Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has been named this year's recipient of the Eisenhower Medallion for his efforts to promote regional peace, according to the U.S.-based People to People International (PTPI) organization.
The award, presented by the organization founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, recognizes Ma's East China Sea Peace Initiative that seeks to resolve territorial disputes in the area though peaceful means.
The 2012 initiative advocates that all claimants to the disputed areas to refrain from antagonistic actions; set aside their controversies and engage in dialogue; observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means; seek consensus on a code of conduct in the region; and establish a mechanism for joint exploration and development of resources.
Ma, 64, was nominated by PTPI's Tainan chapter and will receive the award Sept. 19 at the at PTPI's 21st Worldwide Conference that will be held Sept. 17-21 in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan.
Chang Fu-chuan, an official at the chapter, said Ma's peace initiative, which urges trilateral discussions among Taiwan, Japan and China to reach an agreement on territorial disputes, was highly recognized and praised at the PTPI board meeting.
The award is presented to an internationally known individual or organization in recognition of their exceptional contribution to world peace and understanding during a period of at least five years, according to PTPI's official website.
Ma is the second figure from Taiwan to receive the honor, after Cheng Yen, founder of Taiwan's largest charity organization Tzu Chi, in 1994.
Past Eisenhower Medallion recipients include Nelson Mandela (2010), tenor Luciano Pavarotti (2004), King Hussein I of Jordan (2002), Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu (2000), Medecins Sans Frontieres (1992), Mother Teresa (1988) and Neil Armstrong (1969).
PTPI promotes international understanding and world peace through cultural, educational and humanitarian activities.
(By Kelven Huang and James Lee)ENDITEM/pc