WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25 – While the result of her efforts are yet to be known in the months to come, Philippine government peace panel chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer received this year’s Hillary Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security.
The award, personally handed by Clinton and Georgetown University president John De Gioia in a luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, honored Coronel-Ferrer, the government’s chief negotiator in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“If former secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton had been called a ‘funny lady’ in the course of her drive to find peaceful solutions and creative compromises in one area of conflict, I in turn had been called a “dumb bitch,” a traitor and a weak negotiator who bartered away the country to the Muslims/Moros,” Ferrer recounted.
“The public discourse slid into bigotry against the Moros, the MILF as well as Muslims in general. Centuries of distrust and hatred resurfaced. As I speak right now, the ceasefire remains in place. But the vision of lasting peace is being shut out by the narrow horizons of certain political elites, and by a public fed with misinformation and driven by prejudices bordering on Islamophobia,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer shared this year’s award with Ambassador Staffan de Mistura, who was appointed in July 2014 by UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon as Special Envoy to the Syria Crisis. De Mistura, a long-time Italian-Swedish diplomat who once served the Italian government, had also served as special envoy to Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. (PIA)