» Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo receive Felix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
03.03.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo receive Felix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize

© UNESCO/Diego San Martin - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with Estela Carlotto, founder and head of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, in Buenos Aires (Argentina), in 2010.

The Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, at a meeting in Paris chaired by former President of Portugal Mario Soares, has awarded the 2010 Prize to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, for their “tireless battle for human rights and peace by standing up to oppression, injustice and impunity”.

The group “The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo” is a non-governmental organization that has fought to safeguard and promote human rights for more than 30 years. It was founded in 1977 to locate the families of children kidnapped during the political repression of the military dictatorship in Argentina. It seeks to ensure that such violations of children’s rights never happen again by demanding the prosecution of all those responsible for the tragedy.

“With all my heart I congratulate the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and their president Estela Carlotto,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. “Their ceaseless effort has made it possible for a hundred young people to rediscover their true identities, thereby setting right a flagrant injustice. This is an inspiring example of the defense of human rights.”            

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize - created in 1989 and awarded by UNESCO annually – honours people, institutions and organizations that have contributed significantly to the promotion, research, preservation or maintaining of peace, mindful of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.

Previous laureates of the Prize include Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. De Klerk; Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat; King Juan Carlos of Spain and former US President Jimmy Carter; Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari; and the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The date of the award ceremony for the prize, which consists of the sum of US$150,000, a gold medal and a diploma, will be determined with the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

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