Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


“Olympic Truce” Welcomed at 2018 Global Business & Peace Symposium

8 Mar, 2018

March 7th/8th/9th 2018 Seoul, South Korea

The Global Business and Peace Symposium today welcomed the “Olympic Truce” between Seoul and Pyongyang and the opportunity for contact across the DMZ.

Meeting in the wake of the potential for fresh talks on the Korean Peninsular, the high level Conference pledged to “use its influence in support of every effort at dialogue aimed at discerning new ways of overcoming the current disputes.”

The delegates rallied in support following a keynote address from former UN Secretary General, HE Ban Ki Moon, in which he also welcomed the new developments while emphasising a need for caution. The symposium which included key speeches from the former Japanese Prime Minister HE Yukio Hatoyama and HE Philip McDonagh former Irish Ambassador to the Holy See who was involved in the Northern Island peace talks, unanimously supported a commitment to “…advocate for a common peace in East Asia based, first, on agreed principles; and second, on measured, parallel progress on security and arms control, societal and justice issues, and economic development.”

Previously delegates from the conference had been welcomed by senior politicians at the Korean National Assembly, where RFBF President Brian Grim was awarded the Main Prize at the World Peace Prize Ceremony.

The Global Business and Peace Awards were presented at a ceremony held later at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul with prize winners including Mark Woerde, Founder Havas Lemz and, who’s online video project “Make Friends” featuring the world’s most prominent religious leaders including Pope Francis, has been viewed 1.2 million times on YouTube. Another gold medalist was film-maker Deborah Paul whose moving story of her encounter in London with a Palestinian refugee, Christy Anastas won the Religious Freedom and Business Film prize. A special Corporate Education Award was given to global giants EY (Ernst and Young) for their work in creating an online training programme “Religious Literacy for Organisations”.

For full list of medal winners, see here.

The Symposium which is made up of business, political and academic leaders from around the world went on to discuss various aspects of Global Business and Peace with a focus on the role of religious belief in the work place and the role faith can play in the corporate world.

This is the second Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards. The inaugural awards were given the day before the opening of the Rio Paralympics in 2016. This pioneering peace initiative was started by RFBF and is a collaboration with the Global Compact Network Korea, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

The Awards began after H.E. Ban Ki-moon established the Business for Peace platform in 2013 within the UNGC, the world’s largest corporate member organization committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, which notably include SGD 16 (Peace) “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”