Philippines: Miriam Coronel Ferrer

Conflicts are best resolved not through annihilation of one party but by the mutual transformation of all players towards a common vision and shared responsibilities and accountability.

— Miriam Coronel Ferrer

As co-chair of the Non-State Actors Working Group (NSAWG) of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL), Miriam Coronel-Ferrer (born 1959) is a key player in the campaign to urge armed insurgents to stop using landmines in their war against government. A political science professor and multi-tasker who deftly manages several projects at the same time, she maintains that peace work is her priority, something she tries to bring into the classroom and transmit through her work as a peace researcher, writer and editor.

With internal armed conflicts and other challenges to peace in the Philippines, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer’s peace work –teaching, organizing, researching, writing and helping civil society groups mediate the peace process – is never done. She has led notable projects on peace, such as committing rebel groups to stop using landmines. At the University of the Philippines’ Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP-CIDS), she coordinates the Peace, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Program. "There is always a matter to respond to – outbreaks of violence, policy shifts, the usual grind of gathering information, analyzing and understanding developments, leveling off and getting consensus among ourselves as peace advocates and getting our message across to the public and the policymakers on all sides of the conflict," she says of her typical 16-hour workday. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer has contributed to the literature on conflict and peace studies for the academic community, analyzed the conflict and peace situation for civil society organizations and improved the quality of life of communities living in armed conflict areas where the armed rebel groups have committed not to use landmines. Recently, she initiated the Sulong Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Right and International Humanitarian Law (Sulong CARHRIHL), a civil society initiative promoting the implementation of an agreement signed by the government and communist insurgents. Her academic work and advocacies have strengthened her belief that the path to peace starts at home: "Peace at home is really very important to get the day started right. It frees you to deal with the conflict in the bigger world outside." Miriam has successfully bridged peace research with peace advocacy through her involvement in the academic world, in civil society movements and campaigns.

University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) Non-State Actors Working Group (NSAWG)