01.06.2016 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Cours Sainte Marie de Hann in Dakar Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Receiving UNESCO Prize for Peace


Cours Sainte Marie de Hann in Dakar received the UNESCO Prize for Peace in 1991 in recognition of its inclusive and innovative approaches to peace education. During the 25th anniversary celebration of this award, the school inaugurated replicas of several UNESCO World Heritage sites in miniature.

Cours Sainte Marie de Hann in Dakar stands out for its unique education model that fosters intercultural dialogue and religious tolerance amidst growing discrimination and violence around the world. On Friday, May 27, 2016, government representatives, religious leaders, international agencies and members of civil society joined students, faculty and administrators at the school in celebration of twenty-five years since the academic institution received the UNESCO Prize for Peace in 1991 for its commitment to peace education.

Over 5,000 pupils representing 72 nations attend the school. “We cultivate peace education by living in a diverse community,” Madame Marie Hélèn Cuenot, Director of the school, expressed during her remarks at the opening ceremony. Archbishop of Dakar, Monseigneur Benjamin Ndiaye, also commended the school for fostering religious tolerance among young people. Minister of Vocational Training, Learning and Craftsmanship, Mr. Mamadou Talla, and the Secretary General of Senegal’s Ministry of Sports, Mr. Ibrahima Diouck also attended the ceremony.

Replicas of some of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites were revealed during the celebration. “The inauguration of the UNESCO World Heritage site in miniatures is another example of the openness and richness of Cours Sainte Marie de Hann, which continues to work towards peace and the formation of responsible citizenship,” said Mr. Gwang-Chol Chang, Chief of Education who represented the Director of UNESCO Dakar.

UNESCO’s Peace Education Initiative

Promoting peace through education is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission. This endeavour includes education, training, and information directed toward cultivating a culture of peace based on human rights principles. As stated in its constitution of 1945, UNESCO advances international peace and the common welfare of humanity through an intersectoral platform involving all five of the organization’s sectors: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.

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