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BREAKING NEWS: Global Business & Peace Symposium and Awards to be held at start of PyeongChang Winter Paralympics

17 Dec, 2017


IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Seoul, Korea: On March 7-8, 2018, the days before the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics, international business, government and civil society leaders will gather in Seoul Korea for the second biannual Global Business & Interfaith Peace Symposium and Awards. The symposium will show to a global audience – in the spirit of the Paralympics – that peace is achievable.

These leaders from around the world will exchange experiences with their Korean counterparts on lessons learned from advancing peace and intercultural understanding through business. Together they will offer ideas on the current crisis with North Korea as well as on other regional and global threats to peace and human flourishing.

At the Symposium beginning on March 7th, business leaders from across the globe will have a real opportunity to speak out in support of peace at a time of heightened tensions in Asia. Indeed, Korea is actively promoting this as the “Peace Olympics.”

“Many people worry about the current crisis on the Korean peninsula,” said Dr. Sunggon Kim, the 2018 Awards Executive Director and one of the jurors. “Thus, the Global Business & Peace Awards right before 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics in Korea is a very timely and meaningful event for peace in this area. It will show the world how business people are important in building peace,” said Dr. Kim.

The inaugural Symposium and Awards were held at the start of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “It is especially appropriate to hold the Symposium in the context of the Paralympics given that these Games highlight human triumphs over adversity, including athletes overcoming disabilities stemming from war and conflict,” said Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

In addition to honoring Korean business leaders who’ve had initiatives to advance peace with North Korea, business CEO nominees (incl. former CEOs) — from a field of nominees representing 25 countries on all six inhabitable continents — will be presented medals for their work in advancing interfaith understanding and peace through one of four avenues: (1) Advocacy and public policy engagement, (2) Core business, (3) Partnerships and collective action, and (4) Social investment and philanthropy. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded in each category.

Peace Medalists and other dignitaries will then travel to PyeongChang, South Korea, on March 9th for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games, which follow the Winter Olympic Games.

Meet the Finalists who will receive, Gold, Silver, Bronze and High Honors Peace Medals on March 8, in Seoul.

The symposium will specifically look at lessons learned by Korean companies affiliated with the Global Compact Network Korea’s Business for Peace initiative, many of whom had experience in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea that was closed earlier this year.

The Symposium and Awards are an initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation in collaboration with the Global Compact Network Korea, the Business for peace platform of the United Nations Global Compact, and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The initiative was started in tandem with the Business for Peace initiative of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who now serves as honorary chairman of the Global Compact Network Korea.

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