GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY Hillary Rodham Clinton presents the awards in Riggs Library.
Hillary Rodham Clinton presents the awards in Riggs Library.

The 2015 Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security were presented by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the founding chair of the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security, in Riggs Library on April 22.

The second annual awards were presented to former United Nations Special Envoy for Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chief negotiator for the Philippine government in the Mindanao Peace Talks. The awards served to provide recognition to “individuals devoted to the cause of women, peace and security in the world,” according to an online briefing of the event.

The 2015 award showcases the leadership and initiative both awardees have shown in supporting the involvement of women in peace and security.

“Peace and security are only possible when women have a seat at the table,” Clinton said.

Coronel-Ferrer, a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines, has a long history of activism and conflict resolution, earning a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for her work in investigating human rights violations in Cambodia and Nepal.

Additionally, she was appointed chairperson of the Government of the Philippines’ peace panel to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2012 as part of an effort to resolve the continuing conflict for control of the southern Philippines’ Mindanao islands between the Philippine government and primarily Muslim rebel groups. Coronel-Ferrer later became the first female chief negotiator to successfully sign a final peace accord with a rebel group in 2014.

With her work in the Philippines including “gathering the perspectives of different civil society groups, ethnic groups and women’s organizations in order to ensure a long-lasting and sustainable peace for the republic,” Coronel-Ferrer received the award for serving as the first woman in the world to helm peace negotiations for her country.

De Mistura, an Italian-Swedish diplomat, currently serves as the U.N. and Arab League Envoy to Syria, a position he was appointed to by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July 2014. Previously serving as the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general in Iraq and Afghanistan and the chief of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, De Mistura was selected for the award “for his steadfast commitment to women’s participation in all aspects of Afghan life.”

Dedicating his award to the women of Syria, de Mistura emphasized the importance of women from all backgrounds’ involvement in peace and security.

“Anywhere that we can, we should have women involved in peace,” de Mistura said.

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