Tapio Varis, CMPI Director bags award

Tapio Varis, UNESCO Chair in global e-learning and member of the board of directors of New York-based Center for Media & Peace Initiatives has been bestowed with the prestigious Golden Rule Award.

Dr. Varis joins other prominent recipients of the Golden Rule Award including former Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

In a citation at the award ceremony in Helsinki, Professor Tapio Varis was honored for his contribution towards a culture of peace and promotion of dialogue and values of new humanism in the past twenty years. Tapio Varis has served as UNESCO Chair in global e-learning with applications to multiple domains.

Accepting the award, Prof. Varis called for profound reform in the structure of the current communication networks as well as the pattern of information flows across the world.

“Internationalism and acceptance of cultural diversity mean having citizens who are committed to what happens to the planet and who are aware of the global scope of its problems. Only a media-based public sphere that promotes and gives direction to people´s participation can foster this new type of citizenship.

Tapio Varis thinks that education programs must be the fruit of cooperation and communication between people. Present day technologies are starting to enable this and global media literacy can help us to achieve this.

The Award was given at the Syria, dialogue and media -event organized by The Faiths Without Borders (Uskot ilman rajoja ry.) and netmedia Baabeli in cooperation with Myllypuro media library in Helsinki, during the 2013 World Interfaith Harmony Week.

The Golden Rule Award was awarded by the Interfaith Dialogue Network, which consists of Helsinki Religious Forum of The United Religions Initiative (URI), Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network in Finland, Living together in Cities (Kaupunki yhteisönä ry.) and multiregional Faiths Without Borders (Uskot ilman rajoja ry.),Netmedia Baabeli has joined to this network.

The Network works in fellowship with Parliament of the World’s Religions, which has named Helsinki as one of its Cities of Peace.

“The Golden Rule Award is a stone given as a sign of gratitude to people who try to implement The Golden Rule in practice. The Golden Rule is the ground for dialogue but it is actually the process of dialogue that leads people to really walk on the path of Golden Rule”, says Heidi Rautionmaa, Finland’s Interfaith Dialogue Network Coordinator.

Among previous Golden Rule awardees were Professor Emeritus Reijo E. Heinonen, 2009, President of Finland Tarja Halonen, 2010, Fr. James Channan, OP and Grand Imam Maulana Abd-ul Khabir Azad, 2011.

The CMPI team rejoices with Dr. Varis on this important honor and hopes that it will strengthen his resolve to continue the work of global peace building.

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