The Global Award for Nonviolence, which was given by Nobel Foundation chairman Pierre Marchand and Center for Global Nonviolence vice-president Luanne Guanson, was received by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in behalf of the Filipino people.
The global nonviolence award was the first of such award given to a country.
"I came to express our deepest gratitude for the Filipino people for what you have done here. We came to offer a special award for you, the people of Philippines," Mr. Marchand said.
He also cited Ms. Macapagal-Arroyo, former presidents Corazon C. Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos and Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin for their roles in the first and second People Power Revolution.
Mr. Marchand said the four were "teachers of love" not only for the Philippines but also for the world. "This is the most important subject that we learn. So, thank you for being our teachers of love all over the world, not only in the Philippines."
Reading from the plaque, Ms. Guanson said the award was "in recognition of (the Filipino people's) supreme achievement in creating a culture of peace and nonviolence and the historic nonviolent transformation through People Power, known the world over as EDSA."
Ms. Guanson said since Filipinos have a "historic role" in the use of active nonviolence to effect change, they need to address two challenges.
First is for Filipinos to continue using active nonviolence in changing conditions. "This is a unique tool that is transforming the world on an individual basis and on a global level as well." Second is for Filipinos to "share" their experience of active nonviolence to the world.
"You can use the experience you have gained to share with the rest of the world, and (to serve) as leaders and inspiration... to change the global world and world of violence to (that of) nonviolence using the exposure you have gained through people power with EDSA 1 and 2," she said.
In a related development, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jose Ramos Horta also gave a congratulatory message in behalf of East Timor.
The message, which was read by businessman Jose Concepcion, thanked the Filipinos for serving as "inspiration" to East Timorese.
"Your revolution gave the East Timor people... the inspiration to continue our own difficult quest for freedom. Now you have enhanced your great revolutionary legacy," Mr. Ramos-Horta said.
He said "history rarely allows a people to recreate an already singular phenomenon. But again you God-fearing and fellow Asians have shown the world that the governed must be eternally vigilant in holding elected leaders accountable for their moral duty to govern under the strictest public scrutiny.
"You have shown in your fervor in your latest democratic triumph that
public office is a public trust. We, your Timorese brothers and sisters,
stand proud in your glory as we feel the bond and kinship that flows between
our blood and culture as both having the same trait and, more importantly,
the same history of continuous struggle for self determination."