Cultural Organizations of Korea. Under his leadership, the Federation championed the Korean Dream 10 Million Campaign, rallying 1.3 million Korean artists to actively contribute to this transformative movement.
Moral and Innovative Leadership—Honors a person who exemplifies and promotes moral and innovative leadership through programs that build good character and cultivate creativity through experiential learning, public and private education, and civil society initiatives.
Dr. Margarita Consolacion C. Ballesteros is the Director of the External Partnerships Service (EPS) of the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd), where she supervises the department’s local and international partnership engagements. She is the senior director for partnerships with multinational and bilateral agencies, the private sector, local government units, national government agencies, and civil society organizations. Dr. Ballesteros has long advocated for youth empowerment, twenty-first-century skills, awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, and civic consciousness as core competencies for today’s learners. This work has been closely tied with her many years of work with GPF in the areas of transformative education, moral and innovative leadership, and peacebuilding. Dr. Ballesteros has been a strong and proactive leader in GPF’s education-related activities, and her leadership and support have been critical for GPF Philippines’ work in raising the next generation of moral and innovative peacebuilders.