THE JEWISH-ARAB CENTER FOR PEACE
AT GIVAT HAVIVA AND UGANDAN BISHOP
NELSON ONONO ONWENG,
WINNERS OF THE UNESCO PRIZE FOR PEACE EDUCATION
Paris, September 5 (N°2001-93)
- The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, has decided to award the
UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 2001 to the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at
Givat Haviva (Israel) and to Ugandan Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng. This choice
comes with the unanimous recommendation of the international Prize jury that
deliberated at UNESCO headquarters on September 3 and 4.
In selecting the Jewish-Arab
Center for Peace and Bishop Onono Onweng, the jury sought to highlight “the
exceptional efforts of the two winners in the areas of peace education, the
promotion of peace and non-violence” and to reward “the work done for the
resolution of conflicts through dialogue”.
Begun 20 years ago, the UNESCO
Prize for Peace Education aims to promote actions that focus public awareness
and mobilise consciences in favour of peace. Created with a donation from The
Nippon Foundation, the Prize is awarded with a purse that this year is worth
US$30,000. The 2001 Prize-giving ceremony will be held at UNESCO headquarters at
6:00 p.m. on December 14.
Established in 1963, the
Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva is Israel’s oldest and largest
peace education institution. Its main aims are to foster closer relations
between Jews and Arabs in Israel, to educate for mutual understanding, and to
promote partnership and permanent dialogue between the two communities. Each
year, around 25,000 people participate in its activities.
Despite the wars and upheavals
of the last 38 years, the Center has made, and continues to make, an important
contribution to peace through its education and research projects, its
conferences and workshops, its library and information centre, and its
publications, notably Crossing Borders, an English-language bi-monthly
magazine. This magazine, financed by Denmark and the result of work by Israeli,
Palestinian and Jordanian youths, is one of the rare Israeli-Palestinian
projects - maybe the only one - that has kept going in the current difficult
Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng,
born in 1945, was a primary school teacher for many years and joined the
Ordained Ministry in 1976. He subsequently became a school inspector and the
director of the Lweza Training and Conference Centre, and in 1988 he was made
Bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese. He is the originator of numerous initiatives
for peace and for fighting poverty.
Bishop Onono Onweng’s
projects include a poverty-alleviation credit scheme he started in 1976, a
non-governmental peace organisation called “Jamii Ya Kapatakanisha” created
in 1992, and a technical school for orphans of war, the “Gulu Vocational
Community Centre”, founded in 1994. In 1998, he also started the “Acholi
Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiatives” (ARLPI), an inter-faith forum for
peace. In 2000, Bishop Onono Onweng received the Uganda Peace Award.
An Honourable Mention was given
to Dr Betty Reardon, a U.S. teacher and peace educator who started the
International Institute on Peace Education (IPE) in 1982, providing a structure
for educators from around the world to meet and share their knowledge and
experience. The author of several books, Dr Reardon also launched the Global
Campaign for Peace Education, which produced “Learning to Abolish War”, a
teaching resource used internationally.
Previous UNESCO Prize for Peace
Education-winners include: the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
(Sweden), Paulo Freire (Brazil), Brother Roger de Taizé (France), Rigoberta
Menchú Tum (Guatemala), Mother Teresa (India), Prayudh Payutto (Thailand),
Chiara Lubich (Italy), and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina).