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Die Mütter der Plaza de Mayo erhalten Unesco Friedenspreis

Sonderauszeichnung für Verein für Friedenspädagogik Tübingen e.V.


Paris, October 6 {No.99-209} - UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor has decided to award the 1999 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education to the Argentinean Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo on the unanimous recommendation of an international jury which met on October 4 and 5 at Organization Headquarters.

Honourable Mentions have been given to Irene Drolet (Canada), the Association for Peace Education of Tübingen (Germany), and to the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Angola.

The Argentinean Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was founded in 1977 by a group of 14 women who were demanding that the military dictatorship give them information about the fate of their missing children. Despite the return of democracy, the mothers have continued to meet, once a week, at the Plaza de Mayo, in Buenes Aires, to demand an end to the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for the disappearance and assassination of some 30,000 people during the dictatorship. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo are working closely with the Spanish judiciary in the legal actions concerning crimes against humanity committed in Argentina and Chili. They are fighting, alongside the excluded, students and teachers, for human dignity and peace in Argentina. In 1999, they created a bookshop and literary cafÈ in view of providing the country's youth with education about, notably, human rights.

Irene Drolet is a Canadian teacher who has been working in civic education since 1985. Her educational approach is based on the observation of reality, its analysis with a view to fighting preconceived ideas, and leads to the transformation of that reality through individual and collective action.

Established in 1976, the Association for Peace Education of Tübingen aims to bring issues pertaining to peace and conflict into the forefront of public awareness. Convinced that education can change attitudes and behaviour and that these transformations have a direct impact on political decisions and structures, it is also involved in the launching of international campaigns against nuclear arms, the arms trade and anti-personnel mines.

The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Angola have focused their action on the municipality of Kakuako which has taken in many people displaced by the country's civil war. In 1990, they opened the Don Bosco Centre which already at the primary school level helps children become familiar with notions of peaceful conflict resolution.

The Prize for Peace Education was created in 1980 through a donation from the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation and awards US $ 25,000 to promote actions which increase public awareness and mobilises opinion in favour of peace. The prize-giving ceremony will take place on December 13 at Organization Headquarters.


UNESCOPRESS Online, 7.10.1999

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