Launching of the Bangabandhu Peace Prize – a praiseworthy effort

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Bangabandhu Peace Prize, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangabandhu, Seoul Peace Prize, Nobel Peace Prize

Bangladesh government on May 20, 2024 has finalized launching of the ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Peace Award’, a significant initiative designed to honor those who contribute meaningfully to global and local peace efforts. Officially announced during a cabinet meeting on May 20, 2024, the award aims to recognize individuals, organizations, or institutions worldwide for their dedication to peace.

The award will be conferred biennially, comprising a US$100,000 monetary prize and a 50-gram, 18-carat gold medal. The recipient will be announced on March 17, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the revered Father of the Nation. The award ceremony will take place on May 23, commemorating the date when Bangabandhu was honored with the Joliot-Curie Medal of Peace in 1973.

Since 2018, the Weekly Blitz, an internationally known newspaper published from Bangladesh, has been a staunch advocate for the Bangabandhu Peace Prize, emphasizing the importance of global media coverage and the inclusion of eminent figures in the selection process. This advocacy aims to uphold high standards and international relevance, ensuring the award not only honors Bangabandhu’s legacy but also inspires ongoing efforts towards global peace.

This initiative serves as a timely homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, recognizing his pivotal role in the nation’s history and his unwavering commitment to peace and freedom. The award is a testament to his enduring legacy and a commitment to promoting peace in a world increasingly beset by conflict.

To ensure the award’s success and global impact, the selection committee must include both international and local members. The involvement of internationally acclaimed personalities alongside respected local figures will enhance the award’s credibility and appeal. A dedicated research unit should be established to meticulously evaluate potential prize winners and plan the event. This approach will attract significant attention from global media, ensuring a broad and influential audience.

The policy governing the Bangabandhu Peace Prize outlines a clear vision for the future, emphasizing transparency and broad participation in the nomination process. By timing the announcement and ceremony to coincide with significant national dates, the government aims to embed the award within the national consciousness and achieve international recognition.

Financial sustainability is another critical aspect of the award. Initially funded by the government, the long-term plan is to support the prize through donations. An international board of trustees can be formed to regulate the activities. This board of trustees ensures that the award remains prestigious and financially sustainable, independent of state funds over time.

To maintain the integrity and neutrality of the Bangabandhu Peace Prize, it is crucial to minimize reliance on bureaucratic processes in the award’s administration. While government support is essential, the selection and awarding mechanisms should be insulated from political and bureaucratic influences. An autonomous body composed of esteemed individuals from various fields will help achieve this goal. Transparency in the selection process, with clear criteria and procedures, is vital to avoid any perception of bias or undue influence. Ensuring there are no loopholes for questioning the legitimacy of the awardee or board members is essential. This can be achieved through stringent guidelines, thorough vetting processes, and regular audits of the award’s administration, reinforcing the award’s integrity and the honor of being a recipient. In this case, Bangladesh government can follow the examples of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as Seoul Peace Prize.

The establishment of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Peace Award will honor leaders who play pivotal roles in peace-building. It celebrates peace and calls for global efforts toward a more peaceful world. Needless to say, this recognition will contribute to valuing and upholding the pride of the Bangalee nation in its pursuit of a peaceful world.

The Bangabandhu Peace Prize is set to become a beacon of hope and inspiration, encouraging global efforts towards peace and recognizing those who dedicate their lives to this noble cause. As the world looks on, this initiative stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his vision of a peaceful, just, and equitable world.

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