Celebrating the International Day of Peace with Special Guests from the UN NGO Committee
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury has devoted many years as an inspirational champion for sustainable peace and development and ardently advancing the cause of the global movement for the culture of peace that has energized civil society all over the world. As a career diplomat he has been Permanent Representative to United Nations, President of the UN Security Council, President of UNICEF Board, UN Under-Secretary-General, the Senior Special Advisor to the UN General Assembly President, and recipient of many awards including the 2015 Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builders Prize of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, the U Thant Peace Award, UNESCO Gandhi Gold Medal for Culture of Peace and Spirit of the UN Award and University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor’s Medal for Global Leadership for Peace. Ambassador Chowdhury has a wealth of experience in the critical issues of our time - peace, sustainable development, and human rights. He served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York from 1996 to 2001 and as the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, responsible for the most vulnerable countries of the world from 2002 to 2007. Ambassador Chowdhury is a member of the Advisory Council of IMPACT Leadership 21 and is the first recipient of the IMPACT Leadership 21’s Global Summit Frederick Douglass Award Honoring Men Who Are Champions For Women's Advancement in October 2013. He is a founding co-chair of the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organisation (IESCO) with headquarters in China and is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Peace Academy in US. He is the honorary chair of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN, New York and chairman of the Global Forum on Human Settlements, both since 2008. He has also been the chair of the International Drafting Committee on the Human Right to Peace, an initiative coordinated from Geneva and was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the New York City Peace Museum.
Philip M. Hellmich is a thought leader in creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peacebuilding. As the Director of Peace at The Shift Network, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga Day Summit and World Peace Library - online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the Peace Ambassador Training. These peace programs provide skills training, inspirational stories, and powerful solutions from the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, scientists, Indigenous elders and spiritual mentors. Philip and his colleagues design these peace programs in partnership with a number of organizations while advancing strategic initiatives, including the International Cities of Peace in creating 1,000 Cities of Peace by 2020; Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education in promoting global compassion education; the Alliance for Peacebuilding on countering violent extremism, PeaceJam and 13 Nobel Peace Laureates in promoting global peace education and Parmarth Niketan Ashram in promoting a deeper understanding of yoga.
Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A published writer, Philip is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis with a Foreword by Lama Surya Das. He also serves as adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women.
Philip’s passion is exploring peace along the Peace Continuum, from inner to international levels, and his framing purpose coincides with the key questions: How is inner peace a global responsibility; and, how does the world affect inner peace? A long-time meditation practitioner, Philip enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace.