Women Cross DMZ Leader Awarded the 2022 Peace Summit Medal

Christine Ahn, Founder and Executive Director of Women Cross DMZ, a long-time Channel partner, received the 2022 Peace Summit Medal for Social Activism, which is awarded every year during the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to a human rights activist in recognition of the positive impact of social activism generated in communities throughout the world.  

She received the medal on Dec. 11, 2022, at the 18th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, South Korea. While there, she traveled with a group of 10 Nobel Peace Laureates to Gosung along the DMZ (or demilitarized zone) to learn about the ongoing Korean War, including hearing from a member of a separated family.  Korea Peace Now! partnered with Korea Peace Appeal (ROK) to help these international peacemakers understand the importance of ending the Korean War by replacing the Armistice with a peace agreement, especially as tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain dangerously high. 

The following day, Nobel Peace Laureates and South Korean civil society leaders held a press conference in Pyeongchang to call for an immediate de-escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, a return to diplomatic talks, and, most crucially, replacing the 1953 Korean War Armistice with a formal peace agreement.  Among the speakers was Ann Wright, Board Member, Women Cross DMZ, who crossed the DMZ in 2015 and a former U.S. Army Colonel and U.S. Diplomat who resigned in protest of the U.S. war on Iraq. 

At the press conference, the speakers announced a letter signed by civil society groups in the United States, South Korea, and around the world to be sent to President Joseph Biden, Chairman Kim Jong Un, and President Yoon Seok-Yeol urging them to stop the destructive arms race, take steps now to prevent a potentially catastrophic war, and set the table for peace talks. You can watch the press conference here. 

During the summit, Ahn was a speaker on a panel discussion, “Open Scars of War,” also featuring Korea Peace Now! and Youkyoung Ko, a representative of WILPF, another Channel grantee. You can read Ahn’s speech here. 

Ahn said about receiving the award, “I was extremely honored to be presented with the 2022 Peace Summit Medal for Social Activism…I’m grateful to the Nobel Peace committee for giving me this recognition, and all Korean women who have been boldly crossing boundaries for decades before me for peace in Korea.” You can watch the award presentation here. 

After the Nobel Peace conference, the group headed to Seoul for a packed screening of the documentary film Crossings, which was released in Fall 2022 and features the journey of Women Cross DMZ hosted by National Assembly Member Lee Jae-Jung, the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party Women’s Committee at CINE-Q.