MPAC Honors Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of IAEA, for Bolstering Human Security

October 31, 2006

In front of a packed audience, the Muslim Public Affairs Council honored Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, with MPAC Foundation's first Human Security Award on Friday, October 27.

In a riveting evening filled with hope, pride and reflection, Dr. Faroque Khan, head of the Islamic Center of Long Island delivered a warm welcome on behalf of the tri-state Muslim American community. MPAC Communications Director Edina Lekovic followed by encouraging attendees to reflect on the implication of such an award delivered during a critical juncture in human history.

"We are honored that the inaugural recipient of this important recognition is a man of both great vision and great international attention for his unrelenting efforts as a steward of the IAEA, which works to make the world safer by advocating for nuclear disarmament" said Lekovic, who served as the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies. "His insistence on due diligence, diplomacy and multilateralism as tools in furthering this mission has elevated the level of global discourse on the issue."

Dr. ElBaradei served as a senior member of the IAEA (1984 1993), the Agency's Assistant Director for External Relations (1993-1997), and as the Director General of the (IAEA) since 1997 where he works to promote arms control and encourages the peaceful use of nuclear energy around the globe.

"In a world of nuclear haves and have-nots, there is a noticeable absence in the international discourse on security - and that is justice" said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati in his remarks. "Dr. ElBaradei is promoting justice by advocating for complete nuclear disarmament by those who possess it and a commitment to non-proliferation by those who seek it. As members of humanity, we cannot prevent a nuclear holocaust if non-proliferation is expected or demanded of just one or two nations."

Following a touching video compilation of the extraordinary work Dr. ElBaradei has accomplished, Dr. ElBaradei reflected on the deeper concerns underlying the award when reminding the attendees, "When you really think about human security, you cannot help but get emotional. Our priorities are still very much skewed priorities. Forty percent of our fellow humans live on less than two dollars a day." He emphasized that the economic realities of the global south have served as a catalyst for much of the extremism and violence that fester among and against disaffected populations in the region.

In a recent address to the United Nations Sixty-First General Assembly, ElBaradei highlighted several factors shaping the role of nuclear power in the past five decades, including growing energy needs, economic performance, the availability of other energy sources, the quest for energy independence, environmental factors, nuclear safety and proliferation concerns, and advances in nuclear technology.

Of these important factors, ElBaradei refocused Friday evenings attendees on the critical balance nuclear power usage must strike with preserving human security. "If we can change human destiny, we need to focus on the human security of the individual" said ElBaradei. "If every human being can live in peace, freedom and human dignity, we would not have the conflict and insecurity we have today."

In an effort to honor the contributions of extraordinary individuals who protect and empower the world's most vulnerable populations, MPAC Foundation created the Human Security Award. The MPAC Foundation's mission is to engage in the research and development of issues related to human rights, democracy and pluralism; to educate all Americans regarding the teachings of Islam; and to serve the Muslim American community and promote the Islamic values of mercy, justice, peace, human dignity, freedom, and equality for all.



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