Vientiane (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos' Minister and Head of the President's Office Phongsavath Boupha was awarded a peace prize for International Diplomacy last week in Manila, the Philippines, along with other 18 laureates from Asia, Europe, Africa and America.
Speaking to the media, Phongsavath Boupha said he was the first Lao national to receive the Gusi Peace Prize since it was first offered in 2002.
The Manila-based Gusi Peace Prize award was created to recognise individuals or groups worldwide for their contribution in different areas toward peace, respect for human life and dignity.
The Gusi Peace Prize is named after the late Captain Gemeniano Javier Gusi who is considered as a hero in the Philippines for the way he fought for independence during World War II.
The Honourable Barry Gusi, the son of the late Captain, and his family later created the Gusi Peace Prize foundation.
Often referred to as the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia, the Gusi Peace Prize is mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 1476 signed by former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo, declaring every fourth Wednesday of November as the "Gusi Peace Prize International Friendship Day".
The award was presented to Phongsavath for his contribution to the promotion of good relations in the region. His efforts were instrumental in reaching agreements on border cooperation and demarcation with the neighbouring countries Vietnam, China, Myanmar and Cambodia as the Chairman of the Lao National Border Commission.
He also played a role in the accession of Laos into Asean and represented the Lao government at sub-regional and international levels involving the areas of policy, security and human right issues.
Phongsavath has published a book entitled the "Evolution of the Lao State" as well as articles on political events in Lao newspapers and the journal of the Social Science Research Institute in Laos.