15.09.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers received Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize at UNESCO Headquarters

© UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, and Estela Carlotto, founder and president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, receiving UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize on 14 September 2011

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina) received the 2010 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize at UNESCO Headquarters on 14 September (3 p.m., Room I), in the presence of the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Dramane Ouattara and several other Heads of State or Government.*

Announcing the choice of the laureate last March, the President of the Jury, Mário Soares, declared the Prize was being awarded to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in recognition of their tireless battle over more than 30 years in favour of human rights, justice and peace.”

The non-governmental organization of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo was founded in 1977 to locate the biological 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.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo was represented at the ceremony by Estela de Carlotto, President of the Organization, on whose behalf she received a cheque for US$ 150 000, a gold medal and a peace diploma.

A press conference took place at noon in Room IX with the participation of Estela de Carlotto as well as other Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and some of the 105 grandchildren who have been able to reclaim their identity thanks to the work of the NGO.

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 following personalities confirmed their attendance: Rosine Francine Rogombe, President of Gabon's Senate, Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, Pasal Irénée Koupaki, Prime Minister of Benin, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President Mauritania, Rigi Rafini, Prime Minister of Niger.

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