Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
• Two-day event held in the presence of regional and international officials and experts from organizations across the globe working to promote world peace
• Crucial role of humanitarian services and growing significance of cooperation between organizations working the area of peace highlighted
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 20 April 2013:The “1st World Peace Awards Forum 2013” held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, concluded here today with a call to take peace initiatives to the community level to build sustainable global peace.
The two-day event, which was opened by His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, on April 17, 2013, was held at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City in the presence of regional and international officials and experts from organizations across the globe working to promote world peace.
“The 1st World Peace Awards Forum 2013 was an important event that attracted international expertise in the efforts to achieve world peace and provided an excellent platform for debate and discussions in line with the vision of the UAE leadership to create peace and cooperation between all the countries. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace aims to achieve the goal of building effective communication between global peace award entities by bringing them under one roof,” said Mohamed Buhannad, Secretary General of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace.
On the concluding day, the Forum highlighted the crucial role of humanitarian services and international peace prizes as well as the growing significance of cooperation between organizations working the area of peace. While reflecting on their achievements and efforts in realizing peace, participants representing various organizations expressed their willingness to share their experiences in their areas of respective activity in order to achieve peace around the world in its entirety.
Speaking on the role of sports in peace, Dr Ahmed Saad Al Sharif, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), said sports involve youth in peace building process and therefore is capable of creating a fundamentally stronger harmonious society. Recognising such a critical role, he said the DSC is organizing the Dubai Peace and Sports Forum under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of DSC, in coordination with International Peace & Sport Organisation on April 23-24, 2013.
“As much as 70 per cent of young people are involved with sports in some way or the other. Therefore, we need to address young people in the language they understand most, which is the language of sports,” said Al Sharif.
He said the DSC is keen to use the Dubai Peace and Sports Forum as a key tool in the efforts to foster peace, eliminate animosity in societies and spread the value of peace around the world. It will also be an important exercise to evaluate the contribution of sports and sporting personalities in peace-building process.
Highlighting the significance of education in the promotion of peace, Amr Abdalla, Professor and Vice Rector of University for Peace, said attempts to build peace at the state level is an outdated approach. “Peace and conflict resolution must start at individual level; the individual is key to the successful conflict resolution. Therefore, the focus of peace initiatives should not just be on defusing conflicts at the international level but rather in the community, family and workplaces. Education is a vital element in achieving this objective and it is seen that peace thrives in an educated society,” said Abdalla.
DrManalTaryam, CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation, stressed the role of humanitarian organizations in disseminating world peace. In this regard, she highlighted the efforts of Noor Dubai in extending relief to the visually impaired around the world, without any discrimination on the basis of country, religion and language.
“Up to 90 per cent of visually impaired individuals reside in developing countries with no access to primary eye care. Each second a child is becoming blind. Noor Dubai has reached out to more than 6 million people providing adequate treatment and healthcare, recognizing that good eyesight is crucial to building a prosperous society and therefore a peaceful society,” said Dr. Taryam.
The Forum also provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and best practices in the development of standards related to international peace awards and various categories as well as increasing the UAE's efforts in the establishment of world peace through a range of initiatives. In this regard, Dr Abdulla S. Al Uthaimeen,Secretary General of King Faisal International Prize, from Saudi Arabia; David Caprara, Vice President, Office of Strategic Partnership at Global Peace Foundation; and SeungChae Kim, Secretary General of Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, shared the various categories and approaches adopted by their initiatives in the recognition of peace efforts.
Participants stressed the need to recognize scientific achievements in creating peace through the creation of better health and living conditions for humanity. Selection of peace award winners must be based on the changed concept of peace which now encompasses complete elimination of all structural violence in the society, they said.
Earlier, the first day of the Forum was attended by His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani,Director General of HH The Ruler's Court, Government of Dubai, and His Excellency Abdulla Al Shaibani, Secretary General of Dubai Executive Council, and Ibrahim Bu Melha, Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai for Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs,as well as other directors and executives from different government bodies in Dubai.
The first day sessions highlighted the role education, cultural harmony and local population in the creation of a peaceful society. Eminent speakers during thesesessionsincluded David Caprara, Vice President, Office of Strategic Partnership at Global Peace Foundation, and Hazaa Mohamed Al Qahtani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation in UAE, His Excellency Abdulla Al Shaibani, Board member of Dubai International City for Humanitarian Services, Seri HjhZalehaBinti Ismail,Chairman, Global Peace Foundation Malaysia and Vice President and Ex-Member of Parliament Association, Mr. EvaristeKarambizi, Manager, Peacekeeping Training Programme at theUnited Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Abdulla Al Shehhi, Senior Fundraising Specialist, who represented Dubai Cares.
An exhibitionheld alongside the forumhosted 12 local, regional and international entities, including Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace, International Humanitarian City, Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Armed Forces, Dubai Sports Council, Noor Dubai, Dubai Cares, Dubai Police, Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, Global Peace Foundation, University of Peace, and theUnited Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).