11 November, 2011
IPB warmly congratulates newly-elected President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins as he officially begins today his seven-year term of office. Michael D. Higgins was the first-ever winner of the IPB-sponsored Sean MacBride Peace Medal in 1992, a prize which recognizes people who have shown an outstanding commitment to the promotion of peace, justice and human rights. The IPB believed that Michael D. was a worthy and very appropriate first winner of this Prize and now believe that he will be an inspirational Irish President, continuing to highlight the urgent need for peace in a world torn apart by war and conflict.
Michael D. has been a life-long opponent of war and militarism and has consistently advocated a non-aggressive foreign policy for Ireland and the need to find alternative non-violent means of resolving international conflicts. He has recognized and highlighted the role of marginalisation and inequality in fuelling conflict and campaigned for more just international political and economic structures as a way of countering the culture of war and aggression between and within nations.
Michael D. has also highlighted how resource-based wars are increasing and has called for a new awareness of the threat posed to our fragile planet by war, aggression and resource exploitation.
It is the hope of the IPB that President Higgins’ period of office will see a significant global shift away from war, towards peace; away from conflict, towards dialogue; away from destruction and towards greater harmony between people and planet.