Filipino peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was one of the four recipients of the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, which has long been called the "Nobel Prize of Asia."
Asia's premier prize and highest honor was given to Ferrer for championing "inclusivity and women's participation in peace-building" on Thursday, Aug. 31—the birth anniversary of former Philippine president Magsaysay.
"The RMAF board of trustees recognizes 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 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 award-giving body stated in its website.
Ferrer is a former senior meditation adviser for the United Nations and political science professor at the University of the Philippines. According to the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, she also took charge of the Government of the Philippines panel in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014. She also "supervised the first two years of implementing the 2014 accord."
Apart from Ferrer, other awardees this year include India's "hero for holistic healthcare" Ravi Kannan R., Timor-Leste's "food sovereignty visionary" Eugenio Lemos, and Bangladesh's "education-for-all champion" Korvi Rakshand.
Since its establishment in 1958, the prestigious ceremony has been "telling more stories of transformative leadership and greatness of spirit across Asia," according to the RMAF.
"While defining greatness of spirit can be subjective, the Board of Trustees has seen it with the works of our Magsaysay Laureates from 1958 to present who have demonstrated the same greatness of spirit that then President Ramon Magsaysay has embodied throughout his life," it added.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award has previously been conferred to excellent Asian leaders such as Dalai Lama, Akira Kurosawa, Muhammad Yunus, Ela Bhatt, and Fazle Abed.