Malaysian child welfare advocate Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail choked back tears as she accepted the first Global Peace Award for the Family. “I never expected to receive such an award,” she said. “I never thought I was doing anything remarkable. I have spent my life doing the things I believed I ought to do.”
Her acceptance remarks came at the first annual Global Peace Awards, conferred in Seoul, Korea on November 30. The Global Peace Festival Foundation (GPFF) presented awards to outstanding leaders in in the areas of Service, Family, Faith, Governance, Culture, and Scholarship, reflecting the importance of multi-sector cooperation in sustainable peace building and economic development.
The awards also underscore the importance of moral and innovative leadership, an ethic of public service, and willingness to transcend boundaries of religion, ethnicity, culture and nationality in advancing the ideal of One Family under God. The awards were presented at the 2011 Global Peace Convention, “Peacebuilding in East Asia and the Reunification of the Korean Peninsula,” attended by delegates from 30 nations.
The 2001 Governance Award was conferred on Hon. Senator Nelson Marquezelli, a distinguished five-term legislator in Brazil’s National Congress and current Attorney General of the Chamber of Deputies. Sen. Marquezelli was recognized for his leadership in congressional committees overseeing areas of the environment, public safety, economic development, and agrarian conflict. He was decorated with the Order of Military Merit in 1993.
Hon. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, winner of the 2011 Culture Award, served as President of the Republic of Kalmykia in the Russian Federation from 1993 to 2010, and he has been the President of FIDE (the World Chess Federation), the world’s pre-eminent international chess organization, since 1995. Long an advocate of promoting chess in schools, he now proposes to use chess to bridge divisions between North and South Korea. He has been a generous supporter of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist places of worship in Kalmykia and was honored with an Order of Friendship by the Decree of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in April 1997.
Professor Jin Shin, President of the Institute for Peace Affairs and Chair of the Department of Political Science & Diplomacy at Chungnam National University in Daejon, Korea, was recognized with the Scholarship Award. Dr. Shin has spent over 20 years as a researcher and educator on issues relating to the peaceful unification of North and South Korea. The Institute for Peace Affairs in partnership with the Korean Ministry of Unification is now organizing a unification education training program for teachers throughout Korea.
GPFF’s Service Award was presented to Indonesian entrepreneur Goris Mustaqim, currently the director of the IT company PT Barapraja Indonesia. After graduating from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Goris turned down promising career opportunities to return to his hometown of Garut in West Java, where he founded the Asgar Muda Foundation in 2007 to develop business opportunities for youth in the region. Through his efforts to promote environmentally sustainable industry, agriculture, and tourism, Goris was selected as one of the British Council’s International Climate Champions and named by Bloomberg Business Week as one of Asia’s best young entrepreneurs in 2009.
Buddhist monk Bubta was named the 2011 Faith Award winner. Bupta is chairman of One Korea Buddhist Movement and founder of the Korea Peace Unification Buddhism Association. Since his first visit to North Korea in 1989, Bubta has visited the North some 40 times. Through his many business ventures, relief projects, and cultural exchanges he has advanced the foundation for the unification on the Korean peninsula.
GPFF’s Family Award was presented to Hon. Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail, a tireless advocate for the welfare of women and children through years of service in government and nongovernmental social service. She is currently President of the Malaysian Council for Child Welfare, the premier national non-governmental organization promoting the well-being of children. She previously was Chair of the National Population and Family Development Board, a member of Parliament, President of ASEAN Confederation of Women’s Organizations, and President of National Council of Women’s Organizations.
The Global Peace Festival Foundation congratulates the 2011award winners for their exemplary dedication and public service in their respective areas. GPFF also announced that the 2012 Global Peace Convention will be hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
GPFF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon and Mrs. Jun Sook Moon (center) with the 2011 Global Peace Award winners.