The 2010 Golden Rule Award, Kultainen sääntö- palkinto, has been awarded to Finland's President Tarja Halonen. President Halonen has meritoriously contributed to the dialogue between cultures and religions in Finland as well as internationally.
President Halonen convened the leaders of the so-called Abrahamic Faiths after the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. Finnish religious leaders have been meeting regularly on the President's initiative since the year 2001.
Among other things President Tarja Halonen has also given her strong support to the work of The Alliance of Civilizations Forum. The two main aims of this dialogue project, which was started at the government level of Spain and Turkey, are to improve the strained relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to strengthen the multilateral international system.
"President Tarja Halonen has brought up the question of gender in her speeches and has thus reminded leaders of the world to consider the importance of the status of women in dialogue processes. Recognizing the role of women also expresses remarkable respect to grassroots activity.
Women around the world do tremendous work for common good in their communities", says Heidi Rautionmaa, Finland’s Interfaith Dialogue Network Coordinator. Rautionmaa continues by saying that if we really want to build good social cohesion in our increasingly multicultural communities, society's support of grassroots interfaith dialogue activities is needed today.
The Golden Rule Award was awarded by the Interfaith Dialogue Network, which consists of the Forum of Religions and Convictions of Helsinki CC of The United Religions Initiative (URI), Religions for Peace Suomen naisverkosto (Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network in Finland), Kaupunki yhteisönä ry. and international Uskot ilman rajoja (Faiths Without Borders). The Network works in fellowship with Parliament of the World's Religions, which has named Helsinki as one of its Cities of Peace.
Professor Emeritus Reijo E. Heinonen, who was awarded the Golden Rule Award last year, sees the Award as a drop in the ocean awakening global ethical awareness. The Prize will be awarded during Interfaith Dialogue Week, on the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21st. All wars and conflicts are hoped to cease for Peace Day and citizens are urged to work for peace and justice.
The Golden Rule, after which the prize has been named, calls on people to treat others as they would like to be treated.