Laureates - 2009 Edition

  • François Houtart (Belgium) received the award for his life-long commitment to world peace, intercultural dialogue, human rights and the promotion of tolerance, and in recognition of his outstanding eff orts to advance the cause of social justice in the world. He is ardent promoter of North-South cooperation and the founder of the Tri-Continental Centre (CETRI), a non-governmental organization renowned for its work on development issues and in the International Council of the World Social Forum. Known throughout his life as a defender of human rights, he has contributed significantly to the advancement of the inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue. As a noted sociologist of religions and theology, he has authored numerous publications and given lectures in over 100 universities around the world.
  • Abdul Sattar Edhi (Pakistan) received the award for his life-long eff orts to ameliorate the conditions of the most disadvantaged groups in Pakistan and South Asia, and to promote the ideals of human dignity, human rights, mutual respect and tolerance. He is one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan through his Edhi Foundation, which he created in 1957. A non-profit social welfare programme with over 300 centres across Pakistan, the foundation provides the needy with medical aid, family planning, emergency assistance and education. It sets up maternity homes, mental asylums, homes for the physically handicapped, blood banks and orphanages, among other services. Branches in several other countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia etc.) bring relief to refugees and other victims of strife and natural disasters. Dr Edhi is renowned for his active stand against extremism and his support of human rights as well as for his humanitarian efforts.

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